DEATH PENALTY-INDIAN COUNTRY
Most American Indian tribes opt out of federal death penalty
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — American Indian tribes for decades have been able to opt into the death penalty for certain federal crimes on tribal land. Nearly all reject it.
Tribes and legal experts say the decision goes back to culture and tradition, past treatment of American Indians and fairness in the justice system.
For those on the Navajo Nation, the sexual assault and murder of an 11-year-old girl near Shiprock, New Mexico, has reignited the issue. Ashlynne Mike’s mother has been urging the tribe to opt in to the death penalty, particularly for crimes that involve children.
But the Southwestern tribe has long objected to putting people to death. The culture teaches that all life is precious.
One federally recognized tribe, the Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma, has opted in.
MONTANA DEER POPULATION
Deer across Montana largely unscathed by harsh winter
(Information from: Independent Record, http://www.helenair.com)
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials say deer populations across much of Montana were largely unscathed by the brutal winter.
John Vore, game management bureau chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, tells the Helena Independent Record https://goo.gl/5ysBrN that in most parts of the state, winterkill was minimal. But deer in northwest Montana were worse off because of heavy snow.
Mule deer estimates put populations well above the 10-year average. Biologists think more than 363,000 mule deer roam the state, compared to an average of just under 283,000.
The latest statewide estimates for whitetail deer are also above the long-term average. The estimate based on surveys and harvest put Montana’s whitetail population at nearly 221,000, compared to the 10-year average of about 204,000.
Nonnative fish to be poisoned off in Yellowstone river
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Yellowstone National Park officials are about to deliberately poison off nonnative fish species in one of the park’s major river drainages.
The operation along the upper Gibbon River begins Monday and will include lakes in the river drainage.
Park officials are targeting lake-dwelling grayling as well as rainbow trout and brook trout. They plan to reintroduce native species after the operation is finished.
Trails and campsites in the area will be closed.