Lawmaker defends proposed land swap with tribe

A Republican lawmaker in Washington is defending his proposal to offer land to the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe in exchange for the tribe's permission to restart construction work at an historic Klallam village.

Rep. Jim Buck (R) released the text of a letter to Rep. John McCoy (D), a Tulalip Tribes member. In the letter, Buck says the land he offered to the tribe is worth $2.4 million plus timber valued at $1.67 million.

Buck said the land would be given to the tribe in order to rebury hundreds of ancestors uncovered at the Tse-whit-zen village. He proposed a facility to house and display thousands of artifacts.

The tribe rejected the request and has opposed any work at the site. The state shut down construction on a $280 million bridge project as it looks for another place to host a graving yard.

Get the Story:
State lawmaker confirms broaching land swap with tribe at secret meeting last month (The Peninsula Daily News 4/12)
Rep. Buck's letter (The Peninsula Daily News 4/12)

Relevant Links:
Tse-Whit-Zen Village News - http://tse-whit-zen.elwha.nsn.us
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe - http://www.elwha.org

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