La Plata County & Southern Ute Indian Tribe leaders sign road agreement, ending decades-long dispute

LA PLATA COUNTY, Colo. - La Plata County commissioners and leaders of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe have signed a road agreement, ending a dispute that has lasted for decades.

The county will have the power to regulate traffic, overweight vehicles and speed limits. The tribe still has control of the affected tribal land and will receive payment from the county for past land use, offset by taxes the tribe owes to the county.

The agreement gives the county and drivers the right to pass through sovereign tribal land on roads maintained and identified as county roads. It covers 75 miles of right-of- way on tribal land.

The Durango Herald reports that before 2008, control was determined road-by-road, often leading to conflict between the county and the tribe, but other roads remained in dispute.

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