The Conflict between the 'Public Trust' and the 'Indian Trust' Doctrines: Federal Public Land Policy and Native Nations
41 Pages Posted: 10 May 2009 Last revised: 14 Jun 2011
Date Written: 2003
Native peoples' longstanding interests in these public lands are frequently reduced to a religious attachment or, in policy terms, an interest in sacred sites protection. Thus, the proposed rule appears to adopt the centrist approach, which attempts to accommodate a particular tribal religious practice on the basis of the tribe's historic and documented adherence to the practice and the federal government's trust responsibility to protect Native cultural practices. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, which has become the cornerstone of public land law, defines multiple use as the management of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people. Sustained yield is defined as the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use. The trust doctrine embodies the United States' treaty promises to protect the Indian nations in their right to self-government and to protect the environmental and cultural resources necessary for continued tribal survival.
Keywords: Native peoples, land use, land rights
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