Text: S.1973 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 104-301 (10/11/1996)

 
[104th Congress Public Law 301]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ301.104]


[[Page 110 STAT. 3649]]

Public Law 104-301
104th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To provide for the settlement of the Navajo-Hopi land dispute, and for 
          other purposes. <<NOTE: Oct. 11, 1996 -  [S. 1973]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Navajo-Hopi Land 
Dispute Settlement Act of 1996.>> 

SECTION 1. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Navajo-Hopi Land Dispute Settlement 
Act of 1996''.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds that--
            (1) it is in the public interest for the Tribe, Navajos 
        residing on the Hopi Partitioned Lands, and the United States to 
        reach a peaceful resolution of the longstanding disagreements 
        between the parties under the Act commonly known as the 
        ``Navajo-Hopi Land Settlement Act of 1974'' (Public Law 93-531; 
        25 U.S.C. 640d et seq.);
            (2) it is in the best interest of the Tribe and the United 
        States that there be a fair and final settlement of certain 
        issues remaining in connection with the Navajo-Hopi Land 
        Settlement Act of 1974, including the full and final settlement 
        of the multiple claims that the Tribe has against the United 
        States;
            (3) this Act, together with the Settlement Agreement 
        executed on December 14, 1995, and the Accommodation Agreement 
        (as incorporated by the Settlement Agreement), provide the 
        authority for the Tribe to enter agreements with eligible Navajo 
        families in order for those families to remain residents of the 
        Hopi Partitioned Lands for a period of 75 years, subject to the 
        terms and conditions of the Accommodation Agreement;
            (4) the United States acknowledges and respects--
                    (A) the sincerity of the traditional beliefs of the 
                members of the Tribe and the Navajo families residing on 
                the Hopi Partitioned Lands; and
                    (B) the importance that the respective traditional 
                beliefs of the members of the Tribe and Navajo families 
                have with respect to the culture and way of life of 
                those members and families;
            (5) this Act, the Settlement Agreement, and the 
        Accommodation Agreement provide for the mutual respect and 
        protection of the traditional religious beliefs and practices of 
        the Tribe and the Navajo families residing on the Hopi 
        Partitioned Lands;
            (6) the Tribe is encouraged to work with the Navajo families 
        residing on the Hopi Partitioned Lands to address their concerns 
        regarding the establishment of family or individual burial

[[Page 110 STAT. 3650]]

        plots for deceased family members who have resided on the Hopi 
        Partitioned Lands; and
            (7) neither the Navajo Nation nor the Navajo families 
        residing upon Hopi Partitioned Lands were parties to or signers 
        of the Settlement Agreement between the United States and the 
        Hopi Tribe.

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  DEFINITIONS.

    Except as otherwise provided in this Act, for purposes of this Act, 
the following definitions shall apply:
            (1) Accommodation.--The term ``Accommodation'' has the 
        meaning provided that term under the Settlement Agreement.
            (2) Hopi partitioned lands.--The term ``Hopi Partitioned 
        Lands'' means lands located in the Hopi Partitioned Area, as 
        defined in section 168.1(g) of title 25, Code of Federal 
        Regulations (as in effect on the date of enactment of this Act).
            (3) Navajo partitioned lands.--The term ``Navajo Partitioned 
        Lands'' has the meaning provided that term in the proposed 
        regulations issued on November 1, 1995, at 60 Fed. Reg. 55506.
            (4) New lands.--The term ``New Lands'' has the meaning 
        provided that term in section 700.701(b) of title 25, Code of 
        Federal Regulations.
            (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (6) Settlement agreement.--The term ``Settlement Agreement'' 
        means the agreement between the United States and the Hopi Tribe 
        executed on December 14, 1995.
            (7) Tribe.--The term ``Tribe'' means the Hopi Tribe.
            (8) Newly acquired trust lands.--The term ``newly acquired 
        trust lands'' means lands taken into trust for the Tribe within 
        the State of Arizona pursuant to this Act or the Settlement 
        Agreement.

SEC. 4. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  RATIFICATION OF SETTLEMENT 
            AGREEMENT.

    The United States approves, ratifies, and confirms the Settlement 
Agreement.

SEC. 5. <<NOTE: Arizona. 25 USC 640d note.>>  CONDITIONS FOR LANDS TAKEN 
            INTO TRUST.

