With assistance from the local representative in Congress, the Hoh Tribe in northwest Washington state is seeking to relocate its reservation to higher ground on the Olympic Peninsula. On September 25, 2008, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks introduced House Bill 7073 that would designate the land as part of the Hoh reservation and transfer 37 acres of Olympic National Park property to the Tribe.
The Hoh reservation was created in 1893, and has remained in the same location to the present day. The Tribe, located on about 640 acres of flood plain at the mouth of the Hoh River south of the town of Forks, has purchased an additional 425 acres of land over the past year to relocate its village. If the expansion and relocation program is authorized, national park land would connect the current reservation with the newly acquired land. The tribe will assume responsibility for maintaining the natural wildlife corridor on the park property and could not use it for development.
The relocation program was prompted by consistent flood problems that have plagued the Tribe’s lands since the reservation was created over 100 years ago. Over 90% of the reservation’s 133 residents currently live in a flood zone, and the Tribe’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean leaves residents susceptible to potential tidal surges and tsunamis. Upon Congressional approval of the park land transfer, the tribe could relocate housing in about three years.
Track the Status of House Bill 7073.
Find more information regarding the Hoh Tribe.