Governor Announces Land Claim Settlement with Wisconsin Tribe

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Governor Paterson has signed a land claim settlement with a Wisconsin tribe that could lead to a casino in the Catskill Mountains. 

The Stockbridge-Munsee Mohicans will end their claim to 23,000 acres in New York's Madison County near Syracuse and will receive 330 acres in Sullivan County, where the tribe wants to build a casino. 

Greg Fry, a reporter with Northeast Public Radio said though Sullivan County is known as a popular tourism spot, it has suffered economically over the past few decades and a casino could bring in much needed revenue.

"There's also been a discussion of what it would do for the development of other Indian-run casinos around New York state," Fry said, "and those questions are yet to be answered."

The land claim settlement is still likely to face legal challenges. It must be considered by the federal Department of the Interior before it is approved and could also face scrutiny from environmental groups and other Indian tribes.

Paterson will make another announcement about the land claims settlement in the Catskills on Monday afternoon.