Skull Valley
The Skull Valley Indian Reservation is the Goshute
The Goshutes are a band of Western Shoshone Native American. There are two federally recognized Goshute tribes today: the Confederated Tribes of the Goshute Reservation and Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians of Utah of the Skull Valley Indian Reservation.-Name:The name Goshute derived either from...

 Indian reservation
Indian reservation
An American Indian reservation is an area of land managed by a Native American tribe under the United States Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs...

 located approximately 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Utah. The name of the city is often shortened to Salt Lake or SLC. With a population of 186,440 as of the 2010 Census, the city lies in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, which has a total population of 1,124,197...

. It belongs to the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians of Utah, a federally recognized tribe.

The reservation comprises 28.187 square miles (73.004 km²) of land in east central Tooele County
Tooele County, Utah
Tooele County is a county located in the U.S. state of Utah. As of 2000, the population was 40,735 and by 2005 was estimated at 51,311. Its county seat and largest city is Tooele....

, adjacent to the southwest side of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Wasatch-Cache National Forest
Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest is a United States National Forest located primarily in northern Utah , with smaller parts extending into southeastern Idaho and southwestern Wyoming . The name is from the Ute word Wasatch for a low place in high mountains, and the French word Cache meaning to...

. A population of 31 persons resided on its territory as of the 2000 census
United States Census, 2000
The Twenty-second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13.2% over the 248,709,873 persons enumerated during the 1990 Census...

. It is the site of a proposed temporary storage facility for used nuclear fuel (sometimes also referred to as radioactive waste
Radioactive waste
Radioactive wastes are wastes that contain radioactive material. Radioactive wastes are usually by-products of nuclear power generation and other applications of nuclear fission or nuclear technology, such as research and medicine...

), causing much controversy among some Goshute Native Americans, some of Utah's government officials and many local advocacy groups. The facility was licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, but the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management refused to give the permission needed for the facility to operate.

Tribal government

The tribe's headquarters is in Grantsville, Utah
Grantsville, Utah
Grantsville is the second most populous city in Tooele County, Utah, United States. It is part of the Salt Lake City, Utah Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 6,015 at the 2000 census. The city has grown slowly and steadily throughout most of its existence, but rapid increases in...

. The current tribal Chairwoman is Lori Bear Skiby, replacing her late father Lawrence Bear. The office of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute is at 1198 N. Main Street in Tooele, Utah.

Tribal membership is 134, with 15 to 20 living on the reservation. The tribal police have jurisdiction on the reservation.


On October 12, 1863, the band first signed a treaty with the US federal government. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 signed an executive order established the reservation.

During the Dugway Sheep Incident
Dugway sheep incident
The Dugway sheep incident, also known as the Skull Valley sheep kill, was a 1968 sheep kill that has been connected to United States Army chemical and biological warfare programs at Dugway Proving Ground in Utah...

 on April 12, 1968, 6,000 sheep in Skull Valley were killed by VX gas released in a test from the nearby U.S. Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

 Dugway Proving Ground
Dugway Proving Ground
Dugway Proving Ground is a US Army facility located approximately 85 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah in southern Tooele County and just north of Juab County...

. Dugway and Skull Valley have also been featured in Rage (1972 film)
Rage (1972 film)
Rage is a 1972 film starring George C. Scott, Richard Basehart, Martin Sheen and Barnard Hughes. Scott also directed this drama about a sheep rancher who is fatally exposed to a military lab's poison gas....

, The Andromeda Strain
The Andromeda Strain (film)
The Andromeda Strain is a 1971 American science-fiction film, based on the novel published in 1969 by Michael Crichton. The film is about a team of scientists who investigate a deadly organism of extraterrestrial origin that causes rapid, fatal blood clotting. Directed by Robert Wise, the film...

, Outbreak
Outbreak (film)
Outbreak is a 1995 American disaster film starring Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Spacey. The film was directed by Wolfgang Petersen. In addition, Outbreak features Cuba Gooding, Jr., Donald Sutherland, and Patrick Dempsey....

and Species
Species (film)
Species is a 1995 science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker, Marg Helgenberger, and Natasha Henstridge...


The Dugway Proving Grounds lies just south of Skull Valley
Skull Valley
The Skull Valley Indian Reservation is the Goshute Indian reservation located approximately 45 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah. It belongs to the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians of Utah, a federally recognized tribe....

. To the east is a nerve gas
Nerve agent
Nerve agents are a class of phosphorus-containing organic chemicals that disrupt the mechanism by which nerves transfer messages to organs...

 storage facility and to the north is the Magnesium Corporation plant which has had severe environmental problems. The reservation was a proposed location for an 820 acre (3 km²) dry cask storage
Dry cask storage
Dry cask storage is a method of storing high-level radioactive waste, such as spent nuclear fuel that has already been cooled in the spent fuel pool for at least one year.. These casks are typically steel cylinders that are either welded or bolted closed. When inside, the fuel rods are surrounded...

 facility for the storage of 40,000 metric tons of spent nuclear fuel. Only 120 acre (0.4856232 km²) are for the actual facility, and the rest of the land is a buffer area. After 8½ years after application, this facility was licensed by the NRC
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is an independent agency of the United States government that was established by the Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 from the United States Atomic Energy Commission, and was first opened January 19, 1975...


External links

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