- The Washington Times - Monday, May 23, 2005

PHOENIX (AP) — The federal government will spend $12 million to fix the deteriorating buildings and landscaping at historic Fort Apache, which an American Indian tribe hopes to turn into a tourist attraction.

The money comes under a settlement reached as a result of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling two years ago that the White Mountain Apache Tribe could sue the Interior Department for failing to take care of the fort since 1960.

“With the settlement, the tribe can now protect and preserve the fort and establish it as one of Arizona’s finest tourist destinations,” Dallas Massey Sr., the tribe’s chairman, said last week as Interior Department officials announced the settlement fund.

The outpost in eastern Arizona became a symbol of the Old West through movies and television programs, including the 1948 John Ford film “Fort Apache,” starring John Wayne.

Fort Apache was established in 1871 by the Grant administration. About 7,500 acres were carved from the reservation in 1877 for the fort, which became the base for Army efforts to pursue Apache bands.

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