Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Interior, Haaland reverses Trump effort on tribal land

The Interior Department will roll back several Trump-era steps that complicated the process by which Native American tribes can place land into trust, the department announced Tuesday morning. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, the first Native American to hold the post, is issuing an order to return jurisdiction over trust applications to regional Bureau of Indian Affairs directors. Her order reverses a 2017 move by the Interior Department under former President Trump that placed these decisions under the jurisdiction of department headquarters. “At Interior, we have an obligation to work with Tribes to protect their lands and ensure that each Tribe has a homeland where its citizens can live together and lead safe and fulfilling lives,” Haaland said in a statement. “Our actions today will help us meet that obligation and will help empower Tribes to determine how their lands are used – from conservation to economic development projects.” Haaland also revoked three Trump-era Interior opinions that the department said unduly complicated the process by which tribes seek to place land into trust...The amount of land placed into trust by Interior shrunk to 75,000 acres during Trump's four years in office, from 560,000 acres during former President Obama's two terms...MORE

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