Column: 'Scary' bill to settle with Spokane Tribe
"Sportsmen and their access to portions of Lake Roosevelt don’t appear to have much stature in the latest Congressional legislation to compensate the Spokane Tribe for the impacts of Grand Coulee Dam.

The bills were introduced in June with no fanfare or public comment.

They call for making cash payments to the tribe.

More important to sportsmen, the bills also would give the tribe jurisdiction over the water in much of the Spokane Arm and a portion of the Columbia River bordering the reservation.

The bills call for paying the tribe $23.9 million in 2010 plus $18.9 million in each of the four following years.

The scary part is in Section 9, which calls for the transfer of administrative jurisdiction and restoration of the tribe’s ownership “over all land acquired by the United States … that is located within the exterior boundaries of the Spokane Indian Reservation.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging his support for the tribe’s Grand Coulee Settlement legislation. She said payment is long overdue. Indeed, compensation for the Colville Tribe was settled in 1994. The Spokane Tribe has received only $4,700 for what it has provided to the Grand Coulee project since the 1930s."

Get the Story:
Rich Landers: Legislation raises questions about Roosevelt access (The Spokesman Review 8/27)

Spokane Tribe of Indians of the Spokane Reservation Grand Coulee Dam Equitable Compensation Settlement Act:
S.1388 | H.R.3097