On July 17, 2017, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians' leasing regulations under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership (HEARTH) Act. With this approval, the Tribe is authorized to enter into the following types of leases without BIA approval: Agricultural, residential, business, wind and solar, wind energy evaluation, and other authorized purposes.
The HEARTH Act of 2012 (the Act) makes a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to Tribes, by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955, 25 U.S.C. 415. The Act authorizes Tribes to negotiate and enter into agricultural and business leases of Tribal trust lands with a primary term of 25 years, and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each, without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior (the Secretary). The Act also authorizes Tribes to enter into leases for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes for a primary term of up to 75 years without the approval of the Secretary. Participating Tribes develop Tribal leasing regulations, including an environmental review process, and then must obtain the Secretary's approval of those regulations prior to entering into leases. The Act requires the Secretary to approve Tribal regulations if the Tribal regulations are consistent with the Department's leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162 and provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the Act. This notice announces that the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, has approved the Tribal regulations for the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians.