Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration

Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
PlanningEnvironmentReal Estate

HEP Events Guidance Publications Awards Contacts

The Acquisition of Easements over Native American Lands For Transportation Project

This section presents a mapping of the various issues and opportunity areas identified by the research team with the proposed options for consideration by the stakeholders.

Issue/Opportunity Options
  • Tribal leaders often do not feel engaged in the acquisition process.
  • Developing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and/or a Project Specific Agreement (PSA) between States and Tribes.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, and Agencies.
  • Engaging the Tribe as a partner in transportation planning.
  • Creating planning and/or right-of-way liaison positions to provide a common point of coordination and to establish rapport with the Tribes.
  • Encouraging early involvement in the project development life cycle by State and Tribal Realty staff.
  • States do not always provide timely notification to the Tribes about the need for an easement.
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs to guide the acquisition process.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, and Agencies.
  • Engaging the Tribe as a partner in transportation planning.
  • Creating planning and/or right-of-way liaison positions to provide a common point of coordination and to establish rapport with the Tribes.
  • Encouraging early involvement in the project development life cycle by State and Tribal Realty staff.
  • There is considerable confusion and misunderstanding about the controlling authority for acquisition processes involving Native American lands.
  • Developing guidance materials for States and Tribes, which clarify the specific controlling authorities for the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Establishing a brief course or workshop based on this guidance material.
  • Documenting detailed procedures for the process of acquiring easements over Tribal Lands as part of the State's project development manual.
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies.
  • There is ambiguity concerning the State's authority to permit utilities within the highway right-of-way across Indian Lands.
  • Developing guidance materials for States and Tribes that clarify the specific controlling authorities for the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Establishing a brief course or workshop based on this guidance material.
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs addressing utilities and related issues.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies.
  • Documenting detailed procedures for the process of acquiring easements over Tribal Lands as part of the State's project development manual.
  • Acquisition of easements across Tribal lands is viewed by many State staff as an extremely time consuming process.
  • Developing guidance materials for States and Tribes that clarify the specific controlling authorities for the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Establishing a brief course or workshop based on this guidance material
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs between States and Tribes.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies.
  • Creating planning and/or right-of-way liaison positions to provide a common point of coordination and to establish rapport with the Tribes.
  • Encouraging early involvement in the project development life cycle by State and Tribal Realty staff.
  • Documenting detailed procedures for the process of acquiring easements over Tribal Lands as part of the State's project development manual.
  • There are some deviations from the standardized process across various Tribes and/or BIA regions based on local customs and business practices.
  • Developing guidance materials for States and Tribes that clarify the specific controlling authorities for the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Establishing a brief course or workshop based on this guidance material to provide an overview of the process of acquiring right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs between States and Tribes.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies.
  • Creating planning and/or right-of-way liaison positions to provide a common point of coordination and to establish rapport with the Tribes.
  • Documenting detailed procedures for the process of acquiring easements over Tribal Lands as part of the State's project development manual.
  • Negotiations with a Tribe to secure right-of-way for a transportation project often involve a number of issues not directly related to the proposed acquisition.
  • Developing MOUs and PSAs between States and Tribes.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies.
  • Engaging the Tribe as a partner in transportation planning.
  • Creating planning and/or right-of-way liaison positions to provide a common point of coordination and to establish rapport with the Tribes.
  • Encouraging early involvement in the project development life cycle by State and Tribal Realty staff.
  • There are limited information exchange and training opportunities related to the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Developing guidance materials for States and Tribes that clarify the specific controlling authorities for the acquisition of right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Establishing a brief course or workshop based on this guidance material to provide an overview of the process of acquiring right-of-way over Tribal lands.
  • Strengthening information exchange between States, Tribes, the BIA and other agencies through participation in various national meetings and/or by hosting a national forum to address Tribal lands acquisition issues.

 

Updated: 09/05/2014
HEP Home Planning Environment Real Estate
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000