Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act
Congress Passes Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act
Congress first moved to remedy the plight of the San Lucy District in 1982 when it directed the Secretary of the Interior to study the flooding and identify replacement lands within a 100-mile radius. After attempts to find lands failed, Senators Barry Goldwater and Dennis DeConcini, and Congressmen John McCain and Mo Udall, sponsored legislation that became the Gila Bend Indian Reservation Lands Replacement Act to resolve the situation.
The Act was signed into law in 1986. The law authorizes the Nation to purchase up to 9,880 acres of private lands located in Pima, Pinal, or Maricopa Counties as replacement reservation lands.
It also provided funds for land and water rights acquisition, economic development, and relocation costs. The Law also requires the Secretary of the Interior to take replacement land into trust for the Nation and dictates that the land “shall be deemed to be a Federal Indian Reservation for all purposes.”