    The Secretary shall take such action as may be necessary to ensure 
that the following conditions are met prior to taking lands into trust 
for the benefit of the Tribe pursuant to the Settlement Agreement:
            (1) Selection of lands taken into trust.--
                    (A) Primary area.--In accordance with section 7(a) 
                of the Settlement Agreement, the primary area within 
                which lands acquired by the Tribe may be taken into 
                trust by the Secretary for the benefit of the Tribe 
                under the Settlement Agreement shall be located in 
                northern Arizona.
                    (B) Requirements for lands taken into trust in the 
                primary area.--Lands taken into trust in the primary 
                area referred to in subparagraph (A) shall be--
                          (i) land that is used substantially for 
                      ranching, agriculture, or another similar use; and
                          (ii) to the extent feasible, in contiguous 
                      parcels.
            (2) Acquisition of lands.--Before taking any land into trust 
        for the benefit of the Tribe under this section, the Secretary 
        shall ensure that--

[[Page 110 STAT. 3651]]

                    (A) at least 85 percent of the eligible Navajo heads 
                of household (as determined under the Settlement 
                Agreement) have entered into an accommodation or have 
                chosen to relocate and are eligible for relocation 
                assistance (as determined under the Settlement 
                Agreement); and
                    (B) the Tribe has consulted with the State of 
                Arizona concerning the lands proposed to be placed in 
                trust, including consulting with the State concerning 
                the impact of placing those lands into trust on the 
                State and political subdivisions thereof resulting from 
                the removal of land from the tax rolls in a manner 
                consistent with the provisions of part 151 of title 25, 
                Code of Federal Regulations.
            (3) Prohibition.--The Secretary may not, pursuant to the 
        provisions of this Act and the Settlement Agreement, place 
        lands, any portion of which are located within or contiguous to 
        a 5-mile radius of an incorporated town or city (as those terms 
        are defined by the Secretary) in northern Arizona, into trust 
        for benefit of the Tribe without specific statutory authority.
            (4) Expeditious action by the secretary.--Consistent with 
        all other provisions of this Act, the Secretary is directed to 
        take lands into trust under this Act expeditiously and without 
        undue delay.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  ACQUISITION THROUGH 
                    CONDEMNATION OF CERTAIN INTERSPERSED LANDS.

    (a) <<NOTE: Arizona.>>  In General.--
            (1) Action by the secretary.--
                    (A) In general.--The Secretary shall take action as 
                specified in subparagraph (B), to the extent that the 
                Tribe, in accordance with section 7(b) of the Settlement 
                Agreement--
                          (i) acquires private lands; and
                          (ii) requests the Secretary to acquire through 
                      condemnation interspersed lands that are owned by 
                      the State of Arizona and are located within the 
                      exterior boundaries of those private lands in 
                      order to have both the private lands and the State 
                      lands taken into trust by the Secretary for the 
                      benefit of the Tribe.
                    (B) Acquisition through condemnation.--With respect 
                to a request for an acquisition of lands through 
                condemnation made under subparagraph (A), the Secretary 
                shall, upon the recommendation of the Tribe, take such 
                action as may be necessary to acquire the lands through 
                condemnation and, with funds provided by the Tribe, pay 
                the State of Arizona fair market value for those lands 
                in accordance with applicable Federal law, if the 
                conditions described in paragraph (2) are met.
            (2) Conditions for acquisition through condemnation.--The 
        Secretary may acquire lands through condemnation under this 
        subsection if--
                    (A) that acquisition is consistent with the purpose 
                of obtaining not more than 500,000 acres of land to be 
                taken into trust for the Tribe;
                    (B) the State of Arizona concurs with the United 
                States that the acquisition is consistent with the 
                interests of the State; and

[[Page 110 STAT. 3652]]

                    (C) the Tribe pays for the land acquired through 
                condemnation under this subsection.

    (b) Disposition of Lands.--If the Secretary acquires lands through 
condemnation under subsection (a), the Secretary shall take those lands 
into trust for the Tribe in accordance with this Act and the Settlement 
Agreement.
    (c) Private Lands.--The Secretary may not acquire private lands 
through condemnation for the purpose specified in subsection (a)(2)(A).

