Tribal Lands

News & Analysis as of

D.C. District Court Judge Chastises the Department of the Interior, Ordering It to Deliver a Plan on a BLM Drilling Permit, After...

On July 27, 2015, D.C. District Court Judge Richard J. Leon entered a strongly worded order in Solenex LLC v. Jewell, chastising the defendants, including the Department of the Interior and numerous other federal agencies,...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 14: The Intersection Of Federal Labor Law, Tribal Gaming And A Deep Division Within Two Sixth...

Two separate three-judge panels of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have rendered labor law decisions concerning Indian casinos in Michigan only 22 days apart. While each of the panels ruled that the...more

House Passes Voluntary GMO Labeling Bill

The U.S. is a step closer to enacting a consistent, national approach to certifying and labeling genetically modified (GMO) foods. On July 23, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate...more

New Lifeline Order to Become Effective Aug.13

Comment Deadlines Announced - Last month we reported that the FCC had adopted new reforms to the Lifeline program and proposed further rule changes in its Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on...more

BLM Responds To Ute Indian Tribe’s Injunction Motion In Fracking Rule Litigation

Following a court hearing and order temporarily delaying the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on federal public lands, the BLM submitted its response brief opposing the Ute Indian...more

Developer Tips: Top 11 Misperceptions about Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act - Even experienced project proponents can get caught off guard by common misunderstandings about cultural resources protection laws. One of the most misunderstood...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the NLRA's Reach to Tribal-Owned Casinos

The extent of the National Labor Relations Act's application to tribal-owned and operated enterprises on reservations is an open question in many circuits. Recently, two Sixth Circuit decisions resolved the question in favor...more

FCC Adopts New Rules, Proposes Further Reforms for Lifeline Program

Last week, the FCC released its second major order in the Lifeline reform proceeding: Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, and Memorandum Opinion and Order...more

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Ruling Restores Certainty to Federal Recognition of "Indian Lands"

On June 4, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, a case in which Big Lagoon Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, sought to compel the State of...more

California's Office of Planning and Research Releases Draft Technical Advisory for Formal Native American Consultations Under AB...

Comments on the Draft Advisory due by June 1 - The Office of Planning and Research released a Draft Advisory earlier this month entitled “Discussion Draft Technical Advisory: AB 52 and Tribal Cultural Resources in CEQA”...more

Preliminary Injunction Motion Filed To Stop BLM’s Final Fracking Rule

Last Friday, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and the Western Energy Alliance (WEA) opened their arguments on a preliminary injunction motion to halt the federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final...more

Independent Producers Seek To Halt Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule - BakerHostetler Files Injunction in Federal Court; Motion...

DENVER, May 15, 2015 — BakerHostetler today filed a request for preliminary injunction against the final rule the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued to regulate hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. The motion...more

Federal Funding for Water Projects and Indian Water Settlements

In recent years, the parties proposing Indian water settlements have struggled to find federal funding, and budget offsets, to pay for settlement projects. But a concurrent by the House and Senate Budget Committee may pave a...more

Senate Holds Hearing on ESA Reform Bills

On May 6, 2015, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on several Endangered Species Act (ESA) reform bills, including at least three that are similar to bills introduced in 2014 in the House of...more

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal: No Surface Activity Means No Duty to Consult First Nations

In its recent decision in Buffalo River Dene Nation v. Saskatchewan (Energy and Resources), the Court of Appeal for Saskatchewan held that the government was not required to consult the Buffalo River Dene Nation (BRDN) before...more

Court Upholds First Nations’ Right to Bring Claims Based on Interference with Unproven Aboriginal Rights and Title

In its recent decision in Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation v. Rio Tinto Alcan Inc., the Court of Appeal for British Columbia (BCCA) confirmed that First Nations may bring actions against private parties in...more

Duty to Consult Not Triggered for Exploration Dispositions: Saskatchewan Court of Appeal

The grant of exploration dispositions for oil sands located beneath treaty lands did not trigger the Crown’s duty to consult, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal held recently in Buffalo River Dene Nation v Ministry of Energy...more

New Federal Fracking Rules

Local Government Agencies with Authority Over Fracking Sites May Be Impacted - The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management recently released a final rule to provide new oversight over hydraulic...more

Aboriginal Heritage Update: Supreme Court Clarifies Meaning Of 'Sacred Site' In Western Australia

In Robinson v Fielding [2015] WASC 108 the Supreme Court of Western Australia determined that the Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee, the body charged with evaluating the importance of places and objects for the purposes...more

BLM Announces New Hydraulic Fracturing Rules for Oil and Gas Wells on Federal Lands; Industry Trade Associations and the State of...

On March 26, 2015, the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published its final rule setting new standards for hydraulic fracturing on onshore federal and Indian lands. The final rule, as published in...more

North Dakota Requests to Intervene in Lawsuit Challenging Federal Fracking Regulations

On Wednesday, April 1, the state of North Dakota filed a motion to intervene in Wyoming’s lawsuit challenging the Bureau of Land Management’s (“BLM”) federal hydraulic fracturing regulations. (Wyoming v. U.S. Dept. of...more

Much Ado About Doing Nothing: DOJ’s Latest Memorandum Cracks Open Door to Marijuana Development on Tribal Lands

In December 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) released a policy statement regarding enforcement of marijuana laws in Indian Country. While some media have reported the Department’s statement as carte blanche for tribes to...more

State of North Dakota Intervenes in Wyoming’s and Independent Producers’ Challenge to Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

The state of North Dakota moved to intervene yesterday in the state of Wyoming’s challenge to the Bureau of Land Management’s new hydraulic fracturing regulations. North Dakota—like Wyoming—asserts that the hydraulic...more

BLM Publishes Final Public Lands Fracking Rule, Industry Responds with Lawsuit

The federal Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”), within the Department of the Interior (“DOI”), published their final rule on hydraulic fracturing last Thursday, March 26.  (Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands, 80...more

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