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                                                       Calendar No. 450
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-236
_______________________________________________________________________


 
         LAND CONVEYANCES, CARSON AND SANTA FE NATIONAL FORESTS

                                _______
                                

                  July 2, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed under authority of the order of the Senate of June 26, 1998

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 434]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 434) to provide for the conveyance of 
small parcels of land in the Carson National Forest and the 
Sante Fe National Forest, New Mexico, to the village of El Rito 
and the town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the Act, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. LAND CONVEYANCE, SANTA FE NATIONAL FOREST, NEW MEXICO.

    (a) Conveyance of Property.--Within 60 days of enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of Agriculture (herein ``the Secretary'') shall 
convey to the town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, subject to the terms 
and conditions under subsection (c), all right, title, and interest of 
the United States in and to a parcel of real property (including any 
improvements on the land) consisting of approximately one acre located 
in the Santa Fe National Forest in Sandoval County, New Mexico.
    (b) Description of Property.--The exact acreage and legal 
description of the real property conveyed under subsection (a) shall be 
determined by a survey satisfactory to the Secretary. The cost of the 
survey shall be borne by the town of Jemez Springs.
    (c) Terms and Conditions.--
          (1) Notwithstanding exceptions of application under the 
        Recreation and Public Purposes Act (43 U.S.C. 869(c)), 
        consideration for the conveyance described in subsection (a) 
        shall be--
                  (A) an amount that is consistent with the Bureau of 
                Land Management special pricing program for 
                Governmental entities under the Recreation and Public 
                Purposes Act; and,
                  (B) an agreement between the Secretary and the town 
                of Jemez Springs indemnifying the Government of the 
                United States from all liability of the Government that 
                arises from the property.
          (2) The lands conveyed by this Act shall be used for the 
        purposes of the construction and operation of a fire 
        substation. If such lands cease to be used for such purposes, 
        at the option of the United States, such lands will revert to 
        the United States.

                         purpose of the measure

    H.R. 434, as ordered reported, directs the Secretary of 
Agriculture to convey one (1) acre of land within the Santa Fe 
National Forest to the Village of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, 
for the construction and operation of a fire sub-station.

                          background and need

    Jemez Springs is a small community of about 460 residents. 
The community is located in the Jemez National Recreation Area 
and is often called upon to assist with emergencies within the 
national forest. The State of New Mexico has provided funds to 
Jemez Springs to build a fire substation that would hold 
additional emergency vehicles.

                          legislative history

    H.R. 434 was introduced on January 9, 1997, by Congressman 
Bill Richardson and passed the House by voice vote on November 
4, 1997. S. 1468, a companion measure, was introduced on 
November 8, 1997, by Senator Bingaman. On March 25, 1998, a 
hearing was held by the Subcommittee on Forest and Public Land 
Management. At the business meeting on May 13, 1998, the 
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered H.R. 434, 
favorably reported.

            committee recommendation and tabulation of votes

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on May 13, 1998, by unanimous vote of a 
quorum present recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 434 without 
amendment.
    The rollcall vote on reporting the measure was 20 yeas, no 
nays as follows:
        YEAS                          NAYS
Mr. Murkowski
Mr. Domenici
Mr. Nickles \1\
Mr. Craig
Mr. Campbell
Mr. Thomas
Mr. Kyl
Mr. Grams \1\
Mr. Smith
Mr. Gorton
Mr. Burns \1\
Mr. Bumpers
Mr. Ford
Mr. Bingaman
Mr. Akaka
Mr. Dorgan \1\
Mr. Graham \1\
Mr. Wyden
Mr. Johnson
Ms. Landrieu

    \1\ Indicates vote by proxy.

                          committee amendment

    During the Committee's consideration of H.R. 434, the 
Committee adopted an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
offered by Senators Domenici and Bingaman. Because of an 
agreement reached between the Forest Service and the village of 
El Rito, New Mexico, the amendment deletes Section 1 of the 
original House bill.
    The amendment provides that consideration for the 
conveyance of land to Jemez Springs will be consistent with the 
Bureau of Land Management special pricing program for 
Governmental entities under the Recreation and Public Purpose 
Act. The amendment also added a reversion clause.

