In business, time is money.
Leasing trust lands owned by tribal governments involves federal approvals that can take years. As you might guess, that discourages private parties from leasing tribal lands and no doubt lowers the income tribes receive from these transactions.
Senator Jon Tester of Montana has introduced a bill aimed at cutting federal bureaucracy to simplify the process of leasing tribal land.
Sen. Tester states that the approval process from the Bureau of Indian Affairs is backlogged and can take up to two years. He claims that private entities can get leasing clearances within 24-48 hours.
Tester has joined several senators to introduce the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal
Homeownership Act, which would cut the federal government out of the leasing process and allow
each tribe to develop its own leasing regulations. The bill will go to the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.
Tester claims this bill will “eliminat[e] a prime example of government red tape and inefficient bureaucracy,
which will save a lot of time and money. And we’re strengthening the rights of folks on our Indian
reservations to manage their own land.”