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Legal Effort Relaxed by Shoshone Nation

November 22, 1991|Associated Press

RENO — The Western Shoshone Nation on Thursday backed off from its legal effort to restrict access to ancestral lands that encompass much of the West now dotted with freeways and urban sprawl.

Raymond Yowell, chief of the Western Shoshone National Council, asked U.S. District Judge Howard McKibben to dismiss the tribe's petition for an injunction because of negotiations with the Bureau of Land Management in a long-standing dispute over grazing rights.

Sisters Mary and Carrie Dann and the council filed a $100-billion lawsuit against the federal government in July, claiming the United States reneged on an 1863 treaty. The Indian sisters battled the BLM for 17 years over grazing rights.

It sought a court order granting the Western Shoshone Nation quiet title to millions of acres of ancestral lands that stretch from Coachella in Southern California to Twin Falls, Ida., including half of Nevada and a piece of Utah.

A showdown at the Dann sisters' Crescent Valley ranch between Winnemucca and Elko was averted in September when they agreed after a meeting with the BLM to thin their herd of more than 1,000 cattle and horses to fewer than 200 by next spring.

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