Quechan Tribe of the Fort Yuma Indian Reservation of California & Arizona


A gold mining company suing the federal Bureau of Land Management says the agency should not be allowed to consider whether the company's proposed mine would cause undue harm to the land. The tribe has opposed the project, saying that it would destroy cultural and religious sites. Its attorney has argued damage caused by mining is a violation of American Indian religious rights. Glamis Imperial Corporation filed the suit April 21 in U.S. District Court in Reno, Nev., naming Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, the Interior Department and BLM. It contends that John Leshy, Babbitt's solicitor, was wrong when he told BLM officials they would have to consider whether Glamis' proposed mine northwest of Yuma would cause "undue impairment'' to the land. Doran Sanchez, BLM California Desert District spokesman, declined comment. Glamis has been seeking federal approval for a mine for more than five years. BLM has been preparing an environmental impact statement for two years.