President to sign land deal to protect Quileute Tribe from tsunami

By:  Ursula Reutin
Source: My Northwest

If a tsunami hit the Washington coast, there's a good chance an entire native community along the Quillayute River would be wiped out.

President Obama plans to sign a land deal that will allow the tribe to move a school and other buildings out of the tsunami zone and onto higher ground in Olympic National Park.

Senator Maria Cantwell said on Wednesday that hundreds of Quileute tribe members have lived in fear for far too long.

"This is an important victory to give the Quileute tribe and those on the reservation peace of mind," said Cantwell.

As part of the agreement, the tribe gets 785 acres in the park and in exchange, will assure the public will have access to coastal beaches on trails that go through tribal lands.

Congressman Norm Dicks' office says President Obama could sign the land deal with the Quileute Tribe as soon as Friday.

The tribe has about 700 members and hundreds live in the "lower village" along the Quillayute River