Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                      Calendar No. 400
116th Congress     }                                    {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session        }                                    {      116-191

======================================================================

 
 TO REAFFIRM THE ACTION OF THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO TAKE LAND 
 INTO TRUST FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE SANTA YNEZ BAND OF CHUMASH MISSION 
                    INDIANS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

                January 6, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

           Mr. Hoeven, from the Committee on Indian Affairs, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 317]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (H.R. 317) to reaffirm the action of the Secretary of the 
Interior to take land into trust for the benefit of the Santa 
Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment (in the nature of a substitute) and recommends that 
the bill (as amended) do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of the bill, H.R. 317, is to provide 
congressional authorization for the U.S. Department of the 
Interior (DOI) to take land owned in fee by the Santa Ynez Band 
of Chumash Indians (Chumash Tribe or Tribe) into trust for the 
benefit of the Tribe.

                               BACKGROUND

    The Chumash Tribe, a federally recognized Indian Tribe, is 
located in the County of Santa Barbara (County), California. In 
1901, 99-acres of land was used to establish the Santa Ynez 
reservation for the Chumash Tribe. Over time, the Chumash Tribe 
secured funding to build a limited number of homes on their 
reservation.
    In 2010, the Chumash Tribe purchased 1,427.28 acres of 
land, known as Camp 4, to address their housing shortage. With 
the intent of filing an application to take Camp 4 into trust, 
the Chumash Tribe delivered a cooperative agreement to the 
County. After two years of negotiation with the County, in 
2013, the Chumash Tribe filed a fee to trust application with 
the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for Camp 4. Later that same 
year, the County rejected the government to government 
negotiations with the Chumash Tribe on the proposed cooperative 
agreement.
    On December 24, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) 
Pacific Regional Director (Regional Director) issued a notice 
of decision to accept Camp 4 into trust for the Chumash Tribe. 
In 2015, eight appeals were filed in the Interior Board of 
Indian Appeals (IBIA) against the Regional Director's 
determination to take Camp 4 into trust. In an Order Dismissing 
Administrative Appeals, it stated that the Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn, exercised his 
authority under 25 C.F.R. Sec. 2.20 to assume jurisdiction over 
Camp 4 and consolidated the appeals.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Order 
Dismissing Administrative Appeals for Kramer, et al. v. Principal 
Deputy Assistant Secretary--Indian Affairs (July 14, 2017).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While awaiting appeal in the IBIA, in 2016, the Chumash 
Tribe submitted a revised cooperative agreement to the County 
that addressed the County's concerns with the trust land 
acquisition. In good faith, the County suspended their Ad Hoc 
meetings to further negotiate the cooperative agreement with 
the Chumash Tribe. Then in 2017, the Chumash proposed a 
cooperative agreement that the County accepted.
    Meanwhile, on January 19, 2017, the IBIA issued a decision 
(Decision) on the Camp 4 appeal that affirmed the Regional 
Director's determination, authorized the Regional Director to 
accept Camp 4 in trust for the Chumash Tribe, and stated that 
the Decision was final and in accordance with 25 C.F.R. 
Sec. 2.20(c).\2\ In response to the Decision, the County filed 
suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of 
California. Following these actions, the Chumash Tribe and the 
County entered into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) over Camp 
4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On October 13, 2017, the Chumash Tribal General Council 
voted to approve the MOA with the County. On October 31, 2017, 
the County Board of Supervisors approved the MOA on Camp 4 and 
authorized its signing. Pursuant to 25 U.S.C. Sec. 81, the 
Secretary of the Interior approved the MOA and it is now 
considered effective.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\25 U.S.C. Sec. 81 (1958), amended by Indian Tribal Economic 
Development and Contract Encouragement Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-
179, 114 Stat. 46, 46-7 (2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On November 1, 2017, the County sent a letter to 
Representative McCarthy expressing their support for H.R. 1491 
in the 115th Congress. Within this letter, the County stated 
they ``have reached a settlement resolving the County's related 
litigation. . . . [and] no longer takes issue with the FONSI/
Final EA or fee-to-trust decision, and supports the Tribe's 
pursuit of tribal housing and facilities development.''\4\ 
Furthermore, the letter ends with, ``the County encourages the 
