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H.R. 2367 (rds) To reauthorize a comprehensive program of support for victims of torture. [Received in the Senate] ...

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  1st Session
                                H. R. 2367

  To provide for the conveyance of certain public lands in and around 
      historic mining townsites in Nevada, and for other purposes.



                              June 5, 2003

 Mr. Gibbons introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources


                                 A BILL

  To provide for the conveyance of certain public lands in and around 
      historic mining townsites in Nevada, and for other purposes.

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


     This Act may be cited as the ``Nevada Mining Townsite Conveyance 

              COUNTIES, NEVADA.

    (a) Findings.-- Congress finds the following:
            (1) The Federal Government owns real property in and around 
        historic mining townsites in the counties of Esmeralda and Nye 
        in the State of Nevada.
            (2) While the real property is under the jurisdiction of 
        the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of 
        Land Management, some of the real property land has been 
        occupied for decades by persons who took possession by purchase 
        or other documented and putatively legal transactions, but 
        whose continued occupation of the real property constitutes a 
        ``trespass'' upon the title held by the Federal Government.
            (3) As a result of the confused and conflicting ownership 
        claims, the real property is difficult to manage under multiple 
        use policies and creates a continuing source of friction and 
        unease between the Federal Government and local residents.
            (4) Much of the real property is appropriate for disposal 
        for the purpose of promoting administrative efficiency and 
        effectiveness, and the Bureau of Land Management has already 
        identified certain parcels of the real property for disposal.
            (5) Some of the real property contains historic and 
        cultural values that must be protected.
            (6) To promote responsible resource management of the real 
        property, certain parcels should be conveyed to the county in 
        which the property is situated in accordance with land use 
        management plans of the Bureau of Land Management so that the 
        county can, among other things, dispose of the property to 
        persons residing on or otherwise occupying the property.
    (b) Mining Townsite Defined.--In this section, the term ``mining 
townsite'' means real property in the counties of Esmeralda and Nye, 
Nevada, that is owned by the Federal Government, but upon which 
improvements were constructed because of a mining operation on or near 
the property and based upon the belief that--
            (1) the property had been or would be acquired from the 
        Federal Government by the entity that operated the mine; or
            (2) the person who made the improvement had a valid claim 
        for acquiring the property from the Federal Government.
    (c) Conveyance Authority.--
            (1) In general.--Notwithstanding sections 202 and 203 of 
        the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 
        1712, 1713), the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the 
        Bureau of Land Management, shall convey, without consideration, 
        all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to 
        mining townsites (including improvements thereon) identified 
        for conveyance on the maps entitled ``Original Mining Townsite 
        Gold Point, Nevada, Land Disposal Map'' and ``Original Mining 
        Townsite Ione, Nevada, Land Disposal Map,'' dated __________.
            (2) Availability of maps.--The maps referred to in 
        paragraph (1) shall be on file and available for public 
        inspection in the appropriate offices of the Secretary of the 
        Interior, including the office of the Bureau of Land Management 
        located in the State of Nevada.
    (d) Recipients.--
            (1) Original recipient.--Subject to paragraph (2), the 
        conveyance of a mining townsite under subsection (c) shall be 
        made to the county in which the mining townsite is situated.
            (2) Reconveyance to occupants.--In the case of a mining 
        townsite conveyed under subsection (c) for which a valid 
        interest is proven by one or more persons, under the provisions 
        of Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 244, the county that 
        received the mining townsite under paragraph (1) shall reconvey 
        the property to that person or persons by appropriate deed or 
        other legal conveyance as provided in that State law. For 
        purposes of proving a valid interest, the person making the 
        claim must have occupied the mining townsite for at least 15 
        years immediately before the date of the enactment of this Act. 
        The county is not required to recognize a claim under this 
        paragraph submitted more than 10 years after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act.
    (e) Protection of Historic and Cultural Resources.--As a condition 
on the conveyance or reconveyance of a mining townsite under subsection 
(c), all historic and cultural resources (including improvements) on 
the mining townsite shall be preserved and protected in accordance with 
applicable Federal and State law.
    (f) Valid Existing Rights.--The conveyance of a mining townsite 
under this section shall be subject to valid existing rights, including 
any easement or other right-of-way or lease in existence as of the date 
of the conveyance. All valid existing rights and interests of mining 
claimants shall be maintained, unless those rights or interests are 
deemed abandoned and void or null and void under--
            (1) section 2320 of the Revised Statutes (30 U.S.C. 21 et 
            (2) the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
        U.S.C. 1701 et seq); or
            (3) subtitle B of title X of the Omnibus Budget 
        Reconciliation Act of 1993 (30 U.S.C. 28(f)-(k)), including 
        regulations promulgated under section 3833.1 of title 43, Code 
        of Federal Regulations or any successor regulation.
    (g) Survey.--A mining townsite to be conveyed by the United States 
under this section shall be sufficiently surveyed to legally describe 
the land for patent conveyance.
    (h) Release.--On completion of the conveyance of a mining townsite 
under subsection (c), the United States shall be relieved from 
liability for, and shall be held harmless from, any and all claims 
arising from the presence of improvements and materials on the conveyed 
    (i) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior such amounts as may be 
necessary to carry out the conveyances required by this section, 
including funds to cover the costs of cadastral and mineral surveys, 
mineral potential reports, hazardous materials, biological, cultural 
and archeological clearances, validity examinations and other expenses 
incidental to the conveyances.

Pages: 1

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