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.
The Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program) implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers at fair market value within a 10-year period. There are almost 245,000 owners of nearly three million fractional interests, spanning 150 Indian reservations, who are eligible to participate.
Individuals who choose to sell their interests receive payments directly into their Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts. In addition to receiving fair market value for their land based on objective appraisals, sellers also receive a base payment of $75 per offer. Consolidated interests are then immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.
Some owners have already received more than $100,000 for their interests (offer amounts vary based on the particular interests held).
The Program has announced more than 40 locations where implementation will begin by the middle of 2017, and will continue to apply lessons learned from each experience. The Program hopes to schedule additional locations as capacity and resources allow.
Offer Deadlines Approaching -- Owners Must Respond Soon!
Flathead Reservation -- October 9, 2015
Fort Peck Reservation -- October 16, 2015
Standing Rock Reservation -- November 15, 2015
After your completed purchase package is received by the Buy-Back Program within the established timeframe, the staff will process your payment within 60 days. When the purchase is approved, payment will be made directly to your Individual Indian Money (IIM) account.
The Buy-Back Program has purchased land to place into trust for tribes at the following reservations (click on the image below to view the full table):
Purchase offers arevalid for 45 calendar daysfrom the date of the Cover Letter that is included in the Offer Package provided to owners.
Staff Ready to Answer Owner Questions
You should learn more about the Program now. Landowners do not need to wait until the Buy-Back Program begins implementation to get more information. Please review the Program's Frequently Asked Questions. You should also become familiar with the Offer Packet Documents, available here.
In addition, landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) office, or contact their tribe's staff working with the Buy-Back Program.
Participation is Voluntary
Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary. A decision to participate in the Buy-Back Program does not impact a landowner's eligibility to receive individual payments from the Cobell Settlement, which are being handled by the Garden City Group (800-961-6109).
“This program is our chance to begin to solve a fractionation problem that has plagued Indian Country for decades. Tribal leadership and community participation are the cornerstones of this program, and we look forward to extensive communication and continuing consultation with Indian Country as we move forward.”
– Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, Department of the Interior –