[Senate Report 108-60]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



                                                       Calendar No. 124
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     108-60

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      PUEBLO OF SANTA CLARA AND PUEBLO OF SAN ILDEFONSO LAND TRUST

                                _______
                                

                  June 9, 2003.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 246]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 246) to provide that certain Bureau of 
Land Management land shall be held in trust for the Pueblo of 
Santa Clara and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in the State of New 
Mexico, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with amendments and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. On page 3, line 8, strike ``New Mexico.'' and insert 
``New Mexico, as part of the Santa Clara Reservation.''.
    2. On page 4, line 18, strike ``New Mexico.'' and insert 
``New Mexico, as part of the San Ildefonso Reservation.''.
    3. On page 6, strike line 19 and all that follows through 
page 9, line 12 and insert the following:

    ``(a) Applicable Law.--The trust land shall be administered 
in accordance with laws generally applicable to property held 
in trust by the United States for Indian tribes.
    ``(b) Pueblo Lands Act.--The following shall be subject to 
section 17 of the Act of June 7, 1924 (25 U.S.C. 331 note; 
commonly known as the ``Pueblo Lands Act''):
          ``(1) The trust land.
          ``(2) Any land owned as of the date of enactment of 
        this Act or acquired after the date of enactment of 
        this Act by the Pueblo of Santa Clara in the Santa 
        Clara Pueblo Grant.
          ``(3) Any land owned as of the date of enactment of 
        this Act or acquired after the date of enactment of 
        this Act by the Pueblo of San Ildefonso in the San 
        Ildefonso Pueblo Grant.
    ``(c) Use of Trust Land.--Subject to criteria developed by 
the Pueblos in concert with the Secretary, the trust land may 
be used only for traditional and customary uses or stewardship 
conservation for the benefit of the Pueblo for which the trust 
land is held in trust. Beginning on the date of enactment of 
this Act, the trust land shall not be used for any new 
commercial developments.

``SEC. 6. EFFECT.

    ``Nothing in this Act--
          ``(1) affects any valid right-of-way, lease, permit, 
        mining claim, grazing permit, water right, or other 
        right or interest of any person or entity (other than 
        the United States) in or to the trust land that is in 
        existence before the date of enactment of this Act;
          ``(2) enlarges, impairs, or otherwise affects a right 
        or claim of the Pueblos to any land or interest in land 
        based on Aboriginal or Indian title that is in 
        existence before the date of enactment of this Act;
          ``(3) constitutes an express or implied reservation 
        of water or water right for any purpose with respect to 
        the trust land; or
          ``(4) affects any water right of the Pueblos in 
        existence before the date of enactment of this Act.''.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 246 is to place 4,484 acres of public 
lands in New Mexico, including mineral rights, in trust for the 
Pueblos of Santa Clara and San Ildefonso. Of this amount, 2,484 
acres will be added to the Santa Clara Reservation and 2,000 
acres will be added to the San Ildefonso Reservation.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In 1988, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) declared 4,484 
acres of land in northern New Mexico as ``disposal property.'' 
These lands are important ancestral homelands to the Pueblos of 
San Ildefonso and Santa Clara and the Pueblos have continued to 
assert claims to them over the years. San Ildefonso is 
negotiating a settlement of its Indian Claims Commission case--
the last such case--and this transfer, while not directly 
connected to the settlement, will help facilitate a final 
resolution of the case.
    The public land being transferred is almost entirely 
bordered by the land of the two Pueblos and land administered 
by the U.S. Forest Service, and access by the general public is 
limited. Due to the location of the land and the difficulty of 
managing it, the BLM declared the area as ``disposal 
property.'' On February 15, 2002, the BLM published a notice in 
the Federal Register of the agency's intent to withdraw the 
minerals on the land in aid of legislation for the benefit of 
the two Pueblos.
    At a hearing of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and 
Forests on February 27, 2003, the Department of the Interior 
testified generally in support of the legislation but expressed 
concerns about a claim that the Pueblo of San Ildefonso had on 
the Bureau of Land Management related to Claim Docket No. 354. 
On May 8, 2003 the Department provided a response to a written 
question for clarification by Senator Craig stating, ``Upon 
further review and a closer examination of the issue, the 
Department of the Interior has determined that no modification 
of bill language is needed. The Department supports S. 246 as 
introduced.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 246 was introduced by Senators Domenici and Bingaman on 
January 29, 2003. A similar measure, H.R. 507, was introduced 
in the House of Representatives on the same day. The 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on S. 
246 on February 27, 2003. At its business meeting on May 21, 
2003, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 
246, as amended, favorably reported. Senators Domenici and 
Bingaman sponsored a similar measure, S. 2893, during the 107th 
Congress. That bill was favorably reported by the Committee on 
October 4, 2002 and passed by the Senate as part of an 
amendment to S. 198 on November 19, 2002.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on May 21, 2003, by a voice vote of a quorum 
present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 246, if amended as 
described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During the consideration of S. 246, the Committee adopted 
three amendments to clarify language.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 defines terms used in the Act.
    Section 2(a) places approximately 2,484 acres of public 
land in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico in trust for the Pueblo 
of Santa Clara, New Mexico. Subsection (b) describes that land.
    Section 3(a) places approximately 2,000 acres of public 
land in Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties, New Mexico in trust 
for the Pueblo of San Ildefonso, New Mexico. Subsection (b) 
describes that land.
    Section 4 directs the Bureau of Land Management, Office of 
Cadastral Survey, to complete a survey to establish legal 
descriptions of the trust lands.
    Section 5 provides self explanatory guidelines for 
administration of the trust land.
    Section 6 provides a series of self explanatory 
disclaimers.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

