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Supreme Court won't hear sacred site challenge
Tuesday, October 4, 2005


The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to the U.S. Forest Service's protection of a sacred site in Wyoming.

Without comment, the justices declined to hear Wyoming Sawmills Inc. v. U.S. Forest Service, No. 04-1175. The case comes from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Wyoming Sawmills, a timber company, sought to challenge a Forest Service decision to restrict, but not bar, development within 23,000 acres in the Bighorn National Forest. The forest is home to Medicine Mountain, the largest medicine wheel in the U.S. that is used for ceremonies by several tribes.

The 10th Circuit ruled held that Wyoming Sawmill lacked standing to sue under the U.S. Constitution or environmental law. The company appealed, arguing that it has a right to challenge and that the Forest Service can't make decisions that advance or restrict any particular religion.

The Medicine Wheel Coalition filed a brief in the case [Case Documents].

Relevant Links:
NARF-NCAI Tribal Supreme Court Project - http://www.narf.org/sct/index.html

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