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Clarification of Authority Granted Regarding Defining Exterior Boundary of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LUJÁN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4027 clarifies existing law regarding the Federal Government's authority to permit land exchanges within the boundaries of the Ute Indian Reservation in northeastern Utah and resolves the tribe's split estate problem caused by Federal error over 50 years ago. This legislation returns the subsurface mineral estate to the Ute Tribe in a portion of its reservation that the tribe considers culturally and environmentally significant and thus preserves the area's pristine wilderness from development. The bill also benefits the State of Utah by opening up Federal minerals for development in an area of the tribe's reservation already being developed by the tribe's energy company.

Legislation that corrects a Federal error and satisfies both tribal and State interests, without cost to the Federal Government, does not come along very often. Mr. Matheson is to be commended for his dedication in seeing this bill pass out of the House and for crafting a workable solution to a difficult problem.

I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 4027, and I reserve the balance of my time.


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