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The records of the Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, describe these as private land claims in the names of V. LeBlanc and C. Riccard. Neither claim has been previously confirmed but the records do not disclose any adverse claimants or other reason to dispute the title of the claimants.
The committee has amended this bill at the suggestion of the Department of the Interior by confirming title in the claimants so as to make unnecessary the issuance of patents. Pertinent comments from the Department's favorable report are as follows:
I have no objection to the enactment of this bill provided it is amended as hereinafter suggested.
The plats of survey maintained in the Bureau of Land Management of this Department disclose the lands in question to be listed in the names of the above parties; and the tract book records of that Bureau describe them as private land claims in the names of the same parties. Neither claim has been previously confirmed and the records do not disclose any adverse claimants or other reasons to dispute the title of the claimants.
The confirmation of the private land claims by statute will divest the United States of its title to the land. It will make unnecessary the administrative issuance of patents especially since no administrative determination is involved. The acreage of the LeBlanc tract, it should be noted, is herein corrected to read “78.66 acres. It is recommended, therefore, that the bill be amended by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting the following in lieu thereof:
“That there is hereby confirmed
“(1) To V. LeBlanc, title to section 44, township 6 south, range 12 east, containing seventy-eight and sixty-six one-hundredths acres, situated in the parish of West Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana, Southeastern Land District of Louisiana, Louisiana Meridian; and
“(2) To C. Riccard; title to section 45, township 6 south, range 12 east, containing forty-eight and eighty-eight one-hundredths acres, situated in the parish of West Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana, Southeastern Land District of Louisiana, Louisiana Meridian.”
The title of H. R. 2588 should be amended to read as follows:
“To confirm title in V. LeBlanc and C. Riccard to certain lands in Wes Baton Rouge parish, Louisiana."
The Committee on Public Lands unanimously recommends that this bill be enacted.
PROTECTING SCENIC VALUES ALONG OAK CREEK CANYON AND CERTAIN TRIBUTARIES THEREOF WITHIN THE COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST, ARIZ.
MAY 9, 1949.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State
of the Union and ordered to be printed.
Mr. PETERSON, from the Committee on Public Lands, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 2872]
The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2872) to protect scenic values along Oak Creek Canyon and certain tributaries thereof within the Coconino National Forest, Ariz., having considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
EXPLANATION OF THE BILL
The purpose of this bill is to protect scenic values along the Oak Creek Canyon highway in Coconino National Forest, Ariz. No expenditure of Federal funds is involved.
The Oak Creek Canyon area is, and has been, an important public recreation area for many years. It is used extensively by local residents and tourists. The area has been improved by the Forest Service to some extent to make it accessible to the general public.
This bill will protect the area from land speculators who might endeavor to obtain valuable parts of the Canyon for mining claims and rock quarries. It has the endorsement of the board of supervisors in Coconino County, the local residents, and the Department of Agriculture.
Pertinent comments from the Department's favorable report are as follows:
This bill would provide that, on certain lands along Oak Creek Canyon and certain tributaries thereof, in the Coconino National Forest, Ariz., the rights of locators of subsequently filed mining claims would be limited to the minerals and that title to the surface would remain with the United States. The bill also prescribes that use of the surface by the locator would be restricted to the needs for mining purposes and that cutting of timber would be subject to national forest timber-cutting rules.
This bill is similar in purpose and effect to several acts previously passed by the Congress. For example, the acts of March 15, 1940 (54 Stat. 52), and June 11, 1946 (60 Stat. 254), impose substantially the same restrictions on location and entry of mineral lands, under the United States mining laws, in order to preserve the scenic and recreational resources along the Catalina Highway and Recreation Area on portions of the Coronado National Forest, Ariz.
Oak Creek Canyon is an important public recreation area which has been improved by the Forest Service for public enjoyment and is heavily used by local people and tourists: It would be inconsistent with the public interest to permit unrestricted mineral activity to interfere with the public use and enjoyment of those resources. Legitimate mineral development would be entirely practicable within the limitations imposed by this bill.
This Department recommends that the bill be passed.
