The Program’s operational activities at each location are categorized into four phases: Outreach, Land Research, Valuation, and Acquisition. Each of these phases is described below in more detail.
Outreach: The outreach phase occurs throughout implementation and involves working with Tribes on various planning matters to prepare for implementation, including memorandum of agreement development, and working in the field with Tribes, partners, and landowners to help individuals make informed decisions about their land. The Program partners with Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (BTFA) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) staff in the field to support Tribal outreach efforts and to provide assistance to landowners.
Land Research: In this phase, the Program works with the partners to collect the data necessary to establish the fair market value for the tracts containing fractional interests that may be acquired. Land research involves using mapping geodatabases provided by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), as well as mineral assessments performed by the Appraisal and Valuation Services Office’s (AVSO) Division of Minerals Evaluation. The information gathered in the land research phase provides a basis for the valuation work performed in the next phase.
Valuation: The Program's partner determines the fair market value of fractionated tracts at each location, which provides the primary foundation for individual offer amounts as required by the Settlement. The AVSO – Land Buy-Back Program Valuation Division appraises each tract as if it were a single-owner fee status tract, and compares it to similar tracts that have recently sold in the area.
Acquisition: Once the fair market value determinations are made, the BIA Acquisition Center generates and mails purchase offer packages to eligible individual landowners. Interested landowners have at least 45 calendar days from the date of the cover letter to choose to sell some, all, or none of the fractional interests listed in their offer.