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[House Report 112-433]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


112th Congress  }                                            {   Report
  2d Session    }       HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             {  112-433
=======================================================================
 
 MODIFICATION OF LAND GRANT PATENT ISSUED BY SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR 

                                _______
                                

 April 16, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 404]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (S. 404) to modify a land grant patent issued by the 
Secretary of the Interior, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of S. 404 is to modify a land grant patent 
issued by the Secretary of the Interior.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    On September 23, 1998, the Secretary of the Interior issued 
a land patent (U.S. Patent Number 61-98-0040) to the Great 
Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society for ownership of several 
acres of land on Whitefish Point, a 43-acre spit of land 
jutting into Lake Superior. The land, which contains the 
historic Whitefish Point Lighthouse, was transferred to the 
Historical Society for the purpose of interpreting maritime 
history. On March 10, 2000, the Secretary reissued the 
Historical Society's land patent (U.S. Patent Number 61-2000-
0007) to correct an error in the original conveyance.
    Following the conveyance of the Whitefish Point property, a 
dispute between the Michigan Audubon Society, which owns land 
on Whitefish Point, and the Historical Society over the 
management of Whitefish Point led to a lawsuit in 1999. The 
resulting settlement agreement led to the development of a 
management plan for Whitefish Point in 2002, titled Human Use/
Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish Point.
    The reissued land patent, 61-2000-0007, does not reference 
the Human Use/Natural Resource Management Plan for Whitefish 
Point or the settlement agreement between the Michigan Audubon 
Society and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society that 
modify the use of the patented land. S. 404 will correct this 
by directing the Secretary of the Interior to modify the patent 
to reflect the current management plan to allow proposed 
development plans to go forward.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    S. 404 was introduced on February 17, 2011, by Senator Carl 
Levin (D-MI). On October 18, 2011, the bill passed the Senate 
by unanimous consent. The bill was then referred to the House 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. On 
January 24, 2012, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the House 
companion bill, H.R. 3411, sponsored by Congressman Dan 
Benishek (R-MI). On February 29, 2012, the Full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider S. 404. The Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Forests and Public Lands was discharged by 
unanimous consent. No amendments were offered to the bill and 
the bill was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 404--An act to modify a land grant patent issued by the Secretary of 
        the Interior

    S. 404 would amend an existing land grant patent to ratify 
a change in the use of the Whitefish Point Light Station in 
Michigan and related property covered by that patent. (A land 
grant patent is a method of conveying ownership of land.) Based 
on information provided by the Department of the Interior, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 404 would have no effect on the 
federal budget. The ratification would enable development plans 
for the property to go forward, but those plans do not involve 
federal spending. The Light Station was conveyed by the federal 
government to two nonprofit organizations in 1996. Enacting S. 
404 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On August 1, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
404, a bill to modify a land grant patent issued by the 
Secretary of the Interior, as ordered reported by the Senate 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 14, 2011. The 
two versions of the legislation are similar, and the CBO cost 
estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on 
information provided by the Department of the Interior, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 404 would have no effect on the 
federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to modify a land grant patent issued 
by the Secretary of the Interior.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates as defined under 
Public Law 104-4.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any local or tribal 
law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.