U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined U.S. Senators John Thune and Mike Rounds, both R-S.D., and U.S. Representative Kristi Noem, R-S.D., in reintroducing companion versions of the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act, legislation that would facilitate a permanent land transfer of approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery outside of Sturgis, South Dakota.
“Our veterans have made great sacrifices for our country and it is important that we provide them with an honorable resting place,” Enzi said. “Wyoming is one of the few remaining states without a VA National Cemetery, and it is therefore critical to ensure that those in neighboring states have adequate capacity. This legislation would provide the needed land to ensure that the Black Hills National Cemetery can continue to serve the region for decades as a place for military families to honor their loved ones. I hope Congress will work quickly to pass this noncontroversial legislation.”
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.
Thune, Rounds, Noem, and Enzi first introduced companion versions of the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act in 2015, and the House version passed its chamber in September 2016. The bill was nearing passage in the Senate at the end of 114th Congress, which is why the members quickly reintroduced the bill during the first week of the 115th Congress.