Go to main contentsGo to search barGo to main menu
Monday, May 20, 2024 at 3:43 PM
Ad

Fallon Tribe Opposes Navy Expansion Plans

Fallon Tribe Opposes Navy Expansion Plans
by Rachel Dahl – Members of the Fallon Shoshone Paiute Tribe recently returned from Washington D.C. where they spent time expressing their concern regarding the Navy’s plan to expand the Fallon Range Training Complex to the Nevada congressional delegation. Chairman Len George, and the tribal resource designee, Rochanne Downs, along with tribal attorneys Brian Chestnut and Wyatt Golding spent two days in meetings on Capitol Hill. According to Downs, the tribe currently supports the renewal of the existing 232,000-acre withdrawal and is clear they support the military. “We fully support our Veterans, past and present, and honor the fact that our Tribal warriors have honorably fought and sacrificed in every single conflict of our country on and off shore,” said Downs. They are however, vocally opposing the FRTC final EIS as it has been presented and feels there is still extensive cultural resource work that needs to be done prior to the withdrawal of any additional public lands. “The EIS that’s out is not complete,” said Downs, “cultural resources are irreplaceable and withdrawing nearly a million acres of land requires careful evaluation. If the Navy is going to do this, the evaluation needs to be done right and in accordance with federal law.” She said the reason for an EIS is to find impacts; environmentally, economically, cultural resources, to find out what the impacts of a proposed action are going to be so mitigation efforts can be made prior to any action. “What the Navy wants to do is withdraw the land and then come back and do the cultural resources survey later.” According to Downs, the Navy has only done a small amount of surveying of the cultural resources, roughly only 5% of the proposed expansion of 880,000 acres. She said that most of the lands in the proposal are rural with little development and provide free public access. “Our people have lived, prayed, hunted, fished and travelled throughout the proposed withdrawal area for more than 10,000 years.  Our burial, hunting and gathering areas, ceremonial places are located throughout the withdrawal and we visit and care for them continually.” Downs says access will be an issue if these areas are closed off and Tribal members will no longer be able to freely visit these places and in some cases will need an escort or will be absolutely denied access due to physical dangers. Yvonne Mori, tribal vice-chairman echoes Downs’ concerns and said she hopes the Navy will recognize that the EIS is not complete, and that they will further investigate the sacred tribal lands. “Before congress can make a decision,” Mori said, “make sure the EIS is complete. Right now, the Navy is using the EIS to tell congress what they want to do, but if you haven’t evaluated the cultural resources, congress can’t make a good decision.” Downs said she asked the question at the public meeting held by the Navy in Fallon on January 28. “How can you sign a Record of Decision when you truly don’t know the environmental and fiscal impacts you’re having,” she said. "And when you’re looking at the timeline and how you’re going to implement it, when you’re talking about moving state highways and transmission lines; when you’re talking about settling with the grazers, purchasing of mining rights, and purchasing of water rights, purchasing private lands and settling with Walker River, their reservation lands have been bombed for 60 years, and damages to cultural sites.” This was the third trip to D.C. that the tribe has made to meet with the Nevada delegation and several different congress members on various committees, including the Armed Services Committee. Tribal members met with staff at the Pentagon on their first trip to D.C. and Downs said, “Since then, the D.C. people have been more engaged, but I just feel like there is so much more work that needs to be done.” Although the tribe supports the renewal of the existing authorization for the 232,000 acres, they feel that there should be an extension on the rest of the plan. “There’s so much more work that needs to be done, let’s section it up, let’s go through and look at Bravo-20 or Bravo-19, or whatever areas have top priority, complete a throughout evaluation, and then make the determination based on a complete and informed evaluation.  The Navy has destroyed many sacred places and unfortunately once a cultural site is destroyed you can’t bring that back.” She points out that with other stakeholders it is possible to mitigate for example wilderness areas can be exchanged, or ranchers who lose allotments in the withdrawal can be moved to other available allotments. “For us our cultural resources cannot be exchanged with a one-to-one compromise - we cannot pick which one is the most important and which ones we can just ignore." Downs said during WWII, the mother and father stone at Fox Peak where the tribe was created were used as targets and destroyed. She said currently, Medicine Rock is a powerful doctoring site located in the middle of Bravo-20 but is inaccessible because it is surrounded by unexploded ordnance. In 1999 the Navy started a fire on Fairview Peak destroying the trees where the tribe had traditionally gathered pine nuts. There was no reseeding or reclamation which results in the range being covered in noxious weeds. “These places can never be replaced,” said Downs. In looking at the entire system of tribal lands that fall in the shadow of the proposed EIS, Downs said there is no way to pick and choose. “If I asked you to give me your heart, your liver, your kidneys and your brains, what would you give me?” From Grimes Point to Lovelock Caves, and all the places in between, she said there are “places you go to hunt, places you go to gather, places for spiritual purposes, and it’s a whole continuum.” Vice Chairwoman Mori also added that 98% of all of the public comments oppose this expansion and therefore the Navy needs to seriously and carefully reconsider the broad scope and massive overreaching proposal. The tribe is in the process of weighing the options should the Navy continue with their modernization plan. “We’re hoping the Navy will do the right thing,” said Mori.         Sign up to receive updates and the Friday File email notices. Support local, independent news – contribute to The Fallon Post, your non-profit (501c3) online news source for all things Fallon. y
       


Share
Rate

Comment
Comments
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 1
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 2
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 3
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 4
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 5
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 6
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 7
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 8
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 9
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 10
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 11
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 12
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 13
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 14
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 15
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 16
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 17
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 18
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 19
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 20
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 21
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 22
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 23
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 24
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 25
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 26
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 27
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 28
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 1Page no. 1
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 2Page no. 2
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 3Page no. 3
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 4Page no. 4
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 5Page no. 5
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 6Page no. 6
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 7Page no. 7
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 8Page no. 8
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 9Page no. 9
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 10Page no. 10
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 11Page no. 11
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 12Page no. 12
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 13Page no. 13
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 14Page no. 14
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 15Page no. 15
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 16Page no. 16
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 17Page no. 17
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 18Page no. 18
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 19Page no. 19
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 20Page no. 20
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 21Page no. 21
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 22Page no. 22
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 23Page no. 23
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 24Page no. 24
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 25Page no. 25
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 26Page no. 26
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 27Page no. 27
May 17, 2024 - Aurora Borealis Lights Up Western N - page 28Page no. 28
Ad
SUPPORT OUR WORK