Bulletin: WA000005

Date:
September 14, 1989
To:
All Washington Agents
RE:
Yakima Indian Land Use Case

Dear Associates:

The United States Supreme Court on June 29, 1989 ruled that the Yakima Indian Nation has authority to regulate use of non-Indian owned fee land within the "closed" portion of the Yakima reservation, but not within the "open" area. Brendale v. Confederated Tribes & Bands of Yakima Indian Nation, 109 S.Ct. 2994, 57 U.S. L.W. 4999 (1989).

The "closed" area was so-named because the BIA restricted access to it in 1972 to tribal members and permittees. It represents two thirds of the reservation. It contains 807,000 acres, only 25,740 of which are owned in fee.

The "open" area, by contrast, has no restriction on access. Approximately half of its land is owned in fee.

The Supreme Court, in a divided opinion, decided, as to the closed area, that the "Tribe's power to control the use of discrete, fee parcels of the land is simply incidental to its power to preserve the character of what remains almost entirely a region reserved for the exclusive benefit of the Tribe".

As to the "open area", the court ruled that because it "no longer maintains the character of a unique tribal asset and because the Tribe accordingly lacks a substantial interest in governing land use, the power to zone has "become outmoded".

THIS BULLETIN IS FURNISHED TO INFORM YOU OF CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS. AS A REMINDER, YOU ARE CHARGED WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE CONTENT ON VIRTUAL UNDERWRITER  AS IT EXISTS FROM TIME TO TIME AS IT APPLIES TO YOU, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER INSTRUCTIONS. OUR UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS DO NOT AUTHORIZE OUR ISSUING AGENTS TO ENGAGE IN SETTLEMENTS OR CLOSINGS ON BEHALF OF STEWART TITLE GUARANTY COMPANY. THIS BULLETIN IS NOT INTENDED TO DIRECT YOUR ESCROW OR SETTLEMENT PRACTICES OR TO CHANGE PROVISIONS OF APPLICABLE UNDERWRITING AGREEMENTS. CONFIDENTIAL, PROPRIETARY, OR NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION SHOULD NEVER BE SHARED OR DISSEMINATED EXCEPT AS ALLOWED BY LAW. IF APPLICABLE STATE LAW OR REGULATION IMPOSES ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO COMPLY WITH THOSE REQUIREMENTS.

References

Bulletins Replaced:
None
Related Bulletins:
None
Underwriting Manual:
9.08 Indian Titles
Exceptions Manual:
None
Forms:
None