Environment | Politics

Bill to authorize land swap with Ute Tribe heads to White House






A view of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in Utah. Photo from Ute Tribe

A bill to authorize a land swap for the Ute Tribe of Utah is headed to President Barack Obama for his signature.

H.R.356, the Hill Creek Cultural Preservation and Energy Development Act, allows the tribe to protect 20,000 acres of culturally important sites on the reservation. The tribe already owns the surface rights but the mineral rights are owned by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, a state agency.

The bill transfers the mineral rights to the federal government. In exchange, the state will receive mineral rights in another area of the reservation where oil and gas development is already underway.

The Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent on Wednesday. It passed the House in May 2013.

Get the Story:
Senate approves Utah land exchange (The Salt Lake Tribune 7/10)

Related Stories:
House approves bill to authorize land swap with Ute Tribe (05/16)