SEC. 7. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  ACTION TO QUIET POSSESSION.

    If the United States fails to discharge the obligations specified in 
section 9(c) of the Settlement Agreement with respect to voluntary 
relocation of Navajos residing on Hopi Partitioned Lands, or section 
9(d) of the Settlement Agreement, relating to the implementation of 
sections 700.137 through 700.139 of title 25, Code of Federal 
Regulations, on the New Lands, including failure for reason of 
insufficient funds made available by appropriations or otherwise, the 
Tribe may bring an action to quiet possession that relates to the use of 
the Hopi Partitioned Lands after February 1, 2000, by a Navajo family 
that is eligible for an accommodation, but fails to enter into an 
accommodation.

SEC. 8. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  PAYMENT TO STATE OF ARIZONA.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations.--Subject to subsection (b), 
there are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the 
Interior $250,000 for fiscal year 1998, to be used by the Secretary of 
the Interior for making a payment to the State of Arizona.
    (b) Payment.--The Secretary shall make a payment in the amount 
specified in subsection (a) to the State of Arizona after an initial 
acquisition of land from the State has been made by the Secretary 
pursuant to section 6.

SEC. 9. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  75-YEAR LEASING AUTHORITY.

    The first section of the Act of August 9, 1955 (69 Stat. 539, 
chapter 615; 25 U.S.C. 415) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsections:
    ``(c) Leases Involving the Hopi Tribe and the Hopi Partitioned Lands 
Accommodation Agreement.--Notwithstanding subsection (a), a lease of 
land by the Hopi Tribe to Navajo Indians on the Hopi Partitioned Lands 
may be for a term of 75 years, and may be extended at the conclusion of 
the term of the lease.
    ``(d) Definitions.--For purposes of this section--
            ``(1) the term `Hopi Partitioned Lands' means lands located 
        in the Hopi Partitioned Area, as defined in section 168.1(g) of 
        title 25, Code of Federal Regulations (as in effect on the date 
        of enactment of this subsection); and
            ``(2) the term `Navajo Indians' means members of the Navajo 
        Tribe.''.

SEC. 10. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  REAUTHORIZATION OF THE 
                      NAVAJO-HOPI RELOCATION HOUSING PROGRAM.

    Section 25(a)(8) of Public Law 93-531 (25 U.S.C. 640d-24(a)(8)) is 
amended by striking ``1996, and 1997'' and inserting ``1996, 1997, 1998, 
1999, and 2000''.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3653]]

SEC. 11. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  EFFECT OF THIS ACT ON CASES 
                      INVOLVING THE NAVAJO NATION AND THE HOPI 
                      TRIBE.

    Nothing in this Act or the amendments made by this Act shall be 
interpreted or deemed to preclude, limit, or endorse, in any manner, 
actions by the Navajo Nation that seek, in court, an offset from 
judgments for payments received by the Hopi Tribe under the Settlement 
Agreement.

SEC. 12. <<NOTE: 25 USC 640d note.>>  WATER RIGHTS.

    (a) In General.--
            (1) Water rights.--Subject to the other provisions of this 
        section, newly acquired trust lands shall have only the 
        following water rights:
                    (A) The right to the reasonable use of groundwater 
                pumped from such lands.
                    (B) All rights to the use of surface water on such 
                lands existing under State law on the date of 
                acquisition, with the priority date of such right under 
                State law.
                    (C) The right to make any further beneficial use on 
                such lands which is unappropriated on the date each 
                parcel of newly acquired trust lands is taken into 
                trust. The priority date for the right shall be the date 
                the lands are taken into trust.
            (2) Rights not subject to forfeiture or abandonment.--The 
        Tribe's water rights for newly acquired trust lands shall not be 
        subject to forfeiture or abandonment arising from events 
        occurring after the date the lands are taken into trust.

