Date: April 12, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a Federal Register notice published today, the Department of the Interior announced it will host its fourth annual Listening Session on April 25, 2017, at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, WA, to hear directly from tribal leaders and individual landowners on the progress of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program).
The Program recently released its annual Status Report, which highlights the steps taken to date to consolidate fractional interests. While feedback is welcome related to any aspect of the Program, the following areas are of particular interest this year: (1) potential adjustments to locations where implementation may occur, including adding or removing locations and/or returning to locations where purchase offers have already been sent; (2) the consideration of off-reservation tracts; and (3) long-term options to address fractionation.
The Buy-Back Program was created to implement the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing landowners. Consolidated interests are transferred to tribal government ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.
Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than $1.1 billion has been paid to landowners, nearly 680,000 fractional interests have been consolidated, and the equivalent of nearly 2.1 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments. Tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in more than 13,500 tracts of land.
WHO: Department of the Interior officials from the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and Buy-Back Program.
WHAT: 2017 Land Buy-Back Program Listening Session
WHEN: Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 1-5 p.m. Pacific Time
WHERE: Tulalip Resort Casino, 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd, Tulalip, WA 98271