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HB 496: Clarifying Tribal land and resource purchases in Idaho — 2024

Summary: HB 496 amends a bill passed last year that unintentionally prevented Native American Tribes from purchasing certain lands, and mineral and water rights in Idaho.

ICL's position: Support

Current Bill Status: Law

Issue Areas: Agriculture, Mining, Native American Tribes, Private Land, Private Lands, Public Lands, Water Rights

Official Legislative Site

Rep. Boyle (R-Midvale) introduced House Bill 496 in the House Resources and Conservation Committee. The bill amends legislation that was passed last year that prevented foreign governments from purchasing agricultural lands, water rights, mineral rights, or mining claims in Idaho.

Unfortunately the bill also prevented Native American Tribes from purchasing agricultural land, because they are considered Native Sovereign Nations, and therefore met the definition of a “foreign government.”

HB 496 clarifies that Tribes will be subject to these limitations and are able to rightfully purchase these lands in Idaho.

Finally, the bill adds “forest lands” to the list of lands and resources that foreign governments cannot buy.