Committee Passes Murray-Cantwell Bill to Help the Hoh Tribe Move Out of Flood Plains

Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homelands Act Would Transfer 37 Acres of Federal Land to the Hoh Tribe

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) applauded passage of the Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homelands Act, in the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.  The bill would transfer approximately 37 acres of land owned by the National Park Service to the Hoh Tribe, and would take into trust land the Tribe has purchased, or been given.  Cantwell, a member of the Committee, 

co-sponsored the legislation introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) earlier this year.


“It’s time to move the Hoh Tribe out of the flood plains and out of harm’s way,” said Senator Cantwell.  “The Hoh Tribe’s battle with Mother Nature has gone on for far too long.  I am pleased the Indian Affairs Committee voted to take our responsibility to the Hoh Tribe seriously and transfer the ownership of a piece of federal land.” 

The Hoh Tribe occupies a one square mile reservation on the banks of the Hoh river where it meets the Pacific Ocean in Washington Sstate.  Ninety percent of the Reservation now sits in a flood plain and 100 percent of the land they live on sits within a Tsunami zone. The Reservation’s acreage has been reduced over the years due to flood and storm events. 


The Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homelands Act would:

  • Transfer 26 acres of the Olympic National Park to the Tribe.  The transfer of this plot of land is needed to connect upland parcels the Tribe has already purchased with the existing Reservation.  Currently, the only road accessing the Reservation crosses this piece of land.
  • Take into trust several pieces of land enumerated in the bill.  They include:

·        The 37 acre parcel of Federal Park land mentioned above.

·        A 190 acre former tree farm the Tribe has purchased.

·        A 160 acre parcel that was conveyed to the Tribe by the State of Washington.

·        A 66 acre parcel that the Tribe has purchased.

·        A 12 acre parcel that the Tribe has purchased.


All of the parcels listed above are covered by the gaming prohibition included in the bill. The land taken into trust would be considered part of the Hoh Reservation.