Home > 104th Congressional Bills > H.R. 2437 (ih) To provide for the exchange of certain lands in Gilpin County, Colorado. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 2437 (ih) To provide for the exchange of certain lands in Gilpin County, Colorado. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.2437

                       One Hundred Fourth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

         Begun and held at the City of Washington on Wednesday,
   the third day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-six


                                 An Act


 
To provide for the exchange of certain lands in Gilpin County, Colorado.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds and declares that--
        (1) certain scattered parcels of Federal land located within 
    Gilpin County, Colorado, are currently administered by the 
    Secretary of the Interior as part of the Royal Gorge Resource Area, 
    Canon City District, United States Bureau of Land Management;
        (2) these land parcels, which comprises approximately 133 
    separate tracts of land, and range in size from approximately 38 
    acres to much less than an acre have been identified as suitable 
    for disposal by the Bureau of Land Management through its resource 
    management planning process and are appropriate for disposal; and
        (3) even though the Federal land parcels in Gilpin County, 
    Colorado, are scattered and small in size, they nevertheless by 
    virtue of their proximity to existing communities appear to have a 
    fair market value which may be used by the Federal Government to 
    exchange for lands which will better lend themselves to Federal 
    management and have higher values for future public access, use and 
    enjoyment, recreation, the protection and enhancement of fish and 
    wildlife and fish and wildlife habitat, and the protection of 
    riparian lands, wetlands, scenic beauty and other public values.
    (b) Purpose.--It is the purpose of this Act to authorize, direct, 
facilitate and expedite the land exchange set forth herein in order to 
further the public interest by disposing of Federal lands with limited 
public utility and acquire in exchange therefor lands with important 
values for permanent public management and protection.

SEC. 2. LAND EXCHANGE.

