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On November 4, 2015, the Department of the Interior released the 2015 Status Report for the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program or Program), which summarizes its implementation to date: Since December 2013, the Program has paid nearly $715 million to individual landowners and has restored approximately 1.5 million acres of land to tribal governments.

The Report highlights the Program's launch of two efforts to help determine its next implementation schedule. The two-pronged planning initiative seeks input from tribal governments and landowners who are interested in participating in the Program. Eligible tribal governments not already scheduled for implementation are invited to formally indicate their interest in participating in the Program no later than March 11, 2016. More information is available to tribal leaders at: Additionally, the Program has launched a nationwide recruitment drive to identify and engage landowners who are interested in learning more about this opportunity.

The Department also announced that Deputy Secretary Connor will host a Listening Session on March 3, 2016, at the Albuquerque Convention Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1:00-5:00 p.m. MT.