PORTLAND, Maine — Maine tribal leaders and environmental groups are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for calling for review of a federal court ruling backing tribal fishing rights in Washington.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to review a federal court order that could force Washington to pay billions of dollars to restore salmon habitat by removing barriers that block fish migration. The ruling stems from a 2001 lawsuit filed by 21 tribes and the Justice Department.
The lawsuit says tribes are being deprived of fishing rights guaranteed by treaties. Maine tribes and other critics say Mills’ efforts threaten such rights and clean water rules.
Mills says she respects sustenance fishing rights of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribes. Mills, who’s running for governor, argues the Washington case is about federal overreach.