Controversy Over Land for Native American Medicine Wheel

November 16, 2002

Source: The Associated Press,1413,36%257E53%257E994717%257E,00.html

On November 16, 2002 The Associated Press reported that "a dispute continues over whether 23,000 acres can legally be set aside to protect the view from a sacred American Indian medicine wheel. A federal District Court last year ruled against Wyoming Sawmills Inc. of Sheridan, in its challenge of the protections for Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark in Bighorn National Forest. The case is now in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, claims that the plan to protect the area around the medicine wheel does not violate the Constitution. 'The Medicine Wheel Historic Preservation Plan is a carefully crafted, constitutional exercise of the government's powers to accommodate religion by removing burdens to its practice while simultaneously accomplishing a variety of secular goals,' the group said in a brief filed with the appellate court."