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Fight over Montana tribal riverbed continues

Outgoing Montana Gov. Judy Martz (R) says she will defend her decision to drag the state into a lawsuit disputing the Northern Cheyenne Tribe's ownership of a riverbed.

Martz joined the suit over the objections of other state officials. Democrat Attorney General Mike McGrath has asked the Montana Supreme Court to bar Martz from continuing.

The court gave Martz until December 31 to respond to McGrath's request. She leave office three days later.

Fidelity Exploration & Production Co., a drilling company, filed the suit in federal court. The company says the state is the sole owner of the Tongue River riverbed. The federal government says the Northern Cheyenne Tribe owns 50 percent.

Get the Story:
Martz must respond to order (AP 11/19)

Related Stories:
Montana officials spar over tribal riverbed suit (11/05)
Montana governor to fight tribe's riverbed rights (10/20)
Montana won't join fight over tribe's riverbed (10/19)