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110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     110-609

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



 
               TUOLUMNE ME-WUK LAND TRANSFER ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

 April 29, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3490]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 3490) to transfer administrative jurisdiction of 
certain Federal lands from the Bureau of Land Management to the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs, to take such lands into trust for the 
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act of 
2008''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds that--
          (1) the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne 
        Rancheria, California (referred to in this Act as the 
        ``Tribe''), is a federally recognized Indian tribe;
          (2) 3 tracts of Federal lands managed by the Bureau of Land 
        Management are adjacent to the Tuolumne Rancheria of 
        California, a federally recognized Indian Reservation held in 
        trust for the benefit of the Tribe;
          (3) one such tract is a cemetery within which are buried the 
        remains of ancestors of the Tribe and other Indians;
          (4) another such tract is needed for use by the Tribe for a 
        cultural center and other public uses of the Tribe;
          (5) the remaining tract is needed for use by the Tribe for 
        agricultural, housing, and open space needs;
          (6) none of the foregoing 3 tracts are to be used by the 
        Tribe for gaming purposes;
          (7) certain parcels of lands adjacent to the Tuolumne 
        Rancheria were taken into trust for the benefit of the Tribe; 
        and
          (8) 2 parcels of fee lands owned by the Tribe and adjacent to 
        the Tuolumne Rancheria, commonly referred to as the ``Thomas 
        and Coenenburg properties'', have been approved and are pending 
        transfer into trust status by the Bureau of Indian Affairs for 
        the benefit of the Tribe.

SEC. 3. LANDS TO BE TAKEN INTO TRUST.

