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).
Subcommittee On American Indian And Alaska Native Affairs
H.R. 6141, A Bill To Provide For The Addition Of Certain Real Property To The Reservation Of The Siletz Tribe In The State Of Oregon
July 24, 2012
Chairman Young, Ranking Member Lujan, and Members of the Subcommittee, my name is Michael Black and I am the Director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's (Department) views on H.R. 6141, a bill to provide for the addition of certain real property to the reservation of the Siletz Tribe.
Taking land into trust is one of the most important functions that the Department undertakes on behalf of Indian tribes. Homelands are essential to the health, safety, and welfare of the tribal governments. Thus, this Administration has made the restoration of tribal homelands a priority.This Administration is committed to the restoration of tribal homelands, through the Department's acquisition of lands in trust for tribes, where appropriate.While the Department acknowledges that tribes near the Siletz Tribe oppose H.R. 6141, the Department supports H.R. 6141.
H.R. 6141 would amend the Siletz Tribe Indian Restoration Act, 25 U.S.C. § 711e, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to place land into trust for the Siletz Tribe. The lands lie within the original 1855 Siletz Coast Reservation and are located in the counties of Benton, Douglas, Lane, Lincoln, Tillamook, and Yamhill, which are all located within the State of Oregon. H.R. 6141 would also provide that such land would be considered and evaluated as an on-reservation acquisition under 25 C.F.R. § 151.10 and become part of the Tribe's reservation. The bill does not make the original Siletz Reservation into a reservation for the Siletz Tribe or create tribal jurisdiction over the original Siletz Reservation.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the Department's views on this legislation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.