Connecticut's top elected leaders are declaring victory in their efforts to see that it does not become easier for local American Indian tribes to obtain federal recognition.
The Obama administration on Monday is announcing changes to regulations that have been criticized as cumbersome and lacking transparency.
Proposed new rules that were first issued in draft form two years ago were seen by officials in Connecticut as clearing the way for three groups that previously had been denied federal recognition to win the prized status.
That includes the Kent-based Schagticokes.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Connecticut's two U.S. senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, said at a news conference Monday afternoon that recent revisions will prevent those groups from winning recognition and pressing claims for surrounding lands.
Connecticut has two federally recognized tribes, the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots.
Danbury state Senator Mike McLachlan says Western Connecticut property owners can breathe a sigh of relief that a casino won't come to Danbury or Kent. He wrote to the BIA nine months ago, warning that allowing other Connecticut tribes to seek recognition could potentially jeopardize the state's agreements with the Mohegans and Pequots.