- September 14, 1989
- All Washington Agents
- Yakima Indian Land Use Case
The United States Supreme Court on June 29, 1989 ruled that the Yakima Indian Nation has authority to regulate use of non-Indian owned fee land within the "closed" portion of the Yakima reservation, but not within the "open" area. Brendale v. Confederated Tribes & Bands of Yakima Indian Nation, 109 S.Ct. 2994, 57 U.S. L.W. 4999 (1989).
The "closed" area was so-named because the BIA restricted access to it in 1972 to tribal members and permittees. It represents two thirds of the reservation. It contains 807,000 acres, only 25,740 of which are owned in fee.
The "open" area, by contrast, has no restriction on access. Approximately half of its land is owned in fee.
The Supreme Court, in a divided opinion, decided, as to the closed area, that the "Tribe's power to control the use of discrete, fee parcels of the land is simply incidental to its power to preserve the character of what remains almost entirely a region reserved for the exclusive benefit of the Tribe".
As to the "open area", the court ruled that because it "no longer maintains the character of a unique tribal asset and because the Tribe accordingly lacks a substantial interest in governing land use, the power to zone has "become outmoded".
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- Bulletins Replaced:
- Related Bulletins:
- Underwriting Manual:
- 9.08 Indian Titles
- Exceptions Manual: