US modernises Native Indian land regulations for renewables development

  • Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, “This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years
    Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, “This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years". Image: USFWS/Southeast

The US Department of the Interior has announced the final regulations that will streamline the leasing approval process on Native Indian land for commercial development, including renewable energy projects.

Currently held in trust by the federal government, the new leasing process will expedite the expansion of Native Indian land to generate investment and create jobs in their communities.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said, “This final step caps the most comprehensive reforms of Indian land leasing regulations in more than 50 years and will have a lasting impact on individuals and families who want to own a home or build a business on Indian land.”

“This reform is about supporting self-determination for Indian Nations and was developed in close consultation with tribal leaders,” said Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn.

“The streamlined, commonsense rule replaces a process ill-suited for economic development of Indian lands and provides flexibility and certainty to tribal communities and individuals regarding decisions on the use of their land.”

The regulation has also established a separate simplified process for residential, business and renewable energy development, rather than using a “one-size fits all” approach that treats a lease for a single family home the same as a lease for a large wind energy project.

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