Text: S.750 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 105-167 (04/13/1998)

 
[105th Congress Public Law 167]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


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[DOCID: f:publ167.105]


[[Page 39]]

   LITTLE MISSOURI NATIONAL GRASSLANDS MINERAL INTEREST CONSOLIDATION

[[Page 112 STAT. 40]]

Public Law 105-167
105th Congress

                                 An Act


 
 To consolidate certain mineral interests in the National Grasslands in 
   Billings County, North Dakota, through the exchange of Federal and 
 private mineral interests to enhance land management capabilities and 
          environmental and wildlife protection, and for other 
             purposes. <<NOTE: Apr. 13, 1998 -  [S. 750]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. EXCHANGE OF CERTAIN MINERAL INTERESTS IN BILLINGS 
                            COUNTY, NORTH DAKOTA.

    (a) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to direct the consolidation 
of certain mineral interests in the Little Missouri National Grasslands 
in Billings County, North Dakota, through the exchange of Federal and 
private mineral interests in order to enhance land management capability 
and environmental and wildlife protection.
    (b) Exchange.--Notwithstanding <<NOTE: Burlington Resources Oil & 
Gas Company.>>  any other provision of law--
            (1) if, not later than 45 days after the date of enactment 
        of this Act, Burlington Resources Oil & Gas Company (referred to 
        in this Act as ``Burlington'' and formerly known as Meridian Oil 
        Inc.), conveys title acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture 
        (referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') to all oil and 
        gas rights and interests on lands identified on the map entitled 
        ``Billings County, North Dakota, Consolidated Mineral Exchange--
        November 1995'', by quitclaim deed acceptable to the Secretary, 
        the Secretary shall convey to Burlington, subject to valid 
        existing rights, by quitclaim deed, all Federal oil and gas 
        rights and interests on lands identified on that map; and
            (2) if Burlington makes the conveyance under paragraph (1) 
        and, not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this 
        Act, the owners of the remaining non-oil and gas mineral 
        interests on lands identified on that map convey title 
        acceptable to the Secretary to all rights, title, and interests 
        in the interests held by them, by quitclaim deed acceptable to 
        the Secretary, the Secretary shall convey to those owners, 
        subject to valid existing rights, by exchange deed, all 
        remaining Federal non-oil and gas mineral rights, title, and 
        interests in National Forest System lands and National 
        Grasslands identified on that map in the State of North Dakota 
        as are agreed to by the Secretary and the owners of those 
        interests.

[[Page 112 STAT. 41]]

    (c) Leasehold Interests.--As a condition precedent to the conveyance 
of interests by the Secretary to Burlington under this Act, all 
leasehold and contractual interests in the oil and gas interests to be 
conveyed by Burlington to the United States under this Act shall be 
released, to the satisfaction of the Secretary.
    (d) Equal Valuation of Oil and Gas Rights Exchange.--The values of 
the interests to be exchanged under subsection (b)(1) shall be deemed to 
be equal.
    (e) Approximate Equal Value of Exchanges With Other Interest 
Owners.--The values of the interests to be exchanged under subsection 
(b)(2) shall be approximately equal, as determined by the Secretary.
    (f) Land Use.--
            (1) Exploration and development.--The Secretary shall grant 
        to Burlington, and its successors and assigns, the use of 
        federally-owned surface lands to explore for and develop 
        interests conveyed to Burlington under this Act, subject to 
        applicable Federal and State laws.
            (2) Surface occupancy and use.--Rights to surface occupancy 
        and use that Burlington would have absent the exchange under 
        this Act on its oil and gas rights and interests conveyed under 
        this Act shall apply to the same extent on the federally-owned 
        surface estate overlying oil and gas rights and interests 
        conveyed to Burlington under this Act.

    (g) Environmental Protection for Environmentally Sensitive Lands.--
All activities of Burlington, and its successors and assigns, relating 
to exploration and development on environmentally sensitive National 
Forest System lands, as described in the ``Memorandum of Understanding 
Concerning Certain Severed Mineral Estates, Billings County, North 
Dakota'', executed by the Forest Service and Burlington and dated 
November 2, 1995, shall be subject to the terms of the memorandum.
    (h) Map.--The map referred to in subsection (b) shall be provided to 
the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the 
Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives, kept on file in 
the office of the Chief of the Forest Service, and made available for 
public inspection in the office of the Forest Supervisor of the Custer 
National Forest within 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
    (i) Continuation of Multiple Use.--Nothing in this Act shall limit, 
restrict, or otherwise affect the application of the principle of 
multiple use (including outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, 
and fish and wildlife purposes) in any area of the Little Missouri 
National Grasslands. Federal grazing permits or privileges in areas 
designated on the map entitled ``Billings County, North

[[Page 112 STAT. 42]]

Dakota, Consolidated Mineral Exchange--November 1995'' or those lands 
described in the ``Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Certain 
Severed Mineral Estates, Billings County, North Dakota'', shall not be 
curtailed or otherwise limited as a result of the exchanges directed by 
this Act.

    Approved April 13, 1998.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 750 (H.R. 2574):
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HOUSE REPORTS: No. 105-471 accompanying H.R. 2574 (Comm. on Resources).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 105-92 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 143 (1997):
                                    Oct. 6, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.
                                                        Vol. 144 (1998):
                                    Mar. 30, considered and passed 
                                        House.

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