The North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians
has scored another win in a long-running fight to restore its homelands in northern California.
The tribe won a major court victory in January, when
the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
rejected challenges to its land-into-trust application
. But opponent weren't about to give up so they filed a request for a rehearing.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Circuit denied the request
. Barring an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court
, which is entirely possible though the odds of success are low, the legal status of the tribe's 305-acre reservation remains solid.
The tribe was one of the many victims of the federal
government's disastrous termination policy
. Despite being restored to recognition through a court settlement, the tribe has lacked a substantial land base to build its future.
The 305-acre site in Madera County is supposed to change that. Plans call for a gaming facility there but litigation has kept the tribe in limbo since December 2012, when the land was placed in trust by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
In the lawsuit, opponents claimed the tribe was not legitimate and could not follow the land-into-trust process. The unanimous decision from the D.C. Circuit rejected that premise.
"Enough is enough!" Judge David S. Tatel wrote in the 26-page
, one in a series of recent court decisions that have upheld the ability of tribes to restore their homelands.
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:Stand
Up for California! v. U.S. Department of the Interior
(January 11, 2018)
Recent Appeals Court Decisions in Tribal Homelands Cases:Amador County
v. Department of the Interior
(November 27, 2017)County of Amador v.
Department of the Interior
(October 6, 2017)No Casino in
Plymouth v. Zinke
(October 6, 2017) Confederated
Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon v. Jewell
(July 29, 2016)
Bureau of Indian Affairs Documents for North Fork Rancheria:Press
Federal Register Notices:Indian
(October 22, 2013)Land
Acquisitions; North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California
Join the Conversation
is enough!' -- Yet another tribe scores big victory in homelands case
(January 12, 2018)Another
appeals court decision backs restoration of tribal homelands in California
(November 29, 2017)Second
federal appeals court chimes in with decision favoring tribal homelands
(October 12, 2017)