The Department of the Interior (DOI) announced in the attached December 20, 2012, FEDERAL REGISTER notice a series of consultation sessions to be held with tribes regarding the Initial Implementation Plan for the “Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations,” (Buy-Back Program ) which will establish the process for DOI’s use of the Trust Land Consolidation Fund pursuant to the Cobell settlement. In addition to the consultation sessions, written comments may also be submitted by March 4, 2013.
The Secretarially-established Buy-Back Program is intended to reduce through purchase the number of fractional interest properties owned by individuals. After purchase, the properties would then be consolidated into “tribal land bases for the beneficial use of tribal communities.” The Implementation Plan will:
• Outline initial goals and priorities
• Summarize key parameters and operational concepts for the Buy-Back Program
• Outline ways in which tribes might participate in the Buy-Back Program through cooperative agreements
• Describe the primary land consolidation processes—outreach, land research, valuation, and acquisition
The one-day consultation sessions will be held as follows:
January 31, 2013 Minneapolis, MN
February 6, 2013 Rapid City, SD
February 14, 2013 Seattle, WA
Please let us know if we may provide additional information or assistance with preparing comments on the Initial Implementation Plan for the Land Buy-Back Program.