Editorial: Bill helps Quileute Tribe move to safer homeland

"Sen. Maria Cantwell has brokered a sensible land swap that protects the Quileute Indian Tribe from potential tsunamis and floods.

For decades, tribal headquarters, a school, senior center and several churches have sat on the coastal flood plain near sea level, in the direct path of danger.

Coastal communities in Japan flattened by huge water surges minutes after a massive earthquake just offshore were graphic reminders of the dangers faced by those living along Washington's coastline. Scientists predict a megaquake and tsunami will some day strike the Washington coast.

The Quileutes are a small Northwest tribe that has lived for decades on a square-mile reservation surrounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on three sides by Olympic National Park.

Cantwell offers an equitable proposal in the form of Senate Bill 636. The tribe would get 785 acres of Olympic National Park so its roughly 300 members could move uphill. In exchange, 4,100 acres of wilderness would be added to the park. The National Park Service supports the deal."

Get the Story:
Editorial: Moving the Quileutes to higher ground (The Seattle Times 4/21)

Committee Hearing:
HEARING on S. 636, A bill to provide the Quileute Indian Tribe Tsunami and Flood Protection, and for other purposes; S. 703, the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 201l; and S. 546, the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians Restoration Act of 2011 (April 14, 2011)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Help Quileute Tribe with move to safer homeland (4/20)
Quileute Tribe cites tsunami threat in bid for land transfer (4/15)
Chairwoman of Quileute Tribe will testify at Senate hearing (4/13)
Bill introduced to take Quileute Tribe away from tsunami zone (3/18)
Washington tribes evacuate coast in response to tsunami threats (3/11)
Quileute Tribe asks Sen. Cantwell to support federal land swap (2/24)
New chair of Quileute Tribe calls federal land swap a major priority (1/27)
Bill resolves long-running boundary dispute with Quileute Tribe (12/17)
Quileute Tribe reaches deal for park land transfer (7/28)
Quileute Tribe to meet over park boundary dispute (10/12)
Quileute Tribe, National Park Service in dispute (10/5)

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