It's amazing how the BIA just turns a blind eye to corruption, our friend Marc Benjamin has the story up at the Fresno BEE
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved an application by the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians to put 12.48 acres of land in a tribal trust, the tribe announced Wednesday.
The land is on four parcels contiguous to the Picayune Rancheria and within the tribe's aboriginal territory near Coarsegold in Madera County.
A 2.53-acre piece of land borders Highway 41, south of Avenue 417. The other three parcels do not have highway frontage, tribal maps show.
Each parcel contains a vacant home and the tribe is not proposing a change in land use, according to BIA records.
The land will eventually be used for tribal housing and nongaming economic development, said Nancy Ayala, tribal council chairwoman.
"We are blessed to complete what has been a prolonged and demanding process," she said in a prepared statement. "Now that we have brought these original Chukchansi lands into trust, we will be better able to protect and honor these beautiful lands."
Land must be put into trust to give the tribe jurisdiction over it, and tribes must petition the federal government to put land into trust.
In recent years, placing lands into trust has been a priority for the Chukchansi Tribal Council. The tribe holds about 184 acres in trust and 650 additional acres are in a process that could eventually place them into trust, tribal officials say.
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