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August 25, 2003

Tribe gets new try at Coos Head site

COOS BAY, Ore. (AP) -- Faced with a lawsuit, a federal agency is reconsidering a Coos Bay tribe's bid to purchase prime Coos Head land.

The U.S. General Services Administration, which handles abandoned federal property, agreed to review the tribe's late application for the 43 acres of waterfront, officials said.

The site, near Charleston, was abandoned by the Air National Guard in 1996 and designated excess property in March. The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians applied to acquire the land.

But the Bureau of Indian Affairs failed to forward the application. Instead, the agency accepted applications from Coos County and the Oregon Coastal Environments Awareness Network.

On July 11, the tribe filed a lawsuit asking the property agency to accept its application and close the bidding to all but federal agencies.

The agency agreed, making the county and environmental organization ineligible.

The Coos Bay tribe plans to build a destination resort, hotel and interpretive center on the site, according to tribal administrator Francis Somday.

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