CONGRESSMAN ROB BISHOP DISQUALIFIED FOR SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation finds that Congressman Rob Bishop is not qualified to serve as the Secretary of the Interior. The Tribe calls on Indian Country and public lands users in Utah and throughout the United States to oppose Bishop’s proposed nomination.

Bishop’s statements and actions, including direct attacks on the Tribe’s Reservation lands and waters, demonstrate his disregard for the United States time honored government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes, and treaty and trust responsibilities. The President should not nominate Bishop for this important position and if nominated, Congress and the public must reject his nomination.

Indian Country needs a Secretary of the Interior who promotes and protects Indian lands and resources. Bishop worked in Congress to undermine tribal lands and resources. Bishop’s most recent attacks on the Ute Indian Tribe’s Reservation include attempts to legislatively overrule the federal courts. Having lost in the courts, Bishop and the State of Utah introduced bills to take the Tribe’s lands and waters. In fact, Bishop repeatedly introduced and supported legislation that would result in the first Indian land grab in more than 100 years!

Bishop also cannot be trusted to responsibly manage the United States’ public lands. Bishop would dismantle Interior by giving federal public lands to the states and providing unfettered access to his biggest political contributors—the energy industry. Bishop is not qualified to serve as the Secretary of the Interior.

Bishop is disqualified to serve as Secretary of the Interior because:

* Sought to pass bills that would result in the first Indian land grab in more than 100 years.

* Held hearings undermining the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 which is the foundation of modern federal Indian law and tribal self-determination.

* Repeatedly failed to consult with Indian tribes prior to introducing legislation that would impact tribal lands, waters, and interests.

* Established criteria that blocked Indian water rights settlements, denied tribes access to waters, increased the costs of settlement, and perpetuated uncertainty for water users.

* Supports reducing and revoking the Bears Ears National Monument that was established in consultation with tribes and to protect tribal cultural and spiritual resources.

* Blocked the “Carcieri Fix” from a vote to ensure tribes can take lands into trust and to protect existing trust lands.

* Sought to dismantle the administrative process for tribal recognition and make recognition subject to political whims.

* Lied about the status of reservation lands to confuse debate in the House Natural Resources Committee.

Robert Lucero