Text: S.3408 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (05/25/2010)

 
[Congressional Bills 111th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 3408 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

111th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3408

  To provide for the conveyance of certain public land in and around 
historic mining townsites located in the State of Nevada, and for other 
                               purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 25, 2010

 Mr. Reid (for himself and Mr. Ensign) introduced the following bill; 
   which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To provide for the conveyance of certain public land in and around 
historic mining townsites located in the State of Nevada, and for other 
                               purposes.

    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 ``Nevada Mining Townsite Conveyance 
Act''.

SEC. 2. DISPOSAL OF PUBLIC LAND IN MINING TOWNSITES, ESMERALDA AND NYE 
              COUNTIES, NEVADA.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) the Federal Government owns real property in and around 
        historic mining townsites in the counties of Esmeralda and Nye 
        in the State of Nevada;
            (2) while the real property described in paragraph (1) is 
        under the jurisdiction of the Secretary, some of the real 
        property has been occupied for decades by individuals--
                    (A) who took possession by purchase or other 
                documented and putatively legal transactions; and
                    (B) the continued occupation by whom constitutes a 
                trespass on the title held by the Federal Government;
            (3) as a result of the confused and conflicting ownership 
        claims, the real property described in paragraph (1)--
                    (A) is difficult to manage under multiple use 
                policies; and
                    (B) creates a continuing source of friction and 
                unease between the Federal Government and local 
                residents;
            (4)(A) all of the real property described in paragraph (1) 
        is appropriate for disposal for the purpose of promoting 
        administrative efficiency and effectiveness; and
            (B) as of the date of enactment of this Act, the Bureau of 
        Land Management has identified the mining townsites for 
        disposal; and
            (5) to promote the responsible resource management of the 
        real property described in paragraph (1), certain parcels 
        should be conveyed to the county in which the property is 
        situated in accordance with land use management plans of the 
        Bureau of Land Management so that the county may, in addition 
        to other actions, dispose of the property to individuals 
        residing on or otherwise occupying the real property.
    (b) Definitions.--In this Act:
            (1) Conveyance maps.--The term ``conveyance maps'' means--
                    (A) the map entitled ``Original Mining Townsite 
                Ione Nevada'' and dated October 17, 2005; and
                    (B) the map entitled ``Original Mining Townsite 
                Gold Point'' and dated October 17, 2005.
            (2) Mining townsite.--The term ``mining townsite'' means 
        real property--
                    (A) located in the Gold Point and Ione townsites 
                within the counties of Esmeralda and Nye, Nevada, as 
                depicted on the conveyance maps;
                    (B) that is owned by the Federal Government; and
                    (C) on which improvements were constructed based on 
                the belief that--
                            (i) the property had been or would be 
                        acquired from the Federal Government by the 
                        entity that operated the mine; or
                            (ii) the individual or entity that made the 
                        improvement had a valid claim for acquiring the 
                        property from the Federal Government.
                    (D) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the 
                Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of 
                Land Management.
    (c) Mining Claim Validity Review.--
            (1) In general.--As soon as practicable after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall carry out an 
        expedited program to examine each unpatented mining claim 
        (including each unpatented mining claim for which a patent 
        application has been filed) within each mining townsite.
            (2) Determination of validity.--With respect to a mining 
        claim, if the Secretary determines that the elements of a 
        contest are present, the Secretary shall immediately determine 
        the validity of the mining claim.
            (3) Declaration by secretary.--If the Secretary determines 
        a mining claim to be invalid, as soon as practicable after the 
        date of the determination, the Secretary shall declare the 
        mining claim to be null and void.
            (4) Treatment of valid mining claims.--
                    (A) In general.--Each mining claim that the 
                Secretary determines to be valid shall be maintained in 
                compliance with the general mining laws and subsection 
                (d)(2)(B).
                    (B) Effect on holders.--A holder of a mining claim 
                described in subparagraph (A) shall not be entitled to 
                a patent.
            (5) Abandonment of claim.--The Secretary shall provide--
                    (A) public notice that each mining claim holder may 
                affirmatively abandon the claim of the mining claim 
                holder prior to the validity review; and
                    (B) to each mining claim holder an opportunity to 
                abandon the claim of the mining claim holder before the 
                date on which the land that is subject to the mining 
                claim is conveyed.
    (d) Conveyance Authority.--
            (1) In general.--After completing a validity review under 
        subsection (c) and notwithstanding sections 202 and 203 of the 
        Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712, 
        1713), the Secretary shall convey to the appropriate county, 
        without consideration, all right, title, and interest of the 
        United States in and to mining townsites (including 
        improvements on the mining townsites)--
                    (A) identified for conveyance on the conveyance 
                maps; and
                    (B) that are not subject to valid mining claims.
            (2) Valid mining claims.--
                    (A) In general.--With respect to each parcel of 
                land located in a mining townsite subject to a valid 
                mining claim, the Secretary shall reserve the mineral 
                rights and otherwise convey, without consideration, the 
                remaining right, title, and interest of the United 
                States in and to the mining townsite (including 
                improvements on the mining townsite) that is identified 
                for conveyance on a conveyance map.
                    (B) Procedures and requirements.--Each valid mining 
                claim shall be subject to each procedure and 
                requirement described in section 9 of the Act of 
                December 29, 1916 (43 U.S.C. 299) (commonly known as 
                the ``Stockraising Homestead Act of 1916'') (including 
                regulations).
            (3) Availability of conveyance maps.--The conveyance maps 
        shall be on file and available for public inspection in the 
        appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land Management.
    (e) Recipients.--
            (1) Original recipient.--Subject to paragraph (2), the 
        conveyance of a mining townsite under subsection (d) shall be 
        made to the county in which the mining townsite is situated.
            (2) Reconveyance to occupants.--
                    (A) In general.--In the case of a mining townsite 
                conveyed under subsection (d) for which a valid 
                interest is proven by 1 or more individuals, under the 
                provisions of Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 244, the 
                county that receives the mining townsite under 
                paragraph (1) shall reconvey the property to the 1 or 
                more individuals by appropriate deed or other legal 
                conveyance as provided in that chapter.
                    (B) Authority of county.--A county described in 
                subparagraph (A) is not required to recognize a claim 
                under this paragraph that is submitted on a date that 
                is later than 5 years after the date of enactment of 
                this Act.
    (f) Valid Existing Rights.--The conveyance of a mining townsite 
under subsection (d) shall be subject to valid existing rights, 
including any easement or other right-of-way or lease in existence as 
of the date of the conveyance.
    (g) Withdrawals.--Subject to valid rights in existence on the date 
of enactment of this Act, and except as otherwise provided in this Act, 
the mining townsites are withdrawn from--
            (1) all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under 
        the public land laws;
            (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and
            (3) disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral and 
        geothermal leasing or mineral materials.
    (h) Survey.--A mining townsite to be conveyed by the United States 
under subsection (d) shall be sufficiently surveyed as a whole to 
legally describe the land for patent conveyance.
    (i) Conveyance of Terminated Mining Claims.--If a mining claim 
determined by the Secretary to be valid under subsection (c) is 
abandoned, invalidated, or otherwise returned to the Bureau of Land 
Management, the mining claim shall be--
            (1) withdrawn in accordance with subsection (g); and
            (2) conveyed to the owner of the surface rights covered by 
        the mining claim.
    (j) Release.--On completion of the conveyance of a mining townsite 
under subsection (d), the United States shall be relieved from 
liability for, and shall be held harmless from, any and all claims 
arising from the presence of improvements and materials on the conveyed 
property.
    (k) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary such sums as are necessary to carry out 
this Act.
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