[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 195 (Friday, October 7, 2016)]
[Pages 69844-69845]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24416]



Office of the Secretary

[16XD4523WS\DS10100000\ DWSN00000.000000\DP10020]

Statement of Findings: Taos Pueblo Indian Water Rights Settlement 

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, Interior.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is publishing this 
notice in accordance with section 509(f) of the Taos Pueblo Indian 
Water Rights Settlement Act, Public Law 111-291 (Settlement Act). 
Congress enacted the Settlement Act as Title V of the Claims Resolution 
Act of 2010. The publication of this notice causes the Settlement 
Agreement entered in accordance with Section 509 of the Settlement Act 
to become enforceable and causes certain waivers and releases of claims 
executed pursuant to sections 510 and 511(a) of the Settlement Act to 
become effective.

DATES: This notice is effective October 7, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Address all comments and requests for 
additional information to Mr. John E. Peterson II, Chair, Taos Pueblo 
Water Rights Settlement Implementation Team, Department of the 
Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Native American and International 
Affairs Office, Denver Federal Center, P.O. Box 25007 (86-43200), 
Denver, Colorado 80225-0007, (303) 445-2122.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Settlement Act was enacted to resolve 
the water rights claims of Taos Pueblo (Pueblo) on the Rio Pueblo de 
Taos and Rio Hondo stream systems and interrelated groundwater and 
tributaries in the State of New Mexico subject to an adjudication in 
the U.S. District Court (Court) in State of New Mexico ex rel. State 
Engineer v. Abeyta and Arellano, Nos. 69cv07896 BB and 69cv07939 BB

[[Page 69845]]

(D.N.M. filed Feb. 4, 1969). The Settlement Parties include the Pueblo; 
Taos Valley Acequia Association (representing 55 historic community 
ditches); Town of Taos; EI Prado Water and Sanitation District; 12 
Mutual Domestic Water Consumers Associations; the State of New Mexico 
(State); and the United States (Settlement Parties). The non-federal 
Settlement Parties submitted a signed Settlement Agreement to Congress 
prior to enactment of the Settlement Act. As described in section 502 
of the Settlement Act, the purposes of the Settlement Act are:
    (1) To approve, ratify, and confirm the Settlement Agreement;
    (2) to authorize and direct the Secretary to execute the Settlement 
Agreement and to perform all obligations of the Secretary under the 
Settlement Agreement and the Settlement Act; and
    (3) to authorize all actions and appropriations necessary for the 
United States to meet its obligations under the Settlement Agreement 
and the Settlement Act.

Statement of Findings

    In accordance with section 509(f) of the Settlement Act, I find as 
    (1) The President has signed into law the Settlement Act;
    (2) to the extent that the Settlement Agreement conflicted with the 
Settlement Act, the Settlement Agreement has been revised to conform 
with the Settlement Act;
    (3) the Settlement Agreement, so revised, including waivers and 
releases pursuant to section 510 of the Settlement Act, has been 
executed by the Settlement Parties and the Secretary prior to the 
Settlement Parties' motion for entry of the Partial Final Decree;
    (4) Congress has fully appropriated all funds made available under 
paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 509(c) of the Settlement Act;
    (5) the State Legislature has fully appropriated the funds for the 
State contributions as specified in the Settlement Agreement, and those 
funds have been deposited in appropriate accounts;
    (6) the State has enacted legislation that amends New Mexico 
Statutes Annotated (NMSA) 1978, section 72-6-3 to state that a water 
use due under a water right secured to the Pueblo under the Settlement 
Agreement or the Partial Final Decree may be leased for a term, 
including all renewals, not to exceed 99 years; and
    (7) a Partial Final Decree that sets forth the water rights and 
contract rights to water to which the Pueblo is entitled under the 
Settlement Agreement and the Settlement Act and that substantially 
conforms to the Settlement Agreement and Attachment 5 of the Settlement 
Agreement has been approved by the Court and has become final and non-

Sally Jewell,
Secretary of the Interior.
[FR Doc. 2016-24416 Filed 10-6-16; 8:45 am]