Riverton City Council Members Plan for a Question and Answer Session on Boundaries

By  | 

Attorney John Schumacher may soon join Riverton city council members to answer questions regarding the Wind River Reservation and Riverton.

Council members agreed it would be a good idea for him to be available.

“Steven Weaver, our city administrator, indicated that Mr. Schumacher who has been a legal counsel, as I understand it, for the Shoshone tribe for a number of years, was willing to come and talk to the council about the EPA ruling and how it might affect the city,” said Mayor Ron Warpness.

The EPA granted the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes’ treatment as a state application, which allowed them to monitor air quality, but also recognized boundaries of the reservation to include Riverton. The mayor said the EPA decided to stay on this decision. As last week’s meeting concluded, Steven weaver introduced an opportunity for local attorney John Schumacher to visit a city council meeting.

“I’ve gotten the feeling that he is saying, ‘Hey I got some expertise here,’ “said Warpness. “‘If you'd like, I’d be happy to come and talk to your council.’”

The mayor and council expressed interest and the mayor said he would prefer questions at a council work session.

“I think anything we can lean about the issue would be helpful,“ said Warpness.

Sergio A. Maldonado, Sr., a Central Wyoming College professor and leader on the Wind River Reservation, agreed.

“I made mention of this at the Tribal Relations Committee in early January,” said Maldonado. “It's always good if all parties can discuss a given topic prior to litigation.”

Maldonado said there have been a lot of discussions since the initial ruling and it’s good to address things important to the local community, as there are a lot of unanswered questions.

“It’s about the future also,” said Maldonado. “It's about clean air. It's about working with each other. It's about living in a united community.”

Schumacher said he was invited by council members to answer questions and added the city, state, and tribes have their own attorneys, but he has represented Native American tribes before. Schumacher said he agreed to answer questions with respect to Indian country and not pros and cons. He said he would answer questions about different authorities of government and how they operate on the reservation. The mayor said the discussion should be on the agenda for a work session on March 11.