Genesee County Sheriff to Hunters: Be wary of straying on Indian land
Submitted by Philip Anselmo on November 14, 2008 - 9:56am
Genesee County Sheriff Gary Maha issued the following press release today:
Sheriff Gary T. Maha cautions hunters not to hunt or stray on property of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation in the town of Alabama. "It is the hunter's responsibility to know where they are," Sheriff Maha said. Hunting or fishing on the Reservation by a non-Indian is prohibited.
Hunters who hunt or stray on Indian Land may be subject to Tribal Law, which could involve having their guns seized and heavy fines assessed by Reservation Chiefs or Indian Marshals. Law enforcement cannot help in these situations, except by keeping the peace. "The Tonawanda Indian Reservation is a Sovereign Nation and we have to recognize that," the Sheriff said.
Recent meetings have been held between representatives from the Tonawanda Indian Nation, the U.S. Attorney's Office, New York State Police, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police and the Sheriff's Office to discuss this issue. Nation Chiefs have the right to enforce their laws on Reservation property.
Over the past couple of years there have been incidents involving the seizure of firearms from hunters who have strayed onto the Tonawanda Reservation and the Chiefs have imposed fines. Members of the Tonawanda Nation and law enforcement wish to avoid any confrontations in such cases and wish to educate the public of the possible consequences of hunting on Indian land.