Presentation on theme: "Cobell Trust Land Consolidation Program Regional Tribal Consultation."— Presentation transcript:
Cobell Trust Land Consolidation Program Regional Tribal Consultation
Background on the Cobell Settlement The Cobell settlement was approved by Congress on November 30, 2010 (“Claims Resolution Act of 2010”) and signed by President Obama on December 8, 2010. The $3.4 billion Cobell Settlement includes two major components: A fund of $1.5 billion for class members to compensate them for their historical accounting, trust fund and asset mismanagement claims. A $1.9 billion fund for the voluntary buy-back and consolidation of fractionated land interests.
Total amount for Land Consolidation Component of Settlement $1.9 Billion fund for the voluntary buy-back and consolidation of fractionated land interests Up to 15%, or $285 million, can be used for administrative costs As an additional incentive for land consolidation, up to $60 million, will be set aside to provide scholarships for higher education for American Indians and Alaska Natives $1.615 Billion for land purchase and scholarship fund (up to $60 million)
Trust Land Consolidation Fund Provisions of the Cobell Settlement Cobell’s Land Consolidation Program funds can be used for only specified purposes: 1.Acquiring fractional interests in trust or restricted lands, including administrative costs relating to such acquisitions. (Can not be used for the purchase of fee-lands). 2.For every land sale, a portion of the sale will be set aside in a Scholarship fund for Native American and Alaska Native students (up to a cap of $60 million) 3.Costs associated with supporting the work of the Secretarial Commission on Trust Reform.
Background on the Cobell Settlement Status of the Settlement: On December 21, 2010, U.S. Senior District Judge Thomas F. Hogan granted preliminary approval of the Cobell Settlement. On June 20, 2011, Judge Hogan approved the settlement after holding an extended hearing on the subject. On August 4, 2011, Judge Hogan entered final approval, triggering the 60 day appeals window. The settlement becomes “final” and funds become available for disbursement after any appeal from Judge Hogan’s approval has been resolved.
Land Consolidation Timeline The Settlement sets out a 10-year time frame for use of the funds. This time frame begins once all appeals are resolved. This time frame has not begun. According to the Settlement, after 10-years, any unused funds return to Treasury. We anticipate using all funds.
Key Features of the Land Consolidation Program The Cobell settlement’s land consolidation program tracks existing statutory authority that is set forth in Indian Land Consolidation Act (ILCA). The purpose of the ILCA and the Cobell Land Consolidation Program is described in the law as follows: “To acquire as many fractionated interests as economically feasible and to consolidate these land interests into Tribal ownership to promote and enhance Tribal self-determination, economic, social and cultural development needs.”
Government-to-Government Consultations: How to Best Implement the Cobell Land Consolidation Program The internal Cobell implementation team has identified several potential guiding principles for moving forward with the Cobell Land Consolidation Program. We seek input on these potential guiding principles, and any other issues identified by tribal governments.
Potential Guiding Principles for the Cobell Land Consolidation Program POTENTIAL APPROACH: PROGRAM SHOULD SERVE MULTIPLE GOALS GOAL 1: REDUCE LAND FRACTIONATION IN HIGHLY FRACTIONATED AREAS GOAL 2: IMPLEMENT A PLAN THAT IS TIME AND COST EFFICIENT GOAL 3: CONSOLIDATE LAND IN AREAS OF TRIBAL PREFERENCE (TO BE DETERMINED THROUGH TRIBAL CONSULTATION)
GOAL 1: REDUCE LAND FRACTIONATION IN HIGHLY FRACTIONATED AREAS Strategy 1: Prioritize Highly Fractionated Lands Strategy 2: Target Individual Indian Money (IIM) Account Owners Strategy 3: Target Landowners Having the Most Number of Purchasable Interests Strategy 4: Target Landowners Having the Most Number of Tracts
GOAL 2: IMPLEMENT A PLAN THAT IS TIME AND COST EFFICIENT Strategy 5: Target Lands Requiring Minimal Prep Work Prior to Offers Being Made Strategy 6: Target Tracts Which Have Landowner Consent Strategy 7: Target Tracts with Largest Interest Per Owner
GOAL 3: CONSOLIDATE LAND IN AREAS OF TRIBAL PREFERENCE (TO BE DETERMINED THROUGH TRIBAL CONSULTATION) Strategy 8: Target Tracts Identified by the Tribes Strategy 9: Target Tracts with Economic Opportunity for Tribes
Next Steps Incorporate Tribal input through government- to-government consultations Develop Cobell Land Consolidation Program implementation plan Conduct outreach and additional consultations Proceed with implementation