Text: H.R.4613 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (02/04/2010)


111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 4613


To settle land claims within the Fort Hall Reservation.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 4, 2010

Mr. Simpson (for himself and Mr. Minnick) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


A BILL

To settle land claims within the Fort Hall Reservation.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Blackfoot River Land Settlement Act of 2010”.

SEC. 2. Findings; purposes.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

(1) it is the policy of the United States to promote tribal self-determination and economic self-sufficiency and encourage the resolution of disputes over historical claims through mutually agreed-upon settlements between Indian tribes and the United States;

(2) the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, a federally recognized Indian tribe with tribal headquarters at Fort Hall, Idaho—

(A) adopted a tribal constitution and bylaws on March 31, 1936, that were approved by the Secretary of the Interior on April 30, 1936, pursuant to the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 et seq.) (commonly known as the “Indian Reorganization Act”);

(B) has entered into various treaties with the United States, including the Second Treaty of Fort Bridger, executed on July 3, 1868; and

(C) has maintained a continuous government-to-government relationship with the United States since the earliest years of the Union;

(3)(A) in 1867, President Andrew Johnson designated by Executive order the Fort Hall Reservation for various bands of Shoshone and Bannock Indians;

(B) the Reservation is located near the cities of Blackfoot and Pocatello in southeastern Idaho; and

(C) article 4 of the Second Treaty of Fort Bridger secured the Reservation as a “permanent home” for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes;

(4)(A) according to the Executive order referred to in paragraph (3)(A), the Blackfoot River, as the river existed in its natural state—

(i) is the northern boundary of the Reservation; and

(ii) flows in a westerly direction along that northern boundary; and

(B) within the Reservation, land use in the River watershed is dominated by—

(i) rangeland;

(ii) dry and irrigated farming; and

(iii) residential development;

(5)(A) in 1964, the Corps of Engineers completed a local flood protection project on the River—

(i) authorized by section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 170); and

(ii) sponsored by the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7;

(B) the project consisted of building levees, replacing irrigation diversion structures, replacing bridges, and channel realignment; and

(C) the channel realignment portion of the project severed various parcels of land located contiguous to the River along the boundary of the Reservation, resulting in Indian land being located north of the Realigned River and non-Indian land being located south of the Realigned River;

(6) beginning in 1999, the Cadastral Survey Office of the Bureau of Land Management conducted surveys of—

(A) 25 parcels of Indian land; and

(B) 19 parcels of non-Indian land;

(7) in 1988, many non-Indian landowners and non-Indians acquiring Indian land filed claims in the Snake River Basin Adjudication seeking water rights that included a place of use on Indian land; and

(8) the enactment of this Act and the distribution of funds in accordance with section 12(b) would represent an agreement among—

(A) the Tribes;

(B) the allottees;

(C) the non-Indians acquiring Indian land; and

(D) the non-Indian landowners.

(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act are—

(1) to resolve the disputes resulting from realignment of the River by the Corps of Engineers during calendar year 1964 pursuant to the project described in subsection (a)(5)(A); and

(2) to achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of all claims and potential claims arising from those disputes.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) ALLOTTEE.—The term “allottee” means an heir of an original allottee of the Reservation who owns an interest in a parcel of land that is—

(A) held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribes or allottee; and

(B) located north of the Realigned River within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation.

(2) INDIAN LAND.—The term “Indian land” means any parcel of land that is—

(A) held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribes or the allottees;

(B) located north of the Realigned River; and

(C) identified in exhibit C of the survey of the Bureau of Land Management titled “Survey of the Blackfoot River of 2002 to 2005”, which is located at—

(i) the Fort Hall Indian Agency office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

(ii) the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7, 75 East Judicial, Blackfoot, Idaho.

(3) NON-INDIAN ACQUIRING INDIAN LAND.—The term “non-Indian acquiring Indian land” means any individual or entity that—

(A) has acquired or plans to acquire Indian land; and

(B) is included on the list in exhibit C of the survey referred to in paragraph (2)(C).

(4) NON-INDIAN LAND.—The term “non-Indian land” means any parcel of fee land that is—

(A) located south of the Realigned River; and

(B) identified in exhibit B of the survey referred to in paragraph (2)(C).

(5) NON-INDIAN LANDOWNER.—The term “non-Indian landowner” means any individual who holds fee title to non-Indian land.

(6) REALIGNED RIVER.—The term “Realigned River” means that portion of the River that was realigned by the Corps of Engineers during calendar year 1964 pursuant to the project described in section 2(a)(5).

(7) RESERVATION.—The term “Reservation” means the Fort Hall Reservation established by Executive order during calendar year 1867.

