Law | National

HCN Blog: BIA enters new era with streamline lease regulations

"Last Wednesday, to rather muffled fanfare, the Department of the Interior released a new set of rules that will make it easier for tribes and Indian landowners to lease their property for economic development. Native Americans will be able to do the things that private landowners do all the time: apply for a mortgage; establish a business; and lease surface rights for wind and solar development. Since 1961, when the Department established the current guidelines for leasing Indian land, permit applications have languished for years at a time. The new agreement limits how long the BIA can sit on an application, much like the time limits that state building codes place on municipalities.

These new rules may seem obvious to the rest of us, but to understand just how monumental, and overdue, a change like this is, one would need to crawl into the annals of Supreme Court reasoning, which, when involving Indian Country, has always been a paternalistic affair."

Get the Story:
The GOAT Blog: End of an era? (High Country News 12/5)

Relevant Documents:
Fact Sheet | Q&A | Comparison of Existing and New Regulations | Final Rule

Related Stories:
BIA completes regulations to speed leasing in Indian Country (11/28)
BIA promises 'enforceable' deadlines for leases on trust lands (11/29)

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