25 CFR § 162.214 - How and when will BIA decide whether to approve an agricultural lease?

§ 162.214 How and when will BIA decide whether to approve an agricultural lease?

(a) Before we approve a lease, we must determine in writing that the lease is in the best interest of the Indian landowners. In making that determination, we will:

(1) Review the lease and supporting documents;

(2) Identify potential environmental impacts and ensure compliance with all applicable environmental laws, land use laws, and ordinances (including preparation of the appropriate review documents under NEPA);

(3) Assure ourselves that adequate consideration has been given, as appropriate, to:

(i) The relationship between the use of the leased premises and the use of neighboring lands;

(ii) The height, quality, and safety of any structures or other facilities to be constructed on the leased premises;

(iii) The availability of police and fire protection, utilities, and other essential community services;

(iv) The availability of judicial forums for all criminal and civil matters arising on the leased premises; and

(v) The effect on the environment of the proposed land use.

(4) Require any lease modifications or mitigation measures that are needed to satisfy any requirements of this subpart, or any other federal or tribal land use requirements.

(b) Where an agricultural lease is in a form that has previously been accepted or approved by us, and all of the documents needed to support the findings required by paragraph (a) of this section have been received, we will decide whether to approve the lease within 30 days of the date of our receipt of the lease and supporting documents. If we decide to approve or disapprove a lease, we will notify the parties immediately and advise them of their right to appeal the decision under part 2 of this chapter. Copies of agricultural leases that have been approved will be provided to the tenant, and made available to the Indian landowners upon request.