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                                                    Calendar No. 662
115th Congress       }                        {               Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                        {              115-376

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



 
                       LAKE FANNIN CONVEYANCE ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 26, 2018.--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. 3245]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 3245) to require the Secretary of 
Agriculture to transfer certain National Forest System land in 
the State of Texas, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment, and recommends that the 
bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike section 3 and insert the following:

SEC. 3. LAND CONVEYANCE.

    (a) In General.--Subject to the terms and conditions described in 
subsection (b), if the County submits to the Secretary an offer to 
acquire the National Forest System land for the fair market value, as 
determined by the appraisal under subsection (c), the Secretary shall 
convey the National Forest System land to the County.
    (b) Terms and Conditions.--The conveyance under subsection (a) 
shall be--
          (1) subject to valid existing rights;
          (2) made by quitclaim deed; and
          (3) subject to any other terms and conditions as the 
        Secretary considers appropriate to protect the interests of the 
        United States.
    (c) Appraisal.--
          (1) In General.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete an 
        appraisal to determine the fair market value of the National 
        Forest System land.
          (2) Standards.--The appraisal under paragraph (1) shall be 
        conducted in accordance with--
                  (A) the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land 
                Acquisitions; and
                  (B) the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal 
                Practice.
    (d) Map.--
          (1) Availability of map.--The map shall be kept on file and 
        available for public inspection in the appropriate office of 
        the Forest Service.
          (2) Correction of errors.--The Secretary may correct minor 
        errors in the map.
    (e) Consideration.--As consideration for the conveyance under 
subsection (a), the County shall pay to the Secretary an amount equal 
to the fair market value of the National Forest System land, as 
determined by the appraisal under subsection (c).
    (f) Survey.--The exact acreage and legal description of the 
National Forest System land to be conveyed under subsection (a) shall 
be determined by a survey satisfactory to the Secretary and the County.
    (g) Use.--As a condition of the conveyance under subsection (a), 
the County shall agree to manage the land conveyed under that 
subsection for public recreational purposes.
    (h) Costs of Conveyance.--As a condition on the conveyance under 
subsection (a), the County shall pay to the Secretary all costs 
associated with the conveyance, including the cost of--
          (1) the appraisal under subsection (c); and
          (2) the survey under subsection (f).

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 3245 is to require the Secretary of 
Agriculture (Secretary) to transfer certain National Forest 
System land in the State of Texas to Fannin County (County) 
upon payment by the County of fair market value and subject to 
terms and conditions required by the Secretary.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Fannin County is located in Northeast Texas on the Oklahoma 
border. Bonham, the county seat, is fifty-five miles northeast 
of Dallas.
    In the 1930s, during to the Great Depression, Fannin 
County's rural economy was struggling and its population was 
becoming increasingly desperate. As part of President 
Roosevelt's New Deal, the Rural Resettlement Administration 
(RRA) was created to address work and relief efforts in rural 
areas . With Congressional assistance, the RRA launched the 
Lake Fannin project. It was one of the largest projects of the 
RRA in the country, employing over 400 workers from the 
County's relief rolls. Lake Fannin Park opened in 1938 as a 
recreational area.
    Lake Fannin Park was originally administered by the 
Department of Agriculture's Soil Conservation Service and was 
transferred to the Forest Service in 1954. It is currently 
managed as part of the Caddo National Grasslands. For many 
years, Lake Fannin's cabins, public beaches, lodge, boathouse, 
and trail system served as a popular recreation spot for the 
local community. By the 1970s, however, the demand for the 
Depression-era cabins and lodge faded and the property began to 
fall into disrepair. Soon thereafter, the Forest Service 
restricted public access to the property due to safety 
concerns.
    In 2001, under a Forest Service volunteer program called 
``Passport in Time,'' local volunteers launched a new effort to 
restore the lake and its historic buildings. That same year 
Lake Fannin was listed on the National Register of Historic 
Places, due in part to its significance as a representative 
example of the accomplishments of a New Deal agency. Although 
some success was achieved through these volunteer restoration 
efforts, the Forest Service terminated access to the park 
completely in 2013 due to hazard trees.
    As a result, the County sued the Forest Service and decided 
to pursue acquisition of the property to complete the 
restoration and reopen the park for public recreation. Although 
a settlement agreement was reached in March 2018 that granted 
volunteers access to about 340 acres of the property for 
restoration and maintenance projects, the County continues to 
seek full ownership of the 2,025-acre property. The Forest 
Service acknowledges it cannot operate and maintain the lake 
and the recreational facilities on the property on its own.
    S. 3245 directs the Secretary to convey the property at 
fair market value to Fannin County so that the County restore 
and manage the property for public recreation.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 3245 was introduced by Senators Cornyn and Cruz on July 
19, 2018. The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining, 
held a hearing on S. 3245 on August 22, 2018.
    Representative Ratcliff introduced companion legislation, 
H.R. 5525, in the House of Representatives on April 16, 2018. 
The bill was referred to the Committee on Agriculture.
    In the 113th Congress, Representative Hall introduced 
similar legislation, H.R. 5603, in the House of Representatives 
on September 14, 2014. The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Agriculture.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, and ordered S. 3245 
favorably reported, as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
3245, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During the consideration of S. 3245, the Committee adopted 
an amendment to section 3 of the bill. The amendment strikes 
the no-cost conveyance of National Forest System lands to the 
County and replaces it with language directing the Secretary to 
convey the land to the County for fair market value as 
determined by an appraisal. As a condition of the conveyance, 
the amendment further requires the County to pay all costs 
associated with the conveyance and manage the lands for public 
recreation purposes.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides a short title for the bill.

