Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4579 (rs) To provide for the exchange of certain lands within the State of Utah. [Reported in Senate] ...

H.R. 4579 (rs) To provide for the exchange of certain lands within the State of Utah. [Reported in Senate] ...

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  2d Session
                                H. R. 4579



                             July 12, 2000

   Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources


                                 AN ACT

 To provide for the exchange of certain lands within the State of Utah.

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


    This Act may be cited as the ``Utah West Desert Land Exchange Act 
of 2000''.


    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The State of Utah owns approximately 95,095.19 acres of 
        land, as well as approximately 11,187.60 acres of mineral 
        interests, located in the West Desert region of Utah and 
        contained wholly or partially within certain wilderness study 
        areas created pursuant to section 603 of the Federal Lands 
        Policy and Management Act of 1976, or proposed by the Bureau of 
        Land Management for wilderness study area status pursuant to 
        section 202 of that Act. These lands were granted by the 
        Congress to the State of Utah pursuant to the Utah Enabling Act 
        of 1894 (chapter 138; 23 Stat. 107), to be held in trust for 
        the benefit of the State's public school system and other 
        public institutions. The lands are largely scattered in 
        checkerboard fashion amidst the Federal lands comprising the 
        remainder of such existing and proposed wilderness study areas.
            (2) Development of surface and mineral resources on State 
        trust lands within existing or proposed wilderness study areas, 
        or the sale of such lands into private ownership, could be 
        incompatible with management of such lands for nonimpairment of 
        their wilderness characteristics pursuant to section 603(c) of 
        the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 or with 
        future congressional designation of the lands as wilderness.
            (3) The United States owns lands and interests in lands 
        outside of existing and proposed wilderness study areas that 
        can be transferred to the State of Utah in exchange for the 
        West Desert wilderness inholdings without jeopardizing Federal 
        management objectives or needs.
            (4) The large presence of State trust land inholdings in 
        existing and proposed wilderness study areas in the West Desert 
        region makes land and resource management in these areas 
        difficult, costly, and controversial for both the State of Utah 
        and the United States.
            (5) It is in the public interest to reach agreement on 
        exchange of such inholdings, on terms fair to both the State of 
        Utah and the United States. Such an agreement, subject to 
        ratification by the Congress, would save much time and delay in 
        meeting the legitimate expectations of the State school and 
        institutional trusts, in simplifying management of Federal 
        lands, and in avoiding the significant time and expense 
        associated with administrative land exchanges.
            (6) The State of Utah and the United States have reached an 
        agreement under which the State would exchange certain State 
        trust lands within specified wilderness study areas and areas 
        identified as having wilderness characteristics in the West 
        Desert region for various Federal lands and interests in lands 
        outside of those areas but in the same region of Utah. The 
        agreement also provides for the State to convey to the United 
        States approximately 483 acres of land in Washington County, 
        Utah, that has been designated as critical habitat for the 
        Desert Tortoise, a threatened species, for inclusion in the Red 
        Cliffs Desert Reserve.
            (7) Because the inholdings to be acquired by the Federal 
        Government include properties within some of the most 
        spectacular wild areas in the western United States, and 
        because a mission of the Utah School and Institutional Trust 
        Lands Administration is to produce economic benefits for Utah's 
        public schools and other beneficiary institutions, the exchange 
        of lands called for in this agreement will resolve longstanding 
        environmental conflicts with respect to the existing and 
        proposed wilderness study areas, place important natural lands 
        into public ownership, and further the interests of the State 
        trust lands, the school children of Utah, and these 
        conservation resources.
            (8) Under this agreement taken as a whole, the State 
        interests to be conveyed to the United States by the State of 
        Utah, and the Federal interests to be conveyed to the State of 
        Utah by the United States, will be approximately equal in 
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to enact into law and 
direct prompt implementation of this agreement, and thereby to further 
the public interest by consolidating State and Federal lands into 
manageable units while facilitating the protection of lands with 
significant scientific, cultural, and natural resources.


    (a) Agreement.--The State of Utah and the Department of the 
Interior have agreed to exchange certain Federal lands and mineral 
interests in the State of Utah for lands and mineral interests of 
approximately equal value managed by the Utah School and Institutional 
Trust Lands Administration wholly or partially within certain existing 
and proposed wilderness study areas in the West Desert region of Utah.
    (b) Ratification.--All terms, conditions, procedures, covenants, 
reservations, and other provisions set forth in the document entitled 
``Agreement for Exchange of Lands--West Desert State-Federal Land 
Consolidation'', dated May 30, 2000 (in this Act referred to as ``the 
Agreement''), are hereby incorporated in this Act, are ratified and 
confirmed, and set forth the obligations of the United States, the 
State of Utah, and the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands 
Administration, as a matter of Federal law.
    (c) Condition.--Before exchanging any lands under this Act, the 
Secretary of the Interior and the State of Utah shall each document in 
a statement of value how the determination of approximately equal value 
was made in accordance with section 206(h) of the Federal Land Policy 
and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(h)), provided that the 
provisions of paragraph (1)(A) of section 206(h) of such Act shall not 
apply. In addition, the Secretary and the State shall select an 
independent qualified appraiser who shall review the statements of 
value as prepared by the Secretary and the State of Utah and all 
documentation and determine if the lands are of approximately equal 
value. If there is a finding of a difference in value, then the 
Secretary and the State shall adjust the exchange to achieve 
approximately equal value.


    (a) Conveyances.--All conveyances under sections 2 and 3 of the 
Agreement shall be completed within 70 days after the date on which the 
condition set forth in section 3(c) is met.
    (b) Maps and Legal Descriptions.--
            (1) In general.--The maps and legal descriptions referred 
        to in the Agreement depict the lands subject to the conveyances 
        under the Agreement.
            (2) Public availability.--The maps and descriptions 
        referred to in the Agreement shall be on file and available for 
        public inspection in the offices of the Secretary of the 
        Interior and the Utah State Director of the Bureau of Land 
            (3) Conflict.--In case of any conflict between the maps and 
        the legal descriptions in the Agreement, the legal descriptions 
        shall control.


    The United States and the State of Utah shall each bear its own 
respective costs incurred in the implementation of this Act.

            Passed the House of Representatives July 11, 2000.


                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,


Pages: 1

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