Tribe suit over California ranch development dismissed

Los Angeles, California (AP) February 2011

A judge has dismissed an Indian tribe’s lawsuit to stop the development of a 5,000-acre gated resort community on a sprawling ranch some 60 miles north of Los Angeles that it claims as tribal land.

Developer Tejon Ranch Co. says U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger dismissed the suit against county and federal officials last week.

The lawsuit argued that U.S. officials failed to recognize the Kawaiisu (KAH’-yah WAH’-soo) Tribe’s legitimate claim to areas of the 270,000-acre Tejon Ranch property where the Tejon Mountain Village project is planned.

The plaintiffs also argued that Kern County supervisors ignored the existence of historic tribal sites when they approved the project in October 2009.

Kawaiisu lawyer Christopher King declined to comment pending Wanger’s written ruling.