(8) RIVER.—The term “River” means the Blackfoot River located in the State of Idaho.

(9) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

(10) TRIBES.—The term “Tribes” means the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

SEC. 4. Extinguishment of claims and title.

Except as provided in sections 5 and 6, effective beginning on the date on which the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12 are distributed in accordance with that section, all claims and all past, present, and future right, title, and interest in and to the Indian land and non-Indian land shall be extinguished.

SEC. 5. Land to be placed into trust for Tribes.

Effective beginning on the date on which the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12 are distributed in accordance with that section to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7, the non-Indian land shall be considered to be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribes.

SEC. 6. Trust land to be converted to fee land.

Effective beginning on the date on which the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12 are distributed in accordance with that section to the tribal trust fund account and the allottee trust account, the Indian land shall be transferred to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 for conveyance to the non-Indians acquiring Indian land.

SEC. 7. Tribal trust fund account and allottee trust account.

(a) Tribal trust fund account.—

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established in the Treasury of the United States an account, to be known as the “tribal trust fund account”, consisting of such amounts as are deposited in the account under section 12(b)(1).

(2) INVESTMENT.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the tribal trust fund account for the benefit of the Tribes, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

(3) DISTRIBUTION.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall distribute amounts in the tribal trust fund account to the Tribes pursuant to a budget adopted by the Tribes that describes—

(A) the amounts required by the Tribes; and

(B) the intended uses of the amounts, in accordance with paragraph (4).

(4) USE OF FUNDS.—The Tribes may use amounts in the tribal trust fund account (including interest earned on those amounts), without fiscal year limitation, for activities relating to—

(A) construction of a natural resources facility;

(B) water resources needs;

(C) economic development;

(D) land acquisition; and

(E) such other purposes as the Tribes determine to be appropriate.

(b) Allottee trust account.—

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established in the Treasury of the United States an account, to be known as the “allottee trust account”, consisting of such amounts as are deposited in the account under section 12(b)(2).

(2) DEPOSIT INTO IIMS.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which amounts are deposited in the allottee trust account under section 12(b)(2), the Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit the amounts into individual Indian money accounts for the allottees.

(3) INVESTMENT.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the individual Indian money accounts under paragraph (2) in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

SEC. 8. Attorneys fees.

(a) In general.—Subject to subsection (b), of the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12(a), the Secretary shall pay to the attorneys of the Tribes and the non-Indian landowners such attorneys fees as are approved by the Tribes and the non-Indian landowners.

(b) Limitation.—The total amount of attorneys fees paid by the Secretary under subsection (a) shall not exceed 2 percent of the amounts distributed to the Tribes, allottees, and the non-Indian landowners under section 12(b).

SEC. 9. Effect on original Reservation boundary.

Nothing in this Act affects the original boundary of the Reservation, as established by Executive order during calendar year 1867 and confirmed by treaty during calendar year 1868.

SEC. 10. Effect on tribal water rights.

Nothing in this Act extinguishes or conveys any water right of the Tribes, as established in the agreement entitled “1990 Fort Hall Indian Water Rights Agreement” and ratified by section 4 of the Fort Hall Indian Water Rights Act of 1990 (Public Law 101–602; 104 Stat. 3060).

SEC. 11. Disclaimers regarding claims.

Nothing in this Act—

(1) affects in any manner the sovereign claim of the State of Idaho to title in and to the beds and banks of the River under the equal footing doctrine of the Constitution of the United States;

(2) affects any action by the State of Idaho to establish that title under section 2409a of title 28, United States Code (commonly known as the “Quiet Title Act”);

(3) affects the ability of the Tribes or the United States to claim ownership of the beds and banks of the River; or

(4) extinguishes or conveys any water rights of non-Indian landowners or the claims of the landowners to water rights in the Snake River Basin Adjudication.

SEC. 12. Funding.

(a) Authorization of appropriations.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $1,000,000.

(b) Distribution.—After the date on which all attorneys fees are paid under section 8, the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall be distributed among the Tribes, the allottees, and the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 as follows:

(1) 28 percent shall be deposited into the tribal trust fund account established by section 7(a)(1).

(2) 25 percent shall be deposited into the allottee trust account established by section 7(b)(1).

(3) 47 percent shall be provided to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 for—

(A) distribution to the non-Indian landowners on a pro rata, per-acre basis; and

(B) associated administrative expenses.

(c) Per capita payments prohibited.—No amount received by the Tribes under this Act shall be distributed to a member of the Tribes on a per capita basis.

SEC. 13. Effective date.

This Act takes effect on the date on which the amount described in section 12(a) is appropriated.