The Confederated Tribes of the Goshute is opposing the Southern Nevada Water Authorities’ (SNWA) proposal to pump groundwater from vast regions of Nevada and Utah and pipe it to Las Vegas. Even though our people have been challenging this project for many years, we have largely been ignored, and told not to be concerned as “the aquifer surely ends at your reservation boundary and this pipeline will not affect you.” Thus far, studies conducted by the project’s proponents have failed to accurately describe Goshute interests, our history, land rights, or our concerns.
The proposal threatens to deplete water resources throughout the region and will significantly impact plants, wildlife, and the way of life of local residents. In response to this threat, the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute has carried out cultural mapping, hydrologic and wildlife studies, as well as descriptions of the impacts of this proposal on Goshute People.
Our elders pass spiritual and cultural information to our younger generations
The Goshute have retained strong ties to their homeland and still depend heavily on wildlife and plant species on and off reservation. Most of the Goshute reside on the 113,000 acre reservation at the base of the Deep Creek mountain range. The Goshute however, once occupied millions of acres of the Great Basin, a region where they have retained treaty rights and maintain use through hunting, gathering, ceremonial, and spiritual activities.
The Great Basin Desert
The Goshute visit and care for sacred sites throughout the region. They hold many springs, meadows, and wetland areas – including the plants and animals found within them – as integral components of their cultural and spiritual way of life. Each resource the Goshute depend upon for vitality is dependent directly or indirectly on water. Unlike private property owners, the Goshute cannot simply sell their water rights to Las Vegas and buy land elsewhere. The pumping and piping of ancient groundwater from sacred basins in our area is a direct threat to the health of the ecosystem, which we have stewarded for millennia.
CTGR relies on water from springs on and off the reservation
The Goshute and the Great Basin are inseparable. As a land and a culture, the Goshute and the integrity of the Great Basin ecosystem will live or die together.