Environment | Law

Colville Tribes bar state wildlife officers on the reservation

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation passed a resolution barring officers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife from enforcing state laws on the reservation.

State officers have failed to honor "lawfully issued nonmember fishing permits," according to a resolution that passed by an 8-0 vote. Chairman Michael Finley declined to comment but the tribe and the state have been in litigation over the scope of the state's powers on the reservation.

The case isn't set to go to trial in federal court until April 2012. Both sides met last month to discuss the litigation although the state appears to taking a firm stance on its ability to enforce the law against Indians and non-Indians in certain cases.

"Washington Fish and Wildlife Officers therefore have the need, and the right, to be present on the Colville Indian Reservation in order to execute their law enforcement powers,” a letter to the tribe stated, The Wenatchee World reported.

Get the Story:
Colvilles ban hunting, fishing enforcement (The Wenatchee World 4/27)

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