Federal judge upholds Rosebud hog farm lease
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TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2003

A federal judge last Thursday upheld a lease that allows development of the largest farm operation in Indian Country.

Citing environmental concerns, former assistant secretary Kevin Gover rescinded a lease between Sun Prairie, a Nebraska company, and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. The company challenged the dismissal on several grounds.

In one case, Sun Prairie's claims were rejected because the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the company had no standing under historic preservation and environmental laws. The Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

But in a separate case last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Battey said the tribe's constitutional claims were valid. He based his ruling on a Bureau of Indian Affairs regulation that is designed to protect those who invest in economic development projects on reservations.

"When judged by the economic impact of the secretary's actions on Sun Prairie . . . the court concludes that Sun Prairie did have a vested property interest in the lease in question at the time it was unilaterally terminated by the secretary," Battey wrote.

Get the Story:
Judge says hog-farm lease valid (The Rapid City Journal 6/10)

Get the Decision:
Sun Prairie v. Martin (June 5, 2003)

Relevant Links:
Rosebud Sioux Tribe -

Related Stories:
One Rosebud hog farm suit dismissed by judge (06/06)
Editorial: 'Hypocrisy' of some tribal leaders (05/14)
Court hears next round in Rosebud hog farm suit (5/12)
Rosebud Sioux Tribe asks BIA to shut down hog farm (04/18)
Supreme Court turns down Rosebud hog farm case (02/25)
Hog farm battle reaches Supreme Court (11/19)
Battle over reservation pig farm (08/26)
Reservation hog farm dealt setback (4/8)
Reservation hog farm claims tax free (12/4)
Hog farm practices scrutinized (6/18)
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Judge says tribe can't halt hog farm (5/1)