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Bison are making a comeback after facing extinction thanks to the Native American tribes

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Sitting atop a hedge in Badlands National Park, Troy Heinert peers from under his wide-brimmed hat into a corral where 100 wild bison await his transfer to the Rosebud Indian Reserve.

Descendants of the bison that roamed North America’s Great Plains in their tens of millions, the animals soon dart into a stream, taking a truck trip across South Dakota and joining one of the many thriving herds Heinert helped re-establish on Native American lands.

Heinert nodded approvingly to the park attendant as the animals stomped their hooves and raised dust in the cold wind. He received a brief call from Iowa about moving another herd to tribes in Minnesota and Oklahoma, then spoke with a fellow truck driver about more bison heading to Wisconsin.

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By nightfall, the last American buffaloes shipped out of the Badlands have been unloaded on the Rosebud Reservation, where Heinert also lives. The next day, he was on his way back into the Badlands to load 200 bison for another tribe, the Cheyenne River Sioux.

Heinert, 50, said, “Buffaloes, they walk two worlds. Are they commercial or are they wild animals? From the tribal perspective, we have always considered them as wild animals, or we take it a step further, as a relative.”

Now 82 tribes across the United States have more than 20,000 bison in 65 herds—and this is growing in tandem with Native Americans’ desire to reclaim stewardship of an animal that their ancestors relied on for thousands of years.

European settlers destroyed that balance, driving the bison nearly to extinction until conservationists including Teddy Roosevelt stepped in to re-establish a small number of herds.

The long-standing dream of some Native Americans: the return of the bison on a scale rivaling the herds roamed the continent In numbers that made up the scene itself. Heinert, a South Dakota senator and director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council, looks at his job more practical: Get bison for the tribes you want, whether it’s two animals or 200.

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“All these tribes depended on them at some point,” he said. “Those tribes are trying to get back to that, to re-establish that connection.”

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For centuries, the bison set the rhythms of life for the Lakota and other nomadic tribes. Leather for clothes and teepees, bones for tools and weapons, horns for ladles, hair for rope—a steady supply of bison was essential.

In the so-called “buffalo jumps”. Herds were run off the slopes, then slaughtered over a period of days and weeks.

European settlers brought a new level of industry to the enterprise—and the killing of bison increased dramatically, as their parts were used in machinery, fertilizer, and clothing. By 1889, only about 1,000 remained.

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“We wanted to populate the western half of the United States because there are a lot of people in the east,” US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said. First Native American member of the Cabinethe said in an interview. “They wanted all the Indians dead so they could take their land.”

She added that the thinking at the time was, “If we kill the buffalo, the Indians will die. They won’t have anything to eat.”

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The day after moving the bison out of the Badlands, Heinert’s son, TJ, fixes his gun on a big bull in the Woollakota Buffalo Range. In just two years the tribal establishment had restored nearly 1,000 bison to 28,000 acres (11,300 ha) of grass-covered hills near the Nebraska and South Dakota borders.

The 28-year-old has been talking all morning about needing the perfect shot in 40-mile (64-kilometer)-per-hour winds. The first bullet entered the animal’s ear, but it traveled a few hundred yards to join a larger group of bison, tracking it on an all-terrain vehicle.

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After the animal finally fell, Heinert approached the gun and placed the gun behind his ear to fire a shot that stopped its strike.

He said: “We sent it down.” “That’s all that matters.”

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Rosebud Sioux are intent on expanding the reserve’s herds as a reliable food source.

Others have grander visions: Blackfeet in Montana and Tribes in Alberta want to create a “transnational herd” that would span Canada’s border near Glacier National Park. Other tribes suggest a “buffalo commons” on federal land in central Montana where area tribes could harvest animals.

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“What would it be like to have 30 million buffaloes in North America again?” said Christina Mormorone, a Metis Indian who has worked with Blackfeet to restore bison.

There’s no going back entirely – a lot of fences and houses, Haaland said. But her agency has emerged as an essential source of bison, transporting more than 20,000 to tribes and tribal organizations over the course of 20 years.

