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Davis Vetoes Tribal Protections

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Governor Gray Davis has vetoed a bill that would have helped American Indians protect tribal land. The measure was opposed by developers and business groups who say the bill was so broad it could have given tribes veto power over both private and public land statewide. The bill would have required local governments to notify a tribe of proposed construction within 20 miles of a reservation, and protect sacred sites from development.

The bill was spurred by opposition from the Quechan Nation to plans by Glamis Gold Limited. The Reno, Nevada-based company wants to build an open pit gold mine near the tribe´s reservation. The Imperial County land includes Indian Pass, a site of religious ceremonies that contains ancient pottery shards and petroglyphs.