Speakers: Pilar Thomas
Conference: 6th Tribal Land Staff National Conference
Organizer: National Tribal Land Association
Dates: 22-24 MAR, 2016
Location: Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
Session Title: Prepositioning Land Base for Energy and Economic Development
Date: Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Time: 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.
Summary: Discover the prepositioning legal and environmental legwork that can be done in advance of development on any lands to lesson downstream costs for both energy and commercial projects.
As tribes evaluate their opportunities to leverage their land and natural resources for economic and energy development projects, Tribes should consider developing and implementing policy, legal, and regulatory schemes to address – and facilitate - this development. Creating a transparent and objective economic, business and resource development environment will be a powerful tool for tribal community development, and promote the tribe’s vision for economic development. Tribal policies and laws can address overall economic development considerations, as well as be specific for certain types of developments. These can include, for example, zoning and land use codes, leasing regulations, environmental protection laws and regulations, leasehold mortgage and foreclosure laws, uniform commercial codes, energy development regulations and permitting, as well as taxation schemes. Developing and implementing these types of policies and laws BEFORE economic development occurs – rather than addressing these issues on a project by project basis – will help reduce potential confusion, uncertainty, and disagreement over key aspects of economic and energy development projects.
Tribes can also facilitate economic and energy development on tribal lands through initial environmental, natural resource and cultural resource “landscape” studies. Similar to the land use management and programmatic environmental impact statement process that the Bureau of Land Management uses, Tribes can identify key locations and sites, necessary infrastructure, and other environmental considerations for projects. Developing and disclosing this information may reduce the regulatory burden – and speed up the regulatory process – for future projects, thereby facilitating the implementation of projects.