South Fork Band Council . . .
The South Fork Band Colony covers approximately 13,050 acres in northeastern Nevada, 28 miles south of the city of Elko. The reservation sits on rugged high desert terrain typical of northern Nevada and Utah. It is located just west of the Humboldt National Forest and in the foothills of the Ruby Mountains. The colony was established by Executive Order in 1941 under the provisions of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. Land purchases between 1937 and 1939, totaling 9,500 acres, were put toward the newly established band's land base. Subsequent land purchases brought the colony to its present size.
The South Fork Band Colony is one of four separate colonies that comprise the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians. The South Fork Band was one of the groups of Western Shoshone that refused to move to Duck Valley and remained living in the headwaters of the Reese River, near the present Battle Mountain Colony, until lands in that area were purchased for them in 1937.
The South Fork Band Colony is under the overall governance of the Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians. The Te-Moak Tribal Council has total jurisdiction over all tribal lands, though the colonies retain sovereignty over all the other affairs. The South Fork Band has its own council as well, composed of seven members. Members include a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and five other members. All council members serve three-year terms. The corporate charter ws ratified on December 12, 1938, while the band's constitution and by-laws were ratified on August 26, 1982. South Fork also belongs to the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada.
The South Fork Band currently has 2,800 acres under cultivation, primarily in hay for consumption by its livestock herd. This herd numbers over 700 head, primarily of cattle, but also horses.
The tribe owns some military surplus machinery, which consist of a grader, a backhoe, and a small crawler, all of which are occasionally used for maintenance projects on the reservation.
For the South Fork Band, cattle-raising represents the second most significant source of tribal income behind federal contracts.
The tribe has several projects in the planning stage, including a tribal store, expansion of the tribal livestock herd, a child care facility, and commercial hunting and fishing operations.
The band is considering the development of a recreational fishing industry on the reservation. It has also directed some research into the region's fisheries for the Nevada Fish and Game Commission.
Though the tribal government actually employs very few people, the tribe's primary source of income is the various federal contracts administered by the Council.
Tough the colony is currently undeveloped, its beautiful naturl surroundings represent perhaps its most commercially viable resource. Located at the foothills of the scenic Ruby Mountains, the possibilities for development of an RV park, a motel, or even a resort are being considered.
The tribe owns a 13-passenger shuttle van for transporting members to Elko and the neighboring colonies.
State Highways 228 and 46 provide road access to the colony from Elko and points beyond. The nearest air, bus, and rail service is located in Elko, 28 miles from the reservation. UPS and other trucking companies provide direct service to the tribal community.
The tribe maintains a community center, which houses the tribal administration at the town of Lee. Health care services are provided by the Indian Health Services. Propane is supplied by a local distributor while electricity is provided on an individual basis to the 45 residences on the reservation by the regional electrical utility. Water is provided primarily through individual wells, though 15 of the reservation residences share a large well and storage tank. Sewer service is provided through individual septic tanks. Students on the reservation attend public schools in Elko.
Te-Moak Tribe of Western
Elko County, NV
South Fork Band Colony
P.O. Box B-13
Lee, Nevada 89829
Fax: (775) 738-0569
Total area: 13,049 acres
Tribally owned: 13,049 acres
Total labor force: 158
High school graduate or higher: 44%
Per capita income: $6,689
Total reservation population: 75
Tribal enrollment: 260
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