Putting Indian Lands to Work: The HEARTH Act and the Amended BIA Right-of-Way Regulations


Live Broadcast on March 3, 2017

The presentation will cover two of the Obama administration era initiatives that allow Indian Tribes to have greater control over the use of their lands. The HEARTH Act of 2012 amends the existing leasing statute, which requires Interior Secretary approval of leases of Indian lands, and allows tribes to negotiate and enter into leases of tribal land without further approval, once tribal leasing regulations have been approved by Interior. The BIA's amended right-of-way regulations are intended to expedite and streamline the process for BIA approval of ROWs over Indian lands, and provide greater deference to tribal law and sovereignty. The presentation will walk through these statutory and regulatory revisions to provide a greater understanding of how they work and what benefits these changes may provide for Tribal governments.

This course is co-sponsored by the Federal Bar Association.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • The HEARTH Act of 2012
  • Basics of how the HEARTH Act works
  • BIA ROW Regulations
  • Walk through of regulatory provisions

Date / Time: March 3, 2017

  • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
  • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
  • 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

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  • Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
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suzanne-schaefferSuzanne (Susi) Schaeffer is a member of the Public Policy and Regulation practice and the Native American Law and Policy practice. She concentrates her practice on Indian lands and environmental compliance issues. Susi draws on her years of experience in both the federal government and the private sector working to resolve legal issues pertaining to Indian lands, natural resources and the federal environmental regulatory system.

Susi advises clients in acquiring land in trust for both gaming and non-gaming purposes pursuant to the fee-to-trust authorities of the US Department of the Interior (DOI), and she has extensive experience working with the DOI to achieve clients’ land acquisition objectives. She is also well versed in other Indian lands issues, including land claims, leasing and rights-of-way over Indian lands, and Section 81 approval requirements.

Susi has particular experience in handling environmental compliance issues on Indian lands, and she regularly counsels clients regarding compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), as well as other environmental requirements in conjunction with acquiring land in trust. She also provides advice regarding environmental regulatory and jurisdictional issues, such as tribal environmental ordinances and the extent of state, tribal and federal permitting authority. She has participated at a number of conferences as an invited speaker on Indian land, energy and environmental matters.

In addition, Susi is very familiar with the requirements of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. She has significant experience working with both the DOI and the National Indian Gaming Commission on gaming matters, and she has spoken at several conferences on Indian gaming issues. This experience serves as a foundation for providing strategic and practical advice to clients regarding tribal gaming ordinances, management contracts, Indian lands issues and other matters related to the development of Indian gaming facilities. She also advises clients regarding federal acknowledgment and federal funding issues.

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Section I. The HEARTH Act of 2012
a) Change to Existing Law
b) Brief Mention of Revised Leasing Regulations

Section II. Basics of how the HEARTH Act works
a) Statutory Requirements
b) Interior review and approval of Tribal leasing regulations
c) Trust Responsibility
d) Compliance and Violations
e) Resources

Section III. BIA ROW Regulations
a) Background on promulgation, statutory authority

Section IV. Walk through of regulatory provisions
a) to what land do they apply
b) who needs a ROW
c) what law is applicable to ROWs
d) jurisdiction and taxation of ROWs
e) service line agreements
f) ROW application requirements (bond, compensation, consent, duration)
g) BIA approval and deadlines
h) enforcement and trespass