Deep Creek Mountains, Nevada-Utah border

The Goshute Indian Reservation lacks job opportunities and needs economic development

RCAC is working with tribal members to develop renewable and alternative energy utilities that would spur job and business growth and also draw tribal members searching for work back to the reservation

The Goshute Indian Reservation is in the remote Deep Creek Mountains straddling the Nevada-Utah border 60 miles from the nearest town. Approximately 125 tribal members live on the 112,870-acre reservation. Many tribe members have left the reservation because there are no job opportunities on the reservation, and it is too far to commute to work. And, the reservation’s remote location makes job creation and economic development difficult.

Working with RCAC, the Tribe created a Renewable Energy Standing Committee (RESC) to examine and develop potential energy options and economic development opportunities.

RCAC secured a $63,900 U.S. Department of Agriculture grant and agreed to provide the 100 percent match required for this project.

The committee is planning the development of a recreational vehicle park for area gold miners on land in Ferguson Springs, Nevada, which will be totally powered by renewable energy. Ferguson Springs is about 30 miles from the reservation and along the road to Gold Hill, Utah, where there are existing gold mines. One of the major challenges facing the project is the cost of distributing the power to potential customers. The focus on renewable energy translates into an immediate project development cost savings, since building a power line in the area could cost up to $850,000.

The tribe is also interested in developing a business to assemble and distribute products that improve energy efficiency or produce alternative energy. The tribe is particularly interested in SIPS (Solar Insulated Panels) manufacturing, as there are currently no SIP manufacturers in Utah. The closest is in Jerome, Idaho. This economic development could attract some of the tribal members who have left the reservation to return.