Program Eligibility

The Buy-Back Program seeks to:

  • maximize land consolidation through cost-effective acquisitions,
  • reduce the current and future growth of fractionation,
  • increase the potential for Tribal majority ownership of tracts, and
  • fully expend the Trust Land Consolidation Fund (Fund) by the Program’s scheduled end date of November 2022. 

Not all interests and tracts are eligible or will receive offers from the Program.  Below are the criteria that must be met to make a landowner, tract, and interest eligible for the Program.  Funding limitations at the last location(s) may prevent the Program from making offers for all eligible interests.

Landowner-Related Criteria

  • Landowner is an adult and their Individual Indian Money (IIM) account reflects their adult status;
  • Landowner is able to make decisions on their own behalf (not under a legal disability based on restricted status of landowner's IIM account); and, 
  • Landowner has current contact information, including name, address, and date of birth, in the Department of the Interior's Trust Fund Accounting System (TFAS) and Trust Asset and Account Management System (TAAMS).

Tract-Related Criteria

  • Tract has two or more owners;
  • Tract is in jurisdiction of a federally-recognized Tribe;
  • Tract is mappable, i.e., the legal description of a tract does not require further research;
  • Tract is a Surface (S), Mineral (M), or Both (B) resource code tract1;
  • Tract is Stage 1 if it is a Mineral (M) or Both (B) tract;
  • Tract has appraisal determining fair market value;
  • Tract has a Tribal resolution regarding offers and lease opportunities if the tract has a structural improvement and no recorded lease; and, 
  • Tract is cost-effective, i.e., not significantly more expensive than other tracts at the location based on both the cost per acre and the average cost per interest.

Interest-Related Criteria

  • Interest is individually owned in trust or restricted status;
  • Interest is not subject to life estate or joint tenancy;
  • Interest is not pending a legal transaction, e.g., probate;
  • Interest is not owned in restricted fee status in a tract with a structural improvement;
  • Interest is located within a tract with a completed environmental review, if owned in restricted fee status; and,
  • Interest is owned by an eligible landowner and located in an eligible tract.

Landowners can call the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 1-888-678-6836 or visit their local BTFA office to make sure their account and information is up-to-date, or learn more about the interests they own. For landowners who own interests that are ineligible, the Call Center can provide information on other alternatives for learning about and managing your land. 

[1]​ ​Surface (S) tracts have ownership rights only to the land surface of the tract, not to any minerals or other resources, such as oil, below ground.

     Mineral (M) tracts have ownership rights only to minerals or other resources below ground, but not to the land surface or the tract.

     Both (B) tracts have rights to both the surface and minerals of the interest.

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