The House measure exempted tribes, but Kesner Flores, interim director of the National Tribal Environmental Council, is concerned that the Senate version of the bill contains no such exemption. The House version affects swaths of land along both the northern and southern U.S. borders, which he says are home to numerous tribes.
“That actually are homelands to a lot of native nations, who have their sovereignty issues and the nations; endangered species, and habitat and other things that are there that might be impacted, or could be impacted and probably will be impacted by this bill.”
Flores says the Obama administration and federal public lands rules require that tribes be consulted before making these types of major changes. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., whose district includes some areas affected by the bill, voted against it.