News & Analysis as of

Tribal Lands

Administration’s Drone Pilot Program to Spur Innovative Drone Use

by Jones Day on

To promote the integration of drone technology, the White House’s three-year Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program partners the federal government with state, local, and tribal governments in the development,...more

Department of Transportation Forms Pilot Program to Integrate UAS into National Airspace

by Stinson Leonard Street on

In direct response to a Presidential Memorandum issued on October 25, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT), in consultation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), announced details of a new pilot program...more

Drones: A Legal and Regulatory Update - Recent White House and Federal Court Action Impacting Future UAS Regulations

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

The White House issued a Presidential Memorandum last week directing the Secretary of Transportation to establish an Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Pilot Program to promote the safe operation of UAS, or drones, in...more

Indian Trust Land: Taxation of Leases and Permanent Improvements

Over the last few years, the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) updated the federal regulations on leases and rights-of-way on Indian trust land. Important tax provisions were included in the new...more

U.S. Supreme Court Considering Case with Major Implications for Western Water Rights

by Snell & Wilmer on

Several months ago, an earlier post in this blog described a decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that recognized a federal reserved water right to groundwater [see Ninth Circuit Holds that Federal Reserved Water...more

DOI Actions Underscore Need For Tribal Consultation

At this point in the Obama administration eight years ago, Secretary Ken Salazar was clear on his commitment to restoring tribal homelands. Embracing his trust and treaty responsibilities, Secretary Salazar left no ambiguity...more

Currents - Energy Industry Insights - October 2017 #4

EPA to Restrict Scientific Advisers Who Get Agency Grants - "Pruitt did not say how restrictive the policy would be. But it has the potential to greatly reduce the body of expert scientists who could serve on the boards...more

Court Declines to Vacate Environmental Assessment of Dakota Access Pipeline, Permitting Oil to Flow during Remand

On October 11, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia declined to vacate the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (“Corps”) Environmental Assessment (“EA”) of the Dakota Access Pipeline while the agency...more

Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Receives Partial Victory in South Dakota Tax Case

by Holland & Knight LLP on

HIGHLIGHTS: •In a recent case before the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe v. Gerlach, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (Tribe) won a partial, but significant, victory...more

The Department of the Interior Proposes Additional Regulatory Hurdles to Restoring Tribal Homelands

On October 4, the Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs proposed substantial changes to the current land into trust process by circulating a Consultation Draft to Tribal leaders. This new proposal impacts every Tribe....more

Court Holds Project Construction Constitutes “Mining” on Tribal Lands

by WilmerHale on

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that excavation work performed by a private company when installing wind turbines constituted “mining” under the federal regulation governing mineral...more

Claimants of Aboriginal Title Over Private Lands Not Required to Notify Affected Landowners

In two decisions from September 2017, the British Columbia Supreme Court (Court) addressed the issue of whether to require a claimant for aboriginal title to serve formal notice on private registered owners of fee simple...more

Island Means Island: Pierce Atwood Successfully Defends Against Tribal Claim to Control State Waters

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

In 1980, the State of Maine, Congress, and Maine tribes entered into Settlement Acts to resolve claims that the tribes owned two-thirds of the State. In return for, among other things, federal recognition and money, the...more

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Issues Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas...

by Hogan Lovells on

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Office of Energy Projects, recently issued its Guidelines for Reporting on Cultural Resources Investigations for Natural Gas Projects (Guidelines)....more

United States Liable as an Owner Under CERCLA for Contamination on Navajo Reservation Land

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last week, a United States District Court in Arizona held that the United States was an “owner” of Navajo Reservation Trust Land for purposes of CERCLA liability. See El Paso Nat. Gas Co. v. United States, 2017 WL 3492993 (D....more

Supreme Court of Canada clarifies when regulatory bodies may be relied on to fulfill the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal...

by Dentons on

As the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) explained in Haida and Carrier Sekani, it is open to legislatures to empower regulatory bodies to play a role in fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult Aboriginal peoples. Carrier Sekani...more

A 6 Step Guide to Tribal Consultation Under CEQA

The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently issued a technical advisory aimed at providing guidelines for consultation with Native American tribes under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA),...more

BLM Proposes Rescission Of 2015 Hydraulic Fracturing Rule

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Yesterday, the Bureau of Land Management (“BLM”) announced its recommendation that the hydraulic fracturing rule from 2015 entitled, “Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing on Federal and Indian Lands,” be rescinded – the Federal...more

Employment Law Letter - Summer 2017

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

How often does the Supreme Court of the United States decide a case that specifically affects a Connecticut employee? And how often are its decisions unanimous? Both occurred recently when the high court reviewed a dispute...more

Trump Official Provides Insight Into the Administration's Stance on Land-Into-Trust Acquisitions and Its Interpretation of the IRA

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

The Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs held a July 13 hearing to compare 21st century trust land acquisition practices with the intent of the 73rd Congress in Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act...more

Funding Opportunities Available for Energy Development on Tribal Lands

by Holland & Knight LLP on

As the Trump Administration seeks to promote American energy independence, new funding opportunities for deploying tribal energy projects on tribal lands are now available. These opportunities are the first step by the...more

Local Taxes on Non-Indian Possessory Interests in Indian Country OK’d by Court - BB&K Wins Major Victory for Local Agencies...

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

In a major win affecting counties and local taxing entities throughout California, Best Best & Krieger LLP attorneys Roderick E. Walston and Steven G. Martin helped secure a federal court ruling that possessory interests held...more

D.C. District Court Determines that Dakota Access Environmental Assessment was Inadequate

On June 14, 2017, the District Court for the District of Columbia issued a decision in Standing Rock Sioux Tribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Court found that the Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) had not...more

Treaty Obligations to Protect Fish Habitat From Degradation Upheld

by Perkins Coie on

In July 2016, 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

Ninth Circuit Expands Tribal Treaty Rights in Culvert Decision That Threatens Economic and Industrial Development on Fish-Bearing...

by Stoel Rives LLP on

In the matter of United States et al. v. Washington, case number 13-35474, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded in 2016 that in building and maintaining barrier culverts, the State of Washington had...more

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