Trust Land Acquisition
MPKGC has extensive experience in the federal fee-to-trust process, in recent years having successfully navigated several different tribes from initial fee-to-trust application to final grant deeds. MPKGC has managed all stages of tribal trust acquisitions for both gaming and non-gaming purposes, and assisted tribes in overcoming hurdles that arise before, during, and after the trust application process, including:
- preparing and submitting complete and compelling fee-to-trust applications meeting federal requirements,
- maintaining regular communications with the BIA,
- preparing effective responses to comments submitted by state and local governments opposing a proposed acquisition,
- helping to clear up thorny exceptions to title,
- ensuring that a final title policy is timely issued so that title can be recorded, and
- working with the Department of Interior on behalf of tribal clients in the event any suits are filed once a decision to accept trust title is made and published.
The effectiveness of MPKGC’s approach in the area of fee-to-trust work for tribal clients is evident in the successful trust acquisitions for our tribal clients, including but not limited to: North Fork Rancheria, Enterprise Rancheria, and the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. We have also worked effectively in the past with tribal staff and consultants on fee-to-trust advocacy for the Big Valley Rancheria and Sherwood Valley Tribes.
Relevant Project History
Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
MPKGC successfully represented the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in its fee-to-trust application, resulting in the trust acquisition of approximately 254 acres of real property located in Sonoma County, California. A process that took over seven years, MPKGC managed every part of the application process, from working extensively with the BIA, to responding to public comments to all stages of the Environmental Impact Statement, to negotiating agreements with local governments and agencies.
North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California
MPKGC successfully represented the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California in its application, resulting in the trust acquisition of approximately 305 acres of real property located in Madera County, California. MPKGC managed all of the numerous aspects of the normal fee-to-trust process, as well as obtained a rare favorable two-part determination from the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.
Enterprise Rancheria – Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe
MPKGC successfully represented the Enterprise Rancheria – Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe in its application, resulting in the trust acquisition of approximately 40 acres of real property located in Yuba County, California. MPKGC managed all of the numerous aspects of the normal fee-to-trust process, as well as obtained a rare favorable two-part determination from the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs.
Throughout the years, MPKGC’s partners have assisted other tribal clients at various stages of trust acquisition, including the Big Valley Band of Pomo Indians of the Big Valley Rancheria, North Fork Rancheria Housing Authority, and Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians.
For a consultation about how we can assist with a trust land acquisition matter, we welcome you to contact MPKGC.