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Rancher and Indigenous Tribe Clash Over Fencing

TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts and the Blackfeet Nation are engaged in a dispute over adjacent Montana land. In 2019, Ricketts purchased 32,000 acres of land that is technically within the tribal reservation. When the US government passed the Dawes Act of 1887 to control who could own indigenous land, the Blackfeet Nation lost ownership of two-thirds of land once designated for their reservations. Despite an effort to buy back their land, 2 percent was legally sold to Ricketts’s meat distribution company, High Plains Bison. The tribe has expressed concern that the fencing erected around the property, known as Grizzly Ridge Bison Ranch, is causing major disruption to wildlife migratory patterns. Both parties have been in conversation over possible solutions, including a proposed purchase offer and options for restitution. In the meantime, Buzz Cobell, director of the Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife Department, will continue his effort to work with the company to find a solution. Read more HERE.

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