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.
There are several things that tribal leaders can do to prepare for the Buy-Back Program. One important activity is to become familiar with the four land consolidation phases. Additional steps that your reservation might pursue are included below, with general steps listed first followed by phase-specific steps.
Establish a tribal task force or team to plan for land consolidation.Designate an authorized tribal point of contact.
Provide information to the Buy-Back Program about the tribe's land consolidation programs and current capacities, capabilities, readiness, and interest in the Program (DOI recognizes that some tribes have pursued land consolidation activities for many years).
Engage with the Buy-Back Program to discuss your current resources and capabilities in areas such as outreach, mapping and land use characterization, appraisal experience.
Educate owners about (general outreach materials are available to facilitate this effort).
Identify questions and issues that are frequently raised by owners and share them with the Buy-Back Program.
Identify individual landowners that are interested in selling their fractional interests.
Encourage landowners to update their address information by contacting the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836.
Attend general outreach meetings, webinars, or regional events (list of upcoming events is available for reference).
Work with the Buy-Back Program to exchange GIS data to ensure current mapping of reservation lands, which can facilitate identification of priorities and valuation efforts.
Determine tribal acquisition priorities (specific tracts of land that are of particular interest for acquisition through the Buy-Back Program).