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Budget amendment may allow sale of treaty lands

Millions of acres of federal land, including treaty lands, would be put up for sale under an amendment to the budget, Indian Country Today reports.

The properties at risk include Western Shoshone treaty lands in Nevada and Sioux Nation treaty lands in South Dakota. Buyers would be able to purchase the land for as little as $1,000 an acre, according to Democrats and environmental groups.

A spokesperson for the House Resources Committee, which is chaired by Rep. Richard Pombo (R-California), said the amendment won't have a major impact. The spokesperson said only about 360,000 acres, at most, would be up for sale, and would bring in an estimated $250 million.

Some Indian organizations, including the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Indian Land Working Group, are urging people to oppose the amendment. It is included in the federal budget reconciliation that has been tied up in the House amid a moderate Republican revolt.

In response to moderate opposition, the House Republican leadership pulled drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from the bill.

Get the Story:
Federal sale may include treaty lands (Indian Country Today 11/11)
House Budget Measure Is Pulled (The Washington Post 11/11)
House Leaders Postpone Vote on Budget Bill (The New York Times 11/11)

Relevant Links:
Dirt Cheap, Environmental Working Group -
Indigenous Environmental Network -
Indian Land Working Group -

Related Stories:
GOP drops ANWR drilling from budget measure (11/10)