House passes bill to place land in trust for Susanville Rancheria

Dancers at the Susanville Indian Rancheria powwow in May 2015. Still image from Randy Shirley / YouTube

By a voice vote, the House on Monday passed a bill to place land into trust for the Susanville Indian Rancheria of northern California.

H.R.2212 affects about 300 acres of property currently managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The tribe plans to use the land for its powwow grounds, a cultural center, a museum and a recreational area.

"The Rancheria has long ties to this land, which holds a number of cultural, historical, and archeological sites, including grinding stones, petroglyphs, and other important artifacts," Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-California) said on the House floor. "Rancheria members also gather traditional herbs, medicines, and vegetables on the land and continue to hunt game in the area as their ancestors did."

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"The land has been classified as surplus by the BLM, which has written in support of transferring the parcel to the Rancheria, and it is adjacent, again, to the Rancheria's existing lands," LaMalfa added.

The Senate version of the bill is S.1761. It was approved by the Senate Indian Affairs Committee at a business meeting on October 21.

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