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Montana governor to decide on tribal riverbed suit

New Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) is being asked to stay out of a legal dispute over the Northern Cheyenne Tribe's ownership of the Tongue River.

Schweitzer visited the reservation on Friday. Eugene Little Coyote, president of the tribe, said the state shouldn't contest the tribe's 50 percent ownership of the riverbed.

Schweitzer's predecessor, Republican Judy Martz, claims the state owns all of the riverbed. As she was leaving office, she filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit filed by an oil and gas company.

The company, Fidelity Exploration & Production Co., wants to clear up the ownership issue because it obtained oil and gas leases from the state.

Get the Story:
Tribal leader wants state out of river dispute (AP 1/22)
BLM appoves expansion of Fidelity Co. (The Billings Gazette 1/22)

Relevant Links:
BLM, Miles City Field Office -
Northern Cheyenne Tribe -

Related Stories:
Northern Cheyenne Tribe battles state on river (11/23)
Fight over Montana tribal riverbed continues (11/19)
Montana officials spar over tribal riverbed suit (11/05)
Montana governor to fight tribe's riverbed rights (10/20)
Montana won't join fight over tribe's riverbed (10/19)