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                                                      Calendar No. 33
116th Congress      }                                    {     Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session        }                                    {      116-3

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



 
  TO PROVIDE FOR THE TRANSFER OF CERTAIN FEDERAL LAND IN THE STATE OF 
       MINNESOTA FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE

                                _______
                                

                 March 7, 2019.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 199]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred the 
bill (S. 199) to provide for the transfer of certain Federal 
land in the State of Minnesota for the benefit of the Leech 
Lake Band of Ojibwe, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The bill, S. 199, transfers 11,760 acres of Federal land 
from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to the Department of 
the Interior (DOI) for the benefit of the Leech Lake Band of 
Ojibwe Indian Tribe (Tribe).

                               BACKGROUND

    The bill, S. 199, would restore Tribal land that was lost 
when many of its members were illegally dispossessed of their 
land via ``secretarial transfers'' during the 1950s. 
Secretarial transfers were a transaction where the DOI approved 
the sale or transfer of Tribal land and/or individually owned 
Indian allotments without the consent of the Tribe or the 
individual Indian allottees. The Tribe maintains that this 
practice by the DOI resulted in the Tribe having an 
insufficient land base to meet the current needs of its 
membership.\1\ The Tribe is seeking the return of the described 
land in S. 199 to help restore its land base, to protect tribal 
sacred sites, and to build housing on some of the tracts of 
land near the Tribe's existing communities.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\The Tribe has the largest population out of the State of 
Minnesota Tribes (about 10,660 as of the 2010 census), the Tribe has 
the smallest amount of land available for its use, as much of its 
reservation is submerged under the area's lakes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

              SUMMARY OF THE BILL AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is a Federally recognized 
Tribe with approximately 10,660 members and a reservation 
located within the National Chippewa Forest in Cass County, 
Minnesota. The Tribe is part of the greater Minnesota Chippewa 
Tribe, which is comprised of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand 
Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth reservations.
    Under the provisions of S. 199, approximately 11,760 acres 
of Federal land located within the Chippewa National Forest 
would be transferred from the USDA to the DOI. This land 
contains utility easements, rights-of-way for roads, and 
flowage and reservoir rights. No cabins, campgrounds, lodges, 
or resorts are located on the land.
    The Tribe intends to respect all existing easements, 
rights-of-way, and other encumbrances on the land and does not 
intend to immediately modify the current land uses. The Federal 
land will stay in tax-exempt fee status as part of the Chippewa 
National Forest until the Tribe develops a plan for future 
economic and residential use.
    The land described in S. 199 will be considered a part of 
the Tribe's reservation. Following a survey, mapping, and legal 
description of the land by the Secretary of the USDA, the land 
shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Interior, 
including all right, title, and interest of the Federal land 
described in the bill, in trust status, for the benefit of the 
Tribe.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    On January 29, 2019, Senator Smith with Senator Klobuchar 
introduced the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation 
Restoration Act. The bill, S. 199, was referred to the 
Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate on the same day. On 
January 29, 2019, the Committee held a duly called business 
meeting to consider twelve bills, including S. 199. No 
amendments were filed to S. 199. The Committee passed all 
twelve bills, including S. 199, en bloc by voice vote and 
ordered the bills to be favorably reported.
    115th Congress. On March 22, 2018, Senator Smith introduced 
the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act. The 
bill, S. 2599, was referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs 
of the Senate on the same day.
    On July 11, 2018, the Committee held a legislative hearing 
on S. 2599. At this hearing, Ms. Leslie Weldon, Deputy Chief 
for National Forest System, Forest Service, USDA, and the 
Honorable Faron Jackson, Sr., Chairman, Leech Lake Band of 
Ojibwe Indian Tribe, both testified in support of the 
legislation. On September 17, 2018, Senator Klobuchar was added 
as a cosponsor.
    On September 26, 2018, the Committee held a duly called 
business meeting to consider S. 2599. Senator Smith filed a 
timely amendment in the nature of a substitute that addressed 
comments provided by the Forest Service of the USDA. The 
Committee passed S. 2599 by voice vote and ordered the bill, as 
amended, to be favorably reported. On December 13, 2018, the 
Senate passed S. 2599 with amendments by voice vote. The bill 
was received in the House where it was held at the desk on 
December 19, 2018. No further action was taken on the bill.
    A companion bill, H.R. 5529, was introduced by 
Representative Nolan in the House of Representatives on April 
17, 2018. On April 20, 2018, the bill, H.R. 5529, was referred 
to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
Representatives, Subcommittees on Indian, Insular, and Alaska 
Native Affairs, and on Federal Lands. On July 26, 2018, 
Representative McCollum was added as a cosponsor. No further 
action has been taken on H.R. 5529.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides the short title of the bill as the 
``Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act''.

Sec. 2. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe reservation restoration

    This section:
           Provides the Congressional Findings and 
        Definitions used in the bill.
           Requires that the Federal land transferred 
        between the Department of Agriculture and the 
        Department of the Interior to be held in trust by the 
        United States for the benefit of the Leech Lake Band of 
        Ojibwe and considered to be part of the Tribe's 
        reservation.
           Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to 
        complete, within 180 days after the date of enactment 
        of this Act, a plan of survey to establish boundaries 
        of the land; and submit a map and legal description of 
        the land to the Committee on Natural Resources of the 
        House of Representatives and the Committee on Indian 
        Affairs of the Senate, and be made available to the 
        public. The map and legal description of the land may 
        be updated for any clerical or typographical errors by 
        the Secretary of Agriculture.
           Provides that nothing in this section 
        affects any right or claim of the Tribe, unless 
        expressly provided in this section, in existence on the 
        date of enactment of this Act, to any land or interest 
        in land.
           Applies Federal law, including regulations 
        relating to the export of unprocessed logs harvested 
        from Federal land, to any unprocessed logs that are 
        harvested from the Federal land.
           Prohibits that the Federal land transferred 
        in this Act from being eligible or used for any gaming 
        activity carried out under the Indian Gaming Regulatory 
        Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.)

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following cost estimate, as provided by the 
Congressional Budget Office, dated February 8, 2019, was 
prepared for S. 199:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, February 8, 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 S. 199, the Leech Lake 
Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jon Sperl.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 199--Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act

    S. 199 would take into trust for the benefit of the Leech 
Lake Band of Ojibwe Indians approximately 12,000 acres of land 
in the Chippewa National Forest currently administered by the 
Forest Service. The bill would prohibit certain types of gaming 
on the land and require that commercial forestry on the land be 
managed in accordance with federal law. Using information from 
the Forest Service, CBO estimates that taking the land into 
trust would cost less than $500,000. Any such spending would be 
subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    The land that would be taken into trust generates 
offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct 
spending, from the sale of timber and minerals, and from other 
special uses. Using information from the Forest Service, CBO 
estimates enacting S. 199 would reduce offsetting receipts by 
about $1 million over the 2019-2029 period. However, because 
under current law, some receipts would be spent without further 
appropriation, CBO estimates that enacting S. 199 would have no 
significant net effect on direct spending in any year or over 
the 2019-2029 period. Enacting the bill would not affect 
revenues.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. 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 S. 199 will have 
minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 199.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In accordance with Committee Rules, subsection 12 of rule 
XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate is waived. 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]