May 5th, 2022
A recently released National Policy Memorandum (NPM-TRUS-43) issued by the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs entitled Modernize the Land Description Review Process for Fee-to-Trust Acquisitions is resulting in a number of questions by current Certified Federal Surveyors (CFedS).
One question is the continuing role of CFedS in preparing Land Description Reviews (LDR) and Chain of Surveys (COS) for various tribal entities per DOI Departmental Manual 303 DM 7. Nothing in NPM-TRUS-43 precludes CFedS from continuing to offer these services. However, retaining these services from CFedS is now at the discretion of the tribal entities. The requirement for Fee to Trust applications to be accompanied by 303 DM 7 Standards of Boundary Evidence forms is temporarily suspended by NPM-TRUS-43 and no longer enforced.
While it is desirable to continue to use CFedS for fee to trust transactions, other options are now available to tribes in an effort to expedite land transfers. The CFedS program will continue to advocate on behalf of our rostered CFedS and encourage the BIA and tribal governments to continue to use our professional services.
Glen W. Thurow, NM P.S., CFedS
CFedS Training Coordinator