States may not take tribal land by eminent domain

Lands owned by Indian nations and held in trust status cannot be taken by the states by eminent domain, although federal statutory authority allows states to take "allotments" held by the United States in trust for individual tribal citizens for public purposes including utility easements. 25 U.S.C. §357. The Tenth Circuit has held that if the tribe (in this case the Navajo Nation) owns a fractional interest in an allotment, then the state (or its service companies) cannot use eminent domain power to take a utility easement from those allotment owners. Public Serv. Co. of N.M. v. Barboan, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 9204 (10th Cir. 2017). The only way to acquire such an easement is for the land to be taken by the eminent domain power of the United States or in a voluntary sale with the consent of the relevant Indian nation and required consent by the United States generally exercised by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.