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Pueblo of Sandia, New Mexico

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Sandia Pueblo said a poll it commissioned shows strong support for a settlement on ownership of land on Sandia Mountain's west face. Of 400 respondents, 77 percent support settlement between the U.S. government and the pueblo, 15 percent say they oppose an agreement and 8 percent are not sure. "We believe this settlement agreement is the best way to preserve and protect the mountain, protect the homeowners' private property rights - granting them clear title and right of way - and protect Sandia Pueblo's ability to worship on the mountain," Gov. Stuwart Paisano said. Respondents were asked whether they support a settlement that protects rights of both the pueblo and homeowners. Wording stated that the settlement would ensure no further development on the mountain face and would establish the tribe's right to conduct religious ceremonies there. The pueblo sued in 1994 to get its boundary extended to the mountain's 10,600-foot crest, claiming a 1748 land grant from a Spanish king and codified in a 1858 federal law extended the pueblo's land to Sandia's crest. Surveys by the United States put the boundary instead at the first foothill. The pueblo and federal officials earlier this year reached a settlement which must be approved by Congress.

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