Fort Belknap Tribes seek rehearing of mine case

The Fort Belknap Indian Community will ask the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal to hear its case against the federal government.

The Gros Ventre Tribe and the Assiniboine Tribe challenged the Bureau of Land Management's cleanup plan for two abandoned mines. The tribes said the plan violated the federal government's trust responsibilities.

On November 15, a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit rejected the claim. The court said the tribes failed to cite a law or treaty that created a "specific duty" for the U.S. to protect them from environmental hazards.

A lawyer at Western Environmental Law Center said the decision was "poorly reasoned," the Associated Press reported. A petition for a hearing will be filed by December 28.

Get the Story:
Attorney wants rehearing on Zortman appeal (AP 12/16)

Court Decision:
Fort Belknap Indian Community v. US (November 13, 2006)

Relevant BLM Documents:
Record of Decision | Final Environmental Impact Statement

Relevant Links:
Fort Belknap Community Council -

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