Tribes file suit over Northern California highway project

Oct 30, 2015 3:28 PM by News Staff, Photo credit: Law offices of Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Two Native American tribes have filed a lawsuit claiming state transportation officials have destroyed Native cultural sites during construction of a Highway 101 bypass in Northern California.

The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and Round Valley Indian Tribes say in the lawsuit filed Friday that the project near the city of Willits in Mendocino County was undertaken without adequate consultation with Native American groups. They say it has destroyed an ancestral village site and blocked a salmon passage used by their tribes for centuries.

The tribes are calling on a judge to halt the project.

A call to a California Department of Transportation spokesman was not immediately returned.

The 5.9-mile long bypass would reroute Highway 101 through an area known as Little Lake Valley.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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