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Learn more about Camp4 and Chumash ancestral lands.
November 6, 2019: WASHINGTON – The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, chaired by Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), today passed H.R. 317, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act of 2019. This legislation would place land into trust located in California for the benefit of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. More...
SANTA YNEZ BAND OF CHUMASH INDIANS
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The tribe's years long effort to secure the land has faced fierce opposition. The Santa Ynez Band originally applied for the parcel administratively in 2013, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the plan to take the land into trust the next year after finding no significant environmental impacts.
That prompted Santa Barbara County and others, including nearby landowner Anne Crawford-Hall, to request administrative review, court filings indicated. Although the BIA's findings were affirmed in January 2017, the county and Crawford-Hall refused to give up, lodging separate California federal court challenges.
In the end, Santa Barbara County came around and gave the land acquisition its blessing after reaching an October 2017 deal with the tribe. As part of the agreement, the tribe promised to address the housing development's local impacts and the county said it would support a previous iteration of H.R. 317, which was also floated by LaMalfa, according to court filings.
By Shayna Posses Law360 (April 30, 2019, 5:59 PM EDT
The tribe plans to build housing on a small part of the parcel, known as Camp Four, while addressing any impacts on local infrastructure and resources, the Congressman said. The land won't be used for gambling, he added.
"There's nothing controversial about this bill," LaMalfa said. "It simply ensures the tribe has the ability to provide housing for its members, and I can't think of anyone that really should take issue with that effort."
Less than 17% of the tribal membership is able to live on reservation land.
Making Tribal Housing a reality.
House Resolution 317-- LaMalfa 2019
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act.
"I'm very proud of the good faith effort, the bipartisan effort, that has gone into this bill, both in Congress and in the local community, and will make a big difference for the tribe, which is in a "significant housing crisis."
As it stands, LaMalfa said, fewer than 17 percent of the Chumash members and their descendants can live on the existing reservation, much of which is hillsides, wetlands and other terrain that doesn't support housing, as well as land that the tribe wants to preserve.
The lawmakers agreed by voice vote to advance a bill sponsored by Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Calif., that would confirm the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs' 2017 decision to take more than 1,400 acres of Santa Barbara County land into trust to help with a tribal housing shortage. Speaking on the House floor Monday night, LaMalfa expressed his excitement about the support for House Resolution 317, which he said is the result of years of negotiations between the tribe and the local government.