January 13, 2014
Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has decreed that a 1905 law passed by the congress be overturned, and that the entire town of Riverton, Wyoming, with its more than ten thousand people, is no longer a part of the United States. The agency has ordered that the land on which the town sits is to be given to the nearby Wind River Indian Reservation, which has requested the area as part of a one million acre claim.
The EPA’s declaration, if it stands, means that the citizens of the town will no longer have access to federal and state services, and can be kicked off the land if the Indians so choose, as they are not required to honor their deeds.
As the entire concept of the EPA being allowed to simply steal land from people of this country and give it to a group of drunken casino dependents is unprecedented, it would set a bizarre new precedent, where anyone’s land can be seized by a federal agency and given to someone else. The decision has been opposed both on the grounds that it is morally wrong, and on the grounds of the dangerous nature of this new precedent.
It is not yet clear if the EPA is planning to award the tribes with the entirety of the one million acres they have demanded.
The governor of Wyoming, Matt Mead, responding to popular outrage, has come out and condemned the ruling, claiming that his state is not obligated to honor it.
“My deep concern is about an administrative agency of the federal government altering a state’s boundary and going against over 100 years of history and law.” Mead said in a statement. “This should be a concern to all citizens because, if the EPA can unilaterally take land away from a state, where will it stop?”
“This is an alarming action when you have a federal agency step in and start to undo congressional acts that has really been our history for 108 years … with the stroke of a pen without talking to the biggest groups impacted,” Wyoming state Sen. Leland Christensen told The Daily Caller, “and that would be the city of Riverton and the state of Wyoming.”
The state delegation has written a letter to the EPA, and all parties have agreed that the needs to be settled on the federal level.
“The EPA’s decision has in effect overturned a law that has been governing land and relationships for more than 100 years,” wrote Wyoming Sens Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, along with Rep. Cynthia Lummis. “We are also very concerned about the political ramifications this decision could have for the tribes and the state of Wyoming.”