/ Modified mar 9, 2018 10:35 a.m.

Northern Arizona Leaders to Discuss Hopi Land Swap

The exchange would settle a long-standing federal commitment to the tribe.

Hopi flag thumb Flag of the Hopi Nation, adapted from www.hopi-nsn.gov.

City and county officials will meet in Flagstaff on Monday to discuss whether thousands of acres of national forest land will transfer to the state.

The land swap would settle a long-standing federal commitment to the Hopi.

In 1996, Congress approved an agreement to resolve a decades-old land dispute with the Hopi and Navajo tribes.

Last year when former Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie heard of the coal plant’s decision to close, he decided to look for a new source of economic development. The tribe has relied heavily on coal. So Honanie asked Sen. John McCain to help with the land exchange that was promised in the settlement.

McCain's office suggested transferring 150,000 acres east of Flagstaff to the tribe. The State Department identified 83,000 acres of federal land that would have equivalent value to the state land.

The meeting is expected to draw many outdoor enthusiasts who worry about losing their beloved trails in the exchange.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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