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Calendar No. 359
113th Congress Report
2d Session 113-148
PASCUA YAQUI TRIBE TRUST LAND ACT
April 10, 2014.--Ordered to be printed
Ms. Landrieu, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 507]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (H.R. 507) to provide for the conveyance of
certain land inholdings owned by the United States to the
Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona, and for other purposes, having
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
The purpose of H.R. 507 is to provide for two parcels of
land totaling approximately 20 acres in southern Arizona to be
held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the
Pascua Yaqui Tribe.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation is located near Tucson,
Arizona. H.R. 507 would provide for two small parcels, together
totaling approximately 20 acres, to be held in trust by the
United States for the benefit of the Tribe, and added to the
approximately 1,200-acre reservation.
One of the parcels to be conveyed to the Tribe is a 10-acre
parcel that was conveyed to the Tucson Unified School District
by the Bureau of Land Management in 1981 under the Recreation
and Public Purposes Act (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.), to be used for
a school site. However, the property was never developed and
remains unused. The school district supports relinquishing its
patent so that the lands can be conveyed to the Tribe.
The second parcel to be conveyed is a 10-acre parcel of
undeveloped Federal land administered by the Bureau of Land
Management that is surrounded by reservation lands. The
Department of the Interior supports both parcels being held in
trust for the benefit of the Tribe.
H.R. 507, sponsored by Representative Grijalva, was ordered
reported by the Committee on Natural Resources on March 20,
2013 (H. Rept. 113-27), and passed the House of Representatives
by a vote of 401-2 on May 6, 2013.
The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held
a hearing on H.R. 507 on July 30, 2013. The bill was ordered
reported at its business meeting on November 21, 2013.
Representative Grijalva sponsored similar legislation, H.R.
4222, during the 112th Congress, which passed the House of
Representatives by a voice vote on June 5, 2012.
The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in
open business session on November 21, 2013 by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 507.
Section 1 provides the short title, the ``Pascua Yaqui
Tribe Trust Land Act.''
Section 2 defines key terms used in the bill.
Section 3(a) directs the Secretary of the Interior
(Secretary) to take a 10-acre parcel of land depicted on the
referenced map as Parcel (A) into trust for the benefit of the
Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona (Tribe), subject to valid
Subsection (b) provides identical authority for the
Secretary to take a separate 10-acre parcel into trust for the
benefit of the Tribe.
Subsection (c) provides that the provisions in subsections
(a) and (b) shall take effect on the day after the date the
Tucson Unified School District relinquishes all right, title,
and interest in the parcel described in subsection (b), and
upon the approval by the Secretary of the Interior of the lease
agreement between the Tribe and the Tucson Unified School
District for the construction and operation of a regional
transportation facility located on restricted Indian Land of
Section 4 prohibits the Tribe from conducting gaming
activities on the lands held in trust under this Act.
Section 5(a) provides that there shall not be Federal
reserved rights to surface water or groundwater for land taken
into trust under this Act.
Subsection (b) provides that the Tribe retain any right or
claim to water under State law for land taken into trust by
Subsection (c) states that any water rights that are
appurtenant to land taken into trust under this Act for the
benefit of the Tribe may not be forfeited or abandoned.
Subsection (d) provides that nothing in this Act affects or
modifies any right of the Tribe or obligation of the United
States under Public Law 95-375 (25 U.S.C. 1300f et seq.; ``An
Act to provide for the extension of certain Federal benefits,
services, and assistance to the Pascua Yaqui Indians of
Arizona, and for other purposes.'')
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
H.R. 507--Pascua Yaqui Tribe Trust Land Act
H.R. 507 would require the Secretary of the Interior to
place 20 acres of land into trust for the benefit of the Pascua
Yaqui Tribe of Arizona. Based on information provided by the
Department of the Interior (DOI), CBO estimates that
implementing the act would have no significant impact on the
federal budget. Enacting H.R. 507 would not affect direct
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do
Under the act, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) would be
required to place 10 acres of land that is currently
administered by the agency into trust for the benefit of the
Pascua Yaqui Tribe. In addition, if the Tucson Unified School
District elects to relinquish its interest in 10 acres of land
that it acquired from the federal government under the
Recreation and Public Purposes Act, management of those lands
would revert back to BLM, and the Secretary would be required
to place them into trust for the tribe.
