S 1065

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 1065

To settle land claims within the Fort Hall Reservation.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 25, 2011

Mr. CRAPO (for himself and Mr. RISCH) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs


A BILL

To settle land claims within the Fort Hall Reservation.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Blackfoot River Land Settlement Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds that--

      (1) it is the policy of the United States to promote tribal self-determination and economic self-sufficiency and encourage the resolution of disputes over historical claims through mutually agreed-upon settlements between Indian tribes and the United States;

      (2) the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, a federally recognized Indian tribe with tribal headquarters at Fort Hall, Idaho--

        (A) adopted a tribal constitution and bylaws on March 31, 1936, that were approved by the Secretary of the Interior on April 30, 1936, pursuant to the Act of June 18, 1934 (25 U.S.C. 461 et seq.) (commonly known as the `Indian Reorganization Act');

        (B) has entered into various treaties with the United States, including the Second Treaty of Fort Bridger, executed on July 3, 1868; and

        (C) has maintained a continuous government-to-government relationship with the United States since the earliest years of the Union;

      (3)(A) in 1867, President Andrew Johnson designated by Executive order the Fort Hall Reservation for various bands of Shoshone and Bannock Indians;

      (B) the Reservation is located near the cities of Blackfoot and Pocatello in southeastern Idaho; and

      (C) article 4 of the Second Treaty of Fort Bridger secured the Reservation as a `permanent home' for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes;

      (4)(A) according to the Executive order referred to in paragraph (3)(A), the Blackfoot River, as the river existed in its natural state--

        (i) is the northern boundary of the Reservation; and

        (ii) flows in a westerly direction along that northern boundary; and

      (B) within the Reservation, land use in the River watershed is dominated by--

        (i) rangeland;

        (ii) dry and irrigated farming; and

        (iii) residential development;

      (5)(A) in 1964, the Corps of Engineers completed a local flood protection project on the River--

        (i) authorized by section 204 of the Flood Control Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 170); and

        (ii) sponsored by the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7;

      (B) the project consisted of building levees, replacing irrigation diversion structures, replacing bridges, and channel realignment; and

      (C) the channel realignment portion of the project severed various parcels of land located contiguous to the River along the boundary of the Reservation, resulting in Indian land being located north of the Realigned River and non-Indian land being located south of the Realigned River;

      (6) beginning in 1999, the Cadastral Survey Office of the Bureau of Land Management conducted surveys of--

        (A) 25 parcels of Indian land; and

        (B) 19 parcels of non-Indian land;

      (7) many non-Indian landowners and non-Indians acquiring Indian land have filed claims in the Snake River Basin Adjudication seeking water rights that included a place of use on Indian land; and

      (8) the enactment of this Act and the distribution of funds in accordance with section 12(b) would represent an agreement among--

        (A) the Tribes;

        (B) the allottees;

        (C) the non-Indians acquiring Indian land; and

        (D) the non-Indian landowners.

    (b) Purposes- The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to resolve the disputes resulting from realignment of the River by the Corps of Engineers during calendar year 1964 pursuant to the project described in subsection (a)(5)(A); and

      (2) to achieve a fair, equitable, and final settlement of all claims and potential claims arising from those disputes.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) ALLOTTEE- The term `allottee' means an heir of an original allottee of the Reservation who owns an interest in a parcel of land that is--

        (A) held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the allottee; and

        (B) located north of the Realigned River within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation.

      (2) INDIAN LAND- The term `Indian land' means any parcel of land that is--

        (A) held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribes or the allottees;

        (B) located north of the Realigned River; and

        (C) identified in exhibit A of the survey of the Bureau of Land Management entitled `Survey of the Blackfoot River of 2002 to 2005', which is located at--

          (i) the Fort Hall Indian Agency office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs; and

          (ii) the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7, 75 East Judicial, Blackfoot, Idaho.

      (3) NON-INDIAN ACQUIRING INDIAN LAND- The term `non-Indian acquiring Indian land' means any individual or entity that--

        (A) has acquired or plans to acquire Indian land; and

        (B) is included on the list contained in exhibit C, which is located at the areas described in clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (2)(C).

      (4) NON-INDIAN LAND- The term `non-Indian land' means any parcel of fee land that is--

        (A) located south of the Realigned River; and

        (B) identified in exhibit B, which is located at the areas described in clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (2)(C).

      (5) NON-INDIAN LANDOWNER- The term `non-Indian landowner' means any individual who holds fee title to non-Indian land.

      (6) REALIGNED RIVER- The term `Realigned River' means that portion of the River that was realigned by the Corps of Engineers during calendar year 1964 pursuant to the project described in section 2(a)(5)(A).

      (7) RESERVATION- The term `Reservation' means the Fort Hall Reservation established by Executive order during calendar year 1867 and confirmed by treaty during calendar year 1868.

      (8) RIVER- The term `River' means the Blackfoot River located in the State of Idaho.

      (9) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

      (10) TRIBES- The term `Tribes' means the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes.

SEC. 4. RELEASE OF CLAIMS TO CERTAIN INDIAN AND NON-INDIAN OWNED LANDS.

