MISSION – The Land Buy Back Program will soon return to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR), offering eligible landowners a third opportunity to participate in the land ownership consolidation program. The Program will be based upon the availability of funds remaining and will tentatively mail offers to landowners during the summer of 2021.
Because of the success of the Program in 2015, and in 2018, more than 16,836 acres of land were purchased. However, much work remains to be done to consolidate CTUIR ownership and control of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, which is ranked as the 28th most fractionated Indian reservation in the country.
The Land Buy Back Program provides landowners the opportunity to sell ownership at Fair Market Value. Once complete, the ownership then goes back to CTUIR and helps to clarify tribal jurisdiction and management associated with highly fractionated land interests.
The CTUIR Tribal Land Program staff remain committed to land buy back efforts and are prepared for this third, and perhaps final, round of the program. The Cobell Settlement, which the program is based on, required that all Land Buy Back Program funds had to be spent in ten years, which concludes in November 2022.
Participation in the Umatilla LBBP land consolidation is voluntary. At this time, limited information is available regarding who may receive offers. Allotment landowners interested in the Program and those who would like to inquire about their ownership status are strongly encouraged to make sure their contact information is up to date by calling the Trust Beneficiary Call Center at 1-888-678-6836 or by emailing to firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information from the CTUIR, contact Kelly L. George, Land Acquisition Coordinator 541-429-7483, email@example.com or Koko Hufford, Land Manager, 541-429-7476, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation is made up of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes, formed under the Treaty of 1855 signed in the Walla Walla Valley. In 1949, the Tribes adopted a constitutional form of government to protect, preserve and enhance the treaty rights guaranteed under federal statute.