Sunday, 14 December 2014 00:00

Please Sign the Petition to stop the Native American Land "Grab" (it is technically a swap, not a grab)

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Please sign the petition to stop the Native American Land Grab


In the recent National Defense Authorization Bill H.R. 4355 was a rider granting a legislative land swap near Superior, Ariz., for the benefit of a foreign company Rio Tinto PLC who seek to mine copper.  When land swaps do occur, according to a 2010 policy brief by the University of Montana they occur through administrative channels.  This land swap though is being included as a rider on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 which is guaranteed to pass which then subverts the normal administrative process for authorizing a land swap.  The gist of the land swap is that Resolution Copper -- a Rio Tinto venture with a foreign company BHP Billiton Ltd. -- would trade more than 2,000 acres of federal land in return for more than 5,000 acres of company land.  It is an important detail to note that many article state the land is being "given" to the corporation, where it is technically a land swap.  The use of the word "give" instead of "trade" or "swap" is an important nuance that people need to be careful of in discussing this if they want to present the issue in a balanced perspective.

Fawn Sharp, President of the Quinault Indian Nation, "If such a land transfer provision seems out of place in a defense bill, that’s because it is. If the idea of transferring the ownership of federal forest lands to foreign mining companies seems absurd, it’s because that’s true, too,”

Regardless, the The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act is highly unusual and if the land swap is a fair and legitimate action then it must follow the traditional method of being approved through the administrative channel.  By including it as a rider on the NDAA is very suggestive that Congressman Paul Gosar is attempting to subvert the established process with no valid reason voiced.

You can sign the petition here -> 

Stop The Native American Land Grab


There are currently ~90,000 signatures as I post this at December 14, 2014 10:00 AM EST


Related Stories about the land grab:

  • 57 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Urge Senate to Nix Sacred Land Giveaway

  • House Approves Bill to Give Apache Lands to Foreign Corporation

  • Dream Snatcher

A good overview of the situation from Snopes 

  • The Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act

Congressman Paul Gosar 4th District of Arizona write up and summary of the bill. He does not articulate though why this land exchange requires a legislative transfer (i.e. being attached as a rider to a bill that has to pass, the NDAA) as opposed to going through the more common method of land transfer, which by public vetting through the administrative channel.

  • 57 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Urge Senate to Nix Sacred Land Giveaway

  • Federal 
 Exchanges: A

Policy Brief: Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy The University of Montana. July 28, 2010

  • H.R. 4355



Last modified on Tuesday, 24 February 2015 21:45