Sun Jun 2nd, 2013
Southern Ute Drum
Members of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council took a tour on Monday, May 20 of the Redding Ranch, a 2,000-acre property on the east side of the reservation the council hopes to soon convert to trust status.
The tribe acquired the picturesque ranch, located near the entrance to Archuleta Mesa, in September 2005, said Lands Division Head Germaine Ewing. It previously belonged to the family of W.A. Redding, which used its cabin as a hunting lodge. Since March 2011, the tribe has been working with the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to convert the property from fee to trust status, under which the federal government holds the legal title but the beneficial interest remains with the tribe.
Ewing said acquiring the ranch “met the goals and objectives of the Lands Consolidation Program,” approved in 2002, which seeks to bring oversight of properties on the reservation under tribal control.
Roughly 800 acres of the property sit outside the exterior boundary of the reservation — meaning that, if successfully converted, it would actually increase the overall size of the reservation.
Making the trip were Chairman Jimmy R. Newton Jr. and councilmen Howard D. Richards Sr., Alex Cloud and Aaron V. Torres. Joining them were Steve R. Herrera Sr. and Amy Barry of the Executive Office, Ewing, Range Division Head Jason Mietchen, Agriculture Division Head Kevin Mallow and Forestry Division Head Brian Gideon.
The council had requested the trip because the future use of the property is in question. For several years, the tribe has had a custodial and residential use agreement with tribal member Winterfawn Rey, who has cared for it and made a variety of improvements. That agreement expires at the end of this year.