HEARTH Act Approval of Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, 24659-24660 [2021-09691]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 87 / Friday, May 7, 2021 / Notices Notice of availability; request for comment and information. ACTION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from TSG Development, Inc. (applicant) for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act. The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink incidental to construction in Lake County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded, under the National Environmental Policy Act. To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. DATES: We must receive your written comments on or before June 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: Obtaining Documents: You may obtain copies of the documents online in Docket No. FWS–R4–ES– 2021–0038 at https:// www.regulations.gov. Submitting Comments: If you wish to submit comments on any of the documents, you may do so in writing by any of the following methods: • Online: https://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on Docket No. FWS–R4–ES– 2021–0038. • U.S. mail: Public Comments Processing, Attn: Docket No. FWS–R4– ES–2021–0038; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS: PRB/3W, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041–3803. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Erin M. Gawera, by telephone at (904) 731– 3121 or via email at erin_gawera@ fws.gov. Individuals who are hearing or speech impaired may call the Federal Relay Service at 1–800–877–8339 for TTY assistance. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We, the Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce receipt of an application from TSG Development, Inc. for an incidental take permit (ITP) under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (ESA; 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). The applicant requests the ITP to take the federally listed sand skink (Neoseps reynoldsi) incidental to the construction of an industrial warehouse complex (project) in Lake County, Florida. We request public comment on the application, which includes the applicant’s proposed habitat conservation plan (HCP), and on the Service’s preliminary determination that this HCP qualifies as ‘‘low-effect,’’ categorically excluded, SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 May 06, 2021 Jkt 253001 under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. 4231 et seq.). To make this determination, we used our environmental action statement and low-effect screening form, both of which are also available for public review. Project The applicant requests a 5-year ITP to take sand skinks through the conversion of approximately 14.5 acres (ac) of occupied sand skink foraging and sheltering habitat incidental to the construction of an industrial warehouse complex located on a 36.51-ac parcel in Section 26; Township 22 South; Range 26 East, Lake County, Florida, identified by Parcel ID numbers 09–22–26–1100– 041–00001 and 09–22–26–1100–055– 00001. The applicant proposes to mitigate for take of the sand skinks by the purchase of 29.0 credits from Lake Wales Ridge Conservation Bank or another Service-approved Conservation Bank. The Service would require the applicant to purchase the credits prior to engaging in activities associated with the project on the parcel. Public Availability of Comments Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made available to the public. While you may request that we withhold your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Our Preliminary Determination The Service has made a preliminary determination that the applicant’s project, including land clearing, infrastructure building, landscaping, and the proposed mitigation measures, would individually and cumulatively have a minor or negligible effect on sand skinks and the environment. Therefore, we have preliminarily concluded that the ITP for this project would qualify for categorical exclusion and the HCP is low effect under our NEPA regulations at 43 CFR 46.205 and 46.210. A loweffect HCP is one that would result in (1) minor or negligible effects on federally listed, proposed, and candidate species and their habitats; (2) minor or negligible effects on other environmental values or resources; and, (3) impacts that, when considered together with the impacts of other past, present, and reasonably foreseeable similarly situated projects, would not over time result in significant cumulative effects to environmental values or resources. PO 00000 Frm 00078 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24659 Next Steps The Service will evaluate the application and the comments received to determine whether to issue the requested permit. We will also conduct an intra-Service consultation pursuant to section 7 of the ESA to evaluate the effects of the proposed take. After considering the above findings, we will determine whether the permit issuance criteria of section 10(a)(1)(B) of the ESA have been met. If met, the Service will issue ITP number PER0002663 to TSG Development, Inc. Authority The Service provides this notice under section 10(c) of the ESA (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (50 CFR 17.32) and NEPA (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and its implementing regulations (40 CFR 1506.6 and 43 CFR 46.305). Jay Herrington, Field Supervisor, Jacksonville Field Office. [FR Doc. 2021–09683 Filed 5–6–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Indian Affairs [212A2100DD/AAKC001030/ A0A501010.999900] HEARTH Act Approval of Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Tribe) leasing regulations under the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act of 2012 (HEARTH Act). With this approval, the Tribe is authorized to enter into business leases without further BIA approval. SUMMARY: BIA issued the approval on May 3, 2021. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, sharelene.roundface@bia.gov, (505) 563–3132. