Media Contact: Tozier - Int. 4306 | Information Service
For Immediate Release: September 4, 1959

Ten plans submitted by Indian rancherias in California for distribution of lands and other assets among the individual members under a 1958 law have now been given final approval by the Department of the Interior, Assistant Secretary Roger Ernst announced today.

In total, the plans provide for distributing 904.79 acres among 137 individual Indians.

Six of the plans have also been ratified by referendum vote among the Indians affected and are now being put into effect.

The Act of August 18, 1958, under which the distribution plans were approved, applies to 41 small tracts of Government land in California set aside for Indian use and known as rancherias. Seventy-five other Indian areas in the State are not affected. The law was enacted at the request of the Indians involved and covers a total of 7,617 acres.

Under the procedure established in conformity with the law, the plans for distributing the lands and other assets are drawn up on each rancheria by the Indians themselves and submitted .to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. After receiving tentative approval from the Bureau, they are posted in a public place on the rancheria for 30 days.

If no protests are received, the plan is given final approval by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs. If protests are received, the plan is submitted for consideration by the Secretary of the Interior. Following final approval, a referendum is held among the distributees. If the vote is favorable, immediate steps are taken to put the plan into effect.

Once the property has been transferred, the Indian beneficiaries are no longer eligible by the terms of the 1958 law for special services because of their status as Indians. Thereafter all laws of the United States and of the several States apply to them as they do to other citizens.

The distribution plan most recently given final approval by the Department was for the Lytton Rancheria in Sonoma County. It covers 50 acres to be distributed among nine individual Indians.

Following is a list of the other nine rancherias whose plans have been given final approval, together with the acreage involved and the number of Indian distributees in each case:

Rancheria Acres People
Strawberry Valley Town Lot 1
Table Mountain 160 51
Chicken Ranch 40 16
Nevada City 75.48 2
Cache Creek 160 3
Paskenta 260 2
Buena Vista 67.5 2
Park West 35.13 5
Scott's Valley 56.68 46

Sixteen other plans have been submitted by rancherias and are now in process prior to the stage of final approval.