Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

DOI sends $20M in land-buy back offers on Salt River Reservation






A sign on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona. Photo from FHWA / DOT

The Interior Department has sent $20 million in offers to landowners on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona.

The offers were made under the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners have until March 6 to determine whether they want to sell their fractionated interests.

“I am encouraged by the momentum that we continue to see across Indian Country as the Department works with tribal nations to ensure that landowners receive prompt, reliable information about their chance to participate in this historic opportunity to restore Indian lands,” Deputy Secretary Michael Connor said in a press release today. “Payments through program sales are already making a significant difference for individuals, families and their communities."

The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement provided $1.9 billion for Indian landowners who want to sell their fractionated interests. DOI will pay "fair market value" as required by the Indian Land Consolidation Act.

Since the program started in winter 2013, DOI has concluded nearly $330 million in transactions with individual landowners. Nearly 540,000 acres have been returned to tribal ownership.

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