S 134

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 134

To authorize the Mescalero Apache Tribe to lease adjudicated water rights.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011

Mr. BINGAMAN (for himself and Mr. UDALL of New Mexico) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs


A BILL

To authorize the Mescalero Apache Tribe to lease adjudicated water rights.

    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 `Mescalero Apache Tribe Leasing Authorization Act'.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) ADJUDICATED WATER RIGHTS- The term `adjudicated water rights' means water rights that were adjudicated to the Tribe in State v. Lewis, 116 N.M. 194, 861 P. 2d 235 (1993).

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

      (3) STATE- The term `State' means the State of New Mexico.

      (4) TRIBE- The term `Tribe' means the Mescalero Apache Tribe.

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION TO LEASE ADJUDICATED WATER RIGHTS.

    (a) In General- Notwithstanding any other provision of law, subject to subsections (b) and (c), the Tribe may lease, enter into a contract with respect to, or otherwise transfer to another party, for another purpose, or to another place of use in the State, all or any portion of the adjudicated water rights.

    (b) State Law- In carrying out any action under subsection (a), the Tribe shall comply with all laws (including regulations) of the State with respect to the leasing or transfer of water rights.

    (c) Alienation; Maximum Term-

      (1) ALIENATION- The Tribe shall not permanently alienate any adjudicated water rights.

      (2) MAXIMUM TERM- The term of any water use lease, contract, or other agreement under this section (including a renewal of such an agreement) shall be not more than 99 years.

    (d) Liability- The Secretary shall not be liable to the Tribe or any other person for any loss or other detriment resulting from a lease, contract, or other arrangement entered into pursuant to this section.

    (e) Purchases or Grants of Land From Indians- The authorization provided by this Act for the leasing, contracting, and transfer of the adjudicated water rights shall be considered to satisfy any requirement for authorization of the action by treaty or convention imposed by section 2116 of the Revised Statutes (25 U.S.C. 177).

    (f) Prohibition on Forfeiture- The nonuse of all or any portion of the adjudicated water rights by a lessee or contractor shall not result in the forfeiture, abandonment, relinquishment, or other loss of all or any portion of the adjudicated water rights.

END