The Paiute-Shoshone Owens Valley Board of Trustees, “OVBT”

OVCDC is governed by the seven member Paiute-Shoshone Owens Valley Board of Trustees (OVBT) consisting of the five member Bishop Paiute Tribal Council and one elected Trustee representing the Big Pine Paiute Tribe and one elected Trustee representing the Lone Paiute Tribe.


The “OVBT” was created by the “Trust Agreement for Relief and Rehabilitation Grant to Unorganized Bands” in 1939, pursuant to an Act of congress, the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1938.

The Congressional grants to the Tribes in 1939 were a consequence of congress in 1937, agreeing to a land exchange with the City of Los Angeles during the years in which Los Angeles was buying property and water rights throughout the Owens Valley. Three thousand acres of trust lands were held in trust for the Tribes by the U.S.

Congress appropriated funds to be used for the construction of individual homes on the new reservation lands. In the trust agreement between the United States and the three Tribes, the Owens Valley Board of Trustees was created. The Board’s original purpose was to control the assignments of property, use of funds, and homes and improvements created with those funds.

The three Tribes in 1962 adopted the “Ordinance Governing Land Assignments on Bishop, Big Pine, and Lone Pine Reservations.” It governed the administration of the assignments, and agreed to the creation of the OVBT. The ordinance states: ” the recognized governing body of the Owens Valley Indian Bands is the Owens Valley Board of Trustees.”

The Board of Trustees created OVCDC in 1976. OVCDC is a Tribal consortium overseen by the Owens Valley Board of Trustees.