Tribe members: Noted bison kill site desecrated by coal mine

SARPY CREEK, Montana (AP) — When a coal company used a backhoe to dig up a huge bison killing ground on the Crow Indian Reservation in 2011 to make way for mining, investigators found the damage violated federal law and would cost $10 million to repair.

But documents obtained by The Associated Press and interviews with investigators show nothing happened.

There were no fines and no repairs. Westmoreland Energy is still mining as it awaits federal approval for repairs to the site where Native Americans killed bison for centuries.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs spokeswoman says a civil violation notice was issued last year but would not provide details.

Westmoreland executive Joe Micheletti says no penalty is involved.

The 2,000-year-old southeastern Montana held countless bison bones and more than 3,300 stone tools and spear points.

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