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                                                       Calendar No. 627
116th Congress }                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session    }                                            { 116-324

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



 
    AMENDING THE GRAND RONDE RESERVATION ACT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

               December 15, 2020.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2716]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Indian Affairs, to which was referred to 
the bill (S. 2716) to amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of this bill is to resolve an error created by 
an 1871 land survey, and later the 1994 amendment to the Grand 
Ronde Reservation Act, that provides for the Confederated 
Tribes of Grand Ronde (Tribe) to relinquish its claims to only 
the Thompson Strip, located in Oregon.

                               BACKGROUND

    The Tribe's reservation was originally established by 
treaties entered into and ratified between 1853 and 1855, and 
by the Executive Order of June 30, 1857. In 1954, Congress 
terminated the Tribe through Public Law 83-588\1\ and later 
reversed the termination in 1983 by enactment of the Grand 
Ronde Restoration Act (Public Law 98-165). The Grand Ronde 
Restoration Act restored the Tribe's federal recognition by 
reinstating its Indian Reorganization Act charter and requiring 
Congressional legislation to reestablish a reservation.
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    \1\A bill to provide for the termination of Federal supervision 
over the property of certain tribes and bands of Indians located in 
western Oregon and the individual members thereof, and for other 
purposes, Pub. L. No. 83-588, 68 Stat. 724 (1954).
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    Following the development of a reservation plan, Congress 
passed the Grand Ronde Reservation Act in 1988 for the Tribe to 
establish 9,811 acres as reservation land.\2\ After the Grand 
Ronde Reservation Act was enacted, the U.S. Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) detected a land survey error dating back to 
1871 when David Thompson, U.S. Deputy Surveyor, incorrectly 
surveyed the eastern boundary of the Tribe's original 
reservation by not accounting for an additional 84 acres.
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    \2\Through subsequent amendments to the 1988 Act, the Tribe's 
reservation further grew to 9,879 acres.
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    Since the 1871 surveying, the BLM treated the 84 acres as 
Oregon & California Railroad Grant Lands and permitted the 
harvesting of timber from the land. Once informed of the land 
survey error, the Tribe found that the harvested land, also 
known as the Thompson Strip, was unmanageable due to its narrow 
boundaries and that it divided ownership interests between 
several parties. The Tribe determined a land exchange with BLM 
was the best course of compensation for the land survey error. 
In 1994, Congress passed Public Law 103-435 that allowed the 
Tribe to exchange an additional 240 acres of BLM land for 
relinquishing claims to any land that was part of their 
original reservation prior to termination. This agreement was 
included in a 1994 amendment to the Grand Ronde Reservation Act 
that was passed in an Indian technical corrections bill and 
later signed into law on November 2, 1994.\3\
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    \3\The House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources 
committee report acknowledged the work of the Bureau of Land Management 
and Bureau of Indian Affairs officials for negotiating with the Tribe a 
fair and equitable settlement that was agreed to by the Tribe and the 
Department of the Interior. See House Report 103-704 at 6-7.
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                          SUMMARY OF THE BILL

    The bill amends section 1 of the Grand Ronde Reservation 
Act\4\ by striking ``lands within the State of Oregon'' and 
replacing with ``the 84 acres known as the Thompson Strip.'' 
Under Section 1 of the bill, there is a prohibition on class II 
and class III gaming on any land transferred to the Tribe as 
part of a land claim settlement. In Section 2 of the bill, 
there is acknowledgement that nothing in the bill, including 
its amendments, will not enlarge, confirm, adjudicate, affect, 
or modify any treaty right of an Indian Tribe.
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    \4\A bill to establish a reservation for the Confederated Tribes of 
the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, and for other purposes, Pub. L. 
No. 100 425, 102 Stat. 1594 (1988), amended by Pub. L. No. 103-435 
(1994).
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                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 2716, A bill to amend the Grand Ronde Reservation Act, 
and for other purposes was introduced by Senators Merkley and 
Wyden on October 28, 2019. The Committee held a legislative 
hearing on June 24, 2020. Mr. Darryl LaCounte, Director of the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, testified on behalf of the U.S. 
Department of the Interior on the bill stating that they were 
willing to work with the Committee on technical corrections.
    On July 29, 2020, the Committee held a duly called business 
meeting to consider eleven bills, including S. 2716. One 
amendment (KEN20119) was timely filed by Senator Udall, on 
behalf of Senator Merkley. The amendment made technical 
corrections, to be in line with the House companion bill, H.R. 
4888, by further clarifying that any lands obtained from a land 
claim settlement are not eligible, or to be used, for Class II 
or Class III gaming, as these terms are defined under the 
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
    A House companion bill, H.R. 4888, To amend the Grand Ronde 
Reservation Act, and for other purposes, was introduced by 
Representatives Kurt Schrader, Suzanne Bonamici, Peter A. 
DeFazio, and Earl Blumenauer on October 28, 2019, and referred 
to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
Representatives. On November 12, 2019, the bill was further 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee for 
Indigenous Peoples (Subcommittee) of the United States of the 
House of Representatives. The Subcommittee held a hearing on 
the bill on February 5, 2020. To date, no further action has 
been taken on H.R. 4888.

                          NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The language used in the 1994 amendment to the Grand Ronde 
Reservation Act relinquished any land claims by the Tribe 
within the State of Oregon. The Tribe seeks enactment of S. 
2716 to ensure that they have the right to compensation should 
another land survey error arise and passage of the bill will 
alleviate any potential issues.

           SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS OF S. 2716, AS AMENDED

Section 1. Grand Ronde Reservation Act Amendment

    This section amends section 1(d) of the Grand Ronde 
Reservation Act by striking ``lands within the State of 
Oregon'' and inserting ``the 84 acres known as the Thompson 
Strip''. The section also redesignates paragraphs and inserts a 
paragraph 2 which provides for a prohibition of Class II or 
Class III gaming (as these terms are defined by section 4 of 
the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act) on any lands obtained as part 
of a land claim settlement for the Tribe.

Sec. 2. Treaty Rights of Federally Recognized Tribes

    This section provides that nothing in this Act, or the 
amendments made by this Act, will not enlarge, confirm, 
adjudicate, affect, or modify any treaty right of an Indian 
tribe (as defined by section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
and Education Assistance Act).

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    As of the date of publishing this report, the Committee has 
received the following informal communication from the 
Congressional Budget Office regarding the cost and budgetary 
considerations for S. 2716:

    CBO estimates S. 2716 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues. CBO estimates that S. 2716 would increase spending, 
subject to appropriation (discretionary spending) by an 
insignificant amount (less than $500,000) over the 2021-2025 
period.
            Sincerely,
                                         Jon Sperl,
                                         Principal Analyst,
                                       Congressional Budget Office.

               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. 2716 will have 
minimal impact on regulatory or paperwork requirements.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The Committee has received no communications from the 
Executive Branch regarding S. 2716.

                        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.