The transfers sometimes raise objections from ranchers who fear bison are carrying disease and competing for turf. However, demand from the tribes is growing, and Haaland said transfers will continue. That includes about 1,000 bison trucked this year from the Badlands, Grand Canyon National Park and several national wildlife refuges.

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Back at Wolakota’s range, Heinert sprinkled chewed tobacco along the back of the bison he had just shot and prayed. The half-ton animal was then lifted onto a flatbed truck for a bouncy ride to the farm headquarters.

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About 20 adults and children gathered as the bison were lowered onto a tarp.

“This relative has given himself to us, for the sake of our livelihood, our way or our life,” said Duan Hulu Horn Bear, one of the tribal elders.

Soon, the hemp was covered in bloody footprints from people butchering the animal. They cut it into quarters, sawing the bones, and then cut the meat from the legs, rump and huge hump of the animal. Children, only about 6 years old, were given knives to cut skin and fat.

Katrina Fuller, who helped guide the butcher, dreams of training others so that the 20 communities of the Reservation can come to Woollakota for their harvest. “Maybe not now, but in my life,” she said. “This is what I want for everyone.”

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TherapeuticsMD enters into product licensing agreements for Mayne Pharma

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The Minister of the Interior welcomes the report calling for the suppression of asylum seekers

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Soella Braverman, Britain’s Home Secretary, has welcomed a report calling for a massive crackdown on asylum seekers who come to Britain using illegal methods, including placing them in indefinite detention.

Braverman is under increasing pressure from Tory MPs to control migration across the Channels in small boats, with 44,000 people arriving in Britain using the route already this year.

On Monday, a centre-right think tank will publish a report saying that “if necessary” Britain should change its human rights laws and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights in order to tackle the problem.

Refugee groups said the proposals, if implemented, would be a major breach of Britain’s international obligations and tarnish its reputation as a haven for desperate people seeking refuge.

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The Center for Policy Studies report, co-written by Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s former chief of staff as prime minister, calls for new laws that would make it impossible to seek asylum in Britain after traveling from a safe country, such as France.

It also calls for a ban on immigrants entering the country using illegal routes from settling in Britain, and for the “expedited transfer abroad” of such immigrants to Rwanda or other third countries willing to take them.

Timothy and co-author Carl Williams say Britain may have to leave the European Court of Human Rights to allow detention and transfers abroad. They also want to fix May Modern slavery lawthe main legislative tool in the UK to deal with abuses in supply chains, to avoid its alleged misuse.

They argue that all future grants of asylum should only take place through formal resettlement routes and no more than 20,000 people per year.

The issue of small boat immigration became a major political problem for the Conservative government, particularly in the working class seats in the North and Midlands.

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Braverman said she did not agree with “everything” in the report but said she welcomed it as “a vital and necessary contribution to the policy discussion about what can be done to address crossings.”

In the introduction to the report, she said: “There is a range of policy options. With clear thinking, political will and determination, we can defeat the smuggling gangs, and against those who abuse our system, and we will comprehensively address the problem of small boats.”

Tory MPs are tired of the tough talk of home ministers and want action from the government to tackle the surge in migrant crossings. Braverman’s allies have refused to say which parts of the CPS report they support.

They were also described as “wrong”. a report The Sunday Times reported that ministers were drafting laws to prevent illegal asylum-seekers from settling in Britain.

For his part, Robert Jenrick, the Immigration Minister, said it was “very difficult” to see how Albanians, who are currently The largest number of small boat crossingsthey must be able to successfully claim asylum when they come from a ‘clearly’ safe country.

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Inver Solomon, chief executive of Refugee Council, a UK charity, said of the CPS report: “The policies outlined in this report will lead to the UK withdrawing from the Refugee Convention, which we signed up to just over 70 years ago.”

Yvette Cooper, the shadow home secretary, said the government’s asylum policy was “a mess” and based on “a headline-hunting”.

“They have to adopt the Labor plan including a specialized unit in the National Crime Agency to go after the criminal gangs that lead this, and take immediate action to end the backlog and chaos from the asylum system,” she said.

