A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
H.R. 2467 - Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Bills
Bureau of Indian Affairs
United States Department of the Interior
House Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs
H.R. 2467, Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act
January 25, 2012
Thank you for the invitation to testify on H.R. 2467, the Bridgeport Indian Colony Land Trust, Health, and Economic Development Act. The legislation directs that approximately 39 acres of land currently administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) be taken into trust for the Bridgeport Paiute Indian Colony of California (Tribe). The Department supports this legislation, and would like to work with the sponsor and Subcommittee to make technical modifications to the bill to ensure that the property to be transferred is accurately described.
The Bridgeport Indian Colony is a federally-recognized tribe located near the town of Bridgeport, in Mono County, California. The Tribe's 40-acre reservation is located approximately a quarter mile from Highway 182, and currently has no highway frontage or pass-through traffic.
The Tribe seeks to have two parcels of BLM managed land transferred to their reservation and held in trust by the United States. The 31.86-acre Bridgeport Parcel, which was identified by the BLM for disposal in a 2004 amendment to the Bishop Resource Management Plan, lies between the Tribe's current reservation and Highway 182. The Bridgeport Parcel is contiguous to the existing Colony. Trust status for this parcel would enable the Tribe to construct housing and a community activity center, and facilitate economic development. The 7.5-acre Bridgeport Camp Antelope Parcel, near the small town of Walker, is currently under lease to the Toiyabe Indian Health Project for operation of a community health clinic under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. The Toiyabe Indian Health Project is operated by a consortium of tribes. The clinic is currently closed, but the Bridgeport Indian Tribe has expressed a desire to reopen this facility, which has suffered major interior water damage and has been vacant since December, 2005. The Tribe has sought a means to acquire the Bridgeport parcel for many years, and the BLM has been working cooperatively to help them achieve this goal under existing authorities. The Bridgeport Camp Antelope Parcel has been under a Recreation and Public Purposes Act lease since 1987.
Under H.R. 2467, the United States would hold in trust for the Tribe both the Bridgeport and Bridgeport Camp Antelope Parcels, subject to valid existing rights. The Department supports H.R. 2467.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department's support for H.R. 2467. We would be happy to answer any questions the Subcommittee may have.