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Governor Mead Hopes Riverton Decision Is Final

Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media
Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead says he is hoping a decision issued this week by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals will be the final word on whether Riverton lies within the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The appeals court on Tuesday denied a petition by the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes for a rehearing that asked the entire court of 12 judges to reconsider the case.

That decision came following a ruling by the court in February that said Riverton was not on the reservation.

The case grew out of a 2013 opinion by the Environmental Protection Agency that said Riverton was on the reservation. The dispute stems from a 1905 agreement between the federal government and the tribes that allowed reservation land to be sold to non-Indians and whether the agreement changed the reservation boundaries.

Governor Mead said following the ruling this week “This latest decision will hopefully put the issue to rest.”

The only remaining option if the tribes wish to continue their legal fight would be to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Eastern Shoshone tribe has issued a statement saying that while they are disappointed that the┬ácourt decided against a rehearing of the case, the revised opinion does suggest the panel recognized the force of the tribes’ arguments. The statement also said the tribe expects to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case.

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