                      section-by-section analysis

    Section 1(a) requires the Secretary of Agriculture to 
convey, to the village of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, all right, 
title, and interest of the United States in a parcel of real 
property, including any improvements on the land. This 
subsection also describes the parcel as approximately one acre 
of land located on the Santa Fe National Forest.
    Subsection (b) states that the exact acreage and legal 
description of the real property conveyed under the bill shall 
be determined by a survey satisfactory to the Secretary. This 
subsection also requires that Jemez Springs will pay for the 
survey.
    Subsection (c) sets forth the terms and conditions of the 
conveyance and provides that such transfer is contingent upon 
the village of Jemez Springs constructing and operating a fire 
sub-station on the site.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The cost and budgetary considerations prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office are as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, May 19, 1998.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 434, an act to 
direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey certain lands to 
the town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Victoria V. 
Heid (for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the state and 
local impact).
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

H.R. 434--An act to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey 
        certain lands to the town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico

    H.R. 434 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to 
convey about one acre of federal land in the Santa Fe National 
Forest to the town of Jemez Springs, New Mexico. The act would 
require the town of Jemez Springs to bear the cost of surveying 
the property to be conveyed.
    CBO estimates that enacting this legislation would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Because H.R. 434 
could affect direct spending in the form of offsetting receipts 
from the town's payment for the property, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would apply. However, CBO estimates that any such 
effect would total less than $50,000 over the 1999-2003 period. 
H.R. 434 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments. Purchase of this land and payment of the 
associated survey costs would be voluntary on the part of the 
town.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Victoria V. 
Heid (for federal costs) and Marjorie Miller (for the state and 
local impact). This estimate was approved by Robert A. 
Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 1807.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little if any additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 434.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On April 23, 1998, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested executive comment from the Department of 
Agriculture and the Office of Management and Budget. These 
legislative reports were not available at the time this report 
was filed. When the requested reports become available, the 
Chairman will request that they be printed in the Congressional 
Record for the advice of the Senate. The testimony provided by 
Forest Service at the Subcommittee hearing follows:

 STATEMENT OF ELEANOR TOWNS, FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to present the Administration's view on these 
ten bills proposing the transfer, conveyance, exchange, 
boundary adjustment, sale of public lands and management of 
wilderness. I am Eleanor Towns, the Director of Lands for the 
Forest Service.
    Before I address each bill individually, let me summarize 
the Administration's position on all ten: The Administration 
supports: S. 1109, the Devil's Backbone Boundary Adjustment, S. 
1752, the Authority to Convey Administrative Sites in Arizona, 
and H.R. 1439, Conveyance of Lands to Placer County. The 
Administration would support with amendments: S. 890, Dutch 
John Conveyances; S. 1510, Conveyance of Lands and Improvements 
to Rio Arriba County; S. 1683, Land Transfer between Lake 
Chelan National Recreation Area and the Wenatchee National 
Forest; and S. 1719, Big Sky Land Exchange. The Administration 
objects to: S. 1468, Conveyance of Lands to Jemez Springs; and 
S. 1469, Expansion of El Rito Cemetery by Special Use 
Designation. The Administration opposes H.R. 1663, Operation 
and Maintenance of Structures in Emigrant Wilderness.
    Now, I will address the particulars.
S. 1468, Conveyance of one acre of land from Santa Fe National Forest 
        to the Village of Jemez Springs, New Mexico, as the site of a 
        fire substation
    S. 1468 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey 
all right, title, and interest of the United States to an 
unspecified acre of land in the Santa Fe National Forest to the 
Village of Jemez Springs in exchange for emergency services 
provided from the facility. We understand that the town plans 
to construct a fire substation on the property it would acquire 
from the Federal government and that the town has received a 
State grant to fund the construction of the building.
    The Administration objects to the bill. We are concerned 
that the land to be conveyed to the Village has not been 
specifically identified. We object to conveying for less than 
fair market value. We are also concerned that the bill is 
internally inconsistent. It refers to both a revision and a 
right of reentry on the property, if the property ceases to be 
used for a fire substation. We would oppose an automatic 
reversion of the property that would prohibit the government's 
ability to determine whether the return of the property is in 
the public interest.
    The Forest Service has worked with the community to explore 
a land exchange or sale under the Town-site Act. Other private 
lands are also available for acquisition for use as a 
substation. Since we understand the community has received a 
State grant to build a fire substation on the property, it 
would seem reasonable for them to pay fair market value for the 
land on which the facility will be built, as reflected in the 
House passed H.R. 434.
    If legislation is pursued, the Administration would prefer 
the provisions of H.R. 434 as referred to this Committee, with 
an amendment identifying the lands to be conveyed for fair 
market value. H.R. 434 meets the same objective of conveyance 
of the property needed for the Fire substation to Sandoval 
County and protects the public interest by assuring fair market 
value compensation through sale or exchange.

                        changes in existing law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the Act H.R. 434, as 
ordered reported.