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Trespass is defined in the General Forestry Regulations section of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) (25 CFR § 163.1) as:

The removal of forest products from, or damaging forest products on, Indian Forest Land, except when authorized by law and applicable federal or tribal regulations. Trespass can include any damage to forest resources on Indian Forest land resulting from activities under contracts or permits or from fire.

Indian Affairs (IA) policy on forest trespass is described in 53 IAM 7: Forest Trespass. The associated Indian Affairs Forest Trespass Handbook addresses all forest trespass cases caused by unauthorized harvest or human-caused wildfire and  provides guidance for the detection and investigation of trespass incidents, appraisal of damages, preparation of appropriate reports, enforcement, litigation, settlement, distribution of collections, and prevention of trespass on Indian lands.

The punishment of trespassers is as important as the recovery of damages because it serves as a deterrent to reduce future trespass activities. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary), acting through the BIA or through Tribal programs to which authority has been assumed by delegation or by contract, is responsible for protecting Indian forest lands from trespass and for recovering damages when trespass occurs.

The following templates are identified in the Indian Affairs Forest Trespass Handbook, and are required to implement the policy described in 53 IAM 7: Forest Trespass.


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