Counties doubt Coeur d'Alene Tribe's authority
Officials in three Idaho counties are questioning whether the Coeur d'Alene Tribe has a role in managing Lake Coeur d'Alene.

The state and the tribe reached an agreement to clean up the lake, which has been tainted by mining. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 confirmed the tribe's ownership of the southern third of the lake.

But state documents obtained by The Spokesman Review show that officials from Kootenai, Benewah and Shoshone counties repeatedly questioned the tribe's role in the management plan. The officials say the tribe lacks authority over non-Indians regardless of its ownership.

The documents indicate the county officials would rather have the Environmental Protection Agency declare the lake a Superfund site than work with the tribe. The officials were also warned to conceal their distrust of the tribe because state officials were "taking minutes" of discussions about the plan.

Get the Story:
Counties balk on lake plan (The Spokesman Review 10/22)

Idaho v. United States (00-189):
Syllabus | Opinion | Dissent

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