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State files petition on EPA action in fed appeals court

Feb 14, 2014 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The state of Wyoming filed a petition Friday morning in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals requesting a review of the Environmental Protection Agency's recent approval of treatment as a state status for the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.

The EPA defined the boundaries of the Wind River Indian Reservation as part of the TAS decision, concluding that the reservation was not "diminished" by a 1905 Congressional Act that opened certain lands, including the city of Riverton, to homesteading.

Other legal proceedings, including a Wyoming Supreme Court ruling, have found the opposite several time.

Tribal spokesman Mark Howell on Friday said the Northern Arapaho Tribe is "quite pleased" with the state's most recent move, which he said would bring all parties involved into mediation through the Tenth Circuit.

"That's what we've hoped for, for a long time," he said. "This is actually the right process."