Congress to enact [H.R. 1491] without delay.''\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Letter from Joan Hartmann, Chair, Santa Barbara Cnty. Bd. of 
Supervisors, to Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Majority Leader, U.S. H.R. (Nov. 
1, 2017).
    \5\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On February 13, 2019, the United States District Court for 
the Central District of California (Court) held that Lawrence 
Roberts who approved the Decision as Principal Deputy lacked 
the authority to do so, as his authority under the Federal 
Vacancies Reform Act of 1998 (FVRA) expired. Additionally, the 
district court upheld that authority for these decisions are 
left to the Assistant Secretary, which Mr. Roberts 
automatically assumed on January 1, 2016. Once the 210 days, 
authorized by the FVRA, as Acting Assistant Secretary expired 
on July 29, 2016, he was no longer able to make such decisions. 
The Court remanded the issue to the DOI in order for the 
Department to rectify the matter. The Court took no issue with 
the substance of the DOI decision, related environmental 
documents, or the fee-to-trust application's consistency with 
applicable Federal law. Within two weeks of the Court's 
decision, Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs Tara Sweeney 
issued an opinion on February 25, 2019 that the fee-to-trust 
application was consistent with Department laws and 
regulations.\6\ She affirmed the Regional Director's 2014 
Notice of Decision to place Camp 4 into trust and that pursuant 
to 25 C.F.R. Sec. 2.6(c), her decision shall be considered 
final for the Department and effective immediately.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Ms. Sweeney was confirmed to the position of Assistant 
Secretary--Indian Affairs by the U.S. Senate on June 28, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, since the initial actions under the previous 
Administration, the California Condor has been listed under the 
Endangered Species Act and the already-listed Southwestern 
Willow Flycatcher had been discovered in the region. As a 
result, the DOI conducted additional environmental review of 
the proposed action of approving the fee-to-trust application's 
impact on these species. On May 23, 2019, the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service concluded that the proposed action ``is not 
likely to adversely impact'' the newly listed species and that 
while both species are present in the region, neither is 
present on the Chumash property in question.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Memorandum from Christopher J. Diel, Assistant Field Supervisor, 
Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Ventura, CA to Amy L. Dutschke, Regional Director, Pacific Regional 
Office, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Sacramento, CA on Request for 
concurrence on the Proposed Fee-To-Trust Land Acquisition for the Santa 
Ynez Band of Chumash Indians near the Town of Santa Ynez, Santa Barbara 
County, California (May 23, 2019) (on file with the Committee).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The passage of H.R. 317 will allow the Chumash Tribe to 
build housing for their members who are currently living off 
the reservation or in overcrowded homes on the reservation. The 
land provides an opportunity for the Chumash Tribe to address 
the housing shortage it currently experiences. The bill would 
facilitate the housing development by waiving state law 
development limitations on the land. It would also prohibit, as 
a matter of Federal law, gaming on the land giving the County 
certainty on future land use.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On January 8, 2019, Representatives Doug LaMalfa and Salud 
Carbajal introduced H.R. 317, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash 
Indians Land Affirmation Act of 2019. The bill was referred to 
the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the Committee on 
Natural Resources in the House of Representatives. There was no 
further action taken in the Committee on Natural Resources.
    On April 29, 2019, Representative Van Drew moved to suspend 
the House rules and pass H.R. 317, as amended. The House 
proceeded with forty minutes of debate on the bill. At the 
conclusion of debate, the chair moved to suspend the rules. 
Representative Van Drew objected to the vote on the grounds 
that a quorum was not present. Further proceedings on the 
motion were postponed. The point of no quorum was withdrawn. 
The bill was passed under suspension of the rules and H.R. 317, 
as amended, was passed.
    On April 30, 2019, the Senate received H.R. 317 and the 
bill was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs. On June 
11, 2019, Senators Feinstein and Harris sent a letter to 
Senators Hoeven and Udall asking the Committee to schedule a 
business meeting. On November 6, 2019, the Committee held a 
duly called business meeting to consider H.R. 317. One 
amendment in the nature of a substitute was timely filed by 
Senator Tom Udall.
    The following changes were made in the substitute 
amendment:
           SECTION 3. REAFFIRMATION OF STATUS AND 
        ACTIONS.
                   The section title will be 
                stricken and replaced with ``LAND TAKEN INTO 
                TRUST.''
