WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) announced today that it has approved leasing regulations submitted by the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, a federally recognized tribe in Oregon, under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership (HEARTH) Act of 2012.
The approval establishes the Band’s authority to govern and manage leasing of their Indian lands for agriculture, business, residential, solar, and wind energy evaluation purposes without additional BIA review or Secretarial approval. The BIA anticipates approval of the leasing regulations will enable the Band to expand its opportunities for economic development and business activities.
“I am pleased to announce the approval of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua’s leasing regulations under the HEARTH Act,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “The HEARTH Act is an innovative way for tribal governments to have greater control over the use of their trust lands, which is integral to our mission of supporting tribal self-determination and sovereignty. Over 60 tribes have had their leasing regulations approved to date, and we are looking forward to seeing more submit their applications.”
The HEARTH Act made a voluntary alternative land-leasing process available to federally recognized tribes by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955 (25 U.S.C. 415). It established the authority of those tribes to develop and implement their laws governing the long-term leasing of Indian trust lands for residential, business, agricultural, renewable (solar and wind) energy, and other purposes. Once a tribe’s HEARTH application is approved, it is authorized to negotiate and enter into leases without further approvals by the Secretary of the Interior through the BIA.
Tribes may submit HEARTH applications to the BIA for agricultural and business leases of tribal trust lands for a primary term of 25 years and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each. Leases of tribal trust lands for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes may be executed for a primary term of up to 75 years.