Today, under the leadership of Rep. Kristi Noem, Congress sent the Black Hills National Cemetery Boundary Expansion Act to President Trump’s desk for final approval. The legislation, which the House passed today, will facilitate a permanent land transfer of approximately 200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery outside Sturgis.

“The fact that the Black Hills National Cemetery needs room to grow is a testament to the astounding number of South Dakota patriots who have answered the call to serve,” said Noem. “After years of work, I’m humbled to secure a permanent expansion of the cemetery, ensuring veterans for generations to come will receive the distinguished and peaceful resting place they deserve.”

“I am appreciative of Representative Noem for introducing this bill on several occasions,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop. “Now, I am grateful … the Senate has done something so we can allow Rep. Noem to do what she does best in pushing things forward for the state of South Dakota in a positive and selfless way.”

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.

Noem introduced legislation to expand the Black Hills National Cemetery in 2015 and again in 2017. The House passed both bills, but the legislation was not considered in the U.S. Senate. With approval from the Senate earlier this year, the House once again considered the bill and unanimously passed it today, the final step before President Trump’s signature.

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