Puyallup, Suquamish tribes get OK for land trust purchases

The U.S. Department of Interior recently approved land trust acquisition requests by the Puyallup and Suquamish tribes. The Seattle Times and The Olympian had the Associated Press story while the Kitsap Sun printed a detailed article about the Suquamish Tribe’s land. From the story:

The U.S. Department of Interior cleared the way Wednesday for the Suquamish Tribe to fold a major piece of land on the Port Madison Indian Reservation back into trust status.

The seven acres is under the resort portion of the Suquamish Clearwater Hotel and Resort.

Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman said the tribe’s leaders appreciate the Department of Interior’s move.

“We’re really happy about that,” he said. “It’s righting a wrong, little by little.”

Returning land on tribal reservations back into trust status means the federal government will hold it for the benefit of future tribal members. It also makes the land subject to tribal governance and not state governance, and exempts the land from property taxes and zoning rules.