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                                                       Calendar No. 274
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     112-112

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



 
                   MOHAVE VALLEY LAND CONVEYANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

                January 13, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

 Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of December 17, 2011

                                _______
                                

        Mr. Bingaman, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 526]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 526) to provide for the conveyance of 
certain Bureau of Land Management land in Mohave County, 
Arizona, to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, for use as a 
public shooting range, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Mohave Valley Land Conveyance Act of 
2011''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Arizona 
        Game and Fish Commission.
          (2) County.--The term ``County'' means Mohave County, 
        Arizona.
          (3) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means the public 
        land in the County, comprising approximately 315 acres as 
        generally depicted on the map entitled ``Boundary Cone Road 
        Location'' and dated November 7, 2011.
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land 
        Management.

SEC. 3. CONVEYANCE OF PUBLIC LAND IN MOHAVE COUNTY, ARIZONA.

  (a) In General.--On the request of the Commission submitted to the 
Secretary by the date that is not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this Act and subject to the provisions of this Act, the 
Secretary shall convey to the Commission all right, title, and interest 
of the United States in and to the Federal land for use as a public 
shooting range.
  (b) Conditions.--The conveyance under subsection (a) shall be--
          (1) by quitclaim deed; and
          (2) subject to--
                  (A) valid existing rights; and
                  (B) such terms and conditions as the Secretary may 
                require, including appropriate conditions to address 
                the impact of the shooting range on cultural resources.
  (c) Costs.--If the Commission accepts the conveyance of the Federal 
land, the Commission shall be responsible for paying--
          (1) consideration to the Secretary for the Federal land in an 
        amount that is consistent with conveyances to governmental 
        entities for recreational purposes under the Act of June 14, 
        1926 (commonly known as the ``Recreation and Public Purposes 
        Act'') (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.); and
          (2) the reasonable administrative costs associated with the 
        conveyance.
  (d) Requirement.--The land conveyed under subsection (a) shall be 
managed by the Commission--
          (1) as a public shooting range; and
          (2) for recreation and other public purposes, consistent with 
        the Act of June 14, 1926 (commonly known as the ``Recreation 
        and Public Purposes Act'') (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.).
  (e) Reversion.--
          (1) In general.--If the Federal land ceases to be used for 
        the purposes described in subsection (d), the Federal land 
        shall, at the option of the Secretary, revert to the United 
        States.
          (2) Responsibility of local governmental entity.--If the 
        Secretary determines pursuant to paragraph (1) that the land 
        should revert to the United States, and if the Secretary 
        determines that the land is contaminated with hazardous waste, 
        the local governmental entity to which the land was conveyed 
        shall be responsible for remediation of the contamination.
  (f) Correction of Map Errors.--The Secretary may correct any clerical 
or typographical error in the map described in section 2(3).

