Community , Government

Congress passes bill allowing ENR to develop natural resource regulations

With a unanimous vote, the Fifth Osage Nation Congress approved a bill giving its blessing to the Nation’s Environmental and Natural Resources Department to develop regulations concerning the Nation’s natural resources.

On April 6, the Congress passed bill ONCA 17-35 (sponsored by Congresswoman Maria Whitehorn) that allows the ENR to have “the authority to draft, promulgate and implement such regulations as the (ENR Department) determines necessary to govern the development, regulation, use and preservation of the Nation’s natural resources.” The bill is now subject to consideration of action by Principal Chief Geoffrey Standing Bear.

Whitehorn said she sponsored the bill to update Osage law regarding natural resources since the Nation’s landscape has changed with the Nation now owning the 43,000-acre Bluestem Ranch and more regulations will be needed for managing Osage-owned land.

The bill states the ENR Department was previously granted supervisory authority by the Osage Tribal Council. It also notes “nothing in this act shall be construed to impede, supersede or otherwise interfere with the Osage Minerals Council’s constitutional authority to administer, develop and promulgate rules and regulations for the Osage Minerals Estate, which includes the oil, gas, coal and other minerals.”

During the session and committee meetings held in the Congressional chambers building, those public meetings (except executive sessions) will be live streamed at www.osagenation-nsn.gov/multimedia/live-media

The Congress next meets for Day 13 on April 10 at 10 a.m.