May 24, 2012
As ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources on April 25, 2012
H.R. 4027 would authorize a conveyance of mineral rights within the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation in Utah among the state of Utah’s School and Institutional Trust Land Administration (SITLA), the federal government, and the Ute Indian Tribe. SITLA currently owns the subsurface mineral rights to approximately 18,000 acres in the Hill Creek Extension of the reservation; however, the surface rights to that land are held in trust for the Ute Indian Tribe by the federal government. The legislation would authorize SITLA to relinquish to the Ute Indian Tribe its subsurface mineral rights in exchange for the subsurface rights to about 18,000 acres of other land within the Hill Creek Extension owned by the federal government.
CBO estimates that the legislation would have no significant impact on the federal budget over the 2013-2022 period. Enacting H.R. 4027 would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
H.R. 4027 would authorize a transfer of federally owned subsurface mineral rights for an equivalent number of acres of state land. However, the acres transferred may not have the same value because mineral deposits are not evenly spread across all areas. To compensate for such a potential imbalance, H.R. 4027 would preserve the federal government’s existing financial rights to the value of any subsurface minerals that are developed on all properties for the next 30 years. Therefore, CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would have no impact on direct spending or revenues over the 2013-2022 period.
H.R. 4027 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. Enacting the bill would benefit the tribe and state.