  (a) In General.--
          (1) Federal lands.--Subject to valid existing rights, all 
        right, title, and interest (including improvements and 
        appurtenances) of the United States in and to the Federal lands 
        described in subsection (b), immediately after the Secretary of 
        the Interior has confirmed that the National Environmental 
        Policy Act of 1969 has been complied with regarding the trust 
        acquisition of those Federal lands, the Federal lands shall be 
        declared to be held in trust by the United States for the 
        benefit of the Tribe for nongaming purposes, and shall be 
        subject to the same terms and conditions as those lands 
        described in the California Indian Land Transfer Act of 2000 
        (title IX, Public Law 106-568; 114 Stat. 2868, 2921).
          (2) Trust lands.--Lands described in subsection (c) of this 
        section that are taken or to be taken in trust by the United 
        States for the benefit of the Tribe shall be subject to 
        subsection (c) of section 903 of the California Indian Land 
        Transfer Act of 2000.
  (b) Federal Lands Described.--The Federal lands described in this 
subsection, comprising approximately 66 acres, are as follows:
          (1) Township 1 North, Range 16 East, Section 6, Lots 10 and 
        12, MDM, containing 50.24 acres more or less.
          (2) Township 1 North, Range 16 East, Section 5, Lot 16, MDM, 
        containing 15.35 acres more or less.
          (3) Township 2 North, Range 16 East, Section 32, Indian 
        Cemetery Reservation within Lot 22, MDM, containing 0.4 acres 
        more or less.
  (c) Trust Lands Described.--The trust lands described in this 
subsection, comprising approximately 357 acres, are commonly referred 
to as follows:
          (1) Thomas property, pending trust acquisition, 104.50 acres.
          (2) Coenenburg property, pending trust acquisition, 192.70 
        acres, subject to existing easements of record, including but 
        not limited to a non-exclusive easement for ingress and egress 
        for the benefit of adjoining property as conveyed by Easement 
        Deed recorded July 13, 1984, in Volume 755, Pages 189 to 192, 
        and as further defined by Stipulation and Judgment entered by 
        Tuolumne County Superior Court on September 2, 1983, and 
        recorded June 4, 1984, in Volume 751, Pages 61 to 67.
          (3) Assessor Parcel No. 620505300, 1.5 acres, trust land.
          (4) Assessor Parcel No. 620505400, 19.23 acres, trust land.
          (5) Assessor Parcel No. 620505600, 3.46 acres, trust land.
          (6) Assessor Parcel No. 620505700, 7.44 acres, trust land.
          (7) Assessor Parcel No. 620401700, 0.8 acres, trust land.
          (8) A portion of Assessor Parcel No. 620500200, 2.5 acres, 
        trust land.
          (9) Assessor Parcel No. 620506200, 24.87 acres, trust land.
  (d) Survey.--As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Office of Cadastral Survey of the Bureau of Land 
Management shall complete fieldwork required for a survey of the lands 
described in subsections (b) and (c) for the purpose of incorporating 
those lands within the boundaries of the Tuolumne Rancheria. Not later 
than 90 days after that fieldwork is completed, that office shall 
complete the survey.
  (e) Legal Descriptions.--
          (1) Publication.--On approval by the Community Council of the 
        Tribe of the survey completed under subsection (d), the 
        Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal 
        Register--
                  (A) a legal description of the new boundary lines of 
                the Tuolumne Rancheria; and
                  (B) a legal description of the land surveyed under 
                subsection (d).
          (2) Effect.--Beginning on the date on which the legal 
        descriptions are published under paragraph (1), such legal 
        descriptions shall be the official legal descriptions of those 
        boundary lines of the Tuolumne Rancheria and the lands 
        surveyed.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3490, as ordered reported, is to 
transfer administrative jurisdiction of certain federal lands 
from the Bureau of Land Management to the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs, to take such lands into trust for the Tuolumne Band of 
Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria, and for other 
purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 3490 would transfer approximately 66 acres of land 
from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the Bureau of 
Indian Affairs (BIA) to be held in trust for the Tuolumne Band 
of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria (Tribe). No gaming 
may be conducted on this land. In addition, approximately 357 
acres of land will be deemed to be within the Tribe's 
reservation boundaries. The 357 acres is not being placed into 
trust by this legislation, as some of the land is already in 
trust for the Tribe and the remaining land is included in a 
pending fee to trust application before the BIA.
    Located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, the Tuolumne 
Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria (Tribe) 
resides approximately two hours east of Sacramento and one hour 
north of Yosemite National Park. Land was first acquired for 
the Tribe on October 25, 1910, pursuant to the Acts of June 21, 
1906 and April 30, 1908. Executive Order 1517, dated April 13, 
1912, set aside more land for the Tribe. Approximately 150 of 
the 400 tribal members live on the reservation in approximately 
64 homes. Many of these homes are overcrowded, which is one of 
the reasons that this legislation was introduced. Deeming the 
additional land as part of the reservation will allow the Tribe 
to have access to various federal programs that authorize funds 
for projects located on-reservation.
    The BLM land transferred in H.R. 3490 consists of three 
tracts and is adjacent to land held in trust for the Tribe or 
that is owned in fee by the Tribe (and part of the pending fee 
to trust application). One tract contains a cemetery where the 
Tribe has historically buried its ancestors and which will 
continue to be used as a cemetery, another tract would be used 
for a cultural center and other public uses, and the last tract 
would be used to satisfy agricultural, housing, and open space 
needs.
    Approximately 60 acres of the other 357 acres that will be 
included in the reservation boundaries are already held in 
trust for the Tribe. The Tribe has submitted a land into trust 
application for the remaining 297 acres. This application has 
been approved by the Secretary of the Interior, but the 
decision is being challenged by a local resident because a 
right-of-way was erroneously excluded. As a result, the appeal 
is pending before the Interior Board of Indian Appeals. This 
legislation is not intended to interfere with that appeal. The 
land that is part of the pending application is zoned as 
residential and the Tribe intends to use the land for housing 
purposes. Although a resident is challenging the fee to trust 
application, the Board of Supervisors for the County of 
Tuolumne supports this legislation as does the Tuolumne Fire 
Protection District.

California Indian Land Transfer Act, P.L. 106-568

    In 2000, approximately 3,525.8 acres of land were placed 
into trust for the benefit of various Indian tribes located in 
California. Gaming was explicitly prohibited on these lands 
under subsection (a) of that Act. In addition, subsection 
903(c) of the California Indian Land Transfer Act provides that 
the lands that were transferred as part of that Act will be 
subject to the same laws relating to Indian land in the same 
manner as other lands held in trust for the Tribe.
    H.R. 3490 prohibits gaming on the BLM land being 
transferred pursuant to this Act by subjecting the lands to 
subsection (a) of the California Indian Land Transfer Act. Both 
the BLM land and the 357 acres are subject to subsection 903(c) 
of the California Indian Land Transfer Act. Consequently, the 
land will be subject to the same laws relating to Indian land 
in the same manner as other lands currently held in trust for 
the Tribe.

Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 2701 et seq.

