Last week the Obama Administration and the Department of Interior released the draft plan for implementing the Cobell Land Consolidation Program. In the works since May 2011, in consultation with tribal leaders, the Cobell Land Consolidation Program will facilitate the voluntary buy-back of fractioned trust and restricted free land interests owned by individual American Indians.
With a fund of $1.9 billion the Plan is focused on three areas:
- Program 1: Targeted land Fractionation Program to reduce land fractionation in highly fractionated areas
- Program 2: Willing Seller Program to provide flexibility in purchasing fractionated interests from willing sellers
- Program 3: Cooperative Agreements with Tribes to recognize the Department of Interior is exploring criteria that would allow tribes to seek cooperative agreements
The comment period for the draft plan is open until March 19, 2012. For more information on the Cobell Trust Land Consolidation Program please visit: www.doi.gov/cobell . To read the entire White House press release click here.