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Washoe Tribe of Nevada & California

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Placer County has arranged to give the tribe a 2.8-acre site where arrowheads, stone tool fragments and other artifacts have been found. The land is part of a 35-acre site near the Squaw Valley USA ski resort slated for development by the county. John Ramirez, county parks administrator, said the prehistoric site would be given to the Washoe after an environmental review of the proposed park is completed in about two months. The park, tentatively set for construction next year, will feature two playgrounds, a soccer field and paved bike path. Tribal Chairman Brian Wallace has pressed for a return of tribal homelands in the Tahoe Basin to the Washoe who traditionally spent their winters in the Carson Valley 60 miles south of Reno, and their summers in the nearby Lake Tahoe area. Last month, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., introduced legislation to transfer 24.3 acres of land north of Skunk Harbor from the federal government to the Washoe Tribe. The measure was agreed to nearly three years ago during the Lake Tahoe Summit convened by Reid and President Clinton. The tribe has more than 1,500 members in the two states. Reid's legislation bans any commercial use of the land and assures its use for tribal cultural activities.