Latest U.S. Department of the Interior News

US appeals ruling in Massachusetts Wampanoag land case

Aug. 2, 2020 10:02 AM EDT

HYANNIS, Mass. (AP) — The Department of the Interior is appealing a federal judge’s ruling that blocked it from rescinding a reservation designation for land belonging to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts, The Cape Cod Times reports the appeal was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court...

Mineral rights on hold because of North Dakota tribes' suit

Jul. 31, 2020 6:32 PM EDT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A U.S. Department of Interior opinion rolling back an Obama-era memo stating that mineral rights under the original Missouri River bed should belong to the Three Affiliated Tribes was put on hold by a federal judge Friday until arguments can be heard in the case. The memo filed May 26...

FILE - In this April 30, 2020 file photo, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt speaks during a news conference in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma Supreme Court says Gov. Kevin Stitt overstepped his authority when he reached a casino gambling agreement with two Native American tribes. In a 7-1 decision on Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the high court determined the compacts Stitt signed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria Tribes are

Oklahoma high court: Governor overstepped with tribal deal

Jul. 21, 2020 5:52 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt overstepped his authority when he reached a casino gambling agreement with two Native American tribes, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. In a 7-1 decision, the high court determined the compacts Stitt signed with the Comanche Nation and Otoe-Missouria...

Montana governor: Federal land agency boss acting illegally

Jul. 20, 2020 7:13 PM EDT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock sued the Trump administration on Monday to block the acting director of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management from continuing in the position until he's been confirmed by the Senate. Federal law prohibits William Perry Pendley from leading the bureau in an...

North Dakota tribe sues over ruling giving minerals to state

Jul. 15, 2020 5:22 PM EDT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Leaders of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota sued the federal government Wednesday due to a Department of Interior opinion that sides with the state over valuable mineral rights beneath a portion of a man-made lake on the Missouri River. The Three Affiliated...

Groups petition for southeast Alaska wolf protections

Jul. 15, 2020 5:20 PM EDT

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Conservation groups asked the federal government Wednesday to provide Endangered Species Act protections to a southeast Alaska wolf population they say is under threat from factors including the loss of habitat and hunting and trapping. The Center for Biological Diversity, Alaska...

FILE - In this May 26, 2020, file photo, a grizzly bear roams an exhibit at the Woodland Park Zoo, closed for nearly three months because of the coronavirus outbreak in Seattle. Grizzly bears once roamed the rugged landscape of the North Cascades in Washington state but few have been sighted in recent decades. The federal government is scrapping plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Lawsuit threatened over about-face on grizzly reintroduction

Jul. 15, 2020 4:34 PM EDT

SEATTLE (AP) — A conservation group is threatening to sue the Trump administration over its sudden reversal of plans to restore grizzly bears in the North Cascade mountain range of Washington state. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a letter Wednesday saying it intends file a federal lawsuit in 60...

Lawsuit in tribal battle over North Carolina casino project

Jul. 8, 2020 5:41 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A yearslong bid by the South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation to build a casino and resort in North Carolina could stall once again following a lawsuit by North Carolina-based Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the latest development in a casino turf war between the two tribes. The...

FILE - In this June 2, 2016, file photo, a grizzly bear at the Woodland Park Zoo waits for a salmon to be tossed to him in Seattle. The federal government on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, decided to scrap plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem in Washington state. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

Feds scrap plans to reintroduce grizzlies to North Cascades

Jul. 7, 2020 4:18 PM EDT

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The federal government on Tuesday decided to scrap plans to reintroduce grizzly bears to the North Cascades ecosystem in Washington state. U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt told a meeting of community members in Omak, Washington, that his agency will not conduct the...

Oklahoma governor signs gaming compacts with two more tribes

Jul. 3, 2020 6:24 PM EDT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — New gaming compacts have been signed with two additional Indian tribes, according to Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. Though Stitt on Thursday described the compacts with the Kialegee Tribal Town and Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians as promoting economic development, Matthew Morgan, the...