Aug 7, 2017

Washington, DC (August 4, 2017) Congressman Steve Pearce today released the following statement after the U.S. Army notified the Department of the Interior (DOI) that it is transferring administrative jurisdiction of nine parcels of the former Fort Wingate Army Depot to the Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo in New Mexico:

“This land transfer is a huge step forward in a multi-decade fight that I became involved with when I first arrived in Congress. For too long the Army delayed this transfer of land to the tribes. After 12 years of dedicated work, I got legislation passed requiring the Army give the land back to the tribes. Today's action is a major milestone– but this is still only the beginning. It’s vital to the strength and future of the tribes that this land gets put back in their rightful hands as it will allow them to have greater control, access, and economic benefits from the use of it. I remain committed to transferring the remaining parcels as quickly as possible.”

On August 3rd, administrative jurisdiction of nine parcels of land, totaling 2,496 acres, was officially transferred from the Army to the Department of the Interior. This is the first property transfer under the Return of Certain Lands At Fort Wingate to The Original Inhabitants Act,which was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY2017. The transfer will include all of the property for which the Army has remediated.