DOI won't comment on new land-into-trust policy

The Bush administration didn't consult tribes before adopting a new land-into-trust policy and now it won't be commenting on it either.

CQ Politics asked the Interior Department about the policy, which makes it harder for tribes to acquire land away from existing reservations. But spokesperson Shane Wolf wouldn't comment, citing pending litigation.

Wolfe is apparently referring to a lawsuit filed by the St. Croix Band of Lake Superior Chippewa of Wisconsin. The tribe says the new policy violates federal law.

Assistant secretary Carl Artman has testified before Congress about the guidelines he issued in January. He has defended the lack of consultation, calling the changes internal to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Get the Story:
Reservations Rebuffed (CQ Politics 3/24)

Off-Reservation Gaming Policy:
Guidance on taking off-reservation land into trust for gaming purposes (January 3, 2008)

BIA Letters:
Big Lagoon Rancheria | Chemehuevi Tribe | Hannahville Indian Community | Jemez Pueblo | Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa | Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians | Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians | St. Regis Mohawk Tribe | Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohican Indians | Seneca-Cayuga Tribe | United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians | Other January 4 Tribes

Related Stories:
Artman suggests mileage limit for off-reservation land (02/28)
House Resources hearing on land-into-trust policy (2/27)
House hearing on new land-into-trust policy (2/18)
BIA starts new year with off-reservation gaming policy (1/7)
Rejected tribes want casinos too far from reservations