WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior announced that nearly 1,300 landowners with fractional interests at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation have been sent more than $13 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations. Landowners who receive offers have until Mar. 4, 2022, to consider and return accepted offers.
The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to consolidate fractional interests in trust or restricted land within a 10-year period set to expire in November 2022. As of Jan. 7, 2022, approximately $45 million remains.
“The Department is pleased to continue land consolidation work through the Land Buy-Back Program at the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation,” said Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Bryan Newland. “Consolidating land enables tribal governments to protect cultural and natural resources, develop housing, and plan for new or expanded community centers. Landowners are encouraged to contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center to learn about their land and their options.”
Interests consolidated through the Program are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership. Program purchases can unify reservation lands for tribal benefit and use, such as economic development, infrastructure, housing, cultural preservation and rights-of-way.
Various informational tools are available to landowners, who are encouraged to think strategically about their options and carefully consider how to use the funds they receive from selling their land. For example, the Program’s website includes:
- Detailed frequently asked questions, available at https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/faq
- Additional information to help individuals make informed decisions about their land, available at https://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram/informeddecisionmaking.
Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or [email protected] with questions about their land and/or purchase offers, or to request a copy of an appraisal report for any appraised tract in which they have an owner interest. Landowners can also contact their local Bureau of Trust Funds Administration office with additional questions.