| Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3381 (rh) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to exchange land and other assets with Big Sky Lumber Co. ...
H.R. 3381 (rh) To direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to exchange land and other assets with Big Sky Lumber Co. ...
Calendar No. 598 105th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 3381 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES September 24, 1998 Received; read twice and placed on the calendar _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To direct the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to exchange land and other assets with Big Sky Lumber Co. and other entities. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Gallatin Land Consolidation Act of 1998''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) the land north of Yellowstone National Park possesses outstanding natural characteristics and wildlife habitats that make the land a valuable addition to the National Forest System; (2) it is in the interest of the United States to establish a logical and effective ownership pattern for the Gallatin National Forest, reducing long-term costs for taxpayers and increasing and improving public access to the forest; (3) it is in the interest of the United States for the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into an Option Agreement for the acquisition of land owned by Big Sky Lumber Co. to accomplish the purposes of this Act; and (4) other private property owners are willing to enter into exchanges that further improve the ownership pattern of the Gallatin National Forest. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) BLM land.--The term ``BLM land'' means approximately 2,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management land (including all appurtenances to the land) that is proposed to be acquired by BSL, as depicted in Exhibit B to the Option Agreement. (2) BSL.--The term ``BSL'' means Big Sky Lumber Co., an Oregon joint venture, and its successors and assigns, and any other entities having a property interest in the BSL land. (3) BSL land.--The term ``BSL land'' means approximately 54,000 acres of land (including all appurtenances to the land except as provided in section 4(e)(1)(D)(i)) owned by BSL that is proposed to be acquired by the Secretary of Agriculture, as depicted in Exhibit A to the Option Agreement. (4) Eastside national forests.--The term ``Eastside National Forests'' means national forests east of the Continental Divide in the State of Montana, including the Beaverhead National Forest, Deerlodge National Forest, Helena National Forest, Custer National Forest, and Lewis and Clark National Forest. (5) National forest system land.--The term ``National Forest System land'' means approximately 29,000 acres of land (including all appurtenances to the land) owned by the United States in the Gallatin National Forest, Flathead National Forest, Deerlodge National Forest, Helena National Forest, Lolo National Forest, and Lewis and Clark National Forest that is proposed to be acquired by BSL, as depicted in Exhibit B to the Option Agreement. (6) Option agreement.--The term ``Option Agreement'' means-- (A) the document signed by BSL, dated July 29, 1998, and entitled ``Option Agreement for the Acquisition of Big Sky Lumber Co. Lands Pursuant to the Gallatin Range Consolidation and Protection Act of 1993''; (B) the exhibits and maps attached to the document described in subparagraph (A); and (C) an exchange agreement to be entered into between the Secretary and BSL and made part of the document described in subparagraph (A). (7) Secretary.--The ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Agriculture. SEC. 4. GALLATIN LAND CONSOLIDATION COMPLETION. (a) In General.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, and subject to the terms and conditions of the Option Agreement-- (1) if BSL offers title acceptable to the Secretary to the BSL land-- (A) the Secretary shall accept a warranty deed to the BSL land and a quit claim deed to agreed to mineral interests in the BSL land; (B) the Secretary shall convey to BSL, subject to valid existing rights and to other terms, conditions, reservations, and exceptions as may be agreed to by the Secretary and BSL, fee title to the National Forest System land; and (C) the Secretary of the Interior shall convey to BSL, by patent or otherwise, subject to valid existing rights and other terms, conditions, reservations, and exceptions as may be agreed to by the Secretary of the Interior and BSL, fee title to the BLM land; (2) if BSL places title in escrow acceptable to the Secretary to 11\1/2\ sections of the BSL land in the Taylor Fork area as set forth in the Option Agreement-- (A) the Secretary shall place Federal land in the Bangtail and Doe Creek areas of the Gallatin National Forest, as identified in the Option Agreement, in escrow pending conveyance to the Secretary of the Taylor Fork land, as identified in the Option Agreement in escrow; (B) the Secretary, subject to the availability of funds, shall purchase 7\1/2\ sections of BSL land in the Taylor Fork area held in escrow and identified in the Option Agreement at a purchase price of $4,150,000; and (C) the Secretary shall acquire the 4 Taylor Fork sections identified in the Option Agreement remaining in escrow, and any of the 6 sections referred to in subparagraph (B) for which funds are not available, by providing BSL with timber sale receipts from timber sales on the Gallatin National Forest and other eastside national forests in the State of Montana in accordance with subsection (c); and (3)(A) as funds or timber sale receipts are received by BSL-- (i) the deeds to an equivalent value of BSL Taylor Fork land held in escrow shall be released and conveyed to the Secretary; and (ii) the escrow of deeds to an equivalent value of Federal land shall be released to the Secretary in accordance with the terms of the Option Agreement; or (B) if funds or timber sale receipts are not provided to BSL as provided in the Option Agreement, BSL shall be entitled to receive patents and deeds to an equivalent value of the Federal land held in escrow. (b) Valuation.-- (1) In general.--The property and other assets exchanged or conveyed by BSL and the United States under subsection (a) shall be approximately equal in value, as determined by the Secretary. (2) Difference in value.