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 526 is to provide for the conveyance of 
approximately 315 acres of public land to the Arizona Game and 
Fish Commission (``Commission'') for use as a public shooting 
range.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In 1999, the Commission submitted an application to the 
Bureau of Land Management (``BLM'') to develop a shooting range 
on public lands near Boundary Cone Butte, about 10 miles 
southeast of Bullhead City in Mohave County, Arizona. In 2006, 
the BLM developed an environmental assessment to consider 
conveying approximately 315 acres for the shooting range 
through the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.
    Boundary Cone Butte has figured prominently in the stories 
and histories of the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and Hualapai 
Indian Tribe, and the BLM identified it as a traditional 
cultural property that is eligible for inclusion on the 
National Register of Historic Places. As a result, the BLM 
formally consulted with the Advisory Council on Historic 
Preservation beginning in 2006 and continuing through 2008. On 
February 10, 2010, the BLM issued a revised environmental 
analysis and a Decision Record authorizing the conveyance. The 
Tribes appealed the BLM's decision to the Interior Board of 
Land Appeals (IBLA), and the IBLA upheld the BLM's decision 
(IBLA 2010-94; Dec. 7, 2010).
    S. 526 provides for the final conveyance of the parcel to 
the Commission in a manner that is consistent with the ongoing 
administrative conveyance process.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 526 was introduced by Senators McCain and Kyl on March 
9, 2011. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a 
hearing on the bill on May 18, 2011 (S. Hrg. 112-39). At its 
business meeting on November 10, 2011, the Committee on Energy 
and Natural Resources ordered S. 526 favorably reported with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on November 10, 2011, by a voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 526, if 
amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 526, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
eliminates the statement of purposes and the provision 
declaring the BLM's record of decision of February 8, 2010, 
final and legally sufficient. It adds provisions requiring 
that: the conveyance be made subject to valid existing rights 
and terms and conditions prescribed by the Secretary, payment 
for the Federal land be made in an amount consistent with 
conveyances to governmental entities under the Recreation and 
Public Purposes Act, the land conveyed be used as a public 
shooting range, and the local governmental entity to which the 
land was conveyed be responsible for remediation of any 
contamination in the event of a reversion. The provisions of 
the substitute are described in more detail in the section-by-
section analysis.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 provides the short title for the bill.
    Section 2 provides the definitions for key terms used in 
the bill.
    Section 3(a) provides that, if the Commission requests the 
conveyance of the Federal land within 1 year of the date of 
enactment, the Secretary shall proceed with the conveyance, 
subject to the other provisions of the bill.
    Subsection (b) provides that the conveyance would be 
subject to valid existing rights and such terms and conditions 
as the Secretary may require. The BLM, the Commission, and the 
Tribes currently are working on a plan to reduce potential 
impacts of the shooting range on cultural resources in the 
area, and this provision makes clear that the bill would not 
disrupt that process.
    Subsection (c) requires the Commission to pay certain 
compensation and administrative costs association with the 
conveyance. The required compensation and costs are the same as 
would be required--and currently are contemplated--by the 
ongoing administrative process for conveying the Federal land.
    Subsection (d) provides that the Federal land must be used 
as a public shooting range and for other public purposes.
    Subsection (e) provides for the reversion of the Federal 
land if the Commission ceases to use it as a public shooting 
range and, in that case, requires the Commission to remediate 
any hazardous waste conditions associated with the Federal 
land.
    Subsection (f) clarifies that the Secretary may correct any 
clerical or typographical errors on the map referenced in the 
bill.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 526--Mohave Valley Land Conveyance Act of 2011

    S. 526 would require the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to 
convey 315 acres of federal land to the Arizona Game and Fish 
Commission to be used as a public shooting range. Based on 
information provided by the agency, CBO expects that BLM will 
convey the affected lands to the commission in 2012 using 
existing authorities. Thus, we estimate that implementing the 
legislation would have no impact on the federal budget. 
Enacting S. 526 would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. 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 S. 526.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 526, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 526, 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.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The views of the Administration were included in testimony 
received by the Committee at the May 18, 2011, hearing (S. Hrg. 
112-39), which is provided below.

  Statement of Mike Pool, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management, 
                       Department of the Interior

    Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 526, the 
Mohave Valley Land Conveyance Act of 2011, which proposes to 
transfer 315 acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM) to the Arizona Game and Fish Department 
(AGFD) for use as a public shooting range. The BLM supports the 
goals of S. 526 but does not support the legislation as 
currently drafted. BLM is working with local governments and 
tribes to resolve land tenure issues. BLM's decision to 
authorize the land transfer included important mitigation 
measures which are not in the current legislation.
    For the past ten years, the BLM has been working with the 
AGFD, the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, the Hualapai Tribe, and the 
public to find appropriate lands for a public shooting range 
within the Mohave Valley in Arizona. On February 10, 2010, the 
BLM made the decision to authorize the transfer of BLM lands to 
the AGFD (through the Recreation and Public Purposes Act of 
1926, as amended, 43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.; R&PP;) for use as a 
public shooting range. The decision, which is consistent with 
the goals of S. 526, provides a safe, designated shooting 
environment for the public and includes stipulations designed 
to respect the traditional beliefs of the Fort Mojave and 
Hualapai Tribes. The BLM will continue working with interested 
parties as we move forward with authorizing the shooting range.


