DRAPER Utah (ABC4 News) - A band of Utah Native Americans have joined forces to stop UTA in its tracks.
Six tribal groups claim UTA is trespassing on sacred burial grounds in Draper.
UTA is expanding its Frontrunner commuter line southward and the expansion runs through 12800 South and 600 West in Draper.
Officials claim they've received permits and conducted Environmental Impact Statements to run the line through the area.
But when a construction company dumped topsoil near a parcel of land near the proposed track line Native Americans became angry.
"This is a joint use area that our ancestors used for sustenance and ceremonial things," said Rupert Steele, chairman of the Goshute tribe near Wendover Utah.
The Soo'nkahni Indian Village is the largest discovery of Native American artifacts ever found in the Salt Lake Valley. It has been estimated there are as many as one million artifacts on the lands around the area. In August 2009, Governor Hebert signed a conservation easement to protect the land from development.
And with UTA's alleged intrusion on the land, Native Americans call the move disrespectful.
"It is more of a repct issue," said jeanine Borchandt of the Piute Tribe. "I feel we are being ignored."
A spokesman for UTA said they believed the disputed land was part of its 50-feet easement that the Army Corps of Engineers agreed to.
"We did put topsoil here but we've stopped the work until we can resolve where the property line is," said Brandon Bott, spokesman for UTA.
Tribal leaders claim UTA should have consulted with them first before claiming the land as theirs.
"Our ancestors knew no boundaries and to provide that protection for that small piece of land is the least we can do as tribal leadersl," said Madelyn Gray Mountain of the Confederate band of Goshutes.
UTA said construction of the 46-mile project will continue but the stretch of disputed land in Draper is off limits.
They've agreed to a title review to determine property boundaries.