Ute Tribe Victory in Congress

NEWS RELEASE- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UTE INDIAN TRIBE PROTECTS RESERVATION LANDS AND WATERS IN SWEEPING FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS BILL PASSED BY CONGRESS

Ft. Duchesne, UT — February 28, 2019.

Over the past year, the Ute Indian Tribe worked successfully to protect its Uintah and Ouray Reservation lands and waters from illegal land grabs and attacks by the State of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA), Congressman Bishop, Congressman Curtis and former Senator Hatch. The Tribe’s 4.5 million-acre Reservation in northeastern Utah was reserved as a homeland for the Ute Indian Tribe in treaties and agreements with the United States. The Tribe worked to educate the United States Congress about its homelands to prevent legislation from being included in S. 47, a sweeping federal public lands bill, that would take or impact the Tribe’s lands and waters.

On February 26, 2019, Congress passed S. 47 and the bill is now headed to the President’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law. The Tribe’s Business Committee is pleased that the United States Congress rejected proposals by SITLA, Bishop, Curtis and Hatch as illegal and improper attacks on the Tribe’s Reservation lands and waters. Congress refused to include these proposals and in some cases revised them to eliminate attacks on the Tribe’s Reservation.

The Business Committee stated, “For more than 100 years, bad actors in Utah and the Federal government have tried to take the lands and waters that we reserved in treaties and agreements with the United States. These attacks must end.” The Business Committee continued, “By rejecting these attacks and preventing their inclusion in S. 47, Congress is telling SITLA, Bishop, Curtis and Hatch that is time for all Utahns to work with the Ute Indian Tribe in partnership for a better future.”

The Ute Indian Tribe has forged lasting partnerships with many Utahns who understand the importance of responsible energy development as well as the value of a thriving recreational and tourism industry. The Business Committee appreciates the strong statements that the PEW Charitable Trust, the Wilderness Society and others made to Congress in support of the Tribe’s Reservation lands and resources. The Ute Indian Tribe, Utah’s oldest residents, will continue to work with these and other partners to bring prosperity to the State while protecting its sacred and valuable homelands.

About the Ute Indian Tribe - The Ute Indian Tribe resides on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation in northeastern Utah. Three bands of Utes comprise the Ute Indian Tribe: the Whiteriver Band, the Uncompahgre Band and the Uintah Band. The Tribe has a membership of more than three thousand individuals, with over half living on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation. The Ute Indian Tribe operates its own tribal government and oversees significant oil and gas deposits on its 4.5 million acre Reservation. The Tribal Business Committee is the governing council of the Tribe.

Robert Lucero