Legislation Aims To Help Tribe Finally Resolve Surveying Issue

Jun 30, 2020

New legislation aims to let the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde file claims and potentially be compensated for any federal surveying errors on their land.

Government surveyor.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr.com

Senate Bill 2716 was sponsored by Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, with the support of the tribe. 

To correct a survey error made by the federal government in 1871, legislation was passed in 1994. But this legislation also complicated things by stating the Grand Ronde would give up claims to address other errors discovered in the future.

“What happened in ’94 with that legislation, we would not be able to correct that," says Rob Greene, tribal attorney for the Grand Ronde.  "What we’re saying is, that’s not right. We should be able to correct other problems that we identify in the future.”

The bill has been introduced in the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. A companion bill has also been introduced in the House of Representatives.

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