Three Affiliated Tribes get trust status for historic ranch
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Three Affiliated Tribes have been granted trust status for the historic Figure Four Ranch.
The tribes bought the roughly 9,300-acre ranch that borders the reservation’s west side between Lake Sakakawea and the Little Missouri River in 1999, and converted it to a bison ranch.
They requested trust status nearly a decade ago, a move that would make the land tax-exempt. The Bismarck Tribune reports it wasn’t approved until May, with a deed-signing ceremony this week. The federal government attributed the delay to red tape.
Chairman Mark Fox said the change will allow the tribes to move ahead with energy development. Tribal officials also hope to develop tourism at the ranch, with expanded buffalo and elk hunting and the possible building of a hotel or resort.
Information from: Bismarck Tribune, http://www.bismarcktribune.com