Opinion: DOI 'out of control' on land-into-trust
"The Department of the Interior’s (DOI) recent covert action taking 18 acres of "excess" land into trust for the Oneida Indians from the now defunct U.S. Air Force Space Command Complex located in the Town of Verona demonstrates two things: The DOI remains above the law and out of control, and we the people have no meaningful federal representation.

Congressmen John McHugh and Michael Arcuri, along with Sen. Charles Schumer, are all talk and no action. It’s evident that they are more upset with the secrecy of the DOI’s action than the legality of the action itself. It’s also evident that had the DOI notified these representatives of its impending decision, they would have done nothing to stop it.

The DOI is basing the right to take this land into trust on a law that allows excess government land to be placed into trust if it is located within the reservation of a tribe of Indians that is recognized as eligible for services by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Is this land "excess government land"? How was this land obtained by the federal government? Who holds legislative jurisdiction over this land, the state or the feds? If the feds are no longer using this land for its intended purpose, should it revert back to Verona or to the state? And most importantly, is this land within the boundaries of an Indian reservation?"

Get the Story:
Scott E. Peterman: Land trust decision shows feds out of control (The Rome Sentinel 1/17)

Another Story:
Judge to review placing land in trust for Oneidas (The Syracuse Post-Standard 1/17)

Related Stories:
New York tribes hopeful on land-into-trust (1/12)
Lawmakers angry over Oneida Nation trust transfer (1/8)
Surplus Air Force land in trust for Oneida Nation (1/7)