Tribe Again Loses Legal Claim to Former Ammunition Plant Site

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An Indian tribe's claim to a former military site in southwest Johnson County is again rejected by a federal appeals court.

The Shawnee Tribe argues it's the rightful owner of the 9,100-acre site of the former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant. The property was part of the tribe's Kansas reservation in the 19th century.

But courts have ruled the Shawnee Tribe gave up the land in 1854 when it ceded nearly one-point-six million acres in Kansas to the federal government. Most recently, a three-judge panel of appellate judges ruled against the tribe's claim in May.

The panel has since reconsidered that ruling, and declared last week that the case is moot. That's because the Army signed the property over to Johnson County last month, for commercial development and public parks.