Environment | Politics

Crosscut: Quileute Tribe asks for land to escape tsunami threat

"The Quileute Indian Tribe in La Push is hopeful that it is one step closer to relocating away from the tsunami danger zone. Last Thursday (Sept. 15) Quileute members testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of House Bill 1162. The proposed legislation would reallocate 785 acres from the Olympic National Park to the tribe, allowing them to move to higher ground. Rep. Norm Dicks introduced the legislation March 16, 2011, following the catastrophic tsunami in Japan.

“Without this legislation, the tsunami danger could lead to the extinction of our Quileute people,” testified Bonita Cleveland, Quileute Tribal chairwoman. "We ask this Committee to understand that now is the time to protect us, before it is too late."

The village, including a school and elder center, occupies one-square mile of land located at sea level. It already suffers regular flooding, but no other land is currently available. The tribe is restricted on all sides by the neighboring national park and Pacific Ocean."

Get the Story:
Deanna Duff: Quileute Tribe: Protection from tsunami needed (Crosscut 9/21)

Committee Notice:
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1162, H.R. 2087, H.R. 2336, H.R. 2351, H.R. 2352. H.R. 2606 and H.R. 2687 (September 15, 2011)

Related Stories:
NYT Blog: Quileute Tribe lobbies Congress over land transfer bill (9/16)
House subcommittee holds hearing on Quileute Tribe lands bill (9/15)
Opinion: Quileute Tribe seeks to move to higher ground (5/31)
NPR: Quileute Tribe seeks approval to move to safer land (4/26)
Editorial: Bill helps Quileute Tribe move to safe homeland (4/21)
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)

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