then what sense does the whole "have Riker tell the Council what's happening to the Baku?" plan make.
The thing there is, who was actually in a position to exercise control over the planet? In order to stop the relocation and the harvesting, Picard didn't bother speaking to the Baku on the matter, Picard sent Riker to speak to the Federation Council, why? Because ultimately they were the ones making the decisions. The Baku, the Sona, and Picard's crew could all act on their own accord, but the Council were the ones with the authority.
Not the Baku.
Picard, as with the Admiral before him, never asked the Baku what they wanted. He didn't ask if they wanted to go or stay, Picard made the decision for their group.
Riker: "The Federation Council has asked me to inform you that the Baku relocation will be halted, while they conduct a top-level review."
Halted, not cancelled.
What happens then? Well, the Council could (after review) reaffirm their original decision to harvest the particles, have the remaining Sona (or their servants) build a second collector/take the time to build one themselves. Relocate the Baku openly to a Federation planet. Harvest the particles, with the Baku having the same access to them as others.
The Council could formally inform the Baku that the Federation renounces sovereignty over the planet and the Brier Patch, congratulate them, and inform them that they are completely on their own from that point forward.
The Council could stop the harvest, retain sovereignty, and open the planet to "spas" and large scale colonization. The Federation/Starfleet would establish an exclusion zone on the planet's surface around the Baku's valley, say several hundred kilometres across, room for the Baku to eventually grow. It would be entirely up to the Baku who came and went from the exclusion zone.
Other possibilities exist. However, whatever the decision, the decision won't be made by the Baku.
Picard: "I strongly urge you to request an emergency session of the Federation Council. The issue of Dorvan Five must be reopened."
Necheyev: "Captain, I made that request two days ago. The answer was no. I'm sorry but you have your orders."
Locutus of Bored wrote:
the Bak'u were the first settlers of the planet around 2065
Without question. They are by all indications the first people to live on the surface.
It isn't a matter of who crosses the finish line first.
There are vast areas of the western United States interior, either public land or privately owned, where no one lives. There are likely places in America where historically no one has ever set foot. If a group of people settles on any of this this land, it doesn't become their sovereign state.
I own a hectare of land on the Atlantic coast of Brazil (conveniently located forty kilometres from the nearest road), I've only been there twice, camped overnight once. There are no signs that anyone has ever "settled" there. That doesn't mean a group of people can just settle there and achieve ownership.
It doesn't matter if the Baku were the first to settle there, that in of itself
doesn't award them sovereignty of the entire world and it's rings.