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Calendar No. 701
111th Congress Report
2d Session 111-371
AUTHORIZING LEASES OF UP TO 99 YEARS FOR LANDS HELD IN TRUST FOR OHKAY
December 16, 2010.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Dorgan, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 3903]
The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the
bill (S. 3903), a bill to authorize leases of up to 99 years
for lands held in trust for Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an
amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
The purpose of S. 3903 is to amend the Act of August 9,
1955, to authorize the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo to obtain 99-year
lease authority for land held in trust for the Pueblo.
Since the enactment of the Act of June 30, 1834, 4 Stat.
730, codified as 25 U.S.C. Sec. 177, and predecessor statutes,
land transactions with Indian tribes were prohibited unless
specifically authorized by Congress. This law is commonly known
as the Non-Intercourse Act.
Congress later enacted the Act of August 9, 1955, codified
at 25 U.S.C. Sec. 415, commonly known as the Long-Term Leasing
Act, to overcome the prohibitions of the Non-Intercourse Act.
The Long-Term Leasing Act requires that surface leases of
Indian lands be approved by the Secretary of the Interior and
limited to lease terms of up to 25 years.
As business opportunities and economic considerations
changed over time, leases longer than 25 years were desired. To
facilitate economic development on trust lands, over the years,
a number of tribes have obtained exceptions to the Long-Term
Leasing Act in order to enter into leases for terms longer than
25 years. Since 1955, over 40 tribes have obtained these
exceptions to the Long-Term Leasing Act and have authority to
enter into surface leases for terms as long as 99 years.
S. 3903 would further amend the Long-Term Leasing Act by
adding the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo to the list of tribes
authorized to enter into long-term leases of up to 99 years.
S. 3903 was introduced on September 29, 2010, by Senator
Udall of New Mexico for himself and Senator Bingaman. The bill
was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs and a business
meeting was held on November 18, 2010. A House companion bill,
H.R. 4276 was introduced on December 10, 2009, by
Representative Lujan for himself and Representative Heinrich.
H.R. 4276 was referred to the House Committee on Natural
On November 18, 2010, the Committee on Indian Affairs held
a Business Meeting at which S. 3903 was considered. An
amendment was offered by Senator Dorgan on behalf of Senator
Udall of New Mexico. The amendment was accepted and the bill
was ordered to be reported.
Summary of Amendment
The amendment was technical amendment filed by Senator
Udall of New Mexico to remove subsection (b) which applied the
newly authorized 99-year lease authority to any existing
surface leases entered into or renewed after the date of
enactment. This language was removed since this authority would
be granted upon enactment of the bill.
Section-by-Section Analysis of S. 1448 as Amended
Section 1. Leases of restricted land
This section amends subsection (a) of the first section of
the Act of August 9, 1955, in the second sentence by inserting
``and lands held in trust for Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo'' after ``of
land on the Devils Lake Sioux Reservation''.
On November 18, 2010, at an open business meeting, the
Committee approved S. 3903, with amendment, by voice vote. The
Committee ordered the bill reported to the full Senate with the
recommendation that the bill, as amended, do pass.
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
The following cost estimate, as provided by the
Congressional Budget Office, dated December 1, 2010, was
prepared for S. 3903:
S. 3903--A bill to authorize leases of up to 99 years for lands held in
trust for Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
S. 3903 would authorize the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo to lease
lands held in trust for up to 99 years. Under current law, the
Pueblo can lease trust lands to schools, businesses, and public
entities for 25-year terms, subject to the approval of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).
CBO estimates that implementing S. 3903 would have no
significant impact on the federal budget. Any additional
proceeds from such leases would accrue to the owners of the
trust land and would have no effect on the federal budget. CBO
also estimates that implementing the bill would have a
negligible effect on BIA's workload. Enacting S. 3903 would not
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures do not apply.
S. 3903 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
Regulatory and Paperwork Impact Statement
Paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the
Senate requires that each report accompanying a bill evaluate
the regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in
carrying out the bill. The Committee has concluded that the
regulatory and paperwork impact of S. 3903 should be de
The Committee has received no official communication from
the Administration on the provisions of S. 3903.
Changes in Existing Law
In compliance with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by
S. 3903, as ordered to be reported, are shown as follows
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black
brackets, new language to be added in italic, existing law to
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):
25 U.S.C. 415(a). Authorized purposes; term; approval by Secretary.
ACT OF AUGUST 9, 1955
(a) Authorized purposes; term; approval by Secretary
Any restricted Indian lands, whether tribally, or
individually owned, may be leased by the Indian owners,
with the approval of the Secretary of the Interior, for
public, religious, educational, recreational,
residential, or business purposes, including the
development or utilization of natural resources in
connection with operations under such leases, for
grazing purposes, and for those farming purposes which
require the making of a substantial investment in the
improvement of the land for the production of
specialized crops as determined by said Secretary. All
leases so granted shall be for a term of not to exceed
twenty-five years, except leases of land located
outside the boundaries of Indian reservations in the
State of New Mexico, leases of land on the Agua
Caliente (Palm Springs) Reservation, the Dania
Reservation, the Pueblo of Santa Ana (with the
exception of the lands known as the ``Santa Ana Pueblo
Spanish Grant''), . . . and leases to the Devils Lake
Sioux Tribe, or any organization of such tribe, of land
on the Devils Lake Sioux Reservation, land held in
trust for the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, which may be for a
term of not to exceed ninety-nine years, and except
leases of land for grazing purposes which may be for a
term of not to exceed ten years.
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