The legislation advanced the federal government’s trust responsibility to Tribal governments by promoting tribal sovereignty through a variety of USDA programs including tribal forest management demonstration projects:
“I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to insert language into the Farm Bill empowering Tribal governments to conduct forestry management demonstration projects through 638 contracts,” U.S. Rep. Lujan Grisham said. “Strong partnerships between federal, tribal, state, and local governments are imperative to addressing the many challenges that we face in New Mexico when it comes to land stewardship. Congress needs to continue to work with Tribes and find new ways to support tribal self-determination through all aspects of government.”
J. Michael Chavarria, Governor of Santa Clara Pueblo added, “Santa Clara Pueblo is pleased to see the Farm Bill conference report includes language that would authorize 638 self-determination contracts for tribal forest management demonstration projects.
We support federal forestry programs and policies that enable tribal nations to directly participate in federal land management. Such endeavors strengthen tribal sovereignty and promote the effective administration of our shared natural resources. This cooperative approach is key to the development and implementation of sound land stewardship and restoration practices, especially in regards to wildfire prevention, mitigation, and recovery.”
The bipartisan Farm Bill passed 369-47 Wednesday, Dec. 12 in the House.