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Wyoming to fight U.S. over Indian reservation land grant

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Wind River reservationWyoming will challenge a U.S. government ruling that more than one million acres of the western state's land still legally belongs to two Native American tribes, Governor Matt Mead said on Friday.

In a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week, Mead said he has directed the Wyoming attorney general to take aggressive action to overturn the agency's decision, which he said would adversely affect the state.

The land ruling was in response to an application from two sovereign native American tribes living on the Wind River Indian Reservation to the EPA seeking the same status afforded to U.S. states in order to implement provisions of the U.S. Clean Air Act.

A subsequent U.S. study found that the tribes should have access to the land, which includes the city of Riverton, that had been opened to non-tribal members under a 1905 act of Congress.

The governor told reporters on Friday that the Wyoming Supreme Court "has directly dealt with that issue and said clearly Riverton is not within the boundaries of the reservation."

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