A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The Secretary of the Interior established the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) to implement the land consolidation aspects of the Cobell Settlement Agreement. The Buy-Back Program plans to work closely with the tribes to efficiently and effectively achieve tribal land consolidation goals. It is critical that the Buy-Back Program and tribal leaders work together to ensure that landowners are made aware of the opportunity to sell their interests for the benefit of tribal communities.
At the beginning of 2013, DOI officials conducted extensive consultation with tribes across Indian Country to determine how to move forward with a process that will provide an efficient and fair way for landowners of fractionated interests to participate in the Buy-Back Program, maximize the opportunity for tribal government involvement, and offer the greatest flexibility for each tribal nation to implement the Program in the manner that is in the best interest of its community. The Program is considering the comments received during tribal consultations and will continue to release responses as we move forward. DOI is committed to a transparent process that provides the most opportunity for tribal government involvement and on-going consultation with tribal nations.
“Freeing up fractionated lands for the benefit of tribal nations will increase the number of acres in tribal land bases, stimulate economic development and promote tribal sovereignty and self-determination.”
– Former Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, Department of the Interior –