BLACKFOOT RIVER LAND EXCHANGE ACT OF 2014
(House of Representatives - December 01, 2014)

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[Pages H8187-H8188]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


               BLACKFOOT RIVER LAND EXCHANGE ACT OF 2014

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules 
and pass the bill (S. 2040) to exchange trust and fee land to resolve 
land disputes created by the realignment of the Blackfoot River along 
the boundary of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, and for other 
purposes.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                S. 2040

       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 
     Exchange Act of 2014''.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

       (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
       (1) 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;
       (2)(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;
       (3)(A) according to the Executive order referred to in 
     paragraph (2)(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;
       (4)(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;
       (5) 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; and
       (6) the enactment of this Act and separate agreements of 
     the parties would represent a resolution of the disputes 
     described in subsection (b)(1) among--
       (A) the Tribes;
       (B) the allottees; and
       (C) the non-Indian landowners.
       (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
       (1) to resolve the land ownership and land use disputes 
     resulting from realignment of the River by the Corps of 
     Engineers during calendar year 1964 pursuant to the project 
     described in subsection (a)(4)(A); and
       (2) to achieve a final and fair solution to resolve 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 allottee; and
       (B) located north of the Realigned River within the 
     exterior boundaries of the Reservation.
       (2) Blackfoot river flood control district no. 7.--The term 
     ``Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7'' means the 
     governmental subdivision in the State of Idaho, located at 75 
     East Judicial, Blackfoot, Idaho, that--
       (A) is responsible for maintenance and repair of the 
     Realigned River; and
       (B) represents the non-Indian landowners relating to the 
     resolution of the disputes described in section 2(b)(1) in 
     accordance with this Act.
       (3) 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 A of the survey of the Bureau of 
     Land Management entitled ``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.
       (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, which is located at the areas 
     described in clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(C).
       (5) Non-indian landowner.--The term ``non-Indian 
     landowner'' means any individual who holds fee title to non-
     Indian land and is represented by the Blackfoot River Flood 
     Control District No. 7 for purposes of this Act.
       (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)(4)(A).
       (7) Reservation.--The term ``Reservation'' means the Fort 
     Hall Reservation established by Executive order during 
     calendar year 1867 and confirmed by treaty during calendar 
     year 1868.
       (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. RELEASE OF CLAIMS TO CERTAIN INDIAN AND NON-INDIAN 
                   OWNED LANDS.

       (a) Release of Claims.--Effective on the date of enactment 
     of this Act--
       (1) all existing and future claims with respect to the 
     Indian land and the non-Indian land and all right, title, and 
     interest that the Tribes, allottees, non-Indian landowners, 
     and the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 may have 
     had to that land shall be extinguished;
       (2) any interest of the Tribes, the allottees, or the 
     United States, acting as trustee for the Tribes or allottees, 
     in the Indian land shall be extinguished under section 2116 
     of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the ``Indian Trade 
     and Intercourse Act'') (25 U.S.C. 177); and
       (3) to the extent any interest in non-Indian land 
     transferred into trust pursuant to section 5 violates section 
     2116 of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the ``Indian 
     Trade and Intercourse Act'') (25 U.S.C. 177), that transfer 
     shall be valid, subject to the condition that the transfer is 
     consistent with all other applicable Federal laws (including 
     regulations).
       (b) Documentation.--The Secretary may execute and file any 
     appropriate documents (including a plat or map of the 
     transferred Indian land) that are suitable for filing with 
     the Bingham County clerk or other appropriate county 
     official, as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out 
     this Act.

     SEC. 5. NON-INDIAN LAND TO BE PLACED INTO TRUST FOR TRIBES.

       Effective on the date of enactment of this Act, 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.

       (a) In General.--As soon as practicable after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall transfer the 
     Indian land to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 
     7 for use or sale in accordance with subsection (b).
       (b) Use of Land.--
       (1) In general.--The Blackfoot River Flood Control District 
     No. 7 shall use any proceeds from the sale of land described 
     in subsection (a) according to the following priorities:
       (A) To compensate, at fair market value, each non-Indian 
     landowner for the net loss of land to that non-Indian 
     landowner resulting from the implementation of this Act.
       (B) To compensate the Blackfoot River Flood Control 
     District No. 7 for any administrative or other expenses 
     relating to carrying out this Act.
       (2) Remaining land.--If any land remains to be conveyed or 
     proceeds remain after the sale of the land, the Blackfoot 
     River Flood Control District No. 7 may dispose of that 
     remaining land or proceeds as the Blackfoot River Flood 
     Control District No. 7 determines to be appropriate.

