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House panel to consider Shoshone, Cherokee bills

The House Resources Committee will hold a hearing today to consider two controversial bills.

H.R.884 would distribute a $138 million trust fund to members of the Western Shoshone Nation. Some Shoshone leaders and tribal members don't want to accept the payout, saying it is for land that is not for sale.

H.R.1409 would authorize a land swap within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in order to build a school for children of the Eastern Cherokee Tribe of North Carolina. Conservationists oppose the project, saying it will harm the park and set a precedent nationwide for development within park units. The National Park Service on Monday issued a draft environmental impact statement for public comment.

The hearing starts at 10 a.m. A live audio feed can be found at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/audio.htm. Click on the link for 1324 Longworth House Office Building.

Get the Story:
No solution offered in land swap report (The Asheville Citizen Times 6/17)
Congressional hearing on Western Shoshone lands faces unresolved questions (Indian Country Today 6/16)

Get the Bills:
Western Shoshone Claims Distribution Act (H.R.884) | Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Land Exchange Act of 2002 (H.R.1409)

Relevant Documents:
Environmental Impact Statement: Eastern Cherokee Land Exchange (NPS June 2003)

Relevant Links:
House Resources Committee - http://resourcescommittee.house.gov
Cherokee Land Exchange - http://www.npslandexchange.com

Related Stories:
Tribal school project on 'endangered' parks list (01/15)
Western Shoshone are 'homeless' (8/2)

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