Poaching Charge Revives Tribal Treaty Rights Debate
When Crow Nation Fish and Game warden Clayvin Herrera was charged with poaching an elk in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains last year, the 33-year-old tribal member decided to argue that a 150-year-old treaty gave him and other tribal members the right to hunt there. The charges have revived an old debate over the Crow Tribe’s hunting rights, guaranteed by the federal government in two Fort Laramie treaties in the 1800s. Although a similar court case years ago was won by Wyoming, Herrera and the Crow Tribe say a subsequent ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court on a Minnesota tribal hunting and fishing rights case should prompt a ruling in their favor.
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(Written by Brett French – Outdoors Editor for the Billings Gazette)