Environment | Politics | Trust

House approves bill to address land issues for tribes in Oregon

A scene from the Siletz Tribes powwow. Photo from Siletz Tribal Energy Program / Facebook

The House passed H.R.5701, the Western Oregon Indian Tribal Lands Act, by a voice vote on Tuesday.

Title I eases the land-into-trust process for the Confederate Tribes of Grand Ronde. Currently, the tribe has to take several steps for land to be acquired and declared a part of its reservation.

The bill also places 288 acres in trust for the tribe. The House previously passed the measure as part of H.R.841.

Title II places land in trust for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. Title III does the same for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians.

Both titles were originally a part of H.R.1526, the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, which passed the House in September 2013.

Title IV addresses the land-into-trust process for the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. Any land acquired within the original 1855 Siletz Coast Reservation will be considered a part of the tribe's current reservation.

The bill was originally considered as H.R.931.

Finally, Title V allows the Coquille Tribe to manage forest lands under the National Indian Forest Resources Management Act. The law that restored the tribe to federal recognition placed the role under a different set of laws.

The bill awaits action in the Senate but time is running out as the 113th Congress draws to a close possibly as early as today although the date remains uncertain.

YouTube: Ranking Member DeFazio on H.R. 5701, Western Oregon Indian Tribal Lands Act

"This legislation is a long overdue, common sense bill that will go a long way in helping resolve some of the problems the Federal government and its haphazard policy shifts have created for the Western Oregon tribes. Passing this unique, Oregon specific tribal package is a big deal for Oregon Indian Country," Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) said in a press release.

Get the Story:
US House passes land changes for Coos, Cow Creek & Coquille tribes (KPIC 12/10)

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