Blackfeet Tribe, Montana


Marilyn "Mitzi" Stonehocker, 46, Thompson Falls, is recovering from a fractured skull and other injuries suffered in an escape from a man who stole her truck and trailer. Robert Ahenakew, 20, of Billings is charged in Blackfeet Tribal Court with drunken driving, eluding police, larceny and may face kidnapping charges. Early June 10 the outfitter cook was asleep in her horse trailer near East Glacier Park, having pulled over while driving home from a cattle drive. Keys were in the ignition. "I woke up and felt myself going." She grabbed her shotgun and eyed her abductor through the window of the fifth-wheel trailer, converted to a traveling trail kitchen. "I thought about shooting him, but I didn't want to murder someone," she told the Great Falls Tribune. She dialed 911 on a cell phone. Within minutes, tribal police pursued them, but backed off as the truck turned onto a gravel road. Stonehocker hung on as utensils flew. "I sat down on the floor and said my prayers because I thought he was going to flip it. ... and then ... he lost the cops." She didn't know sheriff's deputies were preparing a roadblock and decided to jump. The last thing she remembered was unlatching the trailer door. Ahenakew was arrested - apparently unaware of his passenger.

Defenders of Wildlife paid $2,350 to compensate two ranchers on the Blackfeet Reservation for cattle grizzly bears killed in May. The organization said its Grizzly Compensation Trust has paid $3,880 this year for losses on the reservation. The latest payments included $900 for a cow killed on tribal land and $1,450 for a cow and calf killed on private land. Defenders established a similar program in 1987 to compensate ranchers for losses to wolves. That program has paid more than $115,000 to more than 100 ranchers. The grizzly trust was established in 1997. Defenders said grizzlies in the northern Rockies ecosystem have killed an average of eight cows and two sheep per year since 1998, and losses have averaged less than $13,000 a year.