    Enacted in 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) 
sets forth the regulatory framework for Indian gaming. It 
defines three classes of gaming (Class I, II, & III) and 
specifies the corresponding regulatory scheme for each class. 
IGRA also establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission 
(Commission) and specifies the powers and duties of the 
Commission.
    Under IGRA, gaming may not be conducted on Indian lands 
placed into trust for a tribe after October 17, 1988. An 
exception exists, however, for land that is within or 
contiguous to the boundaries of the tribe's reservation on 
October 17, 1988. All of the lands mentioned in this bill are 
adjacent to the Tribe's existing reservation and the 
legislation deems the land to be within the Tribe's 
reservation.
    While gaming is explicitly prohibited on the lands being 
transferred from the BLM, it is not prohibited on the 
additional 357 acres. Regardless of this legislation, however, 
gaming may be conducted pursuant to IGRA on the 60 acres of 
land already held in trust for the tribe because they are 
adjacent to the Tribe's reservation. Similarly, with or without 
this legislation, gaming may be conducted pursuant to IGRA on 
the lands that are part of the fee to trust application, 
provided the tribe provides additional information on the 
application, because they are also adjacent to the Tribe's 
reservation.
    The Tribe, however, does not intend to conduct gaming on 
these lands as it has an existing casino that is more ideally 
located and is in the process of being expanded. Finally, the 
Tribe has already zoned the land for other uses, such as 
housing, and has conducted an environmental review for the 
alternative uses.

Executive Order reservations, 25 U.S.C. Sec. 398d

    Because the Tribe's reservation was established by 
Executive Order, the Secretary of the Interior does not have 
the authority to change the boundaries of the reservation. 
Section 398d of Title 25 of the United States Code prohibits 
changes to the boundaries of a reservation created by an 
Executive Order without Congressional consent. Therefore, this 
legislation is necessary to have the lands deemed part of the 
reservation.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3490 was introduced by Representative George 
Radanovich (R-CA), on September 6, 2007. The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Natural Resources.
    On April 9, 2008, the Committee conducted a legislative 
hearing on H.R. 3490. The full Committee on Natural Resources 
met to consider the bill on April 17, 2008. Chairman Nick J. 
Rahall, II (D-WV) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to clarify that the National Environmental Policy 
Act would apply to the BLM land transfer and to extend the 
amount of time the BLM would be required to complete a land 
survey. H.R. 3490 was ordered favorably reported, as amended, 
to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that the Act may be known as the 
``Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act of 2008''.

Section 2. Findings

    Section 2 provides the Congressional findings relevant to 
the legislation including that, ``one such tract is a cemetery 
within which are buried the remains of ancestors of the Tribe 
and other Indians.''

Section 3. Lands to be taken into trust

    Section 3(a) provides that lands to be taken into trust 
will be transferred in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act, and subject to all valid rights, 
title and interest. In addition, this section provides that 
lands to be taken into trust shall be managed in compliance 
with the California Indian Land Transfer Act of 2000 (Title IX, 
P.L. 106-568; 114 Stat. 2868, 2921). Finally, this section 
provides that gaming is prohibited on the lands to be 
transferred for the benefit of the Tribe by the BLM.
    Section 3(b) provides the description of the BLM lands to 
be transferred and held in trust for the benefit of the Tribe.
    Section 3(c) provides the description of the lands to be 
made a part of the Tuolumne Rancheria.
    Section 3(d) provides that a survey of the lands addressed 
in this legislation be surveyed by the Office of Cadastral 
Survey of the BLM.
    Section 3(e) provides for the publication, after approval 
of the tribal council, of the legal description of the lands 
surveyed and the new boundaries of the Tuolumne Rancheria. In 
addition, this section provides for the effective date of the 
new boundary lines of the Tuolumne Rancheria.

            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.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) 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)(3)(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.
    2. 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.
    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 transfer administrative 
jurisdiction of certain federal lands from the Bureau of Land 
Management to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to take such lands 
into trust for Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne 
Rancheria.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule stXIII 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:

H.R. 3490--Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act of 2008

    CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3490 would cost less 
than $500,000 over the 2009-2013 period, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds. Enacting H.R. 3490 would 
not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 3490 contains no private-sector or intergovernmental 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 3490 would transfer 66 acres of land, currently 
administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), to the 
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to be held in trust for the 
Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria in 
California. According to information from the tribe, those 
lands would be used primarily for a cultural center and for 
housing and agricultural needs. The bill also would extend the 
boundaries of the tribe's reservation to include the conveyed 
BLM lands and other tribal-owned lands, provided that BLM 
completes a survey of certain land and that other conditions 
specified in the bill are met. Based on information from BIA 
and BLM, we estimate that federal spending to transfer the 
lands into trust and complete a land survey would cost less 
than $500,000 over the 2009-2013 period, assuming the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    In addition, according to the Department of the Interior, 
the BLM lands currently generate no receipts from mineral 
leasing or other activities and are not expected to do so 
during the next 10 years. Therefore, CBO estimates that 
conveying the land would not affect offsetting receipts (a 
credit against direct spending).
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Leigh Angres. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Asstant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 3490 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

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

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

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