    (a) In General.--The exchange directed by this Act shall be 
consummated if within 90 days after enactment of this Act, Lake Gulch, 
Inc., a Colorado Corporation (as defined in section 4 of this Act) 
offers to transfer to the United States pursuant to the provisions of 
this Act the offered lands or interests in land described herein.
    (b) Conveyance by Lake Gulch.--Subject to the provisions of section 
3 of this Act, Lake Gulch shall convey to the Secretary of the Interior 
all right, title, and interest in and to the following offered lands--
        (1) certain lands comprising approximately 40 acres with 
    improvements thereon located in Larimer County, Colorado, and lying 
    within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park as generally 
    depicted on a map entitled ``Circle C Church Camp'', dated August 
    1994, which shall upon their acquisition by the United States and 
    without further action by the Secretary of the Interior be 
    incorporated into RockyMountain National Park and thereafter be 
administered in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations 
generally applicable to the National Park System and Rocky Mountain 
National Park;
        (2) certain lands located within and adjacent to the United 
    States Bureau of Land Management San Luis Resource Area in Conejos 
    County, Colorado, which comprise approximately 3,993 acres and are 
    generally depicted on a map entitled ``Quinlan Ranches Tract'', 
    dated August 1994; and
        (3) certain lands located within the United States Bureau of 
    Land Management Royal Gorge Resource Area in Huerfano County, 
    Colorado, which comprise approximately 4,700 acres and are 
    generally depicted on a map entitled ``Bonham Ranch-Cucharas 
    Canyon'', dated June 1995: Provided, however, That it is the 
    intention of Congress that such lands may remain available for the 
    grazing of livestock as determined appropriate by the Secretary in 
    accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations: Provided 
    further, That if the Secretary determines that certain of the lands 
    acquired adjacent to Cucharas Canyon hereunder are not needed for 
    public purposes they may be sold in accordance with the provisions 
    of section 203 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
    1976 and other applicable law.
    (c) Substitution of Lands.--If one or more of the precise offered 
land parcels identified above is unable to be conveyed to the United 
States due to appraisal or other problems, Lake Gulch and the Secretary 
may mutually agree to substitute therefor alternative offered lands 
acceptable to the Secretary.
    (d) Conveyance by the United States.--(1) Upon receipt of title to 
the lands identified in subsection (a) the Secretary shall 
simultaneously convey to Lake Gulch all right, title, and interest of 
the United States, subject to valid existing rights, in and to the 
following selected lands--
        (A) certain surveyed lands located in Gilpin County, Colorado, 
    Township 3 South, Range 72 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Section 
    18, Lots 118-220, which comprise approximately 195 acres and are 
    intended to include all federally owned lands in section 18, as 
    generally depicted on a map entitled ``Lake Gulch Selected Lands'', 
    dated July 1994;
        (B) certain surveyed lands located in Gilpin County, Colorado, 
    Township 3 South, Range 72 West, Sixth Principal Meridian, Section 
    17, Lots 37, 38, 39, 40, 52, 53, and 54, which comprise 
    approximately 96 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled 
    ``Lake Gulch Selected Lands'', dated July 1994; and
        (C) certain unsurveyed lands located in Gilpin County, 
    Colorado, Township 3 South, Range 73 West, Sixth Principal 
    Meridian, Section 13, which comprise approximately 11 acres, and 
    are generally depicted as parcels 302-304, 306 and 308-326 on a map 
    entitled ``Lake Gulch Selected Lands'', dated July 1994: Provided, 
    however, That a parcel or parcels of land in section 13 shall not 
    be transferred to Lake Gulch if at the time of the proposed 
    transfer the parcel or parcels are under formal application for 
    transfer to a qualified unit of local government. Due to the small 
    and unsurveyed nature of such parcels proposed for transfer to Lake 
    Gulch in section 13, and the high cost of surveying such small 
    parcels, the Secretary is authorized to transfer such section 13 
    lands to Lake Gulch without survey based on such legal or other 
    description as the Secretary determines appropriate to carry out 
    the basic intent of the map cited in this subparagraph.
    (2) If the Secretary and Lake Gulch mutually agree, and the 
Secretary determines it is in the public interest, the Secretary may 
utilize the authority and direction of this Act to transfer to Lake 
Gulch lands in sections 17 and 13 that are in addition to those precise 
selected lands shown on the map cited herein, and which are not under 
formal application for transfer to a qualified unit of local 
government, upon transfer to the Secretary of additional offered lands 
acceptable to the Secretary or upon payment to the Secretary by Lake 
Gulch of cash equalization money amounting to the full appraised fair 
market value of any such additional lands. If any such additional lands 
are located in section 13 they may be transferred to Lake Gulch without 
survey based on such legal or other description as the Secretary 
determines appropriate as long as the Secretary determines that the 
boundaries of any adjacent lands not owned by Lake Gulch can be 
properly identified so as to avoid possible future boundary conflicts 
or disputes. If the Secretary determines surveys are necessary to 
convey any such additional lands to Lake Gulch, the costs of such 
surveys shall be paid by Lake Gulch but shall not be eligible for any 
adjustment in the value of such additional lands pursuant to section 
206(f)(2) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (as 
amended by the Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act of 1988) (43 
U.S.C. 1716(f)(2)).
    (3) Prior to transferring out of public ownership pursuant to this 
Act or other authority of law any lands which are contiguous to North 
Clear Creek southeast of the City of Black Hawk, Colorado in the County 
of Gilpin, Colorado, the Secretary shall notify and consult with the 
County and City and afford such units of local government an 
opportunity to acquire or reserve pursuant to the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976 or other applicable law, such easements or 
rights-of-way parallel to North Clear Creek as may be necessary to 
serve public utility line or recreation path needs: Provided, however, 
That any survey or other costs associated with the acquisition or 
reservation of such easements or rights-of-way shall be paid for by the 
unit or units of local government concerned.

SEC. 3. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF EXCHANGE.

