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e-CFR data is current as of September 17, 2020

Title 25Chapter ISubchapter HPart 166Subpart C → Subject Group


Title 25: Indians
PART 166—GRAZING PERMITS
Subpart C—Permit Requirements


General Requirements

§166.200   When is a permit needed to authorize possession of Indian land for grazing purposes?

(a) Unless otherwise provided for in this part, any person or legal entity, including an independent legal entity owned and operated by a tribe, must obtain a permit under these regulations before taking possession of Indian land for grazing purposes.

(b) An Indian landowner who owns 100% of the trust or restricted interests in a tract may take possession of that Indian land without a permit or any other prior authorization from us.

(c) If an Indian landowner does not own 100 percent (%) of his or her Indian land and wants to use the Indian land for grazing purposes, a permit must be granted by the majority interest of the fractionated tract.

§166.201   Must parents or guardians of Indian minors who own Indian land obtain a permit before using land for grazing purposes?

Parents or guardians need not obtain a permit for Indian lands owned by their minor Indian children if:

(a) Those minor children own 100 percent (%) of the land; and

(b) The minor children directly benefit from the use of the land. We may require the user to provide evidence of the direct benefits to the minor children. When one of the minor children becomes an adult, the permit will have to be obtained from the majority interest.

§166.202   May an emancipated minor grant a permit?

Yes. An emancipated minor may grant a permit.

§166.203   When can the Indian landowners grant a permit?

(a) Tribes grant permits of tribal land, including any tribally-owned undivided interest(s) in a fractionated tract. A permit granted by the tribe must be approved by us, unless the permit is authorized by a charter approved by us under 25 U.S.C. §477, or unless our approval is not required under other applicable federal law. In order to permit tribal land in which the beneficial interest has been assigned to another party, the assignee and the tribe must both grant the permit, subject to our approval.

(b) Individual Indian landowners may grant a permit of their land, including their undivided interest in a fractionated tract, subject to our approval. Except as otherwise provided in this part, these Indian landowners may include the owner of a life estate holding 100 percent (%) interest in their land.

(c) The owners of a majority interest in the Indian ownership of a fractionated tract may grant a permit, subject to our approval, without giving prior notice to the minority Indian landowners as long as the minority interest owners receive fair annual rental.

§166.204   Who may represent an individual Indian landowner in granting a permit?

The following individuals or entities may represent an individual Indian landowner in granting a permit:

(a) An adult with custody acting on behalf of their minor children;

(b) A guardian, conservator, or other fiduciary appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction to act on behalf of an individual Indian landowner;

(c) An adult or legal entity who has been given a written power of attorney that:

(1) Meets all of the formal requirements of any applicable tribal or state law;

(2) Identifies the attorney-in-fact and the land to be permitted; and

(3) Describes the scope of the power granted and any limits thereon.

§166.205   When can the BIA grant a permit on behalf of Indian landowners?

(a) We may grant a permit on behalf of:

(1) An individual who is adjudicated to be non compos mentis by a court of competent jurisdiction;

(2) An orphaned minor;

(3) An Indian landowner who has granted us written authority to permit his or her land;

(4) The undetermined heirs and devisees of a deceased Indian landowner;

(5) An Indian landowner whose whereabouts are unknown to us after a reasonable attempt is made to locate the Indian landowner;

(6) Indian landowners, where:

(i) We have provided written notice of our intent to grant a permit on their behalf, but the Indian landowners are unable to agree upon a permit during a three-month negotiation period immediately following such notice, or any other notice period established by a tribe under §166.100(c)(2) of this part; and

(ii) The land is not being used by an individual Indian landowner under §166.200 of this part.

(7) The individual Indian owners of fractionated Indian land, when necessary to protect the interests of the individual Indian landowners.

§166.206   What requirements apply to a permit on a fractionated tract?