S. 246--A bill to provide that certain Bureau of Land Management land 
        shall be held in trust for the Pueblo of Santa Clara and the 
        Pueblo of San Ildefonso in the state of New Mexico

    CBO estimates that enacting S. 246 would not significantly 
affect the federal budget. The bill could affect direct 
spending, but we estimate that any such impact would be 
negligible. S. 246 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.
    S. 246 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to take 
4,484 acres of federal lands and interests into trust on behalf 
of two Indian tribes in New Mexico. The bill would require the 
Secretary to survey a portion of those lands to establish new 
boundaries of the tribes' reservations. Based on information 
from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), we estimate that 
federal spending to complete that survey and transfer the lands 
into trust would not exceed $500,000, assuming the availability 
of appropriated funds.
    Taking lands into trust for Indian tribes could result in 
forgone offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending) 
if, under current law, the lands would generate income from 
programs to develop natural resources. According to BLM, 
however, the affected lands currently generate no significant 
receipts and are not expected to do so over the next 10 years. 
Further, the bill specifies that valid existing rights would 
not be affected by the proposed transfer of lands; hence, CBO 
estimates that any forgone offsetting receipts under S. 246 
would be negligible.
    On May 12, 2003, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
523, the Native American Technical Corrections Act of 2003, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on 
April 10, 2003. S. 523 contains a provision that is similar to 
S. 246, and our cost estimates of these provisions are the 
same.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jenny Lin and 
Megan Carroll. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, 
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. 246. 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. 246, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On, February 25, 2003, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 246. These reports 
had not been received at the time the report on S. 246 was 
filed. When the reports become available, the Chairman will 
request that they be printed in the Congressional Record for 
the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by the Bureau 
of Land Management at the Subcommittee hearing follows together 
with a subsequent clarification of the Administration's 
position provided on May 8, 2003:

  Statement of Jim Hughes, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management

    Mr. Chairman, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you 
for the opportunity to appear here today to discuss S. 246, a 
bill to provide that certain Bureau of Land Management land be 
held in trust for the Pueblo of Santa Clara and the Pueblo of 
San Ildefonso in the State of New Mexico. The Department 
generally supports S. 246, but would like to work with the 
Subcommittee to make some modifications.
    The Department of the Interior generally support S. 246, 
but believes the Committee should consider modifications to the 
bill. The BLM has identified the approximately 4,480 acres 
described in the legislation as available for disposal. The BLM 
agrees that the adjacent Pueblos of Santa Clara and San 
Ildefonso would be appropriate holders of the land.
    The two Pueblos have a long-standing interest in acquiring 
this parcel. The parcel is bordered on the north by the Santa 
Clara Pueblo, on the south by the San Ildefonso Pueblo, and on 
the west by National Forest lands claimed as aboriginal 
holdings by the two tribes. In 1988, the BLM's Taos Resource 
Management Plan identified the parcel as difficult and 
uneconomical to manage and determined it suitable for disposal. 
Currently there are no known resource permits, leases, patents 
or claims affecting these lands.
    S. 246 would divide the parcel by conveying approximately 
2,480 acres of BLM land to the Pueblo of Santa Clara and about 
2,000 acres to the Pueblo of San Ildefonso. Again, the BLM 
believes the Pueblos would be appropriate owners of the land, 
and would support placing them in trust to be used for 
traditional and customary uses, or to be used for stewardship 
conservation for the benefit of the Pueblos. The Department is 
concerned however, while this legislation would convey land 
that is currently or has recently been the subject of a land 
claim, the bill does not settle any future claims for land 
managed by the BLM. The bill should be modified to include a 
provision for the Pueblo of San Ildefonso to relinquish any 
claim under Docket No. 354 in the United States Court of 
Federal Claims and a separate provision to waive any future 
claims by the Pueblo of Santa Clara with regard to these lands. 
This would provide finality to long standing land claims.
    The Chairman, the Department looks forward to working with 
the Committee on these bills. Thank you for the opportunity to 
testify before you today. I would be pleased to answer any 
questions that you or the other members may have.
                        Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                       Washington, DC, May 8, 2003.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Enclosed are responses to questions 
submitted following the February 27, 2003, hearing on S. 203, 
``To open certain withdrawn land in Big Horn County, Wyoming, 
to locatable mineral development for bentonite mining,'' and S. 
246, ``To provide that certain Bureau of Land Management land 
shall be held in trust for the Pueblo of Santa Clara and the 
Pueblo of San Ildefonso in the State of New Mexico,'' prepared 
by the Bureau of Land Management.
    Thank you for the opportunity to provide this material to 
the Committee.
            Sincerely,
                                          Richard Cardinale
                          (For Jane M. Lyder, Legislative Counsel).
    Enclosure.

                      Question From Senator Craig


S. 246

    Question. In your written testimony you seemed to imply you 
were concerned about any claim that the Pueblo of San Ildefonso 
had on BLM related to Docket No. 354. But during questioning, 
you seemed to imply that your concern was only related to that 
portion of Claim Docket No. 354 that is within the 4,480 acres 
included in S. 246, could you clarify your concern?
    Answer. Upon further review and a closer examination of the 
issue, the Department of the Interior has determined that no 
modification of bill language is needed. The Department 
supports S. 246 as introduced.

                        CHANGES TO 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. 246, as ordered 
reported.