Shellfish ruling surprises farmers – AP

8/22  -PHUONG LE; The Associated Press  —A landmark deal struck between Puget Sound Indian tribes and commercial growers two years ago was meant to end years of rancor over shellfish harvesting rights.
But some growers were surprised to learn this summer that some of their tidelands might not qualify under the settlement, potentially opening them up to tribal harvest.
In 2007, 17 Puget Sound tribes agreed to give up treaty rights to harvest shellfish from commercial shellfish beds, as long as the beds had been actively farmed before Aug. 28, 1995. In return, the tribe got $33 million in state and federal money to buy and lease tidelands for their own use. Commercial growers submitted documents insisting 864 parcels should be exempt from the settlements, but in papers filed with a federal court in Seattle in June, the tribes objected to half of those.

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