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Tribal Matters - Indian Country & Public Lands

Nevada is the seventh largest state in the union by virtue of its vast land mass, occupying approximately 110,540 square miles of land, or about 70 million acres. The federal government owns or manages approximately 87% of the land mass, with nearly 50 million acres managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), another 5 million managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the remaining 5 million acres divided among various military installations, Native American reservations, wilderness areas and wildlife refuges. The federal government, through its public lands agencies, including the BLM, USFS, National Park Service, Department of Energy, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Environmental Protection Agency, are responsible for managing and protecting those lands. The wide-ranging public lands in Nevada give rise to many criminal and civil land management issues, such as grazing and water rights; trespass and right of way; Native American claims; resource protection; claims in defense of the environment; wild, free-roaming horses; safety of federal officers and state’s rights. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals who commit offenses on these public lands and also represent the United States in civil actions filed on behalf of or against the land management agencies.

Nevada is home to 19 federally recognized Native American Tribes. Our United States Attorney’s Office is committed to fighting crime on tribal lands where we have jurisdiction to do so and making our Native American reservations and colonies safer. The United States Attorney’s Office has jurisdiction to prosecute felonies occurring on these reservations and colonies. The staffed branch office in Reno, Nevada, handles the majority of the cases that originate on Nevada Native American lands. In furtherance of our commitment to safety on the reservations and colonies and in addressing Native American issues, our United States Attorney’s Office has put together a District of Nevada Operational Plan for Tribal Matters and a District of Nevada Informational Resource Manual for Tribal Matters. The primary purpose of the Operational Plan and the Manual is to provide information and a resource in a number of areas concerning Tribal matters, to include policies and procedures of the USAO with respect to Indian Country investigations and prosecutions, federal offenses and their statutory elements, information concerning jurisdiction, maps of Nevada and our various Tribes, reservations and colonies, victim information and resources, Tribal profiles of each of our Tribes, reservations and colonies and pertinent points of contact for our Tribes, law enforcement partners, victims and witnesses.

Updated October 30, 2019

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