Environment | Politics | Trust

House approves bills for Morongo Band and Native corporation

The entrance to the Morongo Reservation in southern California. Photo by CollegeRocker / Flickr

The House on Thursday passed bills to benefit a California tribe and an Alaska Native corporation.

By a voice vote, lawmakers approved H.R.4867, the Economic Development Through Tribal Land Exchange Act. The bill authorizes a land swap to place 41 acres in trust for the Morongo Band of Mission Indians in California.

"My bill facilitates an equitable land swap between the Morongo Tribe and the landowner to provide more consolidated reservation land for the tribe and commercial development opportunities for the landowner, the city of Banning and Riverside County," Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-California), the sponsor, said on the floor yesterday.

A map of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska. Image from Bureau of Land Management

The House also passed H.R.5167 by a voice vote. The bill authorizes the the Olgoonik Corporation, an Alaska Native corporation, to buy land within the National Petroleum Reserve at market price.

"This will allow the Alaska Natives to incorporate the land into their existing land use management plan and policies, thus turning a potential abandoned and unused parcel into a useful property," Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), the sponsor, said on the floor.

Both bills await consideration in the Senate.

Related Stories:
House Natural Resources Committee sets markup on tribal bills (09/17)
House Natural Resources Committee markup on four tribal bills (07/30)

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