                   Subsection (a) will be stricken 
                and replaced with a new subsection (a) that 
                mandatorily acquires the land described in 
                subsection (c) into trust for the benefit of 
                the Tribe.
                   Subsections (b) and (c) will be 
                stricken.
                   The affected subsections (d), 
                (e), (f), (g), and (h) will be redesignated as 
                subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f).
                   In the redesignated subsection 
                (b), paragraph ``(1) ADMINISTRATION.'' is 
                stricken and replaced with a new paragraph that 
                provides for the land placed into trust for the 
                Tribe to become a part of the Santa Ynez Indian 
                Reservation and for the applicable federal laws 
                and regulations to apply over the trust land.
    The Committee passed H.R. 317 by voice vote and ordered the 
bill, as amended, to be favorable reported. At the time of 
filing the committee report to H.R. 317, there is no Senate 
companion bill.
    115th Congress. On March 10, 2017, Representative LaMalfa 
introduced H.R. 1491, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians 
Land Affirmation Act of 2017, which was referred to the 
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs of 
the Committee on Natural Resources in the House of 
Representatives. The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives 
Cardenas, Cole, Cook, Correa, Denham, Knight, McClintock, 
Nunes, Ruiz, Torres, Valadao, Vargas, and Walters. The House 
Committee on Natural Resources considered H.R. 1491 during a 
business meeting on July 26, 2017, and ordered the bill, as 
amended, to be reported by unanimous consent.
    On November 28, 2017, the House of Representatives passed 
the bill, as amended, by voice vote. The next day, the Senate 
received H.R. 1491 which was referred to the Committee on 
Indian Affairs. The Committee held a legislative hearing on 
H.R. 1491 on April 25, 2018.
    At the legislative hearing, committee members posed several 
questions to the Chumash Tribe on potential uses of the Camp 4 
property and the agreement made between the Tribe and the 
County. The Tribe addressed these questions at the hearing and 
through written answers following the hearing provided further 
clarity on uses for the parcels to be taken into trust.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\A copy of these answers is on file with the Committee Clerk.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On April 24, 2018, Representative LaMalfa sent a letter to 
Senator Hoeven expressing his support for the timely passage of 
H.R. 1491. On June 4, 2018, Senators Feinstein and Harris sent 
a letter to Senators Hoeven and Udall expressing their 
appreciation for holding a legislative hearing on H.R. 1491 and 
asked that the Committee schedule a business meeting and give 
favorable consideration to the bill at the earliest 
convenience.
    On June 13, 2018, the Committee duly called a business 
meeting to consider H.R. 1491. The bill was passed without 
amendment. On August 23, 2018, the bill was placed on the 
Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. No further 
action was taken on the bill.
    114th Congress. On February 27, 2015, Representatives 
LaMalfa, Cole, Cook, Denham, McClintock, Nunes, Valadao, 
Cardenas, and McCollum introduced H.R. 1157, the Santa Ynez 
Band of Chumash Mission Indians Land Transfer Act of 2016.
    On June 4, 2015, Representative Torres was added as a co-
sponsor. On June 10, 2015, Representative Vargas was added as a 
co-sponsor. On July 13, 2015, Representatives Knight and 
Walters were added as co-sponsors. On December 15, 2015, 
Representative Ruiz was added as a co-sponsor.
    The bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Indian, 
Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs of the Committee on Natural 
Resources in the House of Representatives. The House 
Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska Native Affairs held 
a hearing on H.R. 1157 on June 17, 2015. Later on July 12, 
2016, the House Committee on Natural Resources considered H.R. 
1157 during a business meeting at which the bill, as amended, 
was ordered to be reported by a roll call vote of 29-1. The 
same day, the Subcommittee on Indian, Insular, and Alaska 
Native Affairs discharged H.R. 1157, as amended. The bill was 
placed on the Union Calendar on September 6, 2016. No further 
action was taken on H.R. 1157.
    113th Congress. On October 23, 2013, Representatives 
LaMalfa, Cardenas, Denham, Ruiz, Valadao, and Garcia introduced 
H.R. 3313, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians Land 
Transfer Act of 2013. On December 4, 2013, Representative Ruiz 
withdrew his co-sponsorship to the bill. On February 25, 2014, 
Representatives Cole, Cook, Negrete McLeod, and Vargas were 
added as co-sponsors. On April 10, 2014, Representative 
McCollum was added as a co-sponsor. On April 28, 2014, 
Representatives Nunes and Thompson were added as co-sponsors. 
The bill, H.R. 3313, was referred to the Committee on Natural 
Resources in the House of Representatives. No further action 
was taken on H.R. 3313.

