September 21, 2014
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A federal judge in Reno has thrown out a U.S.
wildlife citation issued to a tribal craftsman in Nevada who drove
off a road on a national wildlife refuge to gather cattails like he
says his ancestors have done there for centuries.
Wesley Dick of the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone tribe argued he had a
treaty right to gather the plants at the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge
as part of his people's cultural tradition.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert McQuaid ruled in Dick's favor on
Wednesday and dismissed the $175 citation. But he said it had
nothing to do with culture.
He told the Reno Gazette-Journal it's because the Fish and
Wildlife Service didn't post any signs prohibiting off-road travel
until after Dick gathered the plants in May about 70 miles east of
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