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Cayuga Nation successfully moves $2.5M of land into federal trust

The Cayuga Nation has successfully transferred approximately $2.5 million worth of land into federal trust, a significant milestone following the approval of their nearly two-decade-long application by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The transfer, completed in early October, encompasses five properties in Cayuga County, totaling about 115 acres. These properties include Lakeside Entertainment, assessed at $221,200; Lakeside Trading, valued at $1,600,000; the former Lakeside Car Wash at $60,000; a 3.7-acre vacant property in the town of Springport, assessed at $50,700; and a 108-acre vacant property in the village of Union Springs, valued at $548,300.


The federal trust status of these lands exempts them from local and state taxes and zoning oversight.

The Cayuga Nation’s quest to transfer these lands into federal trust began with an application filed in 2005, which faced opposition across Cayuga County. The BIA initially rejected the application in 2020 due to internal disputes within the Cayuga Nation but reversed its decision in March 2022 after receiving new information from the nation’s leadership council.

Cayuga Nation’s federally recognized representative, Clint Halftown, stated that despite political opposition and delays, the nation persisted in its efforts.