Earlier this week, by suspension vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Mark Amodei’s (NV-2) H.R. 2455, the Nevada Native Nations Lands Act, which includes six tribal lands measures, as well as a smaller conveyance to the City of Elko. The bill was amended to match the Senate version, which was reported out of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee on Aug. 26, 2014.
“These are all cases where local control and economic self-determination are preferable to Washington-centric management by a federal agency,” said Amodei. “These lands will enable the tribes to chart brighter futures for their communities and to better preserve their cultural heritage.”
Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians: Would transfer approximately 373 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in Elko County to be held in trust for residential development, recreation and conservation.
Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe: Would transfer approximately 19,095 acres of BLM land in Humboldt County to be held in trust to resolve checkerboard lands issues. This would help to address law enforcement and emergency personnel jurisdictional questions, as well as enable the tribe to plan for housing development. In 1971, U.S. Senators Bible and Cannon from Nevada introduced a similar bill, but the legislation was never re-introduced.
Shoshone Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation: Would transfer approximately 82 acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land in Elko County to be held in trust for housing and infrastructure to address the reservation housing shortage and to recruit doctors, nurses, law enforcement, conservation officers and first responders.
Summit Lake Paiute Tribe: Would transfer approximately 880 acres of BLM land in Humboldt County to be held in trust for protection and management of Summit Lake’s natural resources and fish population and to unify the reservation around Summit Lake.
Reno-Sparks Indian Colony: Would transfer approximately 11,180 acres of BLM land in Washoe County to be held in trust for the creation of a safety buffer around the Hungry Valley community. The housing is surrounded by BLM lands to the north, west and east where multiple activities routinely occur, some permitted by the BLM and others prohibited, that illicit safety and quality of life concerns from residents. Such activities include off-roading, target shooting, illegal dumping and unauthorized motorcycle racing.
The lands also hold cultural significance and several of the landscape features are used for traditional religious practices and a source of medicinal plants.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe: Would transfer approximately 11,719 acres of BLM land in Washoe County to be held in trust to expand the reservation boundary to fully incorporate the watershed of Pyramid Lake. Other sections near the lake would be used for potential economic development and management efficiency.
Elko County: Would transfer approximately 275 acres of BLM land to Elko County to establish a motocross, bicycle, off-roading or stock car racing area. The county would pay all costs associated with surveys and administrative costs for the preparation and completion of the transfer.