[House Report 108-256]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



108th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    108-256

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            SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST LAND EXCHANGE ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

 September 3, 2003.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1651]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 1651) to provide for the exchange of land within the 
Sierra National Forest, California, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Sierra National Forest Land Exchange 
Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. LAND EXCHANGE, SIERRA NATIONAL FOREST, CALIFORNIA.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means the 
        parcels of land and improvements thereon comprising 
        approximately 160 acres and located in township 9 south, range 
        25 east, section 30, E\1/2\SW\1/4\ and W\1/2\ SE\1/4\, Mt. 
        Diablo Meridian, California.
          (2) Non-federal land.--The term ``non-Federal land'' means a 
        parcel of land comprising approximately 80 acres and located in 
        township 8 south, range 26 east, section 29, N\1/2\NW\1/4\, Mt. 
        Diablo Meridian, California.
  (b) Exchange Authorized.--
          (1) In general.--If, during the one-year period beginning on 
        the date of enactment of this Act, the owner of the non-Federal 
        land offers the United States the exchange of the non-Federal 
        land and a cash equalization payment of $50,000, the Secretary 
        shall convey, by quit claim deed, all right, title, and 
        interest of the United States in and to the Federal land. The 
        conveyance of the Federal land shall be subject to valid 
        existing rights and under such terms and conditions as the 
        Secretary may prescribe.
          (2) Acceptable title.--Title to the non-Federal land shall 
        conform with the title approval standards of the Attorney 
        General applicable to Federal land acquisitions and shall be 
        acceptable to the Secretary.
          (3) Correction and modification of legal descriptions.--The 
        Secretary, in consultation with the owner of the non-Federal 
        land, may make corrections to the legal descriptions of the 
        Federal land and non-Federal land. The Secretary and the owner 
        of the non-Federal land may make minor modifications to such 
        descriptions insofar as such modifications do not affect the 
        overall value of the exchange by more than five percent.
  (c) Valuation of Land to Be Conveyed.--For purposes of this section, 
during the period referred to in subsection (b)(1), the value of the 
non-Federal land shall be deemed to be $200,000 and the value of the 
Federal land shall be deemed to be $250,000.
  (d)  Administration of Land Acquired by United States.--Once 
acquired, the Secretary shall manage the non-Federal land in accordance 
with the Act of March 1, 1911 (commonly known as the Weeks Act; 16 
U.S.C. 480 et seq.), and in accordance with the other laws and 
regulations pertaining to National Forest System lands.
  (e) Reconveyance Required.--The conveyance under subsection (b) shall 
be subject to the condition that the recipient of the Federal land 
convey all 160 acres of the Federal land to the Sequoia Council of the 
Boy Scouts of America not later than four months after the date on 
which the recipient receives the Federal land from the Secretary under 
subsection (b).
  (f) Disposition and Use of Cash Equalization Funds.--The Secretary 
shall deposit the cash equalization payment received under subsection 
(b) in the fund established by Public Law 90-171 (commonly known as the 
Sisk Act; 16 U.S.C. 484a). The cash equalization payment shall be 
available to the Secretary until expended, without further 
appropriation, for the acquisition of lands and interests in lands for 
the National Forest System in the State of California.
  (g) Cost Collection Funds.--The owner of the non-Federal land shall 
be responsible for all direct costs associated with processing the land 
exchange under this section and shall pay the Secretary the necessary 
funds, which shall be deposited in a cost collection account. Funds so 
deposited shall be available to the Secretary until expended, without 
further appropriation, for the cost associated with the land exchange. 
Any funds remaining after completion of the land exchange, which are 
not needed to cover expenses, shall be refunded to the owner of the 
non-Federal land.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1651 is to provide for the exchange of 
land within the Sierra National Forest, California, and for 
other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Sequoia Council Boy Scouts currently have a Special Use 
Permit that allows it to operate a summer camp on 160 acres of 
the Sierra National Forest, California, only 15 of which are 
above water. The remaining 145 acres are submerged under Shaver 
Lake, a reservoir operated by Southern California Edison under 
a U.S. Forest Service Special Use Permit where the company 
produces hydroelectricity. A private citizen currently owns an 
80-acre inholding of property surrounded by the Sierra National 
Forest. H.R. 1651 would exchange the privately-owned 80-acre 
inholding for the 160-acre Forest Service land surrounded by 
Shaver Lake. The private citizen would then convey the 160 
acres to the Sequoia Council Boy Scouts.
    The Forest Service would like to acquire the 80 acre 
inholding of private land, while the 160 acres on Shaver Lake 
is ideal for the Boy Scout camp. The Forest Service land has 
been used by the Boy Scouts for the past 30 years, and is 
surrounded by private land.
    This matter has languished for several years. In June 1998, 
the parties signed an agreement to initiate the exchange. 
However, appraisal values of the land were a point of 
contention. In 2003, the Forest Service and the private 
inholder came to an agreement where the Forest Service 160-acre 
parcel is valued at $250,000 and the 80-acre inholding is 
valued at $200,000. The private inholder has agreed to pay the 
difference of $50,000 to the Forest Service to finalize the 
land transfer.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1651 was introduced on April 7, 2003, by Congressman 
George P. Radanovich (R-CA). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health. On June 19, 2003, 
the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 9, 2003, 
the Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged from further consideration of the 
measure by unanimous consent. Mr. Radanovich offered an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute to the bill. It was 
adopted by unanimous consent with the understanding that before 
the bill is considered by the House of Representatives, 
additional corrections would be made to alleviate access 
concerns of Southern California Edison, and others based on 
further negotiations between the Sequoia Council Boy Scouts and 
Southern California Edison. The bill as amended was then 
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of Rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of this bill would increase offsetting receipts and 
direct spending by $50,000 (no net impact on the federal 
budget) in 2004.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 17, 2003.
Hon. Richard Pombo,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1651, the Sierra 
National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1651--Sierra National Forest Land Exchange Act of 2003

    CBO estimates that H.R. 1651 would increase offsetting 
receipts and direct spending by $50,000--for no net impact--in 
2004. The bill would not affect revenues. H.R. 1651 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.
    H.R. 1651 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to 
exchange 160 acres of federal land in California for 80 acres 
of privately owned land in the state. According to the Forest 
Service, the affected federal land currently generates no 
significant receipts and is not expected to do so over the next 
10 years. Hence, CBO estimates that conveying the property 
would not result in forgone offsetting receipts from programs 
to develop natural resources. Under the bill, the Secretary 
would receive $50,000 from the private landowner to equalize 
the value of lands involved in the exchange. H.R. 1651 would 
authorize the Secretary to spend that amount, without further 
appropriation, to acquire other lands and interests in 
California.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

               PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.