Feds pledge land won’t be taken for trust without notice

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The federal government has pledged not to take any more military surplus land into trust for the Oneida Indian Nation without saying so first. The General Services Administration said in a court filing that it will notify a judge and state and local officials at least 60 days in advance of transferring any land. The state and Madison and Oneida counties had gone to federal court after the GSA turned over 18 acres of land in Verona to the federal Department of Interior. Local officials said they had no advance knowledge of the transfer. Interior is holding the land in trust for the Oneidas. That is the first Indian trust land in New York. Interior last year decided to take into trust 13,000 acres the Oneidas already own, but that decision is being challenged in seven separate lawsuits. State and county officials said they wanted to make sure 500 acres nearby wasn’t transferred to trust without their knowledge. A court conference that had been scheduled for Wednesday was canceled after the agreement was filed in court.



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