                               background


    In 1999, the AGFD first submitted an application to the BLM 
for development of a public shooting range on BLM-managed lands 
in Mohave County, near Bullhead City in northwestern Arizona. 
As a result, the BLM began working with the AGFD and other 
interested parties to assess appropriate lands to transfer to 
the AGFD for the purposes of a shooting range under the R&PP.;
    The BLM evaluated the AGFD's application through an 
environmental assessment (EA) and considered numerous 
alternative locations throughout the Mohave Valley. The 
evaluation process was conducted with full public and tribal 
participation. There is an identified need for a designated 
public shooting range in this region because of the lack of a 
nearby facility, the amount of dispersed recreational shooting 
occurring on public and private lands raising public safety 
concerns, and the associated natural resource impacts from 
spent ammunition and associated waste.
    In 2002, the BLM began consultations with the Fort Mojave 
Indian Tribe and the Hualapai Tribe. In 2003, the BLM initiated 
consultation with the Arizona State Historic Preservation 
Officer (SHPO); and in 2006, the BLM initiated Section 106 
consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation 
(ACHP). These consultations, as required by Section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act and other authorities, 
ensure Federal agencies consider the effects of their actions 
on historic properties, and provide the ACHP and SHPO an 
opportunity to comment on Federal projects prior to 
implementation.
    In addition to the Section 106 consultation process, the 
BLM initiated a year-long Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) 
process in 2004 to help identify issues, stakeholder 
perspectives, and additional alternatives to meet the criteria 
for a safe and effective public shooting range in the Mohave 
Valley. However, the ADR process failed to reconcile 
differences between several consulting parties regarding a 
proposed location.
    In 2006, as part of continued Section 106 consultation with 
the ACHP, the BLM initiated site visits by the concerned 
parties and also continued efforts to identify alternative 
sites. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, the BLM was unable 
to reach an agreement with the consulted Tribes on any area 
within the Mohave Valley that the Tribes would find acceptable 
for a shooting range. The Tribes maintained their position that 
there is no place suitable within the Mohave Valley, which 
encompasses approximately 140 square miles between Bullhead 
City, Arizona, and Needles, California.
    Through the EA process, the BLM identified the Boundary 
Cone Road alternative to be the preferred location. Boundary 
Cone Butte, a highly visible mountain on the eastern edge of 
the Mohave Valley, lies approximately 3 miles east of the 
Boundary Cone Road site, and is of cultural, religious, and 
traditional importance to both the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and 
the Hualapai Tribe. In an effort to address the primary 
concerns expressed by the Tribes over visual and sound issues, 
the BLM and AGFD developed a set of potential mitigation 
measures. Again, there was a failure to agree between the 
consulting parties on possible mitigation. In the end, the BLM 
formally terminated the Section 106 process with the ACHP in 
September 2008. In November 2008, ACHP provided their final 
comments in a letter from the Chairman of the ACHP to then-
Secretary of the Interior Kempthorne.
    Although the Section 106 process was terminated, the BLM 
continued government-to-government consultations with the 
Tribes. In May of 2009, the BLM met with the Chairman of the 
Fort Mojave Indian Tribe, the AGFD, and the Tri-State Shooting 
Club in a renewed effort to find a solution. On February 3, 
2010, after continued efforts to reach a mutually agreeable 
solution, the BLM presented the decision to approve the 
shooting range to the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and the AGFD. 
The final decision included mitigation measures to address the 
concerns of the Tribes such as reducing the amount of actual 
ground disturbance; reducing noise levels with berm 
construction; monitoring and annual reporting on noise levels; 
and fencing to avoid culturally sensitive areas. The Secretary 
has the authority to take action to revest title to the land 
covered by the proposed R&PP; patent if the AGFD fails to comply 
with mitigation measures. The final decision to amend the 
Kingman Resource Management Plan and dispose of the lands 
through the R&PP; was signed on February 10, 2010.
    The BLM decision was appealed to the Interior Board of Land 
Appeals (IBLA) on February 23, 2010, by a private landowner 
near the proposed shooting range; and on March 15, 2010, a 
joint appeal by the Fort Mojave Indian Tribe and Hualapai Tribe 
was filed. The IBLA dismissed the appeal of the private 
landowner on July 29, 2010. The IBLA issued a stay of the BLM 
decision on April 15, 2010, at the request of the Tribes. A 
final decision by the IBLA on the Tribes' appeal was issued on 
December 7, 2010 (180 IBLA 158). The IBLA affirmed the BLM's 
decisions and determined that the BLM had taken a ``hard look'' 
at the impacts of conveying public lands to the AGFD for a 
shooting range. The IBLA decision stated that the EA had an 
appropriate range of alternatives and the environmental 
consequences were insignificant or if significant could be 
reduced or eliminated by mitigation. The IBLA also confirmed 
that the BLM complied with National Historic Preservation Act 
obligations. This decision allows the BLM to move forward in 
conveying the public lands to the AGFD.
    On December 21, 2010, the BLM informed the AGFD of the next 
steps for processing the administrative action of conveying the 
land for the shooting range. The AGFD is required to: (1) 
purchase the mineral estate or obtain a non-development 
agreement for the Santa Fe Railroad mineral estate (390 acres) 
under the disposal and buffer lands; (2) provide a detailed 
Plan of Development (Plan) that addresses the mitigation 
measures found in the BLM's Decision Record; (3) develop a 
Cooperative Management Agreement with the BLM for the 470-acre 
buffer area; and (4) provide the funds ($3,150) for purchase of 
the property. It is the BLM's understanding that the AGFD is 
negotiating a purchase agreement to acquire the mineral estate. 
The AGFD also submitted a draft Plan and is currently revising 
the Plan to address the additional guidance provided by the 
BLM, including the request to incorporate the Cooperative 
Management Agreement into the Plan.


