Deadline Reminder: Individuals with Purchase Offers for Land at Makah Reservation

Makah Reservation in Washington State

Makah Reservation in Washington State

Deadline is May 31, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior’s Land Buy-Back Program for Tribal Nation recently sent purchase offers totalling approximately $1.6 million to nearly 600 landowners with fractionated interests at the Makah Reservation. These individual  landowners may sell their interests voluntarily, enabling interests to be consolidated and held in trust for the Makah Tribe.The Buy-Back Program was created to implement the land consolidation component of the Cobell Settlement, which provided a $1.9 billion fund to purchase fractionated interests in trust or restricted land from willing sellers, at fair market value, within a 10-year period. Interested sellers receive payments directly into their IIM accounts. Consolidated interests are transferred to the tribal government for uses benefiting the tribe and its members.

Owners Must Respond Soon. Purchase offers are valid for 45 calendar days. Owners must accept and return current purchase offers for land on the Makah Reservation with a postmark on or before May 30, 2014.

Staff Ready to Answer Owner Questions. Landowners can contact the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at (888) 678-6836 with questions about their purchase offers, visit their local Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST) or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) office, or find more information atwww.doi.gov/buybackprogram/landowners. Landowners may also contact Makah outreach staff atdale.denney@makah.com or 360-645-3106.

Sellers Receive Fair Market Value. In addition to receiving fair market value for their land based on objective appraisals, sellers receive a base payment of $75 per offer, regardless of the value of the land. Since December 2013, purchases from willing sellers have resulted in the consolidation of more than 160,000 acres of land for tribal governments and in payments to landowners exceeding $56 million. Although the amounts offered to individuals have varied, a few owners have already received more than $100,000 for their interests.

Tribal Outreach Events Are in Progress. Interior has worked cooperatively with the Makah Tribe over the past several months to educate landowners about this unique opportunity, answer questions, and help individuals make a timely decision about their land. For information about outreach events where landowners can gather information to make informed decisions about their land, contact Makah outreach staff at dale.denney@makah.com or 360-645-3106.

Participation Is Voluntary. Participation in the Buy-Back Program is voluntary and selling land does not jeopardize a landowner’s ability to receive individual settlement payments from the Cobell Settlement. Cobell Settlement payments are being handled separately by the Garden City Group, (800) 961-6109.

 

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