Since 1971 the Tule River Tribe has sought to secure its federally reserved water rights on the South Fork of the Tule River in California through a storage project on its reservation. In 2007, after almost 30 years of advocacy, the Tule River Indian Tribe, represented by NARF, successfully settled its water rights claims with the affected state-based interested parties. Eighty-five percent of the South Fork watershed is contained within the Tribe’s 48,000-acre Tule River Reservation. The settlement agreement secures a domestic, municipal, industrial, and commercial water supply for the Tribe.
To fully settle the terms of the agreement, though, Congress must ratify it, bind the United States, and make its terms federal law. The Tribe has been seeking federal legislation to ratify the Settlement Agreement and authorize appropriations to develop the water rights through the creation of water storage and delivery infrastructure on the reservation. Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Bryan Newland visited the Tule Reservation in July 2022.
Learn more about the settlement on the Tribe’s website at https://tulerivertribe-nsn.gov/water/.
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