U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland recently traveled to northwest Montana to celebrate the first expansion of the National Wildlife Refuge System under the Biden Administration.
Aaron Bolton has more on the Lost Trail Conservation Area.
The ceremony started with a song by Vernon Finley of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.
The Lost Trail Conservation Area is part of the CSKT’s traditional territory.
Both tribal and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials were on hand to celebrate the new conservation area, which will preserve public access to 38,000 acres of private lands to start. That protection can be expanded up to nearly three times that size through future land easement purchases.
The conservation area neighbor’s the existing Lost Trail National Wildlife Refuge.
Sec. Haaland commended efforts to establish the newest addition of the National Wildlife Refuge System, which protects public access to millions of acres of wildlands nationwide.
“Today’s celebration is the culmination of a 20-year locally led effort to conserve important big game corridors and recreational areas in this region.”
She added the area will also conserve endangered and threatened species like grizzly bears.
The Navajo Nation is set to receive its first supply of monkeypox vaccines this week.
The tribe advocated for the vaccine as part of preparedness efforts.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez talked about the vaccine Tuesday during a virtual town hall.
“We sent a letter to the White House, to the Department of Health and Human Services, letting them know we need to have the vaccines for monkeypox as soon as possible. And within a couple of weeks, we got the answer from the federal government and the White House. Just the same thing we did with COVID-19, we advocated heavily we sent a letter and we got the vaccines. No confirmed cases here on the Navajo Nation of monkeypox, we just need to be safe.”
Nez says the tribe wants to keep monkeypox out and will be using the same protocols for monkeypox as they do for COVID-19, which include a number of public health emergency orders.
The Navajo Nation was hit hard by COVID-19.
Capt. Brian Johnson with the Navajo Area Indian Health Service says the arrival of vaccines were an important part of efforts to fight COVID-19, and says the arrival of monkeypox vaccines will help the Navajo Nation be prepared.
“We’ll know we’ll have that protective measure of having the JYNNEOS vaccine here onsite, which is very important for us. Local providers with all the tribal health care organizations, the Indian Health Service, the providers will be the ones to work with patients and determine who might be at most need of those early vaccines, if needed.”
The tribe is also preparing for COVID boosters, which will be ready for the fall and winter season.
Unofficial results from Oklahoma’s Tuesday primary election show U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) won his party’s runoff for a U.S. Senate seat.
Rep. Mullin (Cherokee) was first elected to serve Oklahoma’s Second Congressional District in 2012.
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