KODIAK - The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request to review a land dispute between a Kodiak rancher and a village Native corporation, effectively ending a court battle that has dragged on for more than three decades. The decision Monday affirms a ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' last year in favor of Leisnoi Inc., the Native corporation of Woody Island. Rancher Omar Stratman sued in federal court two years after federal officials in 1974 certified Leisnoi as a Native village and conveyed to it 160,000 acres of public lands as an aboriginal land claim under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. Stratman contended Leisnoi did not have the required population as stipulated under ANSCA and could not claim land he leased from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
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