Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Conflicts Over Gas Leases Within Reservation Borders Highlights Problem of Checkerboard Zoning

Source: Indian Country Media Network

I mentioned this subject last month here. The problem of checkerboard zoning concerns the fact that some parcels of land within reservation borders fall outside the jurisdiction of tribal governments and thus they have no regulatory control over how some parcels of land within reservations are used. This problem was recently brought to the forefront when the BLM auctioned off 843 acres of land for fracking within the Navajo reservation. As mentioned earlier, checker board zoning prevents tribal nations from instituting a comprehensive economic development plan within their borders. Instead land is segmented between public land, trust land, allotted land, simple fee land owned by non-members, and simple fee land owned by tribal members.

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