H. R. 733
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 23, 2019
Ms. McCollum introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To provide for the transfer of certain Federal land in the State of Minnesota for the benefit of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
This Act may be cited as the
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Restoration Act.
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe reservation restoration
Congress finds that—
the Federal land described in subsection (b)(1) was taken from members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe during a period—
beginning in 1948;
during which the Bureau of Indian Affairs incorrectly interpreted an order of the Secretary of the Interior to mean that the Department of the Interior had the authority to sell tribal allotments without the consent of a majority of the rightful landowners; and
ending in 1959, when the Secretary of the Interior was—
advised that sales described in subparagraph (B) were illegal; and
ordered to cease conducting those sales;
as a result of the Federal land described in subsection (b)(1) being taken from members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe hold the smallest percentage of its original reservation lands of any Ojibwe bands in Minnesota;
the applicable statute of limitations prohibits individuals from pursuing through litigation the return of the land taken as described in paragraph (1); but
a Federal judge ruled that the land could be restored to the affected individuals through the legislative process;
a comprehensive review of the Federal land demonstrated that—
a portion of the Federal land is encumbered by—
rights-of-way for roads; and
flowage and reservoir rights; and
there are no known cabins, campgrounds, lodges, or resorts located on any portion of the Federal land; and
on reacquisition by the Tribe of the Federal land, the Tribe—
has pledged to respect the easements, rights-of-way, and other rights described in paragraph (4)(A); and
does not intend immediately to modify the use of the Federal land; but
will keep the Federal land in tax-exempt fee status as part of the Chippewa National Forest until the Tribe develops a plan that allows for a gradual subdivision of some tracts for economic and residential development by the Tribe.
In this section:
The term Federal land means the approximately 11,760 acres of Federal land located in the Chippewa National Forest in Cass County, Minnesota, the boundaries of which shall be depicted on the map, and described in the legal description, submitted under subsection (d)(1)(B).
The term Federal land includes—
any improvement located on the Federal land described in subparagraph (A); and
any appurtenance to the Federal land.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.
The term Tribe means the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe.
Transfer to reservation
Subject to valid existing rights and paragraph (2), the Secretary shall transfer to the administrative jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the Federal land.
Effective immediately on the transfer under paragraph (1), the Federal land shall be—
held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Tribe; and
considered to be a part of the reservation of the Tribe.
Survey, map, and legal description
The Secretary shall—
not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, complete a plan of survey to establish the boundaries of the Federal land; and
as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, submit a map and legal description of the Federal land to—
the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives; and
the Committee on Indian Affairs of the Senate.
Force and effect
The map and legal description submitted under paragraph (1)(B) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct any clerical or typographical error in the map or legal description.
The map and legal description submitted under paragraph (1)(B) shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Secretary.
Except as otherwise expressly provided in this section, nothing in this section affects any right or claim of the Tribe, as in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, to any land or interest in land.
Exports of unprocessed logs
Federal law (including regulations) relating to the export of unprocessed logs harvested from Federal land shall apply to any unprocessed logs that are harvested from the Federal land.
Non-permissible use of land
The Federal land shall not be eligible or used for any gaming activity carried out under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.).
Any commercial forestry activity carried out on the Federal land shall be managed in accordance with applicable Federal law.