Washington, D.C.– Senator Cortez Masto published an oped in the Nevada Appeal discussing her draft legislation which proposed a Fallon Naval Station expansion in exchange for delivering benefits to a variety of stakeholders, many of which are unrelated to the Naval Air Station. The Senator’s discussion characterizes the bill as prioritizing the interests of tribes in Nevada.
This characterization is surprising to the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribe, which has been battling the expansion since 2016 and has yet to see the full proposal from the Senator. In response, the Tribe released a statement:
“We have long opposed expansion, because it would allow bombing on our ancestral lands and deprive the Tribe of access to areas that are essential to our culture and way of life. The Navy has already destroyed our origin site at Fox Peak with its target practice, and bombed our most important medicine rock, which is now located in the Bravo-20 range. The expansion proposal deepens these wounds and threatens similar harms over hundreds of thousands of acres.
The Tribe understands that the Navy has exerted great political pressure and that Senator Cortez Masto has attempted to create what in her view is an acceptable compromise. However, we have the most to lose from expansion and remain deeply concerned that any benefits of the proposal come at the Tribe’s expense. This is fundamentally unjust.
The Navy has not consulted with us in good faith. And we have yet to see the full legislative proposal. We have lived and prayed on these lands for more than 10,000 years. We take the prospect of damage to these cultural resources very personally and seriously. Given what is at stake, we should have been allowed to see any legislative proposal sooner and more fully. When we do see the full proposal, we will carefully evaluate the proposal and consider any good faith effort to strengthen it and better protect the Tribe’s interests. These considerations take time, and we support a compromise of renewal of the existing base and discussions of any expansion in a future NDAA rather than an attempt to resolve complex and important issues at the last minute. “
Background can be found here.
Please contact Chairman Len for further comment at 775-427-9948.