The Individual Trust Interest Report (ITI) is one of the most important documents for an Indian trust land owner to understand. It contains essential information about a landowner’s trust land (surface) and mineral (mineral rights) holdings. For example, it lists the location and size of a trust land allotment, the allottee’s share of undivided interests in an allotment and how much that share is worth. If an Indian person has inherited a lot of interests, the ITI Report can be several pages long and it’s not always clear where one allotment ends and another begins. It’s important for landowners to make this distinction if they are considering selling, exchanging or gift deeding some of their interests.
What to Expect
The ITI Report is generated from the Trust Asset and Accounting Management System (TAAMS) at the regional BIA Land Titles and Records Office and mailed to landowners on a quarterly basis. A copy of the ITI Report is required for most land-related applications, such as land consolidations and exchanges, transferring land from fee to trust status and gift deeds. The ITI Report can be requested through the local or regional Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) realty office or through the Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians (OST). In order to request a copy of the ITI Report, a landowner will need to provide his or her tribal enrollment number.
PLSS Legal Land Description
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) legal land description is included on the ITI Report and states the exact location of an allotment using land surveying terminology. The description includes the section, township, range, county, state and meridian. A section is equivalent to 640 acres, and most allotments are 160 acres, which would be one quarter of the section. Underneath the words “Legal Description” on the ITI Report is a direction (NE, NW, SE or SW) that identifies which quadrant (or quarter) of the section the land is in. If the allotment is less than 160 acres, there will be two or more directions listed. For example, an 80-acre allotment might have E, SW in the legal description. This would mean that the allotment is in the eastern half of the southwest quadrant of the section.
Calculating Ownership in Equivalent Acres
Applications for land exchange, consolidation or sale require ownership interest in equivalent acres. To calculate this, use the information on the ITI Report to multiply the Aggregate Decimal by the Total Section Acres.
For example: .0111111111 × 160 acres = 1.777777777 acres
Note: If the ownership is in undivided interests, this number will not represent an actual plot of land but an estimate of value for the interests owned in a tract of land.
Fly to Your Land on Google Earth
The Public Land Survey System (PLSS) land description found on the ITI Report can be used to view a map of the allotment on Google Earth.
To install Google Earth (it’s free ) visit Google Earth and click on the button to download the latest version of the program.
Next, go to the EarthPoint website page on Township and Tange. Scroll down to the section titled: “Convert Township, Range and Section to Latitude and Longitude.” Referring to the PLSS information on the ITIReport, select the correct information in the drop down boxes on the EarthPoint website. Click on “Fly to On Google Earth” and open the webpage that is automatically created for the allotment. On the map, one line marks the boundaries of the township and another line marks the boundaries of the 640-acre section of land the allotment is in.
Use the directions (NE, NW, SE or SW) in the legal land description of the ITI Report to determine the exact location of the allotment. Zoom in and out by double-clicking on the webpage or using the scroll bar at the right. Activate different “Layers” on the webpage to see more map details, such as towns and roads.