Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Deadline for Purchase Offers Fast Approaching for Landowners with Interests at Pine Ridge, Makah Reservations

The Department of the Interior announced in December 2013 that owners of fractionated land interests at

the Pine Ridge and Makah Reservations were the first to receive purchase offers under the Department’s

Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program). The Pine Ridge Reservation is among the

most highly-fractionated locations in the United States; landowners with purchasable interests have been

located in 46 states across the country.

Owners Must Respond Soon. The due date for the first round of purchase offers is quickly approaching,

with responses due between January 29 and February 10, 2014. Purchase offers are valid for 45 calendar

days from the date of the Cover Letter that is included in the Offer Package provided to owners.

Staff Ready to Answer Owner Questions. Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at

(888) 678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for

American Indians (OST) office, contact their tribe’s staff working with the Buy-Back Program, or find more

information at http://www.doi.gov/buybackprogram.

Sellers Receive Fair Market Value. The Buy-Back Program was created to implement the land

consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided a $1.9 billion fund to purchase

fractionated interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers, at fair market value, within a 10-year

period. Interested sellers will receive payments directly into their IIM accounts. Consolidated interests will

be transferred to tribal governments for uses benefiting the tribes and their members.

Sellers receive fair market value for their land, based on objective appraisals. In addition, sellers also receive

a base payment of $75 per offer, regardless of the value of the land. Some owners have already received

more than $100,000 for their interests (offer amounts will vary based on the particular interests held).

Interests purchased from individuals through the program will be restored to Indian tribes.

Outreach Events Are in Progress. For more than a year, tribes and Interior have conducted outreach

events throughout Indian Country, such as pow-wows, community meetings, and large Indian

organizational gatherings to get the word out about the program and give landowners the opportunity to

gather information in order to make informed decisions about their land. Additional events are scheduled to

occur in the next two weeks in Neah Bay and Auburn, Washington, regarding Makah fractional interests,

and in Rapid City, South Dakota, and communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation. For information about

this week’s event for Makah, contact Dale Denney at 360-645-3106. For details about the Pine Ridge events,

contact Georgine Looks Twice at 605-867-2610.

Participation Is Voluntary. Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary and selling land does not

jeopardize a landowner’s ability to receive individual settlement payments from the Cobell Settlement.

Cobell Settlement payments are being handled separately by the Garden City Group, (800) 961-6109.

 

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