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Senate advances Moapa Paiute reservation expansion

WASHINGTON – With a small adjustment, a bill that would add 26,000 acres to the reservation of the Moapa Band of Paiutes moved forward in the Senate on Wednesday.

The legislation cut back 600 acres that was in the West-Wide Energy Corridor, an electricity transmission route, according to the office of sponsoring Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

With that change accepted by the tribe, the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs approved the measure.

Further action is possible when the Senate returns in September from a summer break.

A similar bill by Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., is pending in the U.S. House.

Tribal Chairwoman Aletha Tom told senators at a hearing last month the Moapa Paiutes on their enlarged reservation will pursue more solar energy investments on top of three projects the tribe has underway or in development. The expansion would grow the reservation to just over 100,000 acres 30 miles north of Las Vegas.

The Senate committee also approved reservation expansions for six Northern Nevada tribes. Land provisions for a seventh tribe, the South Fork band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians, were removed due to a tribal dispute, according to a Reid spokeswoman.

Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@stephensmedia.com or 202-783-1760. Find him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC.

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