Interior Proposes New Fee-to-Trust Regs and New Class III Compact Process Regs, Parts 151 and 293


From the notice:

The Department of the Interior (Department) invites Tribal Leaders to consult on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for the Department’s Land Acquisition regulations, 25 CFR Part 151, and the NPRM for the Department’s Class III Tribal State Gaming Compact Process, 25 CFR Part 293.

25 CFR Part 151, Land Acquisition

Since the Department first promulgated these regulations in 1980, it has developed extensive experience in the fee-to-trust acquisition process.  Relying on that experience and input from Tribes, this proposed rule seeks to make the fee-to-trust process more efficient, simpler, and less expensive to support restoration of Tribal homelands.

25 CFR Part 293, Class III Tribal State Gaming Compact Process

The Department is developing proposed updates to Part 293 to provide clear guidance regarding the Secretary’s review and evaluation process for Tribal-State class III gaming compacts.  The current regulations do not identify the factors the Department considers; rather, those factors are contained in a series of decision letters issued by the Department since the enactment of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988.  Recent and ongoing litigation highlights the need for the Department to clarify how it will review or analyze gaming compacts to determine whether they comply with federal law. 

Tribal Consultation

The Department will conduct two virtual consultation sessions and one in-person consultation to obtain further Tribal input on the Part 151 NPRM and the Part 293 NPRM.  The consultation sessions will be open to Tribal leadership and representatives of federally recognized Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.  Please join us at one or more of the following consultations sessions.

If you would like to provide written comments, please email them to by 11:59 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

Albrecht v. County of Riverside Cert Petition [Leasing Regs + Taxation Preemption]


Lower court materials here.

Questions presented:

  1. Do the federal regulations governing the leasing of Indian lands preempt state and local governments
    from taxing the leasehold interest conveyed by the regulated leases?
  2. Does the express preemption provision of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934—which prohibits
    state taxes on “any interest in lands” that the government “acquire[s] pursuant to this Act … in trust
    for [an] Indian tribe or individual Indian”—apply when the government acquires extended trust rights
    pursuant to the Act?

Federal Court Vacates Trump-Era Repeal of Obama-Era Navigable Waters Protection Rule

Here are the materials in Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. EPA (D. Ariz.):

1 Complaint

48 Tribes Motion for Summary J

72 EPA Motion to Remand

74 Tribes Response

83 EPA Reply

99 DCT Order

The Regulatory Review [Penn.] Series: “Native Peoples, Tribal Sovereignty, and Regulation”


The description:

For the first time in U.S. history, a Native American will lead a cabinet-level department in the U.S. federal government. Secretary of the Interior Debra Haaland now heads the federal agency primarily responsible for coordinating the U.S. government’s complex regulatory relationships with Native Nations.

These relationships are predicated on tribal sovereignty—tribes’ inherent authority to “make their own laws and be governed by them.” Accordingly, the United States is obligated to promote tribal self-determination and tribes’ ability to provide for the health and welfare of tribal citizens within tribal lands. Yet despite its formal recognition of a certain degree of Native sovereignty, the federal government has also exercised significant control over tribal peoples and lands. Throughout U.S. history, federal administrative bodies, such as the U.S. Department of the Interior, have often failed to uphold the promises and obligations of sovereignty adequately.

In this series of essays, scholars and practitioners explore some of the most pressing regulatory issues affecting how Native American communities experience government and law, as well as how existing systems of power ignore and exclude Native peoples and governments.

The Regulatory Review is thrilled to feature this series of essays highlighting the effects that regulation has on Native individuals and communities. The series’ contributors include: Maggie Blackhawk, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Emily deLisle, University of Pennsylvania Law School; Katherine Florey, University of California, Davis School of Law; Dylan R. Hedden-Nicely, University of Idaho College of Law; Hillary M. Hoffmann, Vermont Law School; Aila Hoss, University of Tulsa College of Law; Sarah E. Krakoff, University of Colorado Law School; Elizabeth Kronk Warner, University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law; Sarah Roubidoux Lawson, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC; Robert J. Miller, Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law;  Monte Mills, University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law; Megan Powell, First American Title Insurance Company;  Ezra Rosser, American University Washington College of Law; Joe Sexton, Galanda Broadman PLLC; Judith A. Shapiro, Big Fire Law & Policy Group;  Jessica A. Shoemaker, University of Nebraska College of Law; and Ann E. Tweedy, University of South Dakota School of Law.

Tribes Sue EPA over Clean Water Act Rules

Here is the complaint in Pascua Yaqui Tribe v. EPA (D. Ariz.):

1 Complaint

Here is the complaint in Navajo Nation v. Wheeler (D. N.M.):

1 Complaint