State to appeal reservation boundary decision

Dec 23, 2013

Governor Matt Mead is unhappy with the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent drawing of the Wind River Indian Reservation’s boundary and is appealing the ruling.

The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes asked the EPA for state-like status for the purpose of air monitoring, and the EPA gave them that. But as part of the decision, the agency also drew the reservation’s borders to include Riverton.

Wyoming has long considered Riverton to be outside of the reservation’s borders and a Wyoming Supreme Court case affirmed the state’s stance in 2008.

Governor Mead has asked Wyoming’s Attorney General to challenge the decision.

"I will not honor that decision by the EPA if and until the court says that is in fact the law of the land," Mead says. "Our Attorney General is working on that issue now. We have as of a couple of days ago 60 days to appeal the decision."

The Governor has not met with tribes since the EPA decision, but wrote the chairmen of the tribes saying he hopes they can “disagree respectfully.” Chairman of the Eastern Shoshone tribe Darwin St. Clair says he’s disappointed with the state’s reaction.