Sec. 2. Definitions

    Section 2 provides key definitions.

Sec. 3. Land conveyance

    Subsection (a) directs the Secretary to convey 
approximately 2,025 acres of Forest Service land to Fannin 
County, Texas, if the County submits an offer to acquire the 
land for the fair market value.
    Subsection (b) provides that the conveyance be made by 
quickclaim deed and subject to valid existing rights and such 
terms and conditions as the Secretary requires.
    Subsection (c) directs the Secretary to conduct an 
appraisal of the land, within 180 days of enactment, in 
accordance with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal 
Land Acquisition and the Uniform Standards of Professional 
Appraisal Practice.
    Subsection (d) requires Secretary to make the map publicly 
available and authorizes the Secretary to correct minor errors 
in the map.
    Subsection (e) requires the County to pay the fair market 
value for the land, as determined by the appraisal.
    Subsection (f) requires the exact acreage and legal 
description of the land to be conveyed to be determined by a 
survey that is satisfactory to the Secretary and the County.
    Subsection (g) requires, as a condition of the conveyance, 
that the County manage the conveyed land for public recreation 
purposes.
    Subsection (h) requires, as a condition of the conveyance, 
that the County pay all costs associated with carrying out the 
conveyance.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 3245 would direct the Forest Service to convey roughly 
2,000 acres of federal land to Fannin County, Texas, at fair 
market value if the county submits a request to purchase the 
land. CBO expects that under the bill, the county would submit 
such a request.
    Because the bill would require Fannin County to pay all 
costs associated with the conveyance, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would have no significant effect on 
spending subject to appropriation.
    According to the Forest Service, the affected land 
currently produces no income from mineral or geothermal leasing 
or from timber production, and the Forest Service does not 
expect any such income in the future. Under the bill, proceeds 
from the conveyance (which would be recorded in the budget as 
offsetting receipts, or reductions in direct spending) would be 
deposited into the Treasury; spending of those receipts would 
be subject to appropriation. Land values for similar tracts in 
and near Fannin County range from $2,500 to $4,500 per acre. On 
that basis, CBO estimates that enacting S. 3245 would reduce 
direct spending by $7 million over the 2019-2028 period.
    Because enacting the bill would reduce direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting the bill would not 
affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 3245 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 3245 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
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. 3245. 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. 3245, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 3245, 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 Department of Agriculture at 
the August 22, 2018, hearing on S. 3245 follows:

 Statement of Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest 
  System, U.S. Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture

    Chairman Lee, Ranking Member Wyden, members of the 
Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding S. 
3245--Lake Fannin Conveyance Act. I am Glenn Casamassa, 
Associate Deputy Chief for the National Forest System (NFS), 
USDA Forest Service.
    S. 3245 would convey, without consideration, all right, 
title, and interest in approximately 2,025 acres of National 
Forest System land on the Caddo National Grassland in Texas to 
Fannin County, Texas for public purposes.
    USDA appreciates the interest of Fannin County in acquiring 
these lands for sustainable operation of recreation facilities 
in the area. Forest Service staff have conducted economic 
studies in the past seeking ways to improve revenue under 
existing authorities as a means to maintain and operate the 
recreation facilities adjacent to the lake. Results of those 
studies show significant challenges in achieving this goal. We 
have engaged regularly with County officials, including twice 
in the past two months, exploring alternatives that could 
provide a shared solution without requiring legislation to 
convey the land. County officials have indicated support for a 
long-term historic property lease that could provide for 
sustainable management of the historic recreation facilities 
valued by the community, and tangible steps have been taken 
that could allow for implementation within the next several 
months. This or other potential alternatives could meet the 
County's interests, and would be consistent with longstanding 
federal policy that market value consideration should be paid 
to the United States for conveyance of federal lands owned by 
all Americans.
    USDA hopes to continue to work with the committee, the 
bill's sponsor, and the community on creative solutions for our 
shared goal of long-term sustainable management.
    Thank you again for the opportunity to testify on this bill 
and I look forward to your questions.

                        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]