Oct 12

Resources for Transactions on Native American Land: The “Working on Indian Lands” site contains examples of leases, NEPA compliance, and federal authority information. The Tribal Energy and Environmental Information Clearinghouse and the US DOE Geothermal Resource Maps for most of the Western Tribal Areas are all useful resources. NEPA and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) do not apply to leases entered into by a tribe under a TERA, in the absence of a federal commitment or major federal action. However, other federal laws, such as the Clean Air Act (CAA) or the Clean Water Act (CWA), may continue to apply. “I will never open a store on Indian lands again,” said Benjamin Sullivan, owner of Kitchen, Bath & Closet of Palm Springs. The interior design store operates from a store in front of the demolished Ramon Drug building. Sullivan said he knew he was a tenant with no permanent right to space, but he had never heard of Agua Caliente landowners refusing to negotiate a new lease. There are three circumstances in which Indian tribes can negotiate without BIA authorization and enter into a lease. The first is when a strain is incorporated into 25 U.S.C 477, also known as Section 17 of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Section 17 allows the Minister of the Interior to issue constitutive acts for tribes. Incorporated tribes may lease trust or restricted Indian lands for up to 25 years without BIA authorization. The most widespread contemporary consequence of the chessboard is the leasing of land. In general, anyone can own a house or building on the reserve, but cannot own ownership of the land itself – instead, they pay rent to a landowner in Agua Caliente for the use of the country. The Agua Caliente and local communities regularly say that the success of one depends on the other and that they work for cooperation. They collaborate closely on most development projects, but it is necessary to obtain a Supreme Court ruling in 1977 before the tribe has the right to zone its own country, and urban planners and tribal planners have often clashed over the next decade. Today, the tribal council is in the midst of two high-recourse complaints, which could dramatically shift economic power in the area — one against Riverside County`s right to impose a certain tax on people who own property on the reserve, which could cause the county to lose US$29 million in tax revenue; and someone who argues that desert water authorities are violating the rights of the tribe by overspoining the groundwater of the Coachella Valley. . . .

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