Tribal Lands

News & Analysis as of

Tribal Enrollment Inquiry Leads to $2 Million FCC Settlement with Blue Jay Wireless

On July 15, the FCC issued an Order approving a consent decree between Blue Jay Wireless and the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, ending the Bureau’s investigation into whether Blue Jay’s Tribal Lifeline enrollments in Hawaii from...more

Arbitration award on tribal igaming with non-US players

An arbitration award by a sole arbitrator recently approved a submission by the State of Oklahoma and the Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma as to the legality of internet gaming in which the server is located on Indian lands in Oklahoma...more

Court Decision Dismisses Challenge to Gun Lake Band’s Trust Land

Last Friday, July 15, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of the Gun Lake Trust Land Reaffirmation Act. Because the Court agreed with the D.C. District Court's finding of constitutionality, it...more

Supreme Court Declines to Consider Curtailing NLRB’s Authority over Michigan Tribal Casinos

Recently, two Michigan tribes petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the National Labor Relations Board's (NLRB) authority to regulate labor practices at their casinos. Unfortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to...more

Controversy Over Interior’s Trust Authority in Alaska Remains Unresolved

A majority panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently dismissed the State of Alaska’s challenge to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s authority to acquire land in trust for Alaska...more

Court Rules BLM Had No Authority To Regulate Fracking On Federal and Native American Lands

In March 2015, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) issued regulations applying to hydraulic fracturing on federal and Indian lands. 80 Fed. Reg. 16,128–16,222 (Mar. 26, 2015) (the “Fracking Rule”). The states of Wyoming,...more

If You Build It, They Will Get Just Compensation

One thousand nine hundred fifty-four (1,954) miles: the length of the United States’ border with Mexico, and the possible future site for President Donald Trump’s infamous Great Wall. The Wall has been a calling card of the...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Tribal Treaty Rights Obligate State to Ensure Harvestable Fish Are Available

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the state of Washington violated tribal treaty obligations by building and maintaining barrier culverts that block 1,000 linear miles of streams suitable...more

Wyoming Federal Court Strikes Down BLM Fracking Rule

U.S. District Court Judge Scott Skavdahl in State of Wyoming et al v. U.S. Department if Interior et al. struck down Bureau of Land Management regulations applying to hydraulic fracking on federal and Indian lands. He...more

Federal Judge: Authority Lacking for Regulation of Hydraulic Fracking

The federal district court in the state of Wyoming recently enjoined the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) from regulating hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), effectively ending, at least for now, the federal government’s...more

The Law on Tribal Court Jurisdiction over Non-Members Stands with Supreme Court’s Tied Vote in Dollar General Corp. v. Mississippi...

John Doe, a teenage member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, was working as an intern at a Dollar General store on the Tribe’s Reservation when he was sexually molested by the manager of the store. Doe sued Dollar...more

Wyoming Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule; Existing Appeal Remains Pending (For Now)

As we’ve previously reported, a Wyoming federal court issued a preliminary injunction order last year that temporarily halted the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) final rule regulating hydraulic fracturing on public lands. ...more

Court Strikes Down BLM Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

US District Court rejects US Bureau of Land Management’s rule regarding hydraulic fracturing operations on federal and Tribal lands. On June 21, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Wyoming (District Court)...more

Independent Oil and Gas Producers Defeat Federal Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

Wyoming U.S. District Court Declares Bureau of Land Management’s Hydraulic Fracturing Rule Unlawful On June 21, 2016, United States District Judge Scott Skavdahl granted BakerHostetler’s petition for review of final...more

District Court Strikes Down Controversial BLM Fracking Rule

In a decision sending shockwaves across the nation’s oil and gas industry, the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming yesterday set aside the Bureau of Land Management’s rule to govern hydraulic fracturing on federal...more

The Pursuit For An Island Casino

The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) continues its efforts to add casino bingo to the summer getaways and lobster rolls on Martha’s Vineyard. In November 2015, Massachusetts, the town of Aquinnah, and the Aquinnah/Gay...more

Tribal Groundwater Resources – Management Considerations Under Current Law

In the arid southwest, water is the most important and precious natural resource. In some communities, groundwater is the primary source, and often sole source, of water for domestic, agricultural irrigation, industrial, and...more

Recent Developments in the Gold King Mine Spill

On Tuesday, May 4, 2016, the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs chair, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and committee member, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) formally requested a federal criminal investigation into the Gold King Mine...more

EPA's Proposed Water Quality Standards Rule Applicable to Maine

On April 20, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed federal water quality standards that would apply to certain waters in Maine in place of existing Maine standards that EPA has disapproved. The proposed...more

Global Energy Game Changers

The global energy sector is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Advanced technologies, distributed networks and new regulations in nearly every subsector have strangled yesterday's business models. Foundational elements...more

Three Key Takeaways from NAFOA's 34th Annual Conference

The Native American Finance Officers Association (NAFOA) held its 34th annual conference on April 17-20, 2016, at the Gila River Indian Community's Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Phoenix. NAFOA is a national non-profit...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (April 2016)

The new year brought with it several noteworthy developments in the fracking world. These include: a new lawsuit in connection with the Keystone Pipeline; legal action against the Department of Interior (“DOI”) Federal Bureau...more

Court Holds that the Bureau of Indian Affairs is Not Obligated to Ensure Migratory Bird Treaty Act or Bald and Golden Eagle...

On March 29, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California granted summary judgment in favor of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) in a lawsuit involving the grant of a lease to Tule Wind, LLC for...more

Alberta's Metis Consultation Policy

Although formally approved by Cabinet in the fall of 2015, The Government of Alberta's Policy on Consultation with Metis Settlements on Land and Natural Resource Management (the Metis Settlements Consultation Policy) came...more

Supreme Court Nominee Has No Clear Track Record on Indian Country Cases

President Obama nominated Merrick Garland on March 16, 2016, to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Garland now serves as chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Despite...more

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