Deadline approaches for end to ferry that crosses Lummi Nation

Officials in Whatcom County, Washington, have until April 11 to negotiate a new agreement with the Lummi Nation or face the end of ferry service from a site on tribal land.

The tribe's 25-year lease for the Lummi Island ferry expired last year. The tribe is now seeking $200,000 a year to host the ferry dock, plus $10 million over 10 years to improve roads on the reservation that are used by ferry passengers.

"There is little Lummi community support to continue serving as the drive-through community for Island residents," attorney Diana Bob said in a statement to The Seattle Times.

The county has reportedly said it can pay the $200,000 a year. It's the $10 million that appears to be the sticking point.

Bob said the $10 million is negotiable. "We're at an impasse, but the conversation hasn't stopped," she told the paper. "We understand the island residents' concerns. They are our neighbors."

Residents and members of Congress have urged the Bureau of Indian Affairs to get involved. The agency apparently never signed off on the 25-year lease that expired last year.

Get the Story:
Dispute may end Lummi Island ferry service (The Seattle Times 3/8)

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