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: I. Summary of the HEARTH Act The HEARTH Act makes a voluntary, alternative land leasing process available to Tribes, by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955, 25 U.S.C. 415. The HEARTH Act E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1 24660 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 87 / Friday, May 7, 2021 / Notices authorizes Tribes to negotiate and enter into agricultural and business leases of Tribal trust lands with a primary term of 25 years, and up to two renewal terms of 25 years each, without the approval of the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary). The HEARTH Act also authorizes Tribes to enter into leases for residential, recreational, religious or educational purposes for a primary term of up to 75 years without the approval of the Secretary. Participating Tribes develop Tribal leasing regulations, including an environmental review process, and then must obtain the Secretary’s approval of those regulations prior to entering into leases. The HEARTH Act requires the Secretary to approve Tribal regulations if the Tribal regulations are consistent with the Department of the Interior’s (Department) leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162 and provide for an environmental review process that meets requirements set forth in the HEARTH Act. This notice announces that the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs, has approved the Tribal regulations for the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. II. Federal Preemption of State and Local Taxes The Department’s regulations governing the surface leasing of trust and restricted Indian lands specify that, subject to applicable Federal law, permanent improvements on leased land, leasehold or possessory interests, and activities under the lease are not subject to State and local taxation and may be subject to taxation by the Indian Tribe with jurisdiction. See 25 CFR 162.017. As explained further in the preamble to the final regulations, the Federal government has a strong interest in promoting economic development, self-determination, and Tribal sovereignty. 77 FR 72440, 72447–48 (December 5, 2012). The principles supporting the Federal preemption of State law in the field of Indian leasing and the taxation of lease-related interests and activities applies with equal force to leases entered into under Tribal leasing regulations approved by the Federal government pursuant to the HEARTH Act. Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108, preempts State and local taxation of permanent improvements on trust land. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Thurston County, 724 F.3d 1153, 1157 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Mescalero Apache Tribe v. Jones, 411 U.S. 145 (1973)). Similarly, section 5108 preempts State taxation of rent VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:55 May 06, 2021 Jkt 253001 payments by a lessee for leased trust lands, because ‘‘tax on the payment of rent is indistinguishable from an impermissible tax on the land.’’ See Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Stranburg, 799 F.3d 1324, 1331, n.8 (11th Cir. 2015). In addition, as explained in the preamble to the revised leasing regulations at 25 CFR part 162, Federal courts have applied a balancing test to determine whether State and local taxation of non-Indians on the reservation is preempted. White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136, 143 (1980). The Bracker balancing test, which is conducted against a backdrop of ‘‘traditional notions of Indian self-government,’’ requires a particularized examination of the relevant State, Federal, and Tribal interests. We hereby adopt the Bracker analysis from the preamble to the surface leasing regulations, 77 FR at 72447–48, as supplemented by the analysis below. The strong Federal and Tribal interests against State and local taxation of improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased under the Department’s leasing regulations apply equally to improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased pursuant to Tribal leasing regulations approved under the HEARTH Act. Congress’s overarching intent was to ‘‘allow Tribes to exercise greater control over their own land, support self-determination, and eliminate bureaucratic delays that stand in the way of homeownership and economic development in Tribal communities.’’ 158 Cong. Rec. H. 2682 (May 15, 2012). The HEARTH Act was intended to afford Tribes ‘‘flexibility to adapt lease terms to suit [their] business and cultural needs’’ and to ‘‘enable [Tribes] to approve leases quickly and efficiently.’’ H. Rep. 112–427 at 6 (2012). Assessment of State and local taxes would obstruct these express Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development and self-determination, and also threaten substantial Tribal interests in effective Tribal government, economic self-sufficiency, and territorial autonomy. See Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 572 U.S. 782, 810 (2014) (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (determining that ‘‘[a] key goal of the Federal Government is to render Tribes more self-sufficient, and better positioned to fund their own sovereign functions, rather than relying on Federal funding’’). The additional costs of State and local taxation have a chilling effect on potential lessees, as well as on a tribe that, as a result, might refrain from exercising its own sovereign right to impose a Tribal tax to support its PO 00000 Frm 00079 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 infrastructure needs. See id. at 810–11 (finding that State and local taxes greatly discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources because the imposition of double taxation would impede Tribal economic growth). Similar to BIA’s surface leasing regulations, Tribal regulations under the HEARTH Act pervasively cover all aspects of leasing. See 25 U.S.C. 415(h)(3)(B)(i) (requiring Tribal regulations be consistent with BIA surface leasing regulations). Furthermore, the Federal government remains involved in the Tribal land leasing process by approving the Tribal leasing regulations in the first instance and providing technical assistance, upon request by a Tribe, for the development of an environmental review process. The Secretary also retains authority to take any necessary actions to remedy violations of a lease or of the Tribal regulations, including terminating the lease or rescinding approval of the Tribal regulations and reassuming lease approval responsibilities. Moreover, the Secretary continues to review, approve, and monitor individual Indian land leases and other types of leases not covered under the Tribal regulations according to the Part 162 regulations. Accordingly, the Federal and Tribal interests weigh heavily in favor of preemption of State and local taxes on lease-related activities and interests, regardless of whether the lease is governed by Tribal leasing regulations or Part 162. Improvements, activities, and leasehold or possessory interests may be subject to taxation by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Bryan Newland, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary—Indian Affairs. [FR Doc. 2021–09691 Filed 5–6–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4337–15–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLORV00000.L10200000. XZ0000.LXSSH1060000.212.HAG 21–0032] Notice of Public Meetings for the John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council Planning Subcommittee, Oregon Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Notice of public meetings. AGENCY: In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Federal Advisory SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\07MYN1.SGM 07MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 87 (Friday, May 7, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24659-24660]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09691]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

