Indigenous Peoples Zoning, Planning & Land Use

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The President’s FY2016 Federal Budget Request: Programs Relevant to Tribal Energy Development

The White House transmitted its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request to Congress on February 2, 2015. Overall, the budget includes over $7.4 billion in funding for clean energy technology programs across the federal agencies. ...more

New Proposed Rule on Valuation of Oil & Gas and Coal Leases

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue of the Department of the Interior recently issued a proposed rule to change the valuation process for the payment of royalties for oil and gas produced from Federal onshore and offshore...more

Procedures Introduced to Administer and Coordinate First Nation Consultation

On February 4, 2015, the Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) and the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) released the Joint Operating Procedures for First Nations Consultation on Energy Resource Activities (Procedures). ...more

Obama’s Proposed 2016 Budget Seeks To Address Infrastructure Needs

The Obama administration's proposed 2016 budget, released on February 2, 2015, reflects the administration's commitment to finding ways to finance the country’s growing infrastructure requirements. The 2016 budget includes...more

Legal Developments in Indian Country in 2014

2014 was a year that featured many positive legal developments for tribes. From the favorable Supreme Court decision in the Bay Mills case written by Justice Sotomayor (who continues to be a leader on the Court for tribal...more

Holt v. Hobbs Aftermath: Supreme Court Remands Native American Prisoners’ RLUIPA Claims

Less than a week after its decision in Holt v. Hobbs, the Supreme Court in Knight v. Thompson, No. 13-955 (2015), vacated and remanded the Eleventh Circuit’s rejection of Native American prisoners’ claims challenging prison...more

Monumental Change Announced for Alaska Native Tribes—BIA will Allow Alaskan Land to be Taken into Trust

On December 19, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the promulgation of a final rule that will allow land to be taken into trust for federally-recognized tribes in Alaska. Allowing trust lands in Alaska is a seismic...more

The Myth of the Regulatory Gap: BLM’s Proposed Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Compared to Existing State Law

For the better part of the last decade, oil and natural gas production from domestic wells has increased steadily. Technical advancements in identifying promising sources of oil and gas and extracting hydrocarbons from...more

CEQA Bill to Protect Native American Cultural Resources Creates New Challenges and Opportunities for Project Applicants

On September 25, 2014, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 52 ("AB 52"), which modifies the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA") to add new protections for Native American cultural resources and enhances the role of...more

Proposition 48: A North Fork in the Road for Tribal Casinos

Continuing our series on the 2014 California election ballot, we now turn to Proposition 48, the Referendum on Indian Gaming Compacts. If voters approve the referendum November 4th, Native American tribes may be able...more

Fall 2014 CEQA Roundup: Legislative and Regulatory Developments

A number of recent legislative and regulatory developments in or related to CEQA will impact public agencies, developers, and practitioners in the coming year. Some significant recent developments include: SB 743...more

Tribe’s Gamble That Casino Land Transfer Approval Not Subject to CEQA Pays Off

Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Brown, C074506 (9/24/2014) - In a recent Third District Court of Appeal published opinion, the court in Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians v. Edmund G. Brown, Jr. (3rd....more

Senators Critique Proposed Federal Rules for Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands

On September 30, 2014, a block of twelve Democratic U.S. Senators presented a letter to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), urging stricter fracking regulations. The Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”),...more

Governor Signs Two New CEQA Bills

Governor Brown has signed two new bills amending the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). AB 52 establishes new consultation procedures with California Native American tribes, and provides that an adverse change to a...more

New Law Requires Formal Consultation with Native American Tribes During CEQA Process

Agencies Must, Upon Request, Consult With Tribes About “Tribal Cultural Resources” - Assembly Bill 52, signed yesterday by Gov. Jerry Brown, seeks to protect a new class of resources under CEQA: “tribal cultural...more

HUD announces competition for new Promise Zones

Today, HUD announced the process and criteria for selecting 6 urban communities and at least 1 rural and 1 tribal community to participate in the Promise Zone initiative. The 6 urban communities will be designated by HUD, and...more

Renewable Energy Update -- August 2014 #2

Renewable Energy Focus - Renewables provide 56 percent of new U.S. generating capacity in first half of 2014: Electric Light & Power - Jul 21: Solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, and hydropower provided 55.7 percent of...more

Doing Business in Canada: Aboriginal Law

ABORIGINAL LAW: Canadian law has long recognized the rights of aboriginal peoples, sometimes called First Nations, as the first occupiers of the land. With the founding of Canada in 1867 constitutional powers were...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Native American Business Law Alert: Significant Tax and Applicable Law Ambiguity in Proposed Revisions for Indian Lands...

The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) is proposing to revise the process for obtaining and administering rights-of-way (ROWs) on Indian lands. While the proposed regulations seek to make improvements and clarifications...more

Supreme Court Decision in Keewatin Confirms Provincial Ability to Take up Treaty Lands

On July 11, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered its decision in Grassy Narrows First Nation v Ontario (Natural Resources), 2014 SCC 48, also known as Keewatin. The decision affirms the Court’s approach in Tsilhqot’in...more

Tribal Immunity at the Supreme Court: Impact on Payday Lenders?

Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders? The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...more

Implications of the Supreme Court Decision on Aboriginal Title

On June 26, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada delivered a unanimous decision in Tsilhqot'in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 SCC 44. The decision marks the first time that Aboriginal title has been granted – until now, the...more

Gaming Legal News - June 2014 • Volume 7, Number 10

In This Issue: - INDIAN COUNTRY AWAITS 9TH CIRCUIT’S EN BANC REHEARING IN BIG LAGOON CASE: In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that...more

Indian Country Awaits 9th Circuit’s En Banc Rehearing in Big Lagoon Case

In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that the State’s failure to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with the Big Lagoon...more

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