Noem Bill to Expand Black Hills National Cemetery Advances in the House
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Kristi Noem’s Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act (H.R.3839) was passed unanimously by the House Natural Resources Committee today. If enacted, the legislation would transfer nearly 200 acres of land outside Sturgis from the Bureau of Land Management’s jurisdiction to the Department of Veterans Affairs in order to accommodate an expansion of the Black Hills National Cemetery.
“The Black Hills National Cemetery is but one way our nation shows its deep gratitude to those who have served,” said Noem. “With this legislation, I want to assure today’s veterans and service members, as well as their families, that we will be able to uphold our commitment and offer this nation’s eternal gratitude for all they have done.”
Opened in 1948, the Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis rests on around 100 acres of land. The facility requires more room to continue serving future veterans. The Bureau of Land Management currently holds land adjacent to the Cemetery. Without legislation to make the transfer permanent, federal law limits transfers like this one to a lifespan of 20 years.
Noem introduced H.R.3839 in October 2015. In May 2016, she presented the Committee with testimony in favor of moving this legislation forward. With passage by the Committee today, the bill is expected to be considered by the full House of Representatives in the coming weeks.