The US Department of the Interior is preparing for a possible invasion of lands claimed by the American Indian and Alaska Native groups in the Midwestern Land Group (MALG), according to an Interior Department official familiar with the process.
The agency is working on plans to seize and sell land in the area, which includes about two-thirds of the US.
The land groups claim the land for a portion of their lands that are also under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which administers the BLM lands.
The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) last year said the Bureau’s BLM lands in the region had been in “emergency” status since the 1970s, when Congress passed a law allowing tribes to apply to the BLM to buy land in order to protect their lands.
But in March 2017, the GAO said that the Bureau had continued to sell BLM land in areas under its jurisdiction, and the BLM did not have the authority to make these sales in the current emergency.
The GAO report also said that BLM had not made any progress in identifying new parcels of land under the agency’s jurisdiction that might be subject to an emergency sale.
The Trump administration has repeatedly sought to increase the number of BLM lands under its control, with President Donald Trump calling for the land to be expanded to cover a quarter of the United States by the end of 2020.
It is not clear how much the US government plans to sell the lands that have been under the BLM’s jurisdiction.
According to the GAI, the land group’s request for a sale of the Malgon lands would likely require an application from the Secretary of the Army, a department spokesman said in a statement.
“This is an important step in our efforts to increase access to land for our members,” the spokesman said.
The Interior Department’s land sales in other lands that were under the government’s jurisdiction, the Department of Agriculture, and even the National Park Service were all blocked by Congress during the Trump administration.
In January 2018, the House passed legislation that would have given the government the power to sell off land in a number of areas under the Department’s jurisdiction if Congress did not act to protect the lands.
The bill failed to pass.
In April 2017, a federal judge ordered the government to sell or lease approximately 4 million acres of land in northern Utah and Montana, after the Interior Department said it had not received enough documentation to justify the sale.
The judge’s ruling was later upheld by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.