Text: S.41 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (01/08/2019)


116th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 41


To survey the gradient boundary along the Red River in the States of Oklahoma and Texas, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 8, 2019

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


A BILL

To survey the gradient boundary along the Red River in the States of Oklahoma and Texas, 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 “Red River Gradient Boundary Survey Act”.

SEC. 2. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) AFFECTED AREA.—

(A) IN GENERAL.—The term “affected area” means land along the approximately 116-mile stretch of the Red River, from its confluence with the north fork of the Red River on the West to the 98th meridian on the east.

(B) EXCLUSIONS.—The term “affected area” does not include the portion of the Red River within the boundary depicted on the survey prepared by the Bureau of Land Management entitled “Township 5 South, Range 14 West, of the Indian Meridian, Oklahoma, Dependent Resurvey and Survey” and dated February 28, 2006.

(2) GRADIENT BOUNDARY SURVEY METHOD.—The term “gradient boundary survey method” means the measurement technique used to locate the South Bank boundary line in accordance with the methodology established in Oklahoma v. Texas, 261 U.S. 340 (1923) (recognizing that the boundary line along the Red River is subject to change due to erosion and accretion).

(3) LANDOWNER.—The term “landowner” means any individual, group, association, corporation, federally recognized Indian tribe or member of such an Indian tribe, or other private or governmental legal entity that owns an interest in land in the affected area.

(4) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.

(5) SOUTH BANK.—The term “South Bank” means the water-washed and relatively permanent elevation or acclivity (commonly known as a “cut bank”) along the southerly or right side of the Red River that—

(A) separates the bed of that river from the adjacent upland, whether valley or hill; and

(B) usually serves, as specified in the fifth paragraph of Oklahoma v. Texas, 261 U.S. 340 (1923)—

(i) to confine the waters within the bed; and

(ii) to preserve the course of the river.

(6) SOUTH BANK BOUNDARY LINE.—The term “South Bank boundary line” means the boundary, with respect to title and ownership, between the States of Oklahoma and Texas identified through the gradient boundary survey method that does not impact or alter the permanent political boundary line between the States along the Red River, as outlined under article II, section B of the Red River Boundary Compact enacted by the States and consented to by Congress pursuant to Public Law 106–288 (114 Stat. 919).

SEC. 3. Survey of south bank boundary line.

(a) Survey required.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall commission a survey to identify the South Bank boundary line in the affected area.

(2) REQUIREMENTS.—The survey shall—

(A) adhere to the gradient boundary survey method;

(B) span the length of the affected area;

(C) be conducted by 1 or more independent third-party surveyors that are—

(i) licensed and qualified to conduct official gradient boundary surveys; and

(ii) selected by the Secretary, in consultation with—

(I) the Texas General Land Office;

(II) the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office, in consultation with the attorney general of the State of Oklahoma; and

(III) each affected federally recognized Indian Tribe; and

(D) subject to the availability of appropriations, be completed not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(b) Approval of the boundary survey.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which the survey or a portion of the survey under subsection (a)(1) is completed, the Secretary shall submit the survey for approval to—

(A) the Texas General Land Office;

(B) the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office, in consultation with the attorney general of the State of Oklahoma; and

(C) each affected federally recognized Indian Tribe.

(2) TIMING OF APPROVAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date on which each of the Texas General Land Office, the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office, in consultation with the attorney general of the State of Oklahoma, and each affected federally recognized Indian Tribe notify the Secretary of the approval of the boundary survey or a portion of the survey by the applicable office or federally recognized Indian Tribe, the Secretary shall determine whether to approve the survey or portion of the survey, subject to paragraph (4).

(3) SUBMISSION OF PORTIONS OF SURVEY FOR APPROVAL.—As portions of the survey are completed, the Secretary may submit the completed portions of the survey for approval under paragraph (1).

(4) WRITTEN APPROVAL.—The Secretary shall only approve the survey, or a portion of the survey, that has the written approval of each of—

(A) the Texas General Land Office;

(B) the Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office, in consultation with the attorney general of the State of Oklahoma; and

(C) each affected federally recognized Indian Tribe.

SEC. 4. Survey of individual parcels.

Surveys of individual parcels in the affected area shall be conducted in accordance with the boundary survey approved under section 3(b).

SEC. 5. Notice and availability of survey.

Not later than 60 days after the date on which the boundary survey is approved under section 3(b), the Secretary shall—

(1) publish notice of the approval of the survey in—

(A) the Federal Register; and

(B) 1 or more local newspapers; and

(2) on request, furnish to any landowner a copy of—

(A) the survey; and

(B) any field notes relating to—

(i) the individual parcel of the landowner; or

(ii) any individual parcel adjacent to the individual parcel of the landowner.

SEC. 6. Effect of Act.

Nothing in this Act—

(1) modifies any interest of the State of Oklahoma or Texas, or the sovereignty, property, or trust rights of any federally recognized Indian Tribe, relating to land located north of the South Bank boundary line, as established by the survey;

(2) modifies any land patented under the Act of December 22, 1928 (45 Stat. 1069, chapter 47; 43 U.S.C. 1068) (commonly known as the “Color of Title Act”), before the date of enactment of this Act;

(3) modifies or supersedes the Red River Boundary Compact enacted by the States of Oklahoma and Texas and consented to by Congress pursuant to Public Law 106–288 (114 Stat. 919);

(4) creates or reinstates any Indian reservation or any portion of such a reservation;

(5) modifies any interest or any property or trust rights of any individual Indian allottee; or

(6) alters any valid right of the State of Oklahoma or the Kiowa, Comanche, or Apache Indian tribes to the mineral interest trust fund established under the Act of June 12, 1926 (44 Stat. 740, chapter 572).

SEC. 7. Authorization of appropriations.

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this Act $1,000,000.