[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 147 (Tuesday, July 31, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 45301-45302]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-18674]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Indian Affairs

25 CFR Part 226


Establishment of the Osage Negotiated Rulemaking Committee

AGENCY: Bureau of Indian Affairs, Interior.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: On June 18, 2012, the Department published a notice of intent 
to establish the Osage Negotiated Rulemaking Committee (Committee). The 
Committee will develop specific recommendations to address future 
management and administration of the Osage Mineral Estate, including 
potential revisions to the regulations governing leasing of Osage 
Reservation lands for oil and gas mining at 25 CFR part 226. This 
notice establishes the Committee, and announces a public meeting of the 
Committee.

DATES: Meeting: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 
and Wednesday, August 22, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Central 
Time).

ADDRESSES: The meetings will be held at the Osage Mineral Council, 813 
Grandview Avenue, Pawhuska, OK 74056.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Impson, Designated Federal 
Officer, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Telephone: (918) 781-4600; Fax: 
(918) 781-4604, or Email: robert.impson@bia.gov. Include the words 
Osage Negotiated Rulemaking in the subject line.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On October 14, 2011, the United States and 
the Osage Nation (formerly known as the Osage Tribe) signed a 
Settlement Agreement to resolve litigation regarding alleged 
mismanagement of the Osage Nation's oil and gas mineral estate, among 
other claims. As part of the Settlement Agreement, the parties agreed 
that it would be mutually beneficial ``to address means of improving 
the trust management of the Osage Mineral Estate, the Osage Tribal 
Trust Account, and Other Osage Accounts.'' Settlement Agreement, 
Paragraph 1.i. The parties agreed that a review and revision of the 
existing regulations is warranted to better assist the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA) in managing the Osage Mineral Estate. The parties agreed 
to engage in a negotiated rulemaking for this purpose. Settlement 
Agreement, Paragraph 9.b. After the Committee submits its report, BIA 
will develop a proposed rule to be published in the Federal Register.
    Public Comments: Public comments were submitted nominating members 
of the Osage Minerals Council who were not named or were named as 
alternates in the June 18, 2012, Federal Register Notice. These 
comments generally expressed concern that some elected members of the 
Osage Minerals Council were not being allowed to participate on the 
Committee. The Department understands that the Osage Minerals Council, 
which is the governing body of the Osage Mineral Estate, voted on the 
members who would sit on the Committee in order of preference; 
therefore, the interests of all Council members will be represented by 
the members voted to serve on the Committee by the Osage Minerals 
Council. Additionally, alternates will serve on the Committee as an 
official member when a Committee member is absent. Nominations were 
also received naming individual Osage Headright holders. The Department 
believes that as members who vote for the Osage Minerals Council, the 
interests of each of these individuals will be adequately represented 
by those members voted to serve on the Committee, each of whom is an 
elected member of the Osage Minerals Council and empowered to make 
decisions regarding the Osage Minerals Estate. Public comments were 
also received nominating non-Osage Headright holders due to concerns 
that the Osage Minerals Council does not have the best interests of 
shareholders in mind. Because all shareholders receive the same benefit 
per headright interest, however, the Department believes that the Osage 
members of the

[[Page 45302]]

Committee, each of whom are also shareholders, will adequately 
represent the interest of all shareholders. It is relevant to note that 
all of the individuals who are not appointed to the Committee will have 
an opportunity to participate in the negotiated rulemaking by attending 
Committee meetings, submitting information and speaking at Committee 
meetings during the public comment sessions. Some of the comments 
nominating the various individuals also raised issues with the Osage 
Constitution and role of the BIA in managing the Osage Mineral Estate. 
These issues are not relevant to the nomination and appointment of 
members to the Committee. In any event, the Osage Nation operates 
pursuant to a duly enacted Constitution dated March 11, 1996. 
Additionally, the goal of the negotiated rulemaking is to provide 
recommendations to improve BIA's management and administration of the 
Osage Mineral Estate.
    Certification and Establishment of Committee: Therefore, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act 
(FACA), as amended (5 USC Appendix 2), and with the concurrence of the 
General Services Administration, the Department of the Interior is 
announcing the establishment of the Osage Negotiated Rulemaking 
Committee. The Committee will report to the Secretary of the Interior 
through the Designated Federal Officer. The Bureau of Indian Affairs 
will provide administrative and logistical support to the Committee. 
The members are those individuals identified in the Notice of Intent 
published on June 18, 2012.

Public Meeting Information

    Meeting Agenda: At the first meeting, the Commission will be 
receiving informational briefings, discussing its goals and procedures, 
developing a meeting schedule and work plan, and reviewing the existing 
regulations and topics required to be included in the negotiated 
rulemaking pursuant to the Settlement Agreement. The public will be 
able to make comments on Tuesday, August 21 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 
p.m.; and Wednesday, August 22, 2012, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. The 
final agenda will be posted on www.bia.gov/osageregneg prior to the 
meeting.
    Public Input: Interested members of the public may present, either 
orally or through written comments, information for the Committee to 
consider during the public meeting. Speakers who wish to expand their 
oral statements, or those who had wished to speak, but could not be 
accommodated during the public comment period, are encouraged to submit 
their comments in written form to the Committee after the meeting.
    Individuals or groups requesting to make comments at the public 
Committee meeting will be limited to 5 minutes per speaker. Interested 
parties should contact Mr. Robert Impson, Designated Federal Officer, 
in writing (preferably via email), by August 17, 2012 (See FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT), to be placed on the public speaker list for this 
meeting.
    In order to attend this meeting, you must register by close of 
business August 17, 2012. The meeting location is open to the public, 
and current, government-issued, photo ID is required to enter. Space is 
limited, so all interested in attending should pre-register. Please 
submit your name, time of arrival, email address and phone number to 
Mr. Robert Impson via email at robert.impson@bia.gov or by phone at 
(918) 781-4600.
    Certification Statement: I hereby certify that the establishment of 
the Osage Negotiated Rulemaking Committee is necessary, is in the 
public interest and is established under the authority of the Secretary 
of the Interior.

    Dated: July 26, 2012.
Ken Salazar,
Secretary, Department of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 2012-18674 Filed 7-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-02-P