NO.: CV-S-97-327-HDM (RLH)
WESTERN SHOSHONE NATIONAL COUNCIL
by its Chief, Raymond D. Yowell, and
CHIEF RAYMOND D. YOWELL as Representative of
the Class of Shoshone Persons,
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA;
Department of the Interior, Secretary BRUCE BABBITT,
JULIE FAULKNER, ROBERT LAIDLAW;
Bureau of Land Management, ANN J. MORGAN, HELEN HANKINS; and
ORO NEVADA RESOURCES, INC.; its parents,
affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, assigns, etc.,
Pursuant to this Court's Order dated 10 September 1998, entered and served September 15 and received September 18, Plaintiffs hereby file this Second Amended Complaint: (1) to state claims based on individual aboriginal title with more particularity, and (2) to state specific claims against Defendant Oro Nevada Resources, Inc.
1. For purposes of expediency in pleading and to preserve rights on any appeal regarding dismissal of parts of Plaintiffs' first Amended Complaint, sections of said Complaint, 1 through 3, setting forth Jurisdiction and Venue; 4 through 9, stating the Nature of the Action and the Parties; and 10 through 18, stating Facts and Causes of Action, are incorporated herein by reference and made a part hereof;
2. Plaintiffs include a large number of Western Shoshone persons who possess, reside on, occupy, and use exclusively as individuals and with members of their extended families various specific and discrete lands and places within ancestral territories of the Western Shoshone people.
3. Said Western Shoshone persons are too numerous to list by name and are represented herein by the Western Shoshone National Council and Chief Raymond D. Yowell.
4. Chief Yowell asserts his own continuing use and occupancy of specific lands and places in the Lamoille, Lee, and Jiggs areas.
5. Said Western Shoshone persons are ready and willing to appear in fact-finding hearings before this Court to testify and offer proofs of their land use activities and occupancies, or, in the alternative, to engage, under the supervision of this Court, in direct and meaningful negotiations with the Defendants about these activities and occupancies.
6. The specific lands which are the subject of this action, and which are too numerous to list, have been actually, openly, and notoriously possessed, used and occupied by Plaintiffs' lineal ancestors from time immemorial, to the exclusion of adverse claimants.
7. Plaintiffs' lineal ancestors engaged in said uses and occupations continuously and openly, including at the time of and prior to acts of the United States in 1934 purporting to withdraw from settlement and imposing "grazing districts" on the lands in question.
8. Plaintiffs' present uses and occupations, severally and individually and with their extended families, of specific lands and places at issue in this action are definite and substantial in character, open to observation, and continue substantially similar activities engaged in on said lands and places by their lineal ancestors.
9. Plaintiffs' possession, uses and occupations include, but are not limited to: residence; multiple forms of subsistence agriculture and silviculture; cultivation, conservation, and improvement of natural resources, including waters and lands; and breeding and raising of livestock; all to the exclusion of adverse claimants.
10. Plaintiffs' possession and uses include ceremonial and sacred occupation of specific springs and mountain areas for nurturing and harvesting of herbs, medicines and other plant life, and for burials, to the exclusion of adverse claimants.
11. Plaintiffs' perpetual and exclusive uses and occupancies are and have been conducted in accordance with traditional Western Shoshone beliefs and teachings given to the Western Shoshone by Ah-Peh (Father, God) as to proper relationships among humans and between humans and the rest of Creation.
12. At all times relevant to this action, Plaintiffs' possession, uses and occupations have been actual, definite and substantial in character and open to observation, and exclusive, continuous, and uninterrupted, save by interventions and interferences occasioned by Defendants' actions.
13. The lands and places subject of this action, with all their beneficial incidents, have never been used or occupied other than by Plaintiffs and their lineal ancestors, with the exception of interfering acts by Defendants, complained of herein.
14. Defendants have at various times and places coerced. misled, or erroneously informed Plaintiffs that their individual aboriginal titles have been lost or forfeited and have thereby taken advantage of Plaintiffs, to Plaintiffs' detriment; as, for example, the Bureau of Land Management in its efforts to restrict or deny Plaintiffs' grazing rights and access to natural resources, including threats to impound livestock of the Traditional Western Shoshone Cattlemen in the Shoshone and Crane Springs Allotments, Elko District.
15. Defendant Oro Nevada, Inc., has at various times and places trespassed, entered upon, converted, and damaged lands and waters to which Plaintiffs hold aboriginal titles, causing severe and in some instances irreparable harm to said lands and waters, to Plaintiffs' detriment; as, for example, by drilling into and under springs and constructing roads and other invasive acts in the Cortez Range, including a hot springs known as a sacred site, located in section 10, T28N, R49E.
16. Plaintiffs have on many occasions complained to Defendants about damages occasioned by Defendants' actions, protesting said actions and requesting Defendants to cease and desist, all to no avail.
17. The lands and places to which Plaintiffs' assert individual aboriginal titles are not and have never been "public lands" of the United States.
18. Plaintiffs' individual aboriginal titles to lands and places, with all their beneficial incidents, subject of this action, have never been litigated, extinguished by any lawful act, voluntarily ceded or otherwise lost or forfeited and are independent of, neither foreclosed nor affected by, any prior action involving Western Shoshone "tribal title."
19. Plaintiffs state as a matter of fact that although litigation noted by the Court [United States v. Dann, 873 F.2d 1189 (9th Cir. 1989)] has resulted in judicial rulings on relations between the Western Shoshone Nation and the United States, no litigation has established any bar to assertion of any form of Western Shoshone title against adverse private corporate or individual claimants; litigation of such issues is a matter of first impression.
20. Facts establishing Plaintiffs' individual aboriginal possession of lands and places subject of this action have never been presented, heard or determined in any court.
21. In accordance with the factual nature of assertions of individual aboriginal rights, separate hearings will be necessary to permit and provide opportunity for each of the numerous Plaintiffs to present evidence regarding uses and occupancies of specific lands and places over which rights are asserted.
Plaintiffs preserve and incorporate herein by reference the relief prayed in their first Amended Complaint, and request the following relief:
a) ordering the Bureau of Land Management to desist from interfering with Plaintiffs' exclusive use and occupancy of lands and places held under individual aboriginal titles;
b) ordering the Bureau of Land Management to desist from issuing permits to mining companies to enter upon lands and places held by Plaintiffs under individual aboriginal titles;
c) ordering Oro Nevada Resources, Inc. to desist from entry upon or interference with lands and places held by Plaintiffs under individual aboriginal titles; and
d) protecting lands and places held by Plaintiffs under individual aboriginal titles from entry by any other person or entity, except as permitted by Plaintiffs.
a) fact-finding hearings before this Court to permit Plaintiffs to testify and offer proof of their individual aboriginal titles to lands and places subject of this action; or, in the alternative,
b) direct and meaningful negotiations among the parties, under the supervision of the Court, to aid the Court in the resolution of this action by establishing the scope and extent of Plaintiffs' individual aboriginal titles to lands and places subject of this action; or
c) such combination of hearings and negotiations as may to the Court seem most efficient and just in the circumstances.
3. Award damages to Plaintiffs for all harms occasioned by trespasses and other wrongful acts of Defendants in contravention of Plaintiffs' individual aboriginal titles, together with all costs and fees for prosecuting this action.
4. Such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper to effectuate resolution of the disputes between the parties.
Dated: October 5, 1998
Raymond D. Yowell, Chief
Allen Moss, Sub-Chief
Virginia Sanchez, Secretary of State & Treasurer
Western Shoshone National Council
Indian Springs, NV 89018-210