                          SUMMARY OF THE BILL

    The bill, H.R. 317, as amended, mandatorily acquires 
1,427.28 acres of land into trust for the Chumash Tribe. H.R. 
317 also makes the land taken into trust a part of the Chumash 
Tribe's reservation and removes certain California property 
restrictions on the land to allow for the Tribe's construction 
on the land. Included in the bill, is a prohibition on gaming 
activities on the land placed in trust.

            SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF BILL, AS AMENDED

Section 1. Short title

    This section cites the Act as the ``Santa Ynez Band of 
Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act of 2019.''

Sec. 2. Findings

    This section explains the Memorandum of Agreement that the 
Tribe and the County of Santa Barbara entered into regarding 
the 1,427.28 acres of land.

Sec. 3. Land to be taken into trust

    This section places 1,427.28 acres of land located in Santa 
Barbara County, California and described in subsection (c) is 
taken into trust for the benefit of the Tribe subject to valid 
existing rights, contracts, and management agreements relating 
to easements and rights-of-way on the land.
    Under subsection (b), the land taken into trust shall 
become a part of the Santa Ynez Indian Reservation and 
administered in accordance with the laws and regulations 
generally applied to land held in trust by the United States 
for an Indian Tribe. Additionally, this subsection removes any 
state restrictions on the land that would hinder the 
construction and building of future land use purposes.
    Subsection (c) provides the legal description of the lands 
to be taken into trust.
    Subsection (d) gives rules of construction regarding the 
land, water rights, rights-of-way, rights-of-use.
    Subsection (e) describes that the land to be taken into 
trust under this Act shall not be used for gaming activities as 
a matter of claimed inherent authority or under any federal 
law, including the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
    Subsection (f) provides for definitions used in the Act, 
including ``Secretary'' and ``Tribe.''

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated November 20, 2019, was 
prepared for H.R. 317:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, November 20, 2019.
Hon. John Hoeven,
Chairman, Committee on Indian Affairs,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 317, the Santa 
Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Land Affirmation Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.
   
   
   
              [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 317 would affirm the decision made by the Department 
of the Interior (DOI) to take into trust approximately 1,400 
acres of land owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission 
Indians in Santa Barbara County, California. Under the act, DOI 
would hold the title to that land for the benefit of that 
tribe. The act would prohibit certain types of gaming on those 
lands and would end any administrative appeals of DOI's 
decision about the property. CBO estimates that implementing 
the act would have no significant budgetary effects.
    H.R. 317 would impose an intergovernmental mandate as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by 
prohibiting state and local governments from taxing land taken 
into trust for the Chumash Tribe. Information from Santa 
Barbara County about taxes and other receipts associated with 
the land indicates that those forgone revenues would total less 
than $500,000 annually, below the annual public-sector 
threshold established in UMRA ($82 million in 2019, adjusted 
annually for inflation).
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jon Sperl (for 
federal costs) and Rachel Austin (for mandates). The estimate 
was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 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 each report accompanying a bill to evaluate the 
regulatory and paperwork impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out the bill. The Committee believes that H.R. 317 
will have minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork 
requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding H.R. 317.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    On February 6, 2019, the Committee unanimously approved a 
motion to waive subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate. In the opinion of the Committee, it is 
necessary to dispense with subsection 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate to expedite the business of the 
Senate.

                                  [all]