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Land Acquisitions - Fee to Trust

April 2020: Pending Fee to Trust Applications
APRIL 2019: Pending Fee to Trust Applications
This report is divided by BIA Regional Offices. The Central Office is below. The remainder are in related items below.
May 2018: Pending Fee to Trust Quarterly Report
This report contains 154 applications submitted by 63 Tribes totaling (8,847.94 ac.) of land. There are 57 applications for contiguous lands ( 3,442.47 ac.), 55 applications for Off Reservation lands (3,442.47 ac. ), 34 for on reservation (595.81 ac. ), 8 are mandatory acquisitions (147.99 ac. ), and 1 listed as other for an off reservation casino approximately 90 miles off its original Rancheria (128.00ac. – BIA has stated this may be sent back to the Tribe) It is important to note, that contiguous lands may qualify for gaming. Once land is in trust, a Tribe may change the intended use of the land which may permit gaming.
July 2017: Fee to Trust Quarterly
This report contains 150 applications submitted by 59 Tribes totaling 10,313.80 ac of land. There are 60 applications for contiguous lands (3,959.37 ac.), 56 applications for Off Reservation lands (5734.58), 29 for on reservation (381.74), 3 are mandatory acquisitions (110.11), and 1 listed landless tribe. for an off reservation casino approximately 90 miles off its original Rancheria (128.00ac). One is for an easement. In total there are 6 fee to trust applications listed as gaming. Nevertheless it is important to note, that contiguous lands may qualify for gaming. Once land is in trust, a Tribe may change the intended use of the land from non-gaming to gaming.
August 31, 2017: Secretarial Order 3355 - Streamlining NEPA
Aug. 31, 2017 Streamlining National Policy Act Reviews of Executive Order 13807
Memo released prior to the Obama administrations departure
Nov. 2016: Fee to Trust Quarterly Report
This report contains 123 applications submitted by 57 Tribes totaling 9,887.55 ac of land. There are 48 applications for contiguous lands, 47 applications for Off Reservation lands of which 9 are for gaming, 5 are mandatory acquisitions and 23 are for on reservation acquisitions. One is for an easement.
June 28, 2016: Aquisition of Title to Land Held in Fee or Restricted Fee Status (Fee To Trust Handbook)
April 17, 2016: EPA Tribal Enforcement Process
April 2015: Pending Fee to Trust Transactions in California
As of April 2015, the BIA lists 102 fee-to-trust transactions from 50 California Tribes. These applications encompass almost 12 thousand acres of land (11,620.94) to be taken out of the regulatory authority of the State. These transactions include 14 on reservations acquisitions, 38 acquisitions that are for contiguous lands[1], 5 mandatory transactions and 1 listed as other. These properties are complicated by public right of ways, utility easements and senior water rights which affect civil regulatory relationships not considered when Congress first enacted the Indian Reorganization Act. Because of the nature of tribal sovereignty there is little recourse for resolving disputes that may occur, such as blocking access to private properties, well water interference, or incompatible developments such as an outdoor gun range or race track within 1000 feet of elementary schools, churches, homes or watershed basins.
July 3, 2014: Washburn Overturns Regional Director Recommendation to Acquire Land in Trust
Nov. 12, 2013: Asst. Sec. Washburn issues new policy on Fee To Trust over 200 ac.
"Restoring tribal homelands is critical to promoting tribal self-determination and self-governance and remedying the negative effects of repudiated policies of allotment and assimilation."
June 7, 2013: Chairman Smith to AG Harris
Chairman Smith of the Pala Band is also the Chairman of the CALIFORNIA FEE TO TRUST CONSORTIUM - This is a tribal consortium whose mission is to streamline the fee to trust process while working at the BIA. Each letter of comment written at the behest of the Governor is filed under each tribes name in controversial applications
Jan. 2013: Extreme Rubber Stamping - The Fee To Trust Process of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934
Kelsey J. Waples Extreme Rubber-Stamping: The Fee-to-Trust Process of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934, 40 PEPP. L. REV. 1 (2012) Law Review
Feb 3, 2011: South Dakota v. Salazar
This is a fee to trust challenge to the Secretary's positive determination to take land into trust.
2011: New - Fee to Trust Guidance
U.S. Department of Justice Guidelines for Title Transfer
October 14, 2010: Quarterly Report of Fee to Trust Applications
This is a response to a FOIA sent by Stand Up For California
Aug 3, 2010: List of California fee to trust applications in process
approximately 137 applications, more than 15,000 ac. of land to be taken off of the tax roles and out of state regulatory authority.
July 2, 2010: Dear Tribal Leader
New Fee to Trust Guidelines
June 18, 2010: DOI Memo on Non Gaming Applications
Guidiance on non gaming applications for fee to trust.
March 2010: MOU - Consortium of Tribes
In 2006, the consortium was investigated by the DOI Inspector General and found flawed. A new MOU has been developed and the consortium continues operation.
Jan. 7, 2010: NIGC Indian Lands Determination - Section 20
March 2, 2009 Memo to Regional Directors Carcieri v. Salazar.pdf
Memo directs Regional Directors to gather specific information on all tribes in their regions. To continue to process applications except for those with cloudy questions regarding whether or not the tribe was under federal jurisdiction in 1934.
Dec. 2002: Memo Restricted Fee Lands
DOJ memo on restricted fee lands. 40 USC 3111
March 18, 2008: Williamson Act Waiver
The U. S. Dept. of Justice grants a blanket waiver conditioned upon compliance with the following as to each parcel acquired in the future subject ot use restriction contained in a williamson Act Land Conservation Contract.
The Williamson Act - a brief summary
The Williamson Act has State tax implications on land and is sometimes an issue in tribal land acquisitions. This is a brief summary of the act to assist in responding in the federal environmental review process.
Indian Reorganization Act Sections 1-19
Related item: Ten Years of IRA - includes the 1935 vote and tribal populations
TITLE 25 Section 465
The Secretary of the Interior is authorized, in his discretion, to acquire, through purchase, relinquishment, gift, exchange, or assignment, any interest in lands, water rights, or surface rights to lands, within or without existing reservations, including trust or otherwise restricted allotments, whether the allottee be living or deceased, for the purpose of providing land for Indians.
Section 465
§ 465. Acquisition of lands, water rights or surface rights; appropriation; title to lands, tax exemption
Title 25 151.10
Code of Federal Regulations for "On Reservation" acquisitions.
Title 25 151.11
Code of Federal Regulations - Off Reservation acquisition
25 CFR 1.4 State Reg of Indian Trust Land
May 2008: Fee to Trust Handbook
May 2008: Asst. Sec. Carl Artman on Indian Lands
Feb. 2008: Testimony of Carl Artman - fee to trust
April 2002: Larry E. Scrivner, Acting Director Trust Responsibilities
This is a 2002 presentation to the New England School of Law describing the fee to trust process. It is a detailed and thorough review of the process. MUST READ.
May 30 1996: Implementing a 30 Day Rule
Implementing the final rule establishing a 30-day waiting period after final administrative decisions to acquire land into trust for non-gaming purposes.
Reservation Proclmation vs Indian Trust Lands
There is a significant difference in the status of these lands. Two examples from the Federal Register are below in related items.
Sept. 24, 1993: BIA NEPA HANDBOOK for fee to trust process

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