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COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
ROBERT C. BYRD, West Virginia, Chairman
TED STEVENS, Alaska
MILTON R, YOUNG, North Dakota
MARK O. HATFIELD, Oregon
HENRY BELLMON, Oklahoma
JAMES A. MCCLURE, Idaho
PAUL LAXALT, Nevada
Penelope S. Barrick
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 1980
THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 1979
Senator McCLURE. The Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior will now resume hearings for nongovernmental witnesses who wish to testify in connection with appropriations for the Department of the Interior and related agencies, including the Forest Service, Department of Energy, and Indian health and education programs under the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
In all, we have 4 days scheduled for outside witnesses, and we have a full schedule. I would ask that witnesses keep their summary remarks within the time allowed so that the large number of witnesses, many of whom traveled long distances, can be heard.
We must insist on the 5-minute time limit or we will be forced to adjourn without hearing all of the scheduled witnesses.
I would, however, like to remind the witnesses that their prepared statements will be printed in the record. We would prefer that you not read your full statement, but simply cover the main points and highlight any area that you feel needs special attention.
This will make for a much better hearing and will allow for all to be heard. When your name is called, please present copies of your statement to the staff, take your seat at the witness table, and proceed.
The first witness, Gary Morishima, Quinault Indian Tribe from Washington. You have the opportunity to demonstrate to everyone else how you stay within the 5-minute limit.
QUINAULT INDIAN TRIBE
STATEMENT OF GARY MORISHIMA
Mr. MORISHIMA. Thank you, Senator. I will try to do better than that. Thank you very much for the opportunity to testify on behalf of the Quinault Tribe. We are here to represent our full needs before Congress and state to you that the Bureau of Indian Affairs budget, as it's presently formulated, represents a sum less than 2 percent of the amount necessary to support our educational efforts and provide adequate health care, housing, develop our resources, and protect our rights.
We look very much with alarm at the proposed decreases in the Federal budgets regarding Indian programs. We recognize very well that these reductions will not fall upon the agencies themselves, but will impact the tribes. We will receive reduced services.
We know that we will have to take cuts in our travel programs. We also recognize, however, that the Bureau of Indian Affairs will take care of its own needs first and leave the tribes alone to share the full burden. These kinds of efforts will essentially frustrate tribal self-determination efforts.
Let me give you an example. On our tribe we have not had any sort of increase at all for the last 4 years to compensate for inflationary costs of operating our self-determination contracts. Yet the Bureau has been receiving annual pay cost increases. Our tribe fully recognizes that it is not possible, nor desirable, for Congress to provide for all of our needs. We believe that the funds which are available should be used to help the tribe obtain a greater degree of self-sufficiency and reduce its dependence on the Federal Government.
In this regard, we would like to concentrate the balance of our testimony upon a program of vital importance to our tribe and to our future: The development of our reservation forest resources.
We request that Congress appropriate $50 million to the tribe to establish a revolving loan program for the purpose of developing the forest resources of the Quinault Reservation.
To give you a short background, our reservation was entirely allotted the forestry management practices that had devastated our forest resources. Our land must be consolidated for forest management purposes. The need has been recognized for over 60 years by more than three generations by officials of the tribe and the Federal Government alike. Yet, no action has been taken.
We propose to use the fund to acquire approximately 15,000 acres of land, develop that land as commercial forest property under the management and guidance of a trained team of advisory experts. We propose to use income derived from the harvest of the timber to repay the Treasury and to replenish the revolving loan for use in further acquisition programs.
There is ample precedent for such a program with the Forest Service under 16 U.S.C. 567. We are asking that the Federal Government authorize this program as an investment in the future of the Quinault Tribe and the Nation as a whole.
Thank you very much.
Senator McCLURE. Thank you. Does the Bureau have the authority to establish that loan fund, or make that loan, or will it require additional legislation?
Mr. MORISHIMA. We believe there is existing authority that is open to the interpretation of the Appropriations Committee. The authority we believe could be used stems from several sources: The Snyder Act, the Indian Reorganization Act allows for an annual