As Wyoming’s appeal to an Environmental Protection Agency decision about the Wind River Indian Reservation’s borders waits for its day in court, U.S. Senators Enzi and Barrasso have drafted a bill “to clarify” those borders.
Last year’s EPA decision drew the Wind River’s boundaries to include thousands of acres that the state has long considered non-tribal land. The state reacted quickly in opposition to the EPA’s determination, but the tribes rejoiced, saying it was just recognition of what they’ve long held to be true. A state bill trying to define the borders failed in the last legislative session. Now, Enzi is attempting a federal bill. He worked with Governor Matt Mead’s office on the bill. The legislation defines the reservation size as the smaller parcel of land drawn by a 1905 treaty. The Northern Arapaho Tribe, in a statement, said in drafting this bill Enzi has turned his back on his tribal constituents. The legislation has not yet been introduced.