|Wyoming State Boundary Changed By EPA|
Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller News Foundation reported Wednesday the story of the residents of Riverton, Wyoming:
"...One day they were Wyomingans, the next they were members of the Wind River tribes — after the Environmental Protection Agency declared the town part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, undoing a 1905 law passed by Congress and angering state officials..."
Bastasch reports that, while the federal Environmental Protection Agency has "unilaterally" changed the boundaries of the state of Wyoming, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has informed the EPA that he will not honor its decision related to the boundary of the state and the Wind River Reservation.
According to a statement issued by the Wyoming Governor's office:
"...Three days after signing the decision the regional administrator of the EPA told Wyoming the EPA was granting the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes application for Treatment as a State. Treatment as a State gives Tribes access to grant funding for air quality monitoring, but the EPA decision also purports to re-interpret a 1905 Congressional Act and in doing so expand the boundaries of the Wind River Reservation..."
Last month the EPA effectively changed the boundaries of the reservation by using as reference a 2011 finding by the Interior Department that a law passed in 1905, which in effect opened the Riverton area and "one million more acres to homesteading" by "non-Indians," did not diminish the reservation.
That means, essentially that land that has been considered since 1905, specifically an area referenced as Fremont County and the city of Riverton, Wyoming, to be under local jurisdiction, is instead, Indian Country. Among other things, because the ruling makes the area part of the Wind River Indian Reservation, the city and its surrounding areas are subject now, not to local laws, but to federal law, including law enforcement (police) and other laws.
On January 6 of this year the Wyoming Attorney General, Peter K. Michael, petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for "...Reconsideration and Stay of Approval of Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapho Tribes' Application for Treatment as a State..." stating that the "...legal opinion offered in support of EPA's decision depends on a shost of faulty factual and legal conclusions..."
It said further that:
"...The legal opinion offered in support of EPA's decision presents a selective history of the Wind River Reservation more akin to advocacy for a predetermined outcome than to the objective analysis required for this complicated issue. The plan language of the 1905 Act of Congress, the 1891 and 1904 treaties, the legislative history and other contemporaneous historical evidence, decisions of the United States Supreme Court in analogous cases, and he State's pervasive exercise of civil and criminal jurisdiction over the territory in dispute for more than one hundred years--especially when coupled with the disavowal of federal jurisdiction and the absence of tribal jurisdiction--demonstrate conclusively that EPA's reservation boundary determination is wrong..."
"...EPA not only reached the wrong conclusion, but the agency also employed a fundamentally unfair and skewed process, to the detriment of the State and its citizens, in pursuit of its predetermined objective..."
Governor Mead said in a statement:
"...I understand that the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes have a different opinion about the Wind River Reservation Boundary. My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law. This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop...?"
Bastasch reports that "State courts have heard at least two cases on the boundary in the last three decades — one 1980s Wyoming Supreme Court case found that Riverton was part of the reservation, and another state high court case in 2008, which found that the town was in Wyoming...The only problem is that the state court decisions don’t set a solid precedent, since neither case involves both tribes living on the reservation, nor the state and the federal government all at once, Howell... [lobbyist for the Northern Arapaho tribe] ... told the Star-Tribune." See Bastasch's Report HERE...
Once again, an agency of the Obama Administration over-extends its reach, and takes actions that are Unconstitutional, bypassing Congress and the Courts, while using as pawns U.S. Citizens of two factions to create a conflict in order to advance its political agenda.
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