Zoning, Planning & Land Use Indigenous Peoples

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Utah Congressmen Unveil Landmark Public Land Bill

On January 20, Congressmen Rob Bishop and Jason Chaffetz unveiled a “discussion draft” of the Utah Public Lands Initiative Act. The proposed bill undertakes the difficult task of balancing economic development and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Examines Tribal Authority Over Non-Indians in Nebraska v. Pender

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Jan. 20, 2016, in Nebraska v. Pender, its third Indian law case of the term. The question presented was whether Congress had diminished the Omaha Indian Reservation when it...more

B.C. Has Authority to Impose Conditions on Northern Gateway Pipeline

In its recent decision in Coastal First Nations v. British Columbia (Environment), the B.C. Supreme Court (Court) held that the provincial government retains authority to impose conditions on the proposed Northern Gateway...more

New Right-of-Way Regulations on Indian Lands

Every once in a while, infrastructure projects we’re working on involve traversing Indian lands. For those of you involved in such projects, you should take a look at the Final Rule published by the Department of the...more

Alaska Presses D.C. Court of Appeals to Reject Trust Acquisitions in Alaska

The question of whether Alaska Natives may place land in the same federal trust status as Indian tribes in the lower 48 states was widely thought to have been resolved but is now before the Court of Appeals for the District...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) New Rights-of-Way Regulations to Become Effective

On December 21, 2015, new rights-of-way regulations on Indian lands will go into effect. These new regulations likely will have an immediate and substantial impact throughout Indian Country, for both Tribes and businesses...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 24

Texas Continues To Wage War Against Indian Gaming - Texas Attorney General Kenneth Paxton appears to not like Indian gaming. Two of the state’s three federally recognized tribes have been pursuing gaming opportunities...more

U.S. District Court Denies Penobscot Nation's Claim to Penobscot River

On December 16, 2015, Judge Singal issued his decision in the Penobscot Indian Nation v. Mills lawsuit, in which the Penobscot Indian Nation (PIN) had claimed that their reservation included the entire main stem of the...more

First Nations Must Show Specific Impact on Rights to be Entitled to Pursue a Regulatory Appeal

The Alberta Court of Appeal, in O’Chiese First Nation v Alberta Energy Regulator, dismissed two applications by the O’Chiese First Nation seeking permission to appeal decisions by the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) approving...more

BIA Finalizes Reforms for Obtaining Rights of Way on Indian Lands

On November 19, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published a final rule that makes sweeping changes to the process for obtaining rights of way for proposed oil and gas pipelines, electric transmission lines, railroads,...more

Bureau of Indian Affairs New Rights-of-Way Rules Provide Clarity and Certainty to Communications Providers

With both Congress and the Administration focused on streamlining federal permitting and promoting Dig Once policies, the Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) published updated rules for access to...more

Sen. Barrasso Introduces Carcieri Compromise Bill

More than six years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has introduced the “Interior Improvement Act” to fix...more

Is There a New War on Indian Country?

Over the past week, two proposals have surfaced that could have profound impacts on Indian Country, and they likely would not be for the better. The first proposal surfaced on October 20 when a Utah congressman...more

No Damages for First Nations Blockade - Supreme Court of Canada Denies Leave to Appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently denied leave to appeal in Moulton Contracting Ltd. v British Columbia, confirming the BC Court of Appeal’s decision (2015 BCCA 89) overturning an award of $1.75 million in damages against...more

SCC Denial of Leave Allows First Nations to Pursue Claims Prior to Proving Aboriginal Title

The Supreme Court of Canada recently denied applications for leave to appeal in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., 2015 BCCA 154 (Saik’uz), and Iron Ore Company of Canada. v Uashaunnuat,...more

Failing on the Big Stage: Another Attempt to Regulate Fracking Falls Short

In March 2015, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) became the most prominent governmental entity to join in on the attempts to regulate hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. More specifically, the DOI’s sweeping...more

Supreme Judicial Court Hears Case Involving Access to Sweat Lodges in Prisons

On October 5, 2015, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts heard argument in Trapp v. Commissioner of the Department of Corrections, SJC-11863. At issue is whether RLUIPA (and the Massachusetts Constitution) recognize...more

Alberta Court Strikes Out Pleadings Challenging Validity of Oil and Gas Permits

A challenge to the validity of oil and gas permits outside the judicial review process is a collateral attack and will be struck, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench held recently in Ominayak v Penn West Petroleum Ltd, 2015...more

Federal Judge Grants Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of New BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rules

On September 30, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming granted a motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) recently issued hydraulic...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 17: Enterprise Rancheria Ready To Construct Class II Casino

California’s Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe, also known as Enterprise Rancheria, has said it will begin construction of a scaled-down Class II gaming facility in Yuba County, instead of the Class III facility that has been opposed...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. New Interim DEP Commissioner - On Tuesday, September 8, at 4:30 pm Avery Day was sworn in as...more

From Playa Lakes To Prairie Potholes: Four Things Energy Companies Need to Know About the WOTUS Rule

Have one or several playa lakes on or near a well pad in the Permian Basin? An access road nearby an ephemeral tributary of the Green River in the Uintah Basin? A pipeline that traverses lands dotted with prairie potholes in...more

CEQA Takes Closer Look at Native American Cultural Resources

Projects statewide will now be subject to further examination to ensure potentially significant impacts to California’s Native American historic, cultural and sacred sites are mitigated. Assembly Bill 52 adds new requirements...more

Supplement — Curtin’s California Land Use

This Supplement is intended for use in conjunction with Curtin’s California Land Use & Planning Law, Thirty-Fourth Edition (2014), authored by Perkins Coie attorneys Cecily Talbert Barclay and Matthew S. Gray. In lieu of...more

Can First Nations Claim Aboriginal Rights and Title as well as Treaty Rights?

Yes, said the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (Court) in its recent decision in Chartrand v. British Columbia (Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations). The Court found that the provincial Crown had not adequately...more

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