Editorial: Regulate Oneida Nation trust lands
"Regardless of any land-into-trust decision on Oneida Indian Nation land, it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure the environment is protected.

That means there needs to be strict regulations on Nation development, especially on wetlands. And those rules should not be linked to any trust decision — they should apply in all cases of development.

An O-D story published last week highlighted the ambiguity of the laws relating to regulation of activity on American Indian land, such as the construction of Atuynote Golf Course, the Nation’s state-of-the-art golf course that has hosted two PGA Tour events, on a wetland.

The Nation has long said its own regulations are as strict as those of state and local governments, or more so.

“Indian people have always been conscious of the environment and their surroundings,” Nation spokesman Mark Emery said. “The development the Nation has done follows that belief.”

But Assemblyman David Townsend, R-Sylvan Beach, questioned enforcement on the golf course construction. “They did what they wanted to do with no oversight,” he said.

Regardless of who is correct, there needs to be guidelines that are followed no matter what the status of the land."

Get the Story:
Editorial: U.S., Nation need plan on development (The Utica Observer-Dispatch 5/16)

Relevant Documents:
Final EIS (March 2008) | Draft EIS (November 2006)

Federal Register Notice:
Notice of Availability of Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Transfer From Fee to Trust of Parcels Owned by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York in Oneida and Madison Counties, New York (February 22, 2008)

From the Indianz.Com Archive:
BIA official calls high court ruling 'quite depressing' (March 31, 2005)
Major defeat for Oneida Nation in Supreme Court case (March 30, 2005)

Relevant Links:
Oneida Nation Trust - http://www.oneidanationtrust.com
Oneida Nation, New York - http://www.oneida-nation.net
Indian Nation Fee-to-Trust Land Acquisition Applications in New York State - http://www.dec.ny.gov/public/888.html
Oneida Indian Nation's Land Into Trust Application, Madison County - http://www.madisoncounty.org/motf/OINTrustMain.html

Sherrill v. Oneida Nation Decision:
Syllabus | Opinion [Ginsburg] | Concurrence [Souter] | Dissent [Stevens]

Related Stories:
Editorial: Clarity on Oneida Nation land-into-trust (5/8)
Interior delays decision on Oneida land-into-trust (5/7)
Sen. Schumer seeks delay on Oneida land-into-trust (5/6)
Editorial: Questions on Oneida Nation land-into-trust (5/1)
Decision on Oneida land-into-trust due this week (4/28)
Wisconsin tribe objects to Oneida land-into-trust (4/25)
Rep. Acuri: Explaining Oneida land-into-trust rider (4/10)
Rep. Arcuri tried to block Oneida land-into-trust (4/9)
Cason 'elusive' on Oneida Nation decision (4/4)
BIA still reviewing Oneida Nation land-into-trust (3/31)
Oneida Nation, county meet for first time in years (3/28)
Oneida Nation asks BIA for all 17,000 acres in trust (3/25)
County discusses Oneida Nation land-into-trust (03/07)
Cason to follow through on Oneida land-into-trust (2/25)
BIA to rule on Oneida trust lands request (2/22)
Cason to brief counties on Oneida land-into-trust (2/22)