NOTICE: Information for Landowners with Fractional Interests Wishing to Participate in the Land Buy-Back Program

Deadlines fast approaching for owners with interests at Umatilla, Crow, and Lake Traverse Indian Reservations

Last edited 09/05/2019


The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided a $1.9 billion fund to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers, at fair market value, within a 10-year period. Interested sellers receive payments directly into their IIM accounts. Consolidated interests are immediately transferred to tribal governments in trust for uses benefiting the tribes and their members.

To date, the Buy-Back Program has successfully concluded transactions worth more than $188 million and has restored the equivalent of nearly 328,000 acres of land to tribal trust ownership.

Owners Must Respond Soon. Deadlines are approaching for more than 8,000 landowners to accept and return purchase offers (including a signed, notarized deed) for fractional interests at:

  • Umatilla (TODAY)
  • Crow (deadline: Nov. 21)
  • Lake Traverse Indian Reservations (deadline: Nov. 24)

Sellers Receive Fair Market Value. In addition to receiving fair market value for their fractional land interests based on objective appraisals, sellers also receive a base payment of $75 per offer, regardless of the value of the land. New Resource for Landowners. The Buy-Back Program is a voluntary program. For landowners who wish to sell their interests, a new step-by-step video is now available at to help assist individuals with identifying critical information included in their Offer Package and completing the necessary forms.

Staff Ready to Answer Owner Questions. Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center (TBCC) at 888-678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office, or find more information at: Extensive frequently asked questions/answers are also online at:

Missed the Deadline? If you own fractional land interests on a reservation and missed the 45-day deadline to accept your offer, you may:

  1. Return your offer (including a signed, notarized deed) even though it is past the deadline. This late submission will be reviewed based on capacity, appraisal expiration, and the availability of funds.
    We cannot guarantee acceptance of late submissions.
  2. Call the TBCC and indicate you are a Willing Seller. As resources allow, the Buy-Back Program may send offers to landowners who are interested in selling their interests after the Program's offer response deadline for a particular location provided there is a current appraisal and funds are available.

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