    (a) Equalization of Values.--(1) The values of the lands to be 
exchanged pursuant to this Act shall be equal as determined by the 
Secretary of the Interior utilizing comparable sales of surface and 
subsurface property and nationally recognized appraisal standards, 
including, to the extent appropriate, the Uniform Standards for Federal 
Land Acquisition, the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal 
Practice, the provisions of section 206(d) of the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(d)), and other applicable 
law.
    (2) In the event any cash equalization or land sale moneys are 
received by the United States pursuant to this Act, any such moneys 
shall be retained by the Secretaryof the Interior and may be utilized 
by the Secretary until fully expended to purchase from willing sellers 
land or water rights, or a combination thereof, to augment wildlife 
habitat and protect and restore wetlands in the Bureau of Land 
Management's Blanca Wetlands, Alamosa County, Colorado.
    (3) Any water rights acquired by the United States pursuant to this 
section shall be obtained by the Secretary of the Interior in 
accordance with all applicable provisions of Colorado law, including 
the requirement to change the time, place, and type of use of said 
water rights through the appropriate State legal proceedings and to 
comply with any terms, conditions, or other provisions contained in an 
applicable decree of the Colorado Water Court. The use of any water 
rights acquired pursuant to this section shall be limited to water that 
can be used or exchanged for water that can be used on the Blanca 
Wetlands. Any requirement or proposal to utilize facilities of the San 
Luis Valley Project, Closed Basin Diversion, in order to effectuate the 
use of any such water rights shall be subject to prior approval of the 
Rio Grande Water Conservation District.
    (b) Restrictions on Selected Lands.--(1) Conveyance of the selected 
lands to Lake Gulch pursuant to this Act shall be contingent upon Lake 
Gulch executing an agreement with the United States prior to such 
conveyance, the terms of which are acceptable to the Secretary of the 
Interior, and which--
        (A) grant the United States a covenant that none of the 
    selected lands (which currently lie outside the legally approved 
    gaming area) shall ever be used for purposes of gaming should the 
    current legal gaming area ever be expanded by the State of 
    Colorado; and
        (B) permanently hold the United States harmless for liability 
    and indemnify the United States against all costs arising from any 
    activities, operations (including the storing, handling, and 
    dumping of hazardous materials or substances) or other acts 
    conducted by Lake Gulch or its employees, agents, successors or 
    assigns on the selected lands after their transfer to Lake Gulch: 
    Provided, however, That nothing in this Act shall be construed as 
    either diminishing or increasing any responsibility or liability of 
    the United States based on the condition of the selected lands 
    prior to or on the date of their transfer to Lake Gulch.
    (2) Conveyance of the selected lands to Lake Gulch pursuant to this 
Act shall be subject to the existing easement for Gilpin County Road 6.
    (3) The above terms and restrictions of this subsection shall not 
be considered in determining, or result in any diminution in, the fair 
market value of the selected land for purposes of the appraisals of the 
selected land required pursuant to section 3 of this Act.
    (c) Revocation of Withdrawal.--The Public Water Reserve established 
by Executive order dated April 17, 1926 (Public Water Reserve 107), 
Serial Number Colorado 17321, is hereby revoked insofar as it affects 
the NW\1/4\ SW\1/4\ of Section 17, Township 3 South, Range 72 West, 
Sixth Principal Meridian, which covers a portion of the selected lands 
identified in this Act.

SEC. 4. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

    (a) Definitions.--As used in this Act:
        (1) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior.
        (2) The term ``Lake Gulch'' means Lake Gulch, Inc., a Colorado 
    corporation, or its successors, heirs or assigns.
        (3) The term ``offered land'' means lands to be conveyed to the 
    United States pursuant to this Act.
        (4) The term ``selected land'' means lands to be transferred to 
    Lake Gulch, Inc., or its successors, heirs or assigns pursuant to 
    this Act.
        (5) The term ``Blanca Wetlands'' means an area of land 
    comprising approximately 9,290 acres, as generally depicted on a 
    map entitled ``Blanca Wetlands'', dated August 1994, or such land 
    as the Secretary may add thereto by purchase from willing sellers 
    after the date of enactment of this Act utilizing funds provided by 
    this Act or such other moneys as Congress may appropriate.
    (b) Time Requirement for Completing Transfer.--It is the intent of 
Congress that unless the Secretary and Lake Gulch mutually agree 
otherwise the exchange of lands authorized and directed by this Act 
shall be completed not later than 6 months after the date of enactment 
of this Act. In the event the exchange cannot be consummated within 
such 6-month-time period, the Secretary, upon application by Lake 
Gulch, is directed to sell to Lake Gulch at appraised fair market value 
any or all of the parcels (comprising a total of approximately 11 
acres) identified in section 2(d)(1)(C) of this Act as long as the 
parcel or parcels applied for are not under formal application for 
transfer to a qualified unit of local government.
    (c) Administration of Lands Acquired by United States.--In 
accordance with the provisions of section 206(c) of the Federal Land 
Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(c)), all lands 
acquired by the United States pursuant to this Act shall upon 
acceptance of title by the United States and without further action by 
the Secretary concerned become part of and be managed as part of the 
administrative unit or area within which they are located.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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