H.R. 2212, To take certain Federal lands located in Lassen County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Susanville Indian Rancheria

H.R. 2212

To take certain Federal lands located in Lassen County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Susanville Indian Rancheria

Date
November 30, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, November 30, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 2212, a bill to take certain Federal lands located in Lassen County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Susanville Indian Rancheria, under suspension of the rules.  H.R. 2212 was introduced on May 1, 2015 by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent, on October 8, 2015.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2212 takes certain federal lands located in Lassen County, California, into trust for the benefit of the Susanville Indian Rancheria.  The bill prohibits class II and class III gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on these lands.  The legislation is necessary because the Department of the Interior does not have the authority to administratively transfer public land into trust for a tribe.

Background

The Susanville Indian Rancheria is located in northeastern California at the juncture of the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada mountains. The original Rancheria was created in 1923 when the U.S. purchased 30 acres in Lassen County, California. The Rancheria was a nontribal specific assignment, though members of the Susanville community claim tribal associations to the Maidu, Paiute, Pit River, and Washoe Tribes of California.  Today, the Rancheria has approximately 1,101 acres held in trust and 240 acres of fee land in six locations.[1]

In 2005, the local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) office at Eagle Lake identified a 300-acre parcel in Lassen County, California, as suitable for disposal, and in 2007, BLM included the parcel its proposed Resource Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement.  The parcel, which is adjacent to existing tribal lands, is isolated from other BLM-managed lands and has become difficult for BLM to continue to manage.  The Rancheria has indicated that the Tribe intends to build a recreational area, Pow Wow grounds, and cultural center and museum on the land being transferred under the bill.[2]

________________________
[1] House Report 114-314 at 1 and 2.
[2] Id.

Cost

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing H.R. 2212 would have no significant effect on the federal budget.  Based on information from the Department of the Interior, CBO estimates the affected lands will generate receipts of about $2,000 a year from leasing rights-of-way. Because transferring the affected lands to the Rancheria would reduce offsetting receipts by that amount (such receipts are treated as reductions in direct spending), pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not affect revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information please contact Jerry White with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 5-0190.