RICHLAND, Wash. - A federal judge is allowing the Fish and Wildlife Service to conduct wildflower tours this week on Rattlesnake Mountain on the Hanford Reach National Monument.
The Yakama Nation asked the judge to cancel remaining tours this year because the mountain, known as Laliik, is a tribal religious and cultural area.
The Tri-City Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1hv2k8j) Judge Thomas Rice in Spokane acknowledged the tribal interest Monday but said the public also has an interest in seeing and experiencing the land, as long as precautions are taken.
The 3,600-foot Rattlesnake Mountain was closed to the public in 1943 when it became part of the Hanford nuclear reservation. The first wildflower tours on the mountain were conducted last year. Wildflower tours are planned Thursday and Saturday.