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Navajo Families Squatting on BLM Land

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FARMINGTON (AP) — Around 45 Navajo families are living on U.S. Bureau of Land Management near Bloomfield without permission.

The Farmington Daily Times reports that because the families are living in unauthorized areas they are unable to hook up to water and electrical services.

Dave Evans, the manager for the BLM Farmington District Office, said Wednesday that negotiating a land swap between the federal government and the Navajo Nation could take years because the exchange requires input from the local and state BLM offices.

Unauthorized occupancy was discussed Wednesday during a meeting of the BLM’s Farmington Resource Advisory Council. The 10-member council provides the BLM input on resource and land management issues on local public lands.

The BLM said it is working to better map the area for potential settlers.

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