The Confederated Tribe of Goshute accused the federal government Monday of continuing to trample on its rights to water and a future.
In an angry press release, the tribe's council denounced the Bureau of Land Management's final Environmental Impact Statement for the Southern Nevada Water Authority's Las Vegas water project. "They're going to let Las Vegas steal our water, build a pipeline that's over 300 miles and eight feet wide and decimate our people," said CTR chairman Ed Naranjo, whose tribe resides in Ibapah, in central Utah.
In May, City Weekly told the story of the Goshute's fight to stop the pipeline, which also threatens land that they and other tribes view as central to their history, religious identity and practices. You can read the story here.
CTR vice chair Madeline Greymountain reiterated the tribe's position that not only have the tribal water rights not been quantified, but the federal government and its agencies have failed to consult with the tribes on the project.
"The BLM is shoving this massive and reckless project down the throats of Indian tribes, despite the fact that the federal government has a trust responsibility to preserve and protect all Indian tribal trust assets, which definitely includes water," Greymountain said. The council condemned the Bureau of Indian Affairs for failing to have a dialogue with the local tribes about the project.
The Goshutes and the Great Basin Water Network expect to submit comments to BLM on its final EIS during a 60-day comment period.
Meanwhile, a Salt Lake Tribune story today—which you can read here—revealed that the Southern Nevada Water Network is considering taking Utah to the U.S. Supreme Court over its lack of a decision on signing a negotiated deal that would allow Nevada to pump water that straddles the two states' border.