DOI releases land consolidation plan for Cobell settlement

The Interior Department today released a draft plan to implement the land consolidation portion of the Indian trust fund settlement.

The settlement sets aside $1.9 billion to purchase fractionated interests from willing Indian beneficiaries. The land will be restored to tribes.

“Interior’s continued rapport and outreach through consultations with Indian Country are crucial components to accomplishing truly open government-to-government communication,” Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes said in a press release. “We are thankful for the participation of all of the tribal leaders as we continue to move forward with this landmark program in a manner that incorporates tribal priorities and promotes tribal participation in reducing land fractionation in a timely and efficient way.”

The draft plan will be open to 45 days of public comment. A notice is being published in the Federal Register tomorrow.

Additionally, DOI is publishing a notice tomorrow of the first meeting of the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform. It will take place March 1-2 at the main DOI building in Washington.

Persons who wish to attend must RSVP by February 24 to Space is limited, according to the notice.

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