HELENA (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is awarding grants totaling $1.3 million to help five Indian tribes protect endangered, threatened and at-risk wildlife on tribal lands, Rep. Denny Rehberg said Tuesday.
Rehberg, R-Mont., said the grants "represent the federal government's investment in these tribes' continued leadership in managing and sustaining vital fish and wildlife resources."
The grants are:
_ $412,050, Confederated Salish and Kootenai, Pablo, for grizzly bear habitat enhancement and to sustain the Columbian sharptailed grouse;
_ $152,615, Blackfeet, Browning, for four wildlife projects;
_ $250,000, Chippewa Cree, Box Elder, to enhance tribal fish and wildlife;
_ $250,000, Fort Belknap Indian Reservation, Harlem, for comprehensive wildlife management;
_ $225,000 Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux, Poplar, toward swift fox restoration.
ROUNDUP (AP) _ The Horsethief fuel reduction project west of Roundup, which involves logging 337 acres of marketable timber, has begun in an area where houses and ranches intermingle with timber and shrubs, the Bureau of Land Management said Tuesday.
The project, approved in August, covers 10,300 acres.
"The purpose of the project is to reduce fuels in order to change fire behavior to protect the town of Roundup, structures in the Horsethief subdivision and natural resources," the BLM said.
The initial work focuses on an area near several residences, to reduce fire risk, the agency said.
The BLM said a private contractor is cutting the timber and piling it for later sale.
BILLINGS (AP) _ Two people accused of conspiring to deal in marijuana here have pleaded guilty to federal charges.
Josie Laprada, 36, pleaded Monday to conspiring to possess marijuana with intent to distribute. Michael Ellis, 42, pleaded last week to one count of conspiracy and one count of possession with intent to distribute.
Prosecutors said Laprada, Ellis and others participated in a 1998 scheme involving marijuana driven from Douglas, Ariz., to Billings.
Laprada had more than 220 pounds of marijuana, prosecutors said. She faces a possible sentence of five to 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine.
Maximum penalties for Ellis are 40 years in prison and a $2 million fine on the conspiracy count, and 20 years and a $1 million fine on the distribution charge.
Sentencings are scheduled for April 22. Two co-defendants who pleaded not guilty are awaiting trial.