October 3, 2007

Senate Indian Affairs Committee Hearing Will Focus on Backlogs at Interior

Chairman Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced Wednesday the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee will conduct an oversight hearing Thursday, October 4 on backlogs at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Native American communities are required to obtain Interior Department approval for a broad array of actions, but often face long delays – frequently measured in years – in receiving Interior Department consideration of those applications and requests.
“We want to determine the scope of the delays, understand why they are happening, and then determine what needs to be done to correct the situation. These delays have long-term social and economic consequences on Tribal communities that are simply unacceptable.”
Among the items most often subject to long delays are Land into Trust applications, Environmental Impact Statements, Probate, Appraisals, and Lease approvals.