More than $93 Million in Land Buy-Back Program Offers Sent to Landowners with Fractional Interests at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Interested sellers have 60 days to respond to offers

Last edited 09/01/2020

Date: September 12, 2018


The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  Photo Credit: Oglala Sioux Tribe

WASHINGTON – The Department of the Interior announced today that more than 15,700 landowners with fractional interests at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota have been sent more than $93 million in purchase offers from the Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nations.  

Landowners with fractional interests at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have until November 5, 2018, to consider and return accepted offers in the pre-paid postage envelopes provided.   

“The Buy-Back Program is excited to implement again at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which was where we made our first purchase offers to landowners nearly five years ago,” said Program Director John McClanahan.  “Through our collaboration with the Oglala Sioux Tribe we saw great success during the initial round of implementation, which resulted in the consolidation of more than 194,000 equivalent acres with potential surface use, such as farming, and more than 98,000 equivalent acres with subsurface rights.  The consolidated land aided in subsequent Tribal housing and economic development projects. We will again strive to maximize opportunities for the Tribe and landowners during this implementation.”

Since the Program began making offers in December 2013, more than 770,000 fractional interests and the equivalent of nearly 2.2 million acres of land have been transferred to tribal governments.  To date, the Program has made more than 264,000 offers to Indian landowners. As a result of the Buy-Back Program, tribal ownership now exceeds 50 percent in 14,700 more tracts of land (representing an increase of approximately 120 percent for the locations where implementation has occurred), strengthening tribal sovereignty and self-determination.  

The Buy-Back Program implements the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided $1.9 billion to consolidate fractional interests in trust or restricted land within a 10-year period set to expire in November 2022.  To date, approximately $469 million remain.  Interests consolidated through the Program are restored to tribal trust ownership for uses benefiting the reservation community and tribal members.

Various informational tools are available to landowners, who are encouraged to think strategically about their options and carefully consider how to use the funds they receive from selling their land.  Detailed frequently asked questions  and additional information to help individuals make informed decisions about their land can be accessed.

Landowners also can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 888-678-6836 or visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians to ask questions about their land or purchase offers and request a copy of the appraisal completed for their land.   

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