U.S. Asks Court To Dismiss Land Lawsuit

Feb 19, 2013

The federal government is asking a court to dismiss an American Indian community's lawsuit seeking all the land within the boundaries of the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico.

A Justice Department filing in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque argues that the Jemez Pueblo surrendered rights to claim the land under proceedings conducted decades ago.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that the filing last week cites a roughly $750,000 judgment that the tribe accepted in 1974.

A lawyer for the pueblo says it will contest the attempt to dismiss the suit.

The preserve is home to grasslands, the remnants of a super volcano and one of New Mexico's most famous elk herds.

The federal government bought the property from land grant heirs in 2000.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.