Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                      Calendar No. 595
114th Congress       }                                  {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                                  {      114-322

======================================================================



 
CONVEYANCE OF THE REVERSIONARY INTERESTS OF THE UNITED STATES IN AND TO 
             CERTAIN NON FEDERAL LAND IN GLENNALLEN, ALASKA

                                _______
                                

               September 6, 2016.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2018]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2018) to convey, without consideration, 
the reversionary interests of the United States in and to 
certain non-Federal land in Glennallen, Alaska, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 2018 is to convey, without consideration, 
the reversionary interests of the United States in and to 
certain non-Federal land in Glennallen, Alaska.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In 1961, the Secretary of the Interior patented 210 acres 
of land in Glennallen, Alaska, to the Central Alaska Mission 
(patent number 1221491) under the Recreation and Public 
Purposes Act of 1926 (R&PP; Act, 43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.). In 
accordance with the Act, the patent contains a reversionary 
clause, which provides that title to the land will revert to 
the United States if the tract is used for a non-public 
purpose. The Central Alaska Mission established a religious 
college, the Alaska Bible College, as well as the region's only 
radio station and the town's only hospital, on the tract. The 
Central Alaska Mission subsequently transferred the patents to 
SEND North, another nonprofit organization, under the 
provisions of the Act.
    SEND North now wishes to sell the land but cannot find a 
qualified buyer under the R&PP; Act because of the reversionary 
clause in the patent. It considered purchasing the reversionary 
interest from the United States, but the fair market value of 
the tract has been appraised at $210,000, which is more than 
the nonprofit organization can afford to pay.
    Legislation is needed to convey the reversionary interest 
of the United States to the landowner without consideration. 
The land is located in the business center of Glennallen, 
Alaska. It is not suitable for a park. It is not needed for any 
federal purpose or facility, given its location in a remote and 
sparsely populated area of east central Alaska. Further, being 
inside the Glennallen city limits and under local ordinance, 
the land is prohibited from reverting to its natural vegetative 
state.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Murkowski introduced S. 2018 on September 9, 2015. 
The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining held a 
hearing to consider S. 2018 on April 21, 2016.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on July 13, 2016, and ordered S. 2018 
favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on July 13, 2016, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
2018.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Conveyance of reversionary interest, Glennallen, Alaska

    Section 1 provides definitions and directs the Secretary to 
convey the reversionary interests of the United States in and 
to the non-federal land in Glenallen, Alaska to the landowner 
without consideration. This section further directs the 
Secretary to provide exact legal descriptions of the non-
federal lands and assigns all costs associated with the 
conveyance to the landowner.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 25, 2016.
Hon. Lisa Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2018, a bill to 
convey, without consideration, the reversionary interests of 
the United States in and to certain non-Federal land in 
Glennallen, Alaska.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

S. 2018--A bill to convey, without consideration, the reversionary 
        interests of the United States in and to certain non-Federal 
        land in Glennallen, Alaska

    S. 2018 would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to 
convey, without consideration, a reversionary interest in 210 
acres of land in Glennallen, Alaska to SEND North, a non-profit 
organization. Based on an analysis of information provided by 
BLM, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would reduce 
offsetting receipts, which would have the effect of increasing 
direct spending, by $105,000 over the 2017-2026 period; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill 
would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would not 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
    In 1961, BLM conveyed 210 acres of federal land to a non-
profit organization under the condition that the land be used 
for providing education, medical, and religious services. If, 
at any time, the affected lands are used for any other purpose, 
they would revert back to federal ownership. The bill would 
eliminate BLM's reversionary interest in the property allowing 
SEND North, the organization currently in possession of those 
lands, to use or dispose of the property without restrictions.
    In 2011, SEND North entered into negotiations to purchase 
BLM's reversionary interest in the affected lands. A subsequent 
appraisal determined that the fair market value of the property 
was $210,000. On April 7, 2016, BLM published a Notice of 
Realty Action in the Federal Register indicating the agency's 
desire to conduct a non-competitive sale of the reversionary 
interest in the property to Send North. Any proceeds from that 
sale will be deposited in the U.S. Treasury as offsetting 
receipts. Under the bill, the reversionary interest would be 
conveyed to SEND North without consideration.
    Because the BLM decision to sell the reversionary interest 
to SEND North has not been finalized and no sales agreement has 
been reached between the parties, it is uncertain whether the 
sale will be completed under current law. However, based on the 
parties' mutual interest in consummating the sale, CBO expects 
that there is a 50 percent likelihood that a sale will occur 
within the next 10 years. Thus, after accounting for that 
uncertainty, CBO estimates that enacting the bill would reduce 
offsetting receipts by $105,000 over the 2017-2026 period.
    S. 2018 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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. 2018. 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 S. 2018, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 2018, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Bureau of Land Management at 
the April 21, 2016, Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and 
Mining hearing on S. 2018 follows:

