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Appraisals …. The tip of the iceberg. Cardinal Rule. Be very cautious of a non-Indian who says: “I understand what you’re going through and I have exactly what you need.”. A universal problem.

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Appraisals …

The tip of the iceberg


cardinal rule
Cardinal Rule

Be very cautious of a non-Indian who says:

“I understand what you’re going through

and I have exactly what you need.”


a universal problem
A universal problem
  • OST is making headway in some areas, but we hear of hundreds of appraisals that are not getting done.
  • Reallocation of appraisal resources will only compound the problem, giving maximum benefit to those who need it least.
  • In many cases, the problem is not with the contract appraisers. Where the contracting process is handled properly and there are qualified appraisers to accept the workload, turnaround tends to be relatively good.


identifying pinch points
Identifying Pinch Points
  • In some cases, problems attributed to BIA and OST actually rest with the point of origination.
  • In many instances, lines of communication between the ordering entity and the OST appraisal office are impaired.
  • Mutual resentment inevitably results in a slow process.
  • Bottom line:

When no one is willing to accept responsibility for being part of the problem, the problem does not get solved


right of way appraisals
Right-of-way appraisals
  • Is the appraiser qualified?
    • Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition the “Yellow Book”
    • Recent experience
    • Familiarity with relevant statutes, regulations, Court cases, etc.
    • Geographically competent


row appraisals cont
ROW appraisals (cont.)
  • Applying the appropriate methodology
    • Using appropriate comparable sales
    • Properly identifying the parent parcel (highest and best use is crucial)
    • Correctly analyzing the bundle of rights
    • Using correct sales analysis to appraise the residue after the taking (come back tomorrow)
    • Bundle of rights


bundle of rights
Bundle of rights
  • the right of possession - the property is owned by whoever holds title;
  • the right of control - within the laws, the owner controls the use of the property;
  • the right of exclusion - others can be excluded from using or entering the property;
  • the right of enjoyment - the owner can enjoy the use of the property in any legal manner; and
  • the right of disposition - the title holder can sell, rent or transfer ownership or use of the property at will


key questions
Key questions:
  • Is this the same way you would appraise a taking outside our borders?
  • How did you determine whether there were damages to the remainder?
  • Did you address restoration costs?
  • Did you include compensation for what is on the land?


potential solutions
Potential solutions
  • Development and use of cutting-edge tools
  • More consistent training at both the tribal and OST levels
  • Resource sharing
  • Networking and strategic alliances
  • Effective, broad-based planning strategies – both strategic and long-range
  • Online collaboration … maintaining the momentum