Indian Affairs | OTS

Office of Trust Services
The Office of Trust Services carries out Indian Affairs trust responsibilities to Indian tribes and individuals and oversees all headquarter activities associated with management and protection of trust and restricted lands, natural resources, and real estate services. The office provides land related functions to Indian trust owners including acquisition, disposal, rights-of-way, leasing and sales, and assists them in the management, development, and protection of trust land and natural resource assets. Programs administered include real estate services; land title and records; probate; natural resources; forestry and wildland fire management; irrigation, power and safety of dams. In more detail the six divisions are:

Division of Real Estate Services.
The division provides assistance, advice, policy, oversight, monitoring, and coordination for the protection, management, planning, conservation, development, and utilization of trust and restricted Federal Indian-owned lands that include acquisition, disposal, tenure, rights-of-way, permits, leasing, and sales. The division manages the Bureau's program to accept real estate on behalf of tribes under the Base Realignment and Closure Act and similar programs. The division manages the Cadastral Survey program for the determination of legal boundaries on Indian land.

Division of Land Titles and Records.
The division oversees policy development, deployment, and implementation of the title portion of the trust asset and accounting system, and oversees the administration and maintenance of title documents, document certification, title research and examination, and the determination of legal title for Federal Indian trust or restricted lands.

Division of Probate.
The division provides functional control, assistance, policy development coordination for probate programs, and monitors and evaluates probate operations. The division exercises program oversight and provides planning and scheduling of Bureau probate and assisted activities. The division coordinates the implementation of the Bureau's policies and procedures, to ensure that the probate initiatives meet the Secretary's fiduciary responsibilities and improves efficiency of services to tribes and individual Indians. The division is responsible for developing action plans and systems for probate programs and for developing and implementing improvements to the probate process. The division is responsible for management and implementation of probate-related outsourcing efforts and coordinates associated operations with other trust reform activities and other Departmental initiatives.

Division of Natural Resources.
The division provides coordination, management, planning, oversight, and monitoring for development and protection of trust natural resources, protection of Indian water rights, water development projects, litigation support, attorneys fees, and fish and wildlife resources. The Bureau's responsibilities under the Federal Power Act in re-licensing hydro-power projects that affect Indian trust resources are carried out in this division. The division provides direction and guidance for all activities related to the planning, management, conservation, development, and utilization of soil, water, farmland, rangeland, fish and wildlife resources, and endangered species. The division is responsible for the Bureau's natural resource damage assessment and restoration program.

Division of Forestry and Wildland Fire Management.
The division is responsible for providing coordination, management, planning, oversight, and monitoring for activities related to development, enhancement and protection of trust forest resources including the National Wildland Fire Program. The division exercises program oversight and provides planning and scheduling of Bureau-wide forestry activities at the national level to ensure that regulatory and policy requirements are followed and that technical standards of sound forest management are upheld. The division has staff in Washington, DC; Denver, CO; the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, ID; and interagency fire coordination centers in Missoula, MT; Albuquerque, NM; and Oklahoma City, OK.

Division of Water and Power.
The division is responsible for irrigation construction, dam rehabilitation and the operation and maintenance of dams, irrigation, and power projects. The scope of responsibilities include, engineering management, operations and maintenance involving over 135 dams, numerous large irrigation projects, more than 100 irrigation systems and several large revenue generating power operations. The division is also responsible for flood plain management. This division is resource utilization oriented and functions as an engineering management and oversight operation. The Safety of Dams (SOD) program prepares capital asset plans for the major rehabilitation projects in accordance with the Capital Planning and Investment Control process. The SOD program, irrigation, and power programs report construction-in-progress to Bureau management officials, and conduct condition assessments to quantify the deferred maintenance backlog for budget justifications and reporting purposes.

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