Environment | Law

Judge rules for tribes in Wyoming in dispute over diverted water

The flag of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Photo from Facebook

A federal judge fined an irrigation district and its former manager for illegally diverting water on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming.

Judge Alan B. Johnson said the LeClair Irrigation District must pay $250,000 and remove four dikes that were illegally placed on the Wind River. The district's former manager, John Hubenka, was also fined $350,000.

"Thanks in large part to pressure by Northern Arapaho leaders, the wrongdoers who diverted the Wind River and blocked Arapaho access to tribal lands have been held accountable," the Northern Arapaho Tribe said in a Facebook post.

The federal government filed the lawsuit. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe and Northern Arapaho Tribe joined as intervenors.

Johnson said the county won't have to pay its fine if the dikes are removed by April 30, 2015. Hubenka, who was previously convicted for violating the Clean Water Act, will still have to pay his fine.

Get the Story:
Judge fines irrigation district, manager $600K, ruling they built illegal dikes in Wind River (AP 10/27)
Federal court orders LeClair Irrigation, Hubenka to restore river, tribal lands (County 10 10/25)
Dry Me A River: Judge Orders Landowner, Irrigation District To Restore Historic Wind River Water Flow (K2 Radio 10/23)

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