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Tennessee Gov. Lee is considering tripling electric vehicle fees, adding fast-track toll lanes

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee is considering allowing freeway toll lanes and tripling tolls for electric vehicle owners as he targets his first big push after winning re-election — paying tens of billions of dollars in road projects.

The Republican insists on what he will not do: raise the gas tax. add full toll roads; Or issuing debt instead of the pay-as-you-go method of financing.

Timing, Lee says, is critical to quickly shifting onto the roads. With Tennessee’s rapid growth and truck traffic, state transportation officials say $26 billion in projects are needed to address worsening congestion, only $3.6 billion of which is planned under A big criticism on the roads by my predecessor. Officials also say the projects are taking so long — 15 years on average — that they are over budget by 40%.

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Like other states, current funding of roads in Tennessee through gas taxes is looking less reliable as more people switch to fuel-efficient cars and electric vehicles. Tennessee has also become a center for electric vehicle production, highlighted by Ford’s upcoming massive electric vehicle project with a partner company’s battery plant.

Lee will need Republican representatives on board to get much of what he wants. This includes opening the way for private companies to bid to build new highway lanes and charging tolls for profit. Lawmakers will also need to agree to increase the annual fee for owning an electric vehicle from $100 to $300.

Transportation Commissioner Butch Ely has stated that any rapid transit toll lanes will be newly built, and will not convert existing carpool lanes into toll lanes. Across the country, five states have rapid transit lanes, 10 states have shared car lanes that allow others to join at a price, and some have both, according to a February 2021 report from the Federal Highway Administration.

Driver eligibility and pricing policy can be controlled by the state, which can go down or up based on current crowding, while charging only those who want a faster ride. A private company designs, builds, finances, operates and maintains the trails.

“There is nothing, I think, more equitable than paying people for what they use,” Eli told reporters Thursday.

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The $300 electric car fee may be the most expensive in the country. As of July, 31 states had similar annual fees, ranging from $50 in Colorado to $225 in Washington, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Eli says the increase better reflects what electric vehicle drivers will pay in federal and state gas taxes.

However, Lee said officials may or may not settle for $300.

“We want to make sure that there are fair fees for everyone,” Lee told reporters. “We’ll find out what that number is and move on.”

Vehicle taxes are mixed state by state. Some charge property taxes and annual inspection fees, for example. Tennessee has phased out the last required vehicle test and does not tax personal property.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jeff Yarbrough said he will wait for Lee’s strategy details, hoping to hear about everything from roadworks to mass transit.

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“I look forward to learning more and speaking to the governor because there has been a lot of focus on highways in the state,” said the Nashville Rep. “But the country needs a transportation strategy, not just a highway plan.”

Lee’s sweeping road push, which also calls for pay increases for transit workers and other expansions in public-private partnerships, comes after former Republican Gov. Bill Hasan struck a deal during a drawn-out battle over his 2017 plan. $0.20 to $0.26 per gallon over three years and raised the diesel rate as well, among other changes that partially lowered separate taxes.

My boost comes after the passing of President Joe Biden Infrastructure law. However, the governor’s transportation team said Tennessee’s five-year building plan was up about $1.7 billion under the law, saying that’s not a significant influx of funding.

Meanwhile, railroad expansion is not part of Lee’s immediate plans. The concept has been hotly debated in Nashville, where a light-rail ballot failed in 2018, toppled by opposition to tax increases and fears that it might accelerate gentrification that drove some low-income people out of their communities. Ely said the state will continue to look at railroad possibilities in the future.

In the GOP-led legislature, House Speaker Cameron Sexton and Senate Speaker Randy McNally said they are taking a deep dive into how to fund transportation infrastructure.

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They will have plenty of work to do when lawmakers return for their annual legislative session in January. For example, Sexton mentioned railways as a topic that needs to be discussed.

“We have to have honest discussions about the infrastructure in our state to solve the problem of traffic congestion,” Sexton said. “This should include expanding rail access, shortening the decades-long timetable for road construction, and also looking at fast lanes on our highways in very congested areas.”

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Nashville-based Kimberly Crossi contributed to this report.

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