Law | National | Trust

BIA finalizes regulation to address land-into-trust appeals





The Bureau of Indian Affairs has finalized a regulation that addresses appeals of land-into-trust decisions.

The regulation was written in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Salazar v. Patchak. In that case, the justices ruled that opponents can sue the BIA for up to six years after the land is placed in trust.

As a result, the BIA says it is no longer necessary to wait 30 days for any appeals to be filed. The new rule eliminates the waiting period, which was established by regulation in 1996.

“This rule provides greater certainty to tribes in their ability to develop lands acquired in trust for purposes such as housing, schools and economic development,” Assistant Secretary Washburn said in a press release. “For such acquisitions, the rule will create a ‘speak now or forever hold your peace moment’ in the land-into-trust process. If parties do not appeal the decision within the administrative appeal period, tribes will have the certainty and peace of mind to begin development without fear that the decision will be later overturned.”

The final rule will be published in the Federal Register tomorrow. It will go into effect 30 days later.

Forthcoming Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions: Appeals of Land Acquisition Decisions (To Be Published November 13, 2013)

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BIA accepting comments on rule for land-into-trust appeals (05/29)
BIA proposes regulation to address land-into-trust appeals (05/24)