[212A2100DD/AAKC001030/A0A501010.999900]


HEARTH Act Approval of Confederated Tribes of the Colville 
Reservation

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) approved the Confederated 
Tribes of the Colville Reservation (Tribe) leasing regulations under 
the Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Homeownership Act 
of 2012 (HEARTH Act). With this approval, the Tribe is authorized to 
enter into business leases without further BIA approval.

DATES: BIA issued the approval on May 3, 2021.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Sharlene Round Face, Bureau of 
Indian Affairs, Division of Real Estate Services, 
[email protected], (505) 563-3132.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Summary of the HEARTH Act

    The HEARTH Act makes a voluntary, alternative land leasing process 
available to Tribes, by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 
1955, 25 U.S.C. 415. The HEARTH Act

[[Page 24660]]

authorizes Tribes to negotiate and enter into agricultural and business 
leases of Tribal trust lands with a primary term of 25 years, and up to 
two renewal terms of 25 years each, without the approval of the 
Secretary of the Interior (Secretary). The HEARTH Act also authorizes 
Tribes to enter into leases for residential, recreational, religious or 
educational purposes for a primary term of up to 75 years without the 
approval of the Secretary. Participating Tribes develop Tribal leasing 
regulations, including an environmental review process, and then must 
obtain the Secretary's approval of those regulations prior to entering 
into leases. The HEARTH Act requires the Secretary to approve Tribal 
regulations if the Tribal regulations are consistent with the 
Department of the Interior's (Department) leasing regulations at 25 CFR 
part 162 and provide for an environmental review process that meets 
requirements set forth in the HEARTH Act. This notice announces that 
the Secretary, through the Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs, has 
approved the Tribal regulations for the Confederated Tribes of the 
Colville Reservation.

