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Representatives debate Gila River leases, land transfers

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The House of Representatives maybe considering H.R. 3985, a proposed amendment to the Act entitled "An Act to authorize the leasing of restricted Indian lands for public religious, educational, recreational, residential, business, and other purposes requiring the grant of long-term leases", approved Aug. 9, 1955, to provide for binding arbitration clauses in leases and contacts related to reservation lands of the Gila River Indian Community.

Also up for consideration on Capitol Hill today is H.R. 706, a directive to the Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton to convey certain properties in the vicinity of the Elephant Butte and the Caballo Reservoirs in New Mexico. Water conservation in the region is a major concern for tribal governments in the region and is going to be a hotly debated topic in the next round of Congressional elections.