     SEC. 7. 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. 8. 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. 9. EFFECT ON CERTAIN OBLIGATIONS.

       (a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), 
     nothing in this Act affects the obligation of Blackfoot River 
     Flood Control District No. 7 to maintain adequate rights-of-
     way for the operation and maintenance of the local flood 
     protection projects

[[Page H8188]]

     described in section 2(a)(4) pursuant to agreements between 
     the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 and the 
     Corps of Engineers.
       (b) Restriction on Fees.--Any land conveyed to the Tribes 
     pursuant to this Act shall not be subject to fees assessed by 
     Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7.

     SEC. 10. 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 
     the title described in paragraph (1) 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 those landowners to water rights 
     in the Snake River Basin Adjudication.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Washington (Mr. Hastings) and the gentleman from California (Mr. 
Lowenthal) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Washington.


                             General Leave

  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that 
all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their 
remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under 
consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Washington?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as 
I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, first, I would like to, once again, acknowledge the work 
of the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) for his work on the House 
companion to this bill, H.R. 5049, which was ordered favorably reported 
from the Natural Resources Committee by unanimous consent.
  S. 2040 addresses a land dispute caused by the realignment of the 
Blackfoot River along the boundary of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation 
in Idaho by requiring an exchange of Indian lands for non-Indian lands. 
Specifically, S. 2040 authorizes the Federal Government to take into 
trust certain non-Indian lands on behalf of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes 
in Idaho. In exchange, the government would then convey certain Indian 
lands. Finally, in recognition of this land exchange, the bill 
extinguishes claims that would be asserted by the tribes against the 
Federal Government.
  It is a complex solution, Mr. Speaker, to a complex problem, and I am 
glad we will be able to resolve that problem with this bill. With that, 
I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, S. 2040 would resolve border changes to the Fort Hall 
Reservation after the realignment of the Blackfoot River by the Army 
Corps of Engineers in 1964. This bill settles boundary disputes for the 
tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation and directs the Secretary of the 
Interior to transfer the Indian land to the Blackfoot River Flood 
Control District Number 7 for use or sale and requires that the non-
Indian land be held in trust for the tribes.
  The bill allows the local flood control district to compensate non-
Indian landowners at fair market value. The disposition of the 
remaining lands, after the sale of the lands, is left to the discretion 
of the Flood Control District Number 7.
  Mr. Speaker, I support passage of this bill, and I reserve the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, I am very pleased to yield 3 
minutes to the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson), the author of the 
companion House bill to this legislation.
  Mr. SIMPSON. Mr. Speaker, again, I thank the chairman for bringing 
this piece of legislation to the floor.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. 2040, the Blackfoot River 
Land Exchange Act of 2014. This important bill provides a needed fix to 
a longstanding problem regarding the northern boundary of the Fort Hall 
Reservation of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes in Idaho. When I grew up in 
Blackfoot, which was on the northern side of the Fort Hall Reservation, 
the Blackfoot River was the designation of the northern boundary of the 
Fort Hall Indian Reservation and the southern part of the city of 
Blackfoot. As I was growing up, I can remember in the early days it 
used to ice up because it was a meandering, small river, and it would 
ice up, flood, and cause havoc.
  Since its designation, however, in 1960, the Corps of Engineers flood 
control project changed the flow of the river, leaving some tribal land 
located north of the river and some non-Indian land located south of 
the river. For years, the tribes and affected landowners have 
collaborated to find a solution to this problem that works for all 
concerned. S. 2040 is that solution. The bill is a simple land exchange 
that would make both the tribes and the affected landowners whole.
  S. 2040 is the result of cooperation and give-and-take. The bill 
passed the Senate in September with unanimous consent, and the House 
version of the bill was passed unanimously by the committee this fall. 
I look forward to seeing it signed into law before the end of this 
year. It will solve a longstanding problem for the Fort Hall Indian 
Reservation and the city of Blackfoot.
  Mr. LOWENTHAL. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, once again, this is a good 
piece of legislation addressing a complex issue. I urge its adoption, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Washington (Mr. Hastings) that the House suspend the 
rules and pass the bill, S. 2040.
  The question was taken.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds 
being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
  Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas 
and nays.
  The yeas and nays were ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further 
proceedings on this motion will be postponed.

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