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Congress Approves Bill To Allow Tribal Land Sales

A bill to allow some Oregon tribes, including the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, to lease and sell property they own has received Congressional approval.  Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Representatives Greg Walden and Peter DeFazio had pushed for the Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act.  Currently, under the Indian Non-Intercourse Act, tribes are required to get federal approval to purchase, sell, convey, warrant, or lease lands they own privately, making it difficult to seize on economic development opportunities.  The new bill allows certain tribes in Oregon to forego that additional approval on privately held lands.  The bill does not affect property that is held in trust by the United States.  It now heads to the President for his signature.