Based on information provided by DOI, CBO estimates that
any administrative costs to carry out the legislation, which
would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds,
would be minimal. In addition, the affected lands do not
generate any offsetting receipts for the federal government and
are not expected to generate such receipts over the next 10
H.R. 507 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
Enacting the bill would benefit the Pascua Yaqui tribe.
On April 3, 2013, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R.
507 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural
Resources on March 20, 2013. The two versions of the
legislation are similar, and the CBO cost estimates are the
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION
In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in
carrying out H.R. 507.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of H.R. 507, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
H.R. 507, as reported, does not contain any congressionally
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules
of the Senate.
The testimony provided by the Bureau of Land Management at
the July 30, 2013, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and
Mining hearing on H.R. 507 follows:
Statement of Ned Farquhar, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Land and
Minerals Management, Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on H.R. 507, which
provides that certain public lands in the Tucson, Arizona, area
are declared to be held in trust by the United States for the
benefit of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe (Tribe), subject to valid
existing rights and to additional restrictions in the
legislation. The Department of the Interior (Department)
supports holding the lands in trust for the Tribe, but has
concerns that the legislation makes the trust declaration
subject to an additional, unrelated restriction.
The Tribe's lands are located in Pima County, near Tucson,
Arizona, and are a combination of lands held in trust by the
United States and lands purchased and held in fee by the Tribe.
Some of these fee lands are the subject of pending ``fee-land-
to-trust-land'' applications with the Department. The Tucson
Unified School District (District) operates the Hohokam School
on private lands adjacent to the tribal lands.
The Tribe is interested in acquiring two parcels of public
land totaling approximately 20 acres. One parcel is an
undeveloped, isolated 10-acre tract of land administered by the
Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The second is a tract of
approximately 10 acres that was patented under the Recreation
and Public Purposes Act (R&PP;) to the District, but never
H.R. 507 declares that approximately 20 acres of public
land are to be held in trust by the United States for the
benefit of the Tribe, subject to valid existing rights,
following the approval of a private lease agreement by the
Secretary of the Interior (Secretary). The lands include one
10-acre parcel of BLM-managed land (designated in the
legislation as ``Parcel A'') and one 10-acre parcel patented to
the District under the R&PP; (designated ``Parcel B''). Parcel
B's trust status is deferred under the bill (Sec. 3(b)) subject
to the District relinquishing its R&PP; patent. In addition,
under the bill (Sec. 3(c)), neither Parcel A nor Parcel B can
be declared held in trust until the Secretary or a delegate
approves and records a private lease agreement between the
Tribe and the District for the operation of a regional
transportation facility serving the Hohokam School located on
restricted Indian land of the Tribe. The lease agreement
pertains to lands unrelated to Parcel A or Parcel B.
H.R. 507 references a map titled: PYT Land Department and
dated Jan. 15, 2013. The BLM would welcome the opportunity to
work with the bill sponsor and committee on a new land status
map to accompany the legislation.
The Department supports holding these two tracts of public
land in trust for the Tribe. The Department has concerns that
the additional requirement in Sec. 3(c), that the Secretary
approve a private lease, on Tribal lands, for the District and
the Tribe, as a precondition to holding in trust Parcel A and
Parcel B--unrelated lands--may have implications for the
Secretary's exercise of trust responsibility to the Tribe.
Finally, the Department notes that section 5 of H.R. 507
addresses the treatment of water rights that may be associated
with the land to be taken into trust for the benefit of the
Tribe. The Department has concerns regarding Section 5's
restriction on its ability to assert reserved water rights that
the Tribe may have or claim on the two tracts of public land
because it could restrict the ability of the Tribe and of the
United States as trustee on behalf of the Tribe from fully
asserting and protecting the water rights of the Tribe.
HR. 507 represents an opportunity to improve land use for
both the Tribe and the District on two isolated tracts of
public land. Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I will
be glad to answer any questions.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no
changes in existing law are made by H.R. 507, as ordered