BILLINGS – A hearing has been set to take place in the United States Supreme Court involving a Crow tribal member who is fighting the state of Wyoming over hunting treaty rights.
According to the U.S. Supreme court website, initial arguments in the case of Clayvin Herrera v. Wyoming are scheduled on Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019.
The case could set a precedent for tribal hunting rights.
Herrera, a member of the Crow tribe, took an elk in Wyoming and was later convicted of illegal hunting several years ago.
Herrera argues the Laramie Treaty of 1868 is on his side. It says tribal members have the right to hunt on unoccupied land even though the Crow reservation ends at the Montana-Wyoming border.
In response, Wyoming said those treaty rights ended when Wyoming became a state.
The state of Wyoming has also raised concern about its ability to regulate game and hunters within its borders, according to Monte Mills with the University of Montana Law School. He says an underlying concern for Wyoming when it comes to treaty rights continues to be how the state views its authority to regulate hunts.
On the side of the tribes, listed in Herrera’s brief, are arguments about the importance of the role of hunting, fishing, and gathering for tribes.
A decision may not be reached until late spring or early summer 2019.
Reporting by Andrea Lutz for MTN News