| 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] ...
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.
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