The enactment of this bill is unanimously recommended by the Committee on Public Lands. Companion bili S. 812 passed the Senate on May 6, 1949,
RESTORING TO TRIBAL OWNERSHIP CERTAIN LANDS UPON THE COLVILLE INDIAN RESERVATION, WASH.
Mar 9, 1949.—Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of
the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. MORRIS, from the Committee on Public Lands, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 24321
The Committee on Public Lands, to whom was referred the bill (H. R. 2432) restoring to tribal ownership certain lands upon the Colville Indian Reservation, Wash., and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Page 2, line 1, following the word "authorized," insert the words: with the consent of the tribal council as evidenced by a resolution adopted in accordance with the constitution and bylaws of the tribe,
Page 2, line 2, strike out all of line 2 and the words “lieu thereof” on line 3; insert in lieu thereof the words: sell tribal lands in connection with the acquisition of lieu lands, and to acquire
Page 2, line 12, strike out the words "proper county officials shall give their written”, insert in lieu thereof the words: board of county commissioners of counties in which land is located shall by proper resolution
Page 2, line 14, add the following sentence: No lands or interests in lands owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation shall be subject to disposition hereafter without the consent of the duly authorized governing body of the tribes, and no lands or interests in lands shall be acquired for the tribes without the consent of the said governing body.
EXPLANATION OF THE BILL
The purpose of this bill is to restore to tribal ownership approximately 818,000 acres of land on the Colville Indian Reservation, Wash. Its enactment is recommended by the Department of the Interior, the Superintendent of the Colville Reservation, the Colville Tribal
Council, the county commissioners, and the Member of Congress from the area concerned.
These lands were temporarily withdrawn from all forms of entry or disposition by departmental order of September 19, 1934, with a view of restoring them to tribal ownership under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934. However, as the Colville Indians voted to exclude themselves from the provisions of this act, the restoration of the lands to tribal status may be accomplished only by congressional authority.
The Colville Reservation was established by Executive order of July 2, 1872. The original reservation comprised an area of approximately 2,886,000 acres. In 1892 an area of approximately 1,500,000 acres in the north half of the reservation was restored to the public domain. Prior to opening this area to settlement, 660 Indians were allotted a total area of 51,653 acres, or an average of 78.3 acres each. The balance of the area was opened to settlement under the laws applicable to disposition of public lands in the State of Washington. Each entryman was required to pay $1.50 per acre for land homesteaded in addition to the regular fee. These proceeds were set aside for the benefits of the Indians. Later legislation created the Colville National Forest, which was comprised of about 760,000 acres of the undisposed lands in the north half of the reservation.
On December 1, 1905, 350 of the estimated 551 adult male Indians of the Colville Indian Reservation signed an agreement with James McLaughlin, United States Indian inspector, ceding certain lands to the Federal Government. (It is extremely doubtful that there were only 551 adult male Indians on the reservation at that time. There are indications that the correct figure was between 700 and 800— consequently, the 350 signed away the lands of quite a large number of Indians.)
The 1905 agreement relinquished to the United States all right, title, and interest of the Indians to the lands embraced within the so-called diminished Colville Indian Reservation, provided that allotments of lands of 80 acres each were made to every man, woman, and child belonging to or having tribal rights on the reservation. This proviso was fulfilled.
The agreement also contained the condition that the Indians would then be paid for the northern portion, containing approximately 1,500,000 acres, which was vacated and restored to the public domain by the act of July 1, 1892, and that the Indians would receive $1,500,000 in full payment.
Present-day Colville Indian leaders feel that their forefathers were betrayed by the Federal Government, probably through erroneous interpretation, when Mr. McLaughlin negotiated the agreement of December 1, 1905, and stipulated that payment for the north half was contingent on the Indian signing away additional portions of their diminished land base.
They lay no claim to the northern half of the total reservation (although it was solemnly ceded to them) but they want a clarification of their rights and property holdings in the diminished area that was partly opened to settlement in 1906, but was withdrawn by the Executive Order of 1934.
At hearings held on this bill before a subcommittee of the Committee on Public Lands, representatives of the Colville tribe and the