LAPWAI, ID – The Conservation Enforcement Division of the Nez Perce Tribe has initiated an investigation into the illegal dumping and wastage of game based on the recent discovery of a bison carcass near Stites. A local resident discovered the carcass, along with other pieces of bison, in Stites Canyon Monday morning. The carcass was removed this morning by the Nez Perce Tribe with the assistance of the Idaho County Road Department.
“The Nez Perce Tribe is outraged by such conduct and will be conducting a full investigation to determine if this wastage was done by a Nez Perce Tribal member,” Silas Whitman, Chairman of the Nez Perce Tribal Executive Committee, says. “Such conduct is unacceptable and tramples on the beliefs and values of not only the Nez Perce Tribe but tribes everywhere and to an animal we deem sacred.”
Whitman says he expects any individual found guilty of such conduct “will feel the full weight of the law including potentially the loss of hunting and fishing privileges. Any further discovery of wastage or illegal dumping could also result in the closure of the current season,” Whitman says.
The Nez Perce Tribe has treaty-reserved rights to hunt on public lands, including hunting bison on the Gallatin National Forest near Gardiner, Montana. The Nez Perce Tribe’s bison hunting season has been open since November 8, 2013 and is set to close on March 18, 2014. The Nez Perce Tribe’s bison hunt is regulated by the Nez Perce Tribal Fish and Wildlife Commission through a permit system.
(PHOTOS courtesy of Gene Meinen)