The Department of the Interior (DOI) published in the attached FEDERAL REGISTER notice of September 15, 2011, its annual list of non-Bureau of Indian Affairs programs and activities that are eligible to be negotiated in a tribal Title IV self-governance (Tribal Self-Governance Act, PL 103-413) funding agreement for fiscal year 2012. The list is effective through September 30, 2012.
The notice contains listings of programs eligible for self-governance funding agreements for: the Bureau of Land Management (BLM); Bureau of Reclamation (BOR); Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE); Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRRR); National Park Service (NPS); Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS); U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); and Office of the Special Trustee (OST). As explained in the Response to Comments, certain changes were made to eligible activities under the BLM and NPS.
Because the attached list of programs for which tribes may request to negotiate a funding agreement is not inclusive, tribes may request to negotiate other programs or activities which are “otherwise available to Indian tribes or Indians,” or are “of special geographic, historical, or cultural significance” to the tribe. As limited by PL 103-413, inherently federal functions are not eligible for negotiation. The DOI states that the Secretary (not each non-BIA bureau as in prior years) will determine on a case-by-case basis “considering the totality of circumstances” whether a specific function is an inherently federal function.
The notice also lists the FY 2011 self-governance funding agreements by non-BIA bureau. The ONRR and USGS have no self-governance agreements with tribes while the BOR has five, NPS has three, FWS has two, and OST and BLM each has one.
For 2012, the non-BIA bureaus do not set a specific programmatic target number (for number of agreements to be negotiated). Rather, each bureau will negotiate agreements beyond the number already negotiated, upon request of a self-governance tribe.
If we may be of further assistance regarding the DOI notice of eligible programs, please contact us at the information below.