News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), introduced legislation that will allow that Hoh Indian Tribe to relocate.  Congressman Norm Dicks (D-6th) also introduced identical legislation in the House of Representatives today. The bill, the Hoh Indian Tribe Safe Homelands Act, would transfer approximately 37 acres of land owned by the National Park Service to the Tribe, and would take into trust land the Tribe has purchased or had transferred to it.

“For members of the Hoh Tribe, flooding is a constant threat,” said Senator Murray. “Each year, Tribal members can only watch as more of their homes and land washes away. This legislation will allow the Hoh Tribe to relocate to higher ground, and create a safe area for the Tribe to rebuild their community. I’m pleased that the surrounding community has come together to support this effort.” 

“Year after year, the Hoh Tribe must battle Mother Nature as ocean waters threaten to wash away their homes and tribal buildings," said Senator Cantwell.  "These native peoples deserve to live in a place where sandbags aren't the norm, and it is our trust responsibility to take action. Transferring the ownership of a piece of federal land should never be taken lightly, but in this unique situation, we are in the position to help these people rest a little easier.”

Rep. Dicks also worked with Hoh members and the Park Service to find the appropriate property for the Tribe’s relocation.  He said the agreement that was reached, authorized by the legislation introduced today, “offers the Hoh Tribe a safer and more secure future and an opportunity to sustain the Hoh culture for many more generations.” 

The Hoh Indian Reservation, established by Executive Order in 1893, consists of approximately one square mile, but its habitable acreage has been reduced over time due to flood and storm events.  Currently, 90 percent of the existing reservation is located within a flood zone, and has flood repeatedly over the past five years.