25 U.S.C. 2218 - Approval of leases, rights-of-way, and sales of natural resources

Cite as:25 U.S.C. 2218
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Approval by the Secretary

(1) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may approve any lease or agreement that affects individually owned allotted land or any other land held in trust or restricted status by the Secretary on behalf of an Indian, if-

(A) the owners of not less than the applicable percentage (determined under subsection (b)) of the undivided interest in the allotted land that is covered by the lease or agreement consent in writing to the lease or agreement; and

(B) the Secretary determines that approving the lease or agreement is in the best interest of the owners of the undivided interest in the allotted land.

(2) Rule of construction

Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to leases involving coal or uranium.

(3) Definition

In this section, the term "allotted land" includes any land held in trust or restricted status by the Secretary on behalf of one or more Indians.

(b) Applicable percentage

(1) Percentage interest

The applicable percentage referred to in subsection (a)(1) shall be determined as follows:

(A) If there are 5 or fewer owners of the undivided interest in the allotted land, the applicable percentage shall be 90 percent.

(B) If there are more than 5 such owners, but fewer than 11 such owners, the applicable percentage shall be 80 percent.

(C) If there are more than 10 such owners, but fewer than 20 such owners, the applicable percentage shall be 60 percent.

(D) If there are 20 or more such owners, the applicable percentage shall be a majority of the interests in the allotted land.

(2) Determination of owners

(A) In general

For purposes of this subsection, in determining the number of owners of, and their interests in, the undivided interest in the allotted land with respect to a lease or agreement, the Secretary shall make such determination based on the records of the Department of the Interior that identify the owners of such lands and their interests and the number of owners of such land on the date on which the lease or agreement involved is submitted to the Secretary under this section.

(B) Rule of construction

Nothing in subparagraph (A) shall be construed to authorize the Secretary to treat an Indian tribe as the owner of an interest in allotted land that did not escheat to the tribe pursuant to section 2206 of this title as a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Babbitt v. Youpee (117 S 1 Ct. 727 (1997)).

(c) Authority of Secretary to sign lease or agreement on behalf of certain owners

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