Home > Federal Bills, South Dakota > Noem has a victory in getting land back from the federal government

Noem has a victory in getting land back from the federal government

July 10, 2014
Cemetery - Photo by Josée Holland Eclipse

Cemetery – Photo by Josée Holland Eclipse

On Monday the US Senate passed the Black Hills Cemetery Act (HR 291) by unanimous consent via voice vote. The bill had already passed the House by a vote of 390-2 back in May of 2013 (does this mean Reid is finally going to let some legislation go through the Senate?). South Dakota’s lone representative Kristi Noem was the Prime Sponsor of this bill. I think it is great to see Noem pushing for a conservative stance and returning some of the land grabbed by the federal government.

The bill changes ownership of nine historic cemeteries to local groups. And according to the text of the bill  “up to an additional two acres  adjoining each cemetery in order to ensure the conveyances include unmarked gravesites and allow for expansion of the cemeteries.”

Here are the nine cemeteries listed in the bill and who will receive the property:

  1. The Silver City Cemetery to the Silver City Volunteer Fire Department.
  2. The Hayward Cemetery to the Hayward Volunteer Fire Department.
  3. The encumbered land adjacent to the Englewood Cemetery  (encompassing the cemetery entrance portal, access road,  fences, 2,500 gallon reservoir and building housing such reservoir, and piping to provide sprinkling system to the cemetery) to the City of Lead.
  4. The land adjacent to the Mountain Meadow Cemetery to the Mountain Meadow Cemetery Association.
  5. The Roubaix Cemetery to the Roubaix Cemetery Association.
  6. The Nemo Cemetery to the Nemo Cemetery Association.
  7. The Galena Cemetery to the Galena Historical Society.
  8. The Rockerville Cemetery to the Rockerville Community Club.
  9. The Cold Springs Cemetery (including adjacent school yard and log building) to the Cold Springs Historical Society.

It should be noted all the recipients of these transferred lands already take care of these sites. The sites will continue to be historic cemeteries and treated as such. The only thing that has really changed is the federal bureaucracy is no longer involved with them. Hopefully this bill can begin a trend of returning federal lands to the states. It makes no sense to have bureaucrats that don’t even live in a state having controlling interest over that land.

The bill still has to be signed by Obama. There is no real reason to think he won’t do so. This is one of those occasions when I can actually give a kudos to Representative Noem! Now lets look at returning other lands to the state…

  1. Donkey Hunter
    July 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Good for Kristi! I hope she will fight the takeover of the Badlands south unit, we could use the help.

  1. August 11, 2014 at 10:25 pm
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