--To the extent that the property and other assets exchanged or conveyed by BSL or the United States under subsection (a) are not approximately equal in value, as determined by the Secretary, the values shall be equalized in accordance with methods identified in the Option Agreement. (c) Timber Sale Program.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary shall implement a timber sale program, according to the terms and conditions identified in the Option Agreement and subject to compliance with applicable environmental laws (including regulations), judicial decisions, memoranda of understanding, small business set-aside rules, and acts beyond the control of the Secretary, to generate sufficient timber receipts to purchase the portions of the BSL land in Taylor Fork identified in the Option Agreement. (2) Implementation.--In implementing the timber sale program-- (A) the Secretary shall provide BSL with a proposed annual schedule of timber sales; (B) as set forth in the Option Agreement, receipts generated from the timber sale program shall be deposited by the Secretary in a special account established by the Secretary and paid by the Secretary to BSL; (C) receipts from the Gallatin National Forest shall not be subject to the Act of May 23, 1908 (16 U.S.C. 500); and (D) the Secretary shall fund the timber sale program at levels determined by the Secretary to be commensurate with the preparation and administration of the identified timber sale program. (d) Rights-of-Way.--As specified in the Option Agreement-- (1) the Secretary, under the authority of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.), shall convey to BSL such easements in or other rights-of-way over National Forest System land for access to the land acquired by BSL under this Act for all lawful purposes; and (2) BSL shall convey to the United States such easements in or other rights-of-way over land owned by BSL for all lawful purposes, as may be agreed to by the Secretary and BSL. (e) Quality of Title.-- (1) Determination.--The Secretary shall review the title for the BSL land described in subsection (a) and, within 45 days after receipt of all applicable title documents from BSL, determine whether-- (A) the applicable title standards for Federal land acquisition have been satisfied and the quality of the title is otherwise acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture; (B) all draft conveyances and closing documents have been received and approved; (C) a current title commitment verifying compliance with applicable title standards has been issued to the Secretary; and (D) the title includes both the surface and subsurface estates without reservation or exception (except as specifically provided in this Act), including-- (i) minerals, mineral rights, and mineral interests (including severed oil and gas surface rights), subject to and excepting other outstanding or reserved oil and gas rights; (ii) timber, timber rights, and timber interests (except those reserved subject to section 251.14 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, by BSL and agreed to by the Secretary); (iii) water, water rights, ditch, and ditch rights; (iv) geothermal rights; and (v) any other interest in the property. (2) Conveyance of title.-- (A) In general.--If the quality of title does not meet Federal standards or is otherwise determined to be unacceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary shall advise BSL regarding corrective actions necessary to make an affirmative determination under paragraph (1). (B) Title to subsurface estate.--Title to the subsurface estate shall be conveyed by BSL to the Secretary in the same form and content as that estate is received by BSL from Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company Inc. and Glacier Park Company. (f) Timing of Implementation.-- (1) Land-for-land exchange.--The Secretary shall accept the conveyance of land described in subsection (a) not later than 45 days after the Secretary has made an affirmative determination of quality of title. (2) Land-for-timber sale receipt exchange.--As provided in subsection (c) and the Option Agreement, the Secretary shall make timber receipts described in subsection (a)(3) available not later than December 31 of the fifth full calendar year that begins after the date of enactment of this Act. (3) Purchase.--The Secretary shall complete the purchase of BSL land under subsection (a)(2)(B) not later than 30 days after the date on which funds are made available for such purchase and an affirmative determination of quality of title is made with respect to the BSL land. SEC. 5. OTHER FACILITATED EXCHANGES. (a) Authorized Exchanges.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary shall enter into the following land exchanges if the landowners are willing: (A) Wapiti land exchange, as outlined in the documents entitled ``Non-Federal Lands in Facilitated Exchanges'' and ``Federal Lands in Facilitated Exchanges'' and dated July 1998. (B) Eightmile/West Pine land exchange as outlined in the documents entitled ``Non-Federal Lands in Facilitated Exchanges'' and ``Federal Lands in Facilitated Exchanges'' and dated July 1998. (2) Equal Value.--Before entering into an exchange under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall determine that the parcels of land to be exchanged are of approximately equal value, based on an appraisal. (b) Section 1 of the Taylor Fork Land.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary is encouraged to pursue a land exchange with the owner of section 1 of the Taylor Fork land after completing a full public process and an appraisal. (2) Report.--The Secretary shall report to Congress on the implementation of paragraph (1) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act. SEC. 6. GENERAL PROVISIONS. (a) Minor Corrections.-- (1) In general.--The Option Agreement shall be subject to such minor corrections and supplemental provisions as may be agreed to by the Secretary and BSL. (2) Notification.--The Secretary shall notify the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives, and each member of the Montana congressional delegation of any changes made under this subsection. (3) Boundary adjustment.-- (A) In general.--The boundary of the Gallatin National Forest is adjusted in the Wineglass and North Bridger area, as described on maps dated July 1998, upon completion of the conveyances. (B) No limitation.--Nothing in this subsection limits the authority of the Secretary to adjust the boundary pursuant to section 11 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (commonly known as the ``Weeks Act'') (16 U.S.C.
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