Sample Letter to Congressman Jerry Lewis Request for Field Hearings

Congressman Jerry Lewis

1150 Brookside Avenue - Suite J-5
Redlands, CA 92373
Phone: (909) 862-6030
Fax: (909) 335-9155

RE: Land into Trust Reform: Request for Field Hearings in California

Dear Congressman Lewis,

On behalf of the _________community group_____, we are writing to request you to encourage the Honorable Don Young, Chairman of the subcommittee on Indian and Native Alaskan Affairs to hold field hearings in California.

The field hearings must address the process of transferring fee lands into trust. As you may know, California has 137 applications currently on file at the Pacific Regional Office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs encompassing more than 15,000 acres of land. At the July 12th hearing in Washington, D.C. on HR 1234 and HR 1291 discussing the merits of a “Clean Carcieri Fix”, Chairman Young stated he was considering field hearings. It became evident after testimony that there are many unintended consequences to the current fee to trust system.

In our small community of ____ residents, the ___TRIBE___ currently has pending/proposed  application for a huge Las Vegas style casino, land that has been acquired over the past __years specifically for this purpose. The people of Joshua Tree have urged our City Council to pass a resolution against this casino or enter here appropriate story.

California is significantly affected by the fee to trust process:

  • Taking land out of the authority of the state affects the management of shared resources for all citizens, especially in our situation so close to our downtown.

  • It complicates the ability of law enforcement to ensure the safety of both the tribal and non-tribal public.

  • It has a significant fiscal impact on local and state budgets.

  • It presents unfair competition to the business community that in turn has a rippling effect on revenue dollars to local and state budgets.

We request that you send a letter to Chairman Don Young, inviting him to hold 2 Field Hearings in California, one in Southern and one in Northern CA, so that all affected stakeholders are given an opportunity to present the many unintentional consequences of the current land into trust system. We have suggestions that will enhance, and make more suitable, a process that currently lacks objective standards, fairness and transparency.


Contact information

JTCA Contact,
Nov 3, 2011, 12:59 PM