    (a) Release of Claims- On the deposit of all amounts into the tribal trust fund account and the allottee trust fund account under section 7 and the disbursement to non-Indian landowners under section 12--

      (1) all existing and future claims with respect to the Indian land and the non-Indian land and all right, title, and interest that the Tribes, allottees, non-Indians acquiring Indian land, and non-Indian landowners may have had to that land shall be extinguished;

      (2) any interest of the Tribes, the allottees, or the United States, acting as trustee for the Tribes or allottees, in the Indian land shall be extinguished under section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the `Indian Trade and Intercourse Act') (25 U.S.C. 177);

      (3) to the extent any interest in non-Indian land transferred into trust pursuant to section 5 violates section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the `Indian Trade and Intercourse Act') (25 U.S.C. 177), that transfer shall be valid, subject to the condition that the transfer is consistent with all other applicable Federal laws; and

      (4) the Tribes, allottees, and non-Indian landowners waive and release all claims that the Tribes, allottees, and non-Indian landowners may have asserted against the United States arising out of any interest in the Indian land or non-Indian owned land affected by the realignment of the Blackfoot River by the Corp of Engineers.

    (b) Documentation- The Secretary is authorized to execute and file any appropriate documents (including a plat or map of the tranferred Indian land) that are suitable for filing with the Bingham County clerk or other appropriate county official, as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out this Act.

SEC. 5. LAND TO BE PLACED INTO TRUST FOR TRIBES.

    Effective beginning on the date on which the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12 are distributed in accordance with that section to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7, the non-Indian land shall be considered to be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribes.

SEC. 6. TRUST LAND TO BE CONVERTED TO FEE LAND.

    Effective beginning on the date on which the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12 are distributed in accordance with that section to the tribal trust fund account and the allottee trust account, the Indian land shall be transferred to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 for conveyance to the non-Indians acquiring Indian land.

SEC. 7. TRIBAL TRUST FUND ACCOUNT AND ALLOTTEE TRUST ACCOUNT.

    (a) Tribal Trust Fund Account-

      (1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Treasury of the United States an account, to be known as the `tribal trust fund account', consisting of such amounts as are deposited in the account under section 12(b)(1).

      (2) INVESTMENT- The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the tribal trust fund account for the benefit of the Tribes, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

      (3) DISTRIBUTION- The Secretary of the Treasury shall distribute amounts in the tribal trust fund account to the Tribes pursuant to a budget adopted by the Tribes that describes--

        (A) the amounts required by the Tribes; and

        (B) the intended uses of the amounts, in accordance with paragraph (4).

      (4) USE OF FUNDS- The Tribes may use amounts in the tribal trust fund account (including interest earned on those amounts), without fiscal year limitation, for activities relating to--

        (A) construction of a natural resources facility;

        (B) water resources needs;

        (C) economic development;

        (D) land acquisition; and

        (E) such other purposes as the Tribes determine to be appropriate.

    (b) Allottee Trust Account-

      (1) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established in the Treasury of the United States an account, to be known as the `allottee trust account', consisting of such amounts as are deposited in the account under section 12(b)(2).

      (2) DEPOSIT INTO IIMS- Not later than 60 days after the date on which amounts are deposited in the allottee trust account under section 12(b)(2), the Secretary of the Treasury shall deposit the amounts into individual Indian money accounts for the allottees.

      (3) INVESTMENT- The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the individual Indian money accounts under paragraph (2) in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

SEC. 8. ATTORNEYS FEES.

    (a) In General- Subject to subsection (b), of the amounts appropriated pursuant to section 12(a), the Secretary shall pay to the attorneys of the Tribes and the non-Indian landowners such attorneys fees as are approved by the Tribes and the non-Indian landowners.

    (b) Limitation- The total amount of attorneys fees paid by the Secretary under subsection (a) shall not exceed $35,000 of the amounts distributed to the Tribes, allottees, and the non-Indian landowners under section 12(b).

SEC. 9. EFFECT ON ORIGINAL RESERVATION BOUNDARY.

    Nothing in this Act affects the original boundary of the Reservation, as established by Executive order during calendar year 1867 and confirmed by treaty during calendar year 1868.

SEC. 10. EFFECT ON TRIBAL WATER RIGHTS.

    Nothing in this Act extinguishes or conveys any water right of the Tribes, as established in the agreement entitled `1990 Fort Hall Indian Water Rights Agreement' and ratified by section 4 of the Fort Hall Indian Water Rights Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-602; 104 Stat. 3060).

SEC. 11. DISCLAIMERS REGARDING CLAIMS.

    Nothing in this Act--

      (1) affects in any manner the sovereign claim of the State of Idaho to title in and to the beds and banks of the River under the equal footing doctrine of the Constitution of the United States;

      (2) affects any action by the State of Idaho to establish that title under section 2409a of title 28, United States Code (commonly known as the `Quiet Title Act');

      (3) affects the ability of the Tribes or the United States to claim ownership of the beds and banks of the River; or

      (4) extinguishes or conveys any water rights of non-Indian landowners or the claims of such landowners to water rights in the Snake River Basin Adjudication.

SEC. 12. FUNDING.

    (a) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $700,000.

    (b) Distribution- After the date on which all attorneys fees are paid under section 8, the amount appropriated pursuant to subsection (a) shall be distributed among the Tribes, the allottees, and the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 as follows:

      (1) $263,406 shall be deposited in the tribal trust fund account established by section 7(a)(1).

      (2) $230,489 shall be deposited in the allottee trust account established by section 7(b)(1).

      (3) $165,550 shall be provided to the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 for--

        (A) distribution to the non-Indian landowners on a pro rata, per-acre basis; and

        (B) associated administrative expenses.

    (c) Remaining Amounts- Any amounts remaining after the distributions under subsection (b) and section 8 shall be--

      (1) split equally between the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 and the Tribes; and

      (2) used by the Blackfoot River Flood Control District No. 7 and the Tribes for administrative expenses.

    (d) Per Capita Payments Prohibited- No amount received by the Tribes under this Act shall be distributed to a member of the Tribes on a per capita basis.

SEC. 13. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    This Act takes effect on the date on which the amount described in section 12(a) is appropriated.

END