    (b) Recognition as valid uses.--
            (1) Groundwater.--With respect to water rights associated 
        with newly acquired trust lands, the Tribe, and the United 
        States on the Tribe's behalf, shall recognize as valid all uses 
        of groundwater which may be made from wells (or their subsequent 
        replacements) in existence on the date each parcel of newly 
        acquired trust land is acquired and shall not object to such 
        groundwater uses on the basis of water rights associated with 
        the newly acquired trust lands. The Tribe, and the United States 
        on the Tribe's behalf, may object only to the impact of 
        groundwater uses on newly acquired trust lands which are 
        initiated after the date the lands affected are taken into trust 
        and only on grounds allowed by the State law as it exists when 
        the objection is made. The Tribe, and the United States on the 
        Tribe's behalf, shall not object to the impact of groundwater 
        uses on the Tribe's right to surface water established pursuant 
        to subsection (a)(3) when those groundwater uses are initiated 
        before the Tribe initiates its beneficial use of surface water 
        pursuant to subsection (a)(3).
            (2) Surface water.--With respect to water rights associated 
        with newly acquired trust lands, the Tribe, and the United 
        States on the Tribe's behalf, shall recognize as valid all uses 
        of surface water in existence on or prior to the date each 
        parcel of newly acquired trust land is acquired and shall not 
        object to such surface water uses on the basis of water rights 
        associated with the newly acquired trust lands, but shall have 
        the right to enforce the priority of its rights against all 
        junior water rights the exercise of which interfere with the 
        actual use of the Tribe's senior surface water rights.

[[Page 110 STAT. 3654]]

            (3) Rule of construction.--Nothing in paragraph (1) or (2) 
        shall preclude the Tribe, or the United States on the Tribe's 
        behalf, from asserting objections to water rights and uses on 
        the basis of the Tribe's water rights on its currently existing 
        trust lands.

    (c) Applicability of State Law on Lands Other Than Newly Acquired 
Lands.--The Tribe, and the United States on the Tribe's behalf, further 
recognize that State law applies to water uses on lands, including 
subsurface estates, that exist within the exterior boundaries of newly 
acquired trust lands and that are owned by any party other than the 
Tribe.
    (d) Adjudication of Water Rights on Newly Acquired Trust Lands.--The 
Tribe's water rights on newly acquired trust lands shall be adjudicated 
with the rights of all other competing users in the court now presiding 
over the Little Colorado River Adjudication, or if that court no longer 
has jurisdiction, in the appropriate State or Federal court. Any 
controversies between or among users arising under Federal or State law 
involving the Tribe's water rights on newly acquired trust lands shall 
be resolved in the court now presiding over the Little Colorado River 
Adjudication, or, if that court no longer has jurisdiction, in the 
appropriate State or Federal court. Nothing in this subsection shall be 
construed to affect any court's jurisdiction: Provided, That the Tribe 
shall administer all water rights established in subsection (a).
    (e) Prohibition.--Water rights for newly acquired trust lands shall 
not be used, leased, sold, or transported for use off of such lands or 
the Tribe's other trust lands: Provided, That the Tribe may agree with 
other persons having junior water rights to subordinate the Tribe's 
senior water rights. Water rights for newly acquired trust lands can 
only be used on those lands or other trust lands of the Tribe located 
within the same river basin tributary to the main stream of the Colorado 
River.
    (f) Subsurface Interests.--On any newly acquired trust lands where 
the subsurface interest is owned by any party other than the Tribe, the 
trust status of the surface ownership shall not impair any existing 
right of the subsurface owner to develop the subsurface interest and to 
have access to the surface for the purpose of such development.
    (g) Statutory Construction with Respect to Water Rights of Other 
Federally Recognized Indian Tribes.--Nothing in this section shall 
affect the water rights of any other federally recognized Indian tribe 
with a priority date earlier than the date the newly acquired trust 
lands are taken into trust.
    (h) Statutory Construction.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to determine the law applicable to water use on lands owned by 
the United States, other than on the newly acquired trust lands. The 
granting of the right to make beneficial use of unappropriated surface 
water on the newly acquired trust lands with a priority date such lands 
are taken into trust shall not be construed to imply that such right is 
a Federal reserved water

[[Page 110 STAT. 3655]]

right. Nothing in this section or any other provision of this Act shall 
be construed to establish any Federal reserved right to groundwater. 
Authority for the Secretary to take land into trust for the Tribe 
pursuant to the Settlement Agreement and this Act shall be construed as 
having been provided solely by the provisions of this Act.

    Approved October 11, 1996.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 1973:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 104-363 (Comm. on Indian Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 142 (1996):
            Sept. 26, considered and passed Senate.
            Sept. 28, considered and passed House.

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