Crow Reservation and Wyoming Square Off In U.S. Supreme Court Today
The United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today in the case of Herrera vs. Wyoming. The issue before the court concerns the Crow Tribe and their right to hunt in the Bighorn National Forest.
In 2014, Wyoming Game and Fish Department cited Clayvin Herrera and three others for illegally poaching three elk out of season and hunting without a license. Herrera claimed the Fort Laramie Treaty in 1868 grants members of the Crow Tribe the "use of their traditional homeland to hunt, fish, and gather, as long as those lands remained unoccupied."
In 2016, a Sheridan jury sided with the State, sentencing Herrera to one year of probation and fining him $7,000. Wyoming's Fourth Judicial District Court upheld the verdict in 2017. In June of 2018, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.
Specifically, the court will attempt to answer three questions: Did the establishment of Wyoming as a state in 1890 nullify the Treaty of Fort Laramie? Was the treaty nullified by the creation of the Bighorn National Forest in 1897? and Is a National Forest legally considered "occupied land"?
Both sides of the argument are explained in this Federalist Society video.