We may grant a permit on behalf of all Indian landowners of a fractionated tract as long as the owners receive fair annual rental. Before granting such a permit, we may offer a preference right to any Indian landowner who:

(a) Is in possession of the entire tract;

(b) Submits a written offer to permit the land, subject to any required or negotiated terms and conditions, prior to our granting a permit to another party; and

(c) Provides any supporting documents needed to demonstrate the ability to perform all of the obligations under the proposed permit.

§166.207   What provisions will be contained in a permit?

A permit, at a minimum, must include:

(a) Authorized user(s);

(b) Conservation plan requirements;

(c) Prohibition against creating a nuisance, any illegal activity, and negligent use or waste or resources;

(d) Numbers and types of livestock allowed;

(e) Season(s) of use;

(f) Grazing rental payment, payment schedule, and late payment interest and penalties;

(g) Administrative fees;

(h) Tribal fees, if applicable;

(i) Payment method;

(j) Range unit number or name;

(k) Animal identification requirements;

(l) A description (preferably a legal description) of the permitted area;

(m) Term of permit (including beginning and ending dates of the term allowed, as well as any option to renew, extend or terminate);

(n) Conditions for making improvements, if any;

(o) A right of entry by the BIA for purposes of inspection or enforcement purposes;

(p) A provision concerning the applicability of tribal jurisdiction;

(q) A provision stating how trespass proceeds are to be distributed; and

(r) A provision for the permittee to indemnify the United States and the Indian landowners against all liabilities or costs relating to the use, handling, treatment, removal, storage, transportation, or disposal of hazardous materials or the release or discharge of any hazardous material from the permitted premises that occur during the permit term, regardless of fault.

§166.208   How long is a permit term?

(a) The duration must be reasonable given the purpose of the permit and the level of investment required by the permittee to place the property into productive use.

(b) On behalf of the undetermined heirs of an individual Indian decedent owning 100 percent (%) interest in the land, we will grant or approve permits for a maximum term of two years.

(c) Permits granted for agricultural purposes will not usually exceed ten years. A term longer than ten years, but not to exceed 25 years unless authorized by other federal law, may be authorized when a longer term is determined by us to be in the best interest of the Indian landowners and when such permit requires substantial investment in the development of the lands by the permittee.

(d) A tribe may determine the duration of permits composed entirely of its tribal land or in combination with government land, subject to the same limitations provided in paragraph (d) of this section.

(e) A permit will specify the beginning and ending dates of the term allowed, as well as any option to renew, extend, or terminate.

(f) Permits granted by us for protection of the Indian land will be for no more than two years.

§166.209   Must a permit be recorded?

A permit must be recorded in our Land Titles and Records Office which has jurisdiction over the land. We will record the permit immediately following our approval under this subpart.

§166.210   When is a decision by the BIA regarding a permit effective?

Our decision to approve a permit will be effective immediately, notwithstanding any appeal which may be filed under Part 2 of this title. Copies of the approved permit will be provided to the permitee and made available to the Indian landowners upon request.

§166.211   When are permits effective?

Unless otherwise provided in the permit, a permit will be effective on the date on which the permit is approved by us. A permit may be made effective on some past or future date, by agreement, but such a permit may not be granted or approved more than one year prior to the date on which the permit term is to commence.

§166.212   When may a permittee take possession of permitted Indian land?

The permittee may take possession of permitted Indian land on the date specified in the permit as the beginning date of the term, but not before we approve the permit.

§166.213   Must I comply with any standards of conduct if I am granted a permit?

Yes. Permittees are expected to:

(a) Conduct grazing operations in accordance with the principles of sustained yield management, agricultural resource management planning, sound conservation practices, and other community goals as expressed in tribal laws, agricultural resource management plans, and similar sources.

(b) Comply with all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and other legal requirements. You must also pay all applicable penalties that may be assessed for non-compliance.

(c) Fulfill all financial obligations of your permit owed to the Indian landowners and the United States.

(d) Conduct only those activities authorized by the permit.

§166.214   Will the BIA notify the permittee of any change in land title status?

Yes. We will notify the permittee if a fee patent is issued or if restrictions are removed. After we notify the permittee our obligation under §166.228 of this part ceases.

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