                                 s. 526


    S. 526 provides for the conveyance to the AGFD of all 
right, title, and interest to the approximately 315 acres of 
BLM-managed public lands as identified in the final decision 
signed by the BLM on February 10, 2010, to be used as a public 
shooting range. Furthermore, the legislation makes a 
determination that the February 10, 2010, Record of Decision is 
``final and determined to be legally sufficient'' and ``not be 
subject to judicial review . . .'' The bill also provides that 
the lands must be used for purposes consistent with the R&PP; 
Act and provides for an appropriate reversionary clause.
    As a matter of policy, the BLM supports working with local 
governments, tribes, and other stakeholders to resolve land 
tenure issues that advance worthwhile public policy objectives. 
The BLM acknowledges the lands proposed for development as a 
shooting range are of cultural, religious, and traditional 
significance to the Tribes which is why we support important 
mitigation measures. The bill as drafted does not include such 
mitigation measures. In general, the BLM supports the goals of 
the proposed conveyance, as it is similar to the transfer the 
BLM has been addressing through its administrative process for 
the last ten years. As noted, a decision has been made through 
the BLM administrative process and the IBLA affirmed the BLM 
decision, thereby dismissing the Tribes' appeal that the BLM 
did not comply with various environmental laws. Under the 
provisions of S. 526, judicial review would be prohibited. The 
BLM will continue working to complete the conveyance of the 
lands to the AGFD for a shooting range.
    If the Congress chooses to legislate this conveyance, the 
BLM would recommend some improvements to the bill, including 
changes to section 4(b), the incorporation of mitigation 
measures to address Tribal concerns, protection of valid 
existing rights, and an appropriate map reference.


                               conclusion


    Thank you for the opportunity to testify. Resolution of 
this conveyance in a manner that is acceptable to all parties 
has been an important goal of the BLM as evidenced by more than 
ten years of negotiations and review. The BLM is confident the 
issued decision addresses the concerns of the interested 
parties, while providing critical recreational opportunities 
and benefits to the public.

                        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 the bill S. 526 as ordered 
reported.