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DeFazio Bill, Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act, Signed into Law

Jan 8, 2018
Press Release

Legislation authored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04), the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act, was today signed into law by President Trump.

The legislation, H.R. 1306, would place 17,519 acres of federal land currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) into trust for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, and 14,742 acres of federal land into trust for the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. It would also amend the Coquille Restoration Act to allow the tribe to manage their forest lands in the same way as all other federal tribes.

After previously passing the House three times, the Senate passed the legislation for the first time this past December. Rep. DeFazio personally appealed to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee, to push for the bill’s passage in the Senate.

“For years, these tribes have been unable to govern themselves as the sovereign nations that they are,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio. “While there is still much work to be done to correct our nation’s injustices towards Native Americans, the passage of the Western Oregon Tribal Fairness Act is an encouraging move towards progress. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the Cow Creek Tribes, Coquille Tribes, and Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw.”