Landowners with Fractional Interests at Fort Hall, Quinault Indian Reservations Receive $70 Million in Buy-Back Purchase Offers

Interested sellers have 45 days to respond in voluntary Land Buy-Back Program

Last edited 02/07/2019

WASHINGTON – Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor today announced that nearly 3,000 landowners with fractional interests at the Fort Hall Reservation (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes) in Idaho, and the Quinault Reservation in Washington have received more than $70 million in purchase offers as part of the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations (Buy-Back Program).

Interested sellers have 45 days to return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided. Landowners with interests at Fort Hall have until August 25, 2016, to consider and accept their offers. Quinault landowners will have until September 1, 2016.

“The Buy-Back Program is an exceptional opportunity that cannot be taken for granted,” said Deputy Secretary Connor. “I thank our tribal partners who are working diligently to ensure that significant education and outreach is being conducted across Indian County. We are committed to ensuring that landowners are given every opportunity to make informed decisions about the potential sale of their land at fair market value.”

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to purchase fractional interests in trust from willing sellers at fair market value within 10 years. Consolidated interests are immediately restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members. 

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than $750 million has been paid to individual landowners and the equivalent of approximately 1.5 million acres of land has been transferred to tribal governments.

The Buy-Back Program recently announced a schedule expansion that brings the number of locations planned for the Program to 105, a total that includes more than 96 percent of all landowners with fractional interests and more than 98 percent of both purchasable fractional interests and equivalent acres in Program-eligible areas.

About 245,000 landowners hold nearly three million fractional interests across Indian Country.

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, regardless of the value of the land.

It is important that landowners think strategically about how to use the funds they receive from selling their land. Financial training, including budgeting, investing, and planning for the future, empowers beneficiaries to grow and sustain personal wealth. More information is available here.

Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) to ask questions about their land or purchase offers, and learn about financial planning resources.

More information and detailed frequently asked questions are available to help individuals make informed decisions about their land.


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