Posts Tagged ‘Monana Fish Wildlife and Parks’

Talking dictionaries aim to document, preserve endangered languages

Tito Perez, a shaman from the Chamacoco community in Puerto Diana, Paraguay, is shown. Words and sentences from the Chamacoco language can be heard in a new talking dictionary. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, National Geographic, Chris Rainier)


Using ancient languages in danger of being lost, National Geographic has created eight new talking dictionaries, according to the Canadian Press.

    The dictionaries contain more than 32,000 word entries in eight endangered languages. They comprise more than 24,000 audio recordings of native speakers pronouncing words and sentences, along with photos of cultural objects.

    Among the participants on a panel about the use of digital tools at the AAAS meeting was Alfred (Bud) Lane, among the last known fluent speakers of Siletz Dee-ni, a Native American language spoken in Oregon. Lane has written that the talking dictionary is — and will be — one of the best resources in the struggle to keep his language alive.

The languages have been recorded and written, but part of the project also involves taking photographs of native speakers.

Native student responds to a Times article about his home
Did you read the Feb. 3 New York Time’s article on the Wind River Reservation?

A lot of students from Wind River did, and they responded in a variety of ways about their feelings of how the story depicted their home.

    Students on the Wind River reservation read and discussed the piece in classes at Fort Washakie Charter High School, and, according to Michael L. Read, an English teacher there, felt that “the article seemed to reinforce the stereotypes that they get labeled with frequently.” In an e-mail, he wrote, “These students know that there are problems in their community, but they also love it and are fully committed to honoring their ancestors and the future.”

One student, Willow Pingree, responded through a comment online. It’s worth reading and reflecting on. (Pingree’s entire letter is printed online on a Times learning blog.)

Montana to allow hunters to shoot wandering Yellowstone bison
There’s no bison management agreement yet when it comes to how tribes and government agencies will manage bison in Montana, but on Thursday the state announced it would allow hunters to shoot the animals if they wander outside Yellowstone National Park.

Associated Press reporter Matt Volz has the story.

    Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials say that allowing hunters to enforce those tolerance areas is an adjustment to an Interagency Bison Management Plan change that expands the boundaries where bison can wander. It would allow hunters to shoot bison that stray beyond designated areas during or outside of the bison hunting season.

    . . .

    The plan was approved in a 4-1 vote. Commissioner A.T. “Rusty” Stafne, a former Fort Peck tribal chairman, voted against the measure, saying the agreements with the tribes should be in place first.

    Neighboring farmers and ranchers fear the bison will spread disease and destroy their property.

    Two lawsuits are pending over allowing bison to leave Yellowstone in search of food at lower elevations in the winter. A third lawsuit aims to block the relocation of the 68 bison to Fort Peck and Fort Belknap.

Jenna Cederberg

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Where the Jocko River had once been diked into a straight channel after a flood threatened the nearby state-owned fish hatchery, restoration included rebuilding the floodplain and re-channeling the river into a meandering, dynamic waterway. (KURT WILSON/Missoulian)

Where the Jocko River had once been diked into a straight channel after a flood threatened the nearby state-owned fish hatchery, restoration included rebuilding the floodplain and re-channeling the river into a meandering, dynamic waterway. (KURT WILSON/Missoulian)


As reporter Vince Devlin points out in this Missoulian (Mont.) story, when the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes received $18 million a few years back in a settlement in an environmental case, they could have divvied up the money among all sorts of projects that badly needed doing.

Instead, they thought big. Really big. The tribes set about restoring 25 miles of the Jocko River that flows through their Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana reservation, as well as the entire Jocko watershed.

Time – and the influence of man – had taken a terrible toll on the Jocko. Because its meandering course threatened a trout hatchery run by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the river was straightened, looking more like a big ditch. And three dams were built on Montana’s Clark Fork River, meaning bull trout couldn’t migrate 174 miles from Idaho’s Lake Pend Oreille and eventually wind up in the Jocko.

As Devlin writes, the tribes’ Jocko River Master Plan aims to change that:

    Restoration workers for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Jero Sharp, left, and John Hammer, have been tearing down structures and salvaging the useable wood on the Schall Ranch north of Arlee since the tribes bought the property as part of the Jocko watershed restoration project. The ranch fronts the Jocko River and is being brought back to its natural habitat. (KURT WILSON/Missoulian)

    Restoration workers for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Jero Sharp, left, and John Hammer, have been tearing down structures and salvaging the useable wood on the Schall Ranch north of Arlee since the tribes bought the property as part of the Jocko watershed restoration project. The ranch fronts the Jocko River and is being brought back to its natural habitat. (KURT WILSON/Missoulian)

    “It’s sort of a ‘Field of Dreams’ vision,” says Germaine White, information and education specialist with CSKT’s Natural Resources Department: ” ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Instead of growing and throwing, we’re trying to restore the habitat for bull trout.”

    It’s a massive project covering the entire Jocko watershed, years in the works, with years left to go.

    In some places, it’s as simple as removing the cattle that defecated in the river’s tributaries and grazed their banks down to dirt.

    In others, entire homes, barns and other outbuildings are disappearing from the Jocko floodplain, torn down one by one as the tribes begin restoring land near the river to its natural habitat.

“We’re fortunate to be in the backbone of the world, where water begins,” White says. “There are so many others down the system, especially by the time you get to the Columbia River, where you encounter dam after dam, and they have no choice but to grow and throw.”

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