Participants in the Simnasho Powwow on the Warm Springs Reservation in Oregon. Photo: Alyssa Macy / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs
Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

Warm Springs landowners see nearly $3.7 million in Cobell offers



Landowners from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs are seeing nearly $3.7 million in offers for their fractional interests on the Oregon reservation.

The offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations went out to 677 individuals, according to the latest data. As participation in entirely voluntary, interested sellers have until April 24 to accept.

“The Buy-Back Program is a unique opportunity for landowners to consider fair market value offers for their interests in fractionated land,” said John McClanahan, the director of the effort at the Department of the Interior. “In collaboration with tribes and federal partners, the program works to provide landowners with information to help them understand their land, offer, and options. Supporting informed decisionmaking by landowners is a cornerstone of the program.”


The program was created by the $3.4 billion settlement to the Cobell trust fund lawsuit. To stem the fractionation of Indian lands, in which parcels become owned by a growing number of individuals, and to promote tribal self-determination, $1.9 billion was set aside to acquire the small interests.

As of March 16, more than 63,000 individuals have been paid $1.26 billion for their fractional holdings. The equivalent of 2.16 million acres has been restored to tribal ownership as a result.

The program has proven popular across Indian Country since its launch in December 2013. But the Trump administration has indicated that it won't ask Congress for additional land consolidation funds once the Cobell money runs out.

Warm Springs is one of the last 20 reservations where the buy-back will be implemented. With the funds drying up, the Trump team decided to focus on places where it believed the money would be put to the best use.

Obama-era Department of the Interior Report:
2016 Status Report: Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (November 2016)

Related Stories:
Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs sign agreement for Cobell buy-back program (October 18, 2017)
Landowners on Spirit Lake Nation see nearly $13 million in Cobell Buy-Back offers (October 2, 2017)
Piikani Money Campaign educates Blackfeet Nation citizens about Cobell payouts (September 12, 2017)
Landowners from Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes receive Cobell buy-back offers (August 24, 2017)
Tribes weren't consulted about being removed from Cobell buy-back program (August 7, 2017)
Trump administration moves in new direction with Cobell buy-back program (July 31, 2017)
Bad River Band benefits from Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (July 13, 2017)
Interior Department sends out another $13.1M in Cobell buy-back offers (June 26, 2017)
Cobell buy-back program keeps on rolling toward eventual end (June 6, 2017)
Colville Tribes worried about future of Cobell buy-back program (May 31, 2017)
Yakama Nation landowners weigh offers as Cobell buy-back winds down (May 25, 2017)
Trump administration ready to let Cobell program run out of funds (May 24, 2017)
Landowners on two reservations in Nebraska receive Cobell buy-back offers (May 22, 2017)
House panel sets hearing on future of Cobell buy-back program (May 16, 2017)
Yakama Nation landowners see $68M in Cobell buy-back offers (April 24, 2017)
Interior Department makes 'final' transfer for Cobell scholarships (April 13, 2017)
Cobell buy-back program on path to run out of funds under Trump (March 30, 2017)
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