Bill Would Return Northwest Iowa Land Seized In The 1970s To Winnebago Tribe

Washington, DC — The four US senators from Iowa and Nebraska are working together on a bill that would return a tract of land that was seized from the Winnebago Tribe in the 1970s.

The land along the Missouri River and was taken through the power of eminent domain to become a recreational area, but those plans never materialized. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the 16-hundred acres, which are maintained by the Iowa DNR as a wildlife area, need to be returned — something he says should’ve been done long ago.

Grassley was scheduled to meet in his Washington DC office today (Tuesday) with the chief of the Winnebago Tribe, which he’s done before on several occasions.

Some five decades ago, the US Army Corps of Engineers planned to use the land both for a recreational area and to stabilize the banks of the Missouri River, but those plans stalled and were eventually tabled. Part of the land on the Nebraska side of the Missouri was given back to the tribe, but the land on the Iowa side was not. Grassley says this should be a relatively simple transaction to return the land to the tribe, but it takes an act of Congress to make it happen.

Grassley is co-sponsoring the bill along with Iowa Senator Joni Ernst and Nebraska Senators Deb Fischer and Pete Ricketts — all Republicans.