Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Deadlines approaching for over $100M in land buy-back offers






A view of the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon. Photo from Facebook

The Interior Department is reminding individual Indians of upcoming deadlines in the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

More than $100 million in offers recently went out to landowners on five reservations. The deadlines to accept are coming up on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Arizona (March 6), the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana (March 7), the Coeur d'Alene Reservation in Idaho (March 23), the Umatilla Reservation in Oregon (March 30) and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota (April 20).

Participation in the program is entirely voluntary. Response rates have varied on each reservation but have generally ranged between 30 percent to 40 percent.

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 November 2013, DOI has paid nearly $340 million to individual Indians, according to a press release. The equivalent of more than 540,000 acres has been restored to tribes.

Get the Story:
Deadline Approaching for Land Purchase Offers on Pine Ridge (AP 2/23)

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