Cobell Lawsuit & Settlement | National

DOI targets 21 reservations for next phase of Cobell buy-back

Michael L. Connor, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior.

The Interior Department is targeting 21 reservations as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.

The reservations are primarily located in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions. But officials said they are ready to add others to the list as they seek to consolidate fractionated Indian interests across the country.

"The goal of the buy-back program is to unlock fractionated lands so they can benefit tribal communities. We remain committed to reaching as many interested landowners as possible," Deputy Secretary Michael Connor said in a press release.

As part of efforts to expand the program, Connor will hold a listening session later this month in Portland, Oregon. Tribes and individual landowners are invited to the meeting on May 29.

The $3.4 billion Cobell settlement authorized $1.9 billion for land consolidation. DOI is using the money to buy fractionated interests from landowners in order to return the land to tribal governments

So far, DOI has completed offers worth a total of $61.2 million on three reservations. Nearly 175,000 acres have been returned to the Oglala Sioux Tribe, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Makah Nation.

The Cobell settlement requires the money to spent within 10 years. That puts the deadline at December 2020.

Get the Story:
21 reservations next up in consolidation program (AP 5/15)
Reservations targeted in consolidation program (AP 5/15)

Federal Register:
Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations Under Cobell Settlement (April 30, 2014)

Related Stories:
DOI to announce next steps for Cobell land buy-back program (5/14)
DOI extends $1.6M buyback offers for Makah Nation landowners (05/09)
DOI to hold listening session on Cobell land buy-back program (04/30)
DOI looks to spend $2.55M on Makah Nation land buy-back (04/21)
Ten reservations account for biggest share of Cobell buyback (04/17)
DOI extends $1.2M in offers to Makah Reservation landowners (04/15)
Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate reach agreement for Cobell buy-back (04/08)
Rep. Young open to an extension for Cobell buy-back program (4/4)
Audio from House subcommittee hearing on Cobell land buyback (4/3)
Larry Roberts: Answers about the Cobell land buy-back program (4/3)
DOI makes transfer of nearly $580K into Cobell scholarship fund (4/2)
Members of Oglala Sioux Tribe respond to Cobell buyback offers (3/28)
House subcommittee to hold hearing on land buy-back program (03/24)
DOI land buy-back boosts economy on Pine Ridge Reservation (03/19)
DOI announces $100M in land offers on Pine Ridge Reservation (3/18)
Deadline approaches for first Cobell land consolidation offers (1/27)

Join the Conversation