II. Federal Preemption of State and Local Taxes

    The Department's regulations governing the surface leasing of trust 
and restricted Indian lands specify that, subject to applicable Federal 
law, permanent improvements on leased land, leasehold or possessory 
interests, and activities under the lease are not subject to State and 
local taxation and may be subject to taxation by the Indian Tribe with 
jurisdiction. See 25 CFR 162.017. As explained further in the preamble 
to the final regulations, the Federal government has a strong interest 
in promoting economic development, self-determination, and Tribal 
sovereignty. 77 FR 72440, 72447-48 (December 5, 2012). The principles 
supporting the Federal preemption of State law in the field of Indian 
leasing and the taxation of lease-related interests and activities 
applies with equal force to leases entered into under Tribal leasing 
regulations approved by the Federal government pursuant to the HEARTH 
Act.
    Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act, 25 U.S.C. 5108, 
preempts State and local taxation of permanent improvements on trust 
land. Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation v. Thurston 
County, 724 F.3d 1153, 1157 (9th Cir. 2013) (citing Mescalero Apache 
Tribe v. Jones, 411 U.S. 145 (1973)). Similarly, section 5108 preempts 
State taxation of rent payments by a lessee for leased trust lands, 
because ``tax on the payment of rent is indistinguishable from an 
impermissible tax on the land.'' See Seminole Tribe of Florida v. 
Stranburg, 799 F.3d 1324, 1331, n.8 (11th Cir. 2015). In addition, as 
explained in the preamble to the revised leasing regulations at 25 CFR 
part 162, Federal courts have applied a balancing test to determine 
whether State and local taxation of non-Indians on the reservation is 
preempted. White Mountain Apache Tribe v. Bracker, 448 U.S. 136, 143 
(1980). The Bracker balancing test, which is conducted against a 
backdrop of ``traditional notions of Indian self-government,'' requires 
a particularized examination of the relevant State, Federal, and Tribal 
interests. We hereby adopt the Bracker analysis from the preamble to 
the surface leasing regulations, 77 FR at 72447-48, as supplemented by 
the analysis below.
    The strong Federal and Tribal interests against State and local 
taxation of improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased 
under the Department's leasing regulations apply equally to 
improvements, leaseholds, and activities on land leased pursuant to 
Tribal leasing regulations approved under the HEARTH Act. Congress's 
overarching intent was to ``allow Tribes to exercise greater control 
over their own land, support self-determination, and eliminate 
bureaucratic delays that stand in the way of homeownership and economic 
development in Tribal communities.'' 158 Cong. Rec. H. 2682 (May 15, 
2012). The HEARTH Act was intended to afford Tribes ``flexibility to 
adapt lease terms to suit [their] business and cultural needs'' and to 
``enable [Tribes] to approve leases quickly and efficiently.'' H. Rep. 
112-427 at 6 (2012).
    Assessment of State and local taxes would obstruct these express 
Federal policies supporting Tribal economic development and self-
determination, and also threaten substantial Tribal interests in 
effective Tribal government, economic self-sufficiency, and territorial 
autonomy. See Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, 572 U.S. 782, 810 
(2014) (Sotomayor, J., concurring) (determining that ``[a] key goal of 
the Federal Government is to render Tribes more self-sufficient, and 
better positioned to fund their own sovereign functions, rather than 
relying on Federal funding''). The additional costs of State and local 
taxation have a chilling effect on potential lessees, as well as on a 
tribe that, as a result, might refrain from exercising its own 
sovereign right to impose a Tribal tax to support its infrastructure 
needs. See id. at 810-11 (finding that State and local taxes greatly 
discourage Tribes from raising tax revenue from the same sources 
because the imposition of double taxation would impede Tribal economic 
growth).
    Similar to BIA's surface leasing regulations, Tribal regulations 
under the HEARTH Act pervasively cover all aspects of leasing. See 25 
U.S.C. 415(h)(3)(B)(i) (requiring Tribal regulations be consistent with 
BIA surface leasing regulations). Furthermore, the Federal government 
remains involved in the Tribal land leasing process by approving the 
Tribal leasing regulations in the first instance and providing 
technical assistance, upon request by a Tribe, for the development of 
an environmental review process. The Secretary also retains authority 
to take any necessary actions to remedy violations of a lease or of the 
Tribal regulations, including terminating the lease or rescinding 
approval of the Tribal regulations and reassuming lease approval 
responsibilities. Moreover, the Secretary continues to review, approve, 
and monitor individual Indian land leases and other types of leases not 
covered under the Tribal regulations according to the Part 162 
regulations.
    Accordingly, the Federal and Tribal interests weigh heavily in 
favor of preemption of State and local taxes on lease-related 
activities and interests, regardless of whether the lease is governed 
by Tribal leasing regulations or Part 162. Improvements, activities, 
and leasehold or possessory interests may be subject to taxation by the 
Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.

Bryan Newland,
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2021-09691 Filed 5-6-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4337-15-P