    Statement of Mike Pool, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land 
                 Management, Department of the Interior

    Thank you for inviting the Department of the Interior to 
testify on S. 2018, which provides for the conveyance of the 
Federal government's reversionary interest in certain land 
located in the City of Glennallen, Alaska, to SEND North, a 
not-for-profit organization located in Anchorage, Alaska. While 
the Department supports the goal of conveying the reversionary 
interest to SEND North, we cannot support S. 2018 in its 
current form. The Department could support S. 2018 if it were 
amended to ensure the payment of fair market value for the 
conveyance of the reversionary interest.


                               background


    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regularly transfers 
public land to local governments and nonprofits for a variety 
of public purposes. These transfers are typically accomplished 
under the provisions of the Recreation and Public Purposes Act 
(R&PP;) or through direction supplied through specific Acts of 
Congress. The R&PP; Act is a statute frequently used by the BLM 
to help states, local communities, and nonprofit organizations 
obtain lands at no or low cost for important public purposes. 
Examples include parks, schools, hospitals and other health 
facilities, fire and law enforcement facilities, courthouses, 
social services facilities, and public works. Because these 
lands are transferred at far below market value, R&PP; 
conveyances and many similarly legislated conveyances include a 
reversionary clause requiring that lands be used for public 
purposes or revert to the Federal government. Over the years, 
the BLM has addressed many requests to release the Federal 
government's reversionary interest in such lands and has 
consistently required the payment of fair market value for the 
reversionary interest.
    In 1961, a 210-acre parcel of Federal land was patented to 
the Central Alaska Mission under the authority of the R&PP; Act. 
The Mission came to Glennallen, Alaska, to assist the 
Glennallen community and the surrounding area with not-for-
profit educational, medical, and religious services. The patent 
was subsequently transferred under the provisions of the R&PP; 
Act to the non-profit organization SEND North.
    The BLM is currently considering a request by SEND North to 
purchase at fair market value the Federal government's 
reversionary interest in the 210 acres patented in 1961. On 
April 7, 2016, the BLM published a Notice of Realty Action in 
the Federal Register providing an opportunity to comment on the 
proposed sale. The public comment period for this action will 
remain open until May 9, 2016. The proposed non-competitive 
direct sale is consistent with the BLM's East Alaska Resource 
Management Plan approved in September 2007. The BLM understands 
that after acquiring the reversionary interest, SEND North 
would like to sell or transfer the parcels for commercial 
development without threat of reversion for breach of patent 
conditions.


                                s. 2018


    S. 2018 would convey, without consideration, the 
reversionary interest of the United States in the land 
identified in the bill to SEND North, and requires the 
organization to pay all costs associated with the conveyance.
    The BLM supports the goal of conveying the reversionary 
interest in this land to SEND North, but cannot support S. 2018 
as currently written. The BLM recommends amending the 
legislation to ensure the payment of fair market value for the 
reversionary interest.


                               conclusion


    Thank you for the opportunity to testify. We look forward 
to working with the sponsor and the Committee to address the 
needs of the landowner and the city of Glennallen.

                        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 bill as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]