Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

DOI schedules listening session for Cobell Land Buy-Back Program






Michael Connor. Photo from Bureau of Reclamation

The Interior Department will hold a listening session on the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations on March 3, 2016.

The session will take place at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Deputy Secretary Michael Connor and Special Trustee for American Indians Vince Logan want to hear from tribal leaders and landowners about the program that has put more than $725 million into the hands of individual Indians.

"Together through our nation-to-nation engagement with tribal governments, we are focused on ensuring that landowners are aware of the program and are given every opportunity to make informed decisions about the potential sale of their land at fair market value," Connor said in a press release. "The Buy-Back Program is an exceptional opportunity that should not be taken for granted.”

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.

Participation is entirely voluntary. Any land that is acquired will be returned to tribes.

Since the first offers went out two years ago, Indian landowners have accepted nearly $721 million for their fractional interests, according to the program. The equivalent of more than 1.48 million acres has been transferred to tribal governments.

Related Stories:
Landowners on Lummi Nation see $4M in Cobell buyback offers (11/17)
Landowners from Swinomish Tribe see $3.8M for Cobell buy-back (10/27)
Colville Tribes expect to see $27.7M in Cobell buy-back offers (10/26)
Quinault Nation to see $19M from Cobell land buy-back program (09/21)
DOI signs five more cooperative agreements for Cobell land buy-back program (09/15)
Native Sun News: Lower Brule landowners will see Cobell offers (09/10)
Native Sun News: Lower Brule Sioux Tribe misses Cobell deadline (08/28)
Land buy-back hits milestone with over $500M in purchases (06/26)
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes see 4K acres from buy-back (06/18)
Landowners on Fort Peck Reservation see $54M in Cobell offers (06/11)
DOI sends over $230M in offers to Indian landowners in Montana (6/8)
Osage Nation expects to see offers from land buy-back program (05/28)
Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation sees $150M in land offers (05/07)
Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe prepares for Cobell buy-back offers (04/28)
Navajo Nation signs buy-back cooperative agreement with DOI (04/15)
Standing Rock Sioux Reservation sees $195M in buyback offers (04/06)
Navajo Nation considers agreement for land-buy back program (03/30)
DOI sends another $34M in offers on Rosebud Sioux Reservation (03/24)
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe seeks owners for buy-back program (3/19)
Lummi Nation signs cooperative agreement for Cobell buy-back (03/09)
DOI schedules listening session on buy-back program in Arizona (03/03)
Deadlines approaching for over $100M in land buy-back offers (02/24)
DOI signs land buy-back cooperative agreements with two tribes (01/30)
Osage Nation expects to see $7.4M in Cobell consolidation offers (1/27)
DOI sends $20M in land-buy back offers on Salt River Reservation (01/16)
DOI signs land buy-back agreements with Washington tribes (1/13