(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.)
Calendar No. 450
105th Congress Report
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)
(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.
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,
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
The rollcall vote on reporting the measure was 20 yeas, no
nays as follows:
Mr. Nickles \1\
Mr. Grams \1\
Mr. Burns \1\
Mr. Dorgan \1\
Mr. Graham \1\
\1\ Indicates vote by proxy.
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 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
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:
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
June E. O'Neill, Director.
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
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
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little if any additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of H.R. 434.
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
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
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