S. 1740 - Public Lands Bills

Statement of

Michael Nedd

Assistant Director for Mineral, Realty & Resource Protection

Bureau of Land Management

Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee

Subcommittee on Public Lands & Forests

S. 1740, North Dakota Enabling Act and First Morrill Act Amendments Act

September 20, 2007

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 1740, the North Dakota Enabling Act and First Morrill Act Amendments Act of 2007.

S. 1740 would amend the Act of February 22, 1889 and the Act of July 2, 1862 to provide for changes to the management and distribution of North Dakota trust funds into which proceeds from the sale of public land are deposited. It also includes language providing for Congress' consent to amendments to the Constitution of North Dakota proposed by House Concurrent Resolution No. 3037 of the 59th Legislature of the State of North Dakota and approved by the voters on November 7, 2006. This resolution requires permanent trust funds to be managed to preserve their purchasing power, to provide stable distributions to fund beneficiaries and to benefit fund beneficiaries.

The Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice has advised us that Congress may amend State enabling acts. As S. 1740 relates to North Dakota's use of its trust funds, the Administration has no comments on or objections to the bill.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

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