Senate Adopts Thune, Rounds Legislation to Authorize Permanent Land Transfer for Expansion of Black Hills National Cemetery
WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today applauded the Senate’s adoption of the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act, legislation they introduced earlier this session that would facilitate a permanent land transfer of approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery. The senators’ bill was adopted as part of a larger amendment to the bipartisan Energy Policy Modernization Act, which is under consideration in the Senate today.
“I fought hard to include this noncontroversial land transfer in the energy bill because the expansion of the Black Hills National Cemetery will help ensure we have a solemn resting place for our military heroes in the Black Hills for generations to come,” said Thune. “The process we have proposed has the support of state and federal agencies that would be involved in implementing the expansion plan, so the sooner this becomes law, the sooner this important project can get underway.”
“I’m pleased this measure was adopted by the Senate,” said Rounds. “This permanent land transfer will guarantee that generations of South Dakota veterans will be able to rest peacefully in the Black Hills National Cemetery.”
Under current law, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act limits transfers like this one to a lifespan of 20 years. The Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act would make this particular transfer permanent.