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                                                       Calendar No. 191
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                     105-96
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                       LAND EXCHANGES IN COLORADO

                                _______
                                

                October 6, 1997.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 587]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 587) to require the Secretary of the 
Interior to exchange certain lands located in Hinsdale County, 
Colorado, 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 out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. LARSON AND FRIENDS CREEK EXCHANGE.

    (a) In General.--In exchange for conveyance to the United States of 
an equal value of offered land acceptable to the Secretary of the 
Interior that lies within, or in proximity to, the Handies Peak 
Wilderness Study Area, the Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Area, or the 
Alpine Loop Backcountry Bi-way, in Hinsdale County, Colorado, the 
Secretary of the Interior shall convey to Lake City Ranches, Ltd., a 
Texas limited partnership (referred to in this section as ``LCR''), 
approximately 560 acres of selected land located in that county and 
generally depicted on a map entitled ``Larson and Friends Creek 
Exchange'', dated June 1996.
    (b) Contingency.--The exchange under subsection (a) shall be 
contingent on the granting by LCR to the Secretary of a permanent 
conservation easement, on the approximately 440-acre Larson Creek 
portion of the selected land (as depicted on the map), that limits 
future use of the land to agricultural, wildlife, recreational, or open 
space purposes.
    (c) Appraisal and Equalization--
          (1) In general.--The exchange under subsection (a) shall be 
        subject to--
                  (A) the appraisal requirements and equalization 
                payment limitations set forth in section 206 of the 
                Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
                U.S.C. 1716); and
                  (B) reviews and approvals relating to threatened 
                species and endangered species, cultural and historic 
                resources, and hazardous materials under other Federal 
                laws.
          (2) Costs of appraisal and review.--The costs of appraisals 
        and reviews shall be paid by LCR.
          (3) Crediting.--The Secretary may credit payments under 
        paragraph (2) against the value of the selected land, if 
        appropriate, under section 206(f) of the Federal Land Policy 
        and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(f)).

                          purpose of the bill

    The purpose of S. 587, as ordered reported, is to direct an 
equal value exchange of approximately 560 acres of Federal 
lands in Colorado for private inholdings within the Handies 
Peak or Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Areas or the Alpine 
Loop Backcountry Bi-way.

                  background and need for legislation

    S. 587 request the Secretary of the Interior to transfer 
approximately 560 acres of land currently managed by the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) near Hinsdale, Colorado, to Lake City 
Ranches, Ltd (LCR), a Texas limited partnership. In return, the 
BLM will receive lands of equal value within the Handies Peak 
or Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study Areas or the Alpine Loop 
Backcountry Bi-way. The exchange must be acceptable to the 
Secretary of the Interior and is contingent upon LCR granting a 
permanent conservation easement on approximately 440 of the 560 
acres offered for exchange by the BLM. The permanent 
conservation easement will limit future use of the 440 acres to 
agricultural, wildlife, recreational, or open space purposes. 
The inholdings offered for exchange by LCR will consolidate 
existing BLM lands located within the boundaries of, or in 
proximity to, either the Handies Peak or Red Cloud Wilderness 
Study Areas or along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Bi-way. 
Acquiring existing inholdings within areas such as these is a 
top priority of the BLM Furthermore, the 560 acres offered for 
exchange by the BLM to LCR are surrounded by private property, 
thereby limiting public access and use.
    This land exchange has wide support and is currently 
endorsed by environmental groups, such as the Wilderness 
Society, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra Club, and the 
Colorado Environmental Coalition, as well as local government 
entities, such as Club 20 (an association of 20 counties in 
Colorado) and the Hinsdale County Board of County 
Commissioners.

                      summary of major provisions

    S. 587 requires the Secretary of the Interior to exchange 
approximately 560 acres of land near Hinsdale, Colorado, to 
Lake City Ranches, Ltd (LCR), a Texas limited partnership. The 
land exchange is subject to the standard appraisal requirements 
and to reviews and approvals relating to threatened or 
endangered species, hazardous materials, and cultural and 
historic resources. The costs of the appraisals will be paid by 
LCR. However, the Secretary may credit such payments against 
the value of the selected land pursuant to applicable law. In 
exchange for this conveyance, the United States will receive 
land of equal value acceptable to the Secretary of the Interior 
that lies within, or in proximity to, the Handies Park 
Wilderness Study Area, the Red Cloud Peak Wilderness Study 
Area, or the Alpine Loop Backcountry Bi-way in Hinsdale County. 
This exchange is contingent upon Lake City Ranches granting a 
permanent conservation easement on approximately 440 acres of 
the land it receives pursuant to the exchange.

                          legislative history

    S. 587 was introduced by Senator Campbell on April 16, 
1997. On June 18, 1997, the Subcommittee on Forests and Public 
Land Management held a hearing on S. 587. At the business 
meeting on September 24, 1997, the Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources ordered S. 587, as amended, favorably 
reported. A companion bill, H.R. 951, passed the House by voice 
vote on July 8, 1997.

            committee recommendation and tabulation of votes

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on September 24, 1997, by a unanimous voice 
vote of the quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
587, if amended as described herein.

                          committee amendment

    During the consideration of S. 587, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute that incorporates 
changes recommended by the Administration and makes technical 
and clarifying modifications.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The cost and budgetary considerations prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office are as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 26, 1997.
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 S. 587, a bill to 
require the Secretary of the Interior to exchange certain lands 
located in Hinsdale County, Colorado.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Victoria V. 
Heid.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

S. 587--A bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to exchange 
        certain lands located in Hinsdale County, Colorado

    CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Because S. 587 could 
affect direct spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply; 
however, CBO estimates that any such effects would be 
negligible. S. 587 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
of 1995 and would have no significant impact on the budgets of 
state, local, or tribal governments.
    S. 587 would require the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey about 560 acres of federal land to Lake City Ranches, 
Ltd. (LCR), if LCR conveys to the federal government land of 
equal value that is acceptable to the Secretary. The bill would 
require LCR to cover the costs of any appraisals or other 
reviews required to complete the exchange, but also provides 
that the costs of such appraisals and reviews may be credited 
against the value of the federal land to be acquired by LCR. 
Because there may be some grazing and right-of-way permits on 
the federal land to be exchanged, enacting S. 587 could have a 
small effect on offsetting receipts to the government. Based on 
information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), CBO 
estimates that any such budgetary effects would be negligible.
    According to BLM, the provisions of S. 587 could be 
implemented through administrative action except that under 
current law about 440 acres of the federal land are designated 
as a wilderness study area (WSA). Enacting this bill would 
require the Secretary to convey the federal land despite its 
WSA status, thereby allowing the land exchange to go forward. 
The bill would make the exchange contingent upon LCR granting 
to the Secretary a permanent conservation easement on the 440 
acres of federal land that currently have WSA status.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Victoria V. 
Heid. 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. 587. 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. 587, as ordered, reported.

                        executive communications

    The Administration testified in favor of the legislation at 
a June 18, 1997 hearing held by the Subcommittee on Forests and 
Public Land Management. Legislative reports from the Department 
of the Interior, and the Office of Management and Budget 
setting forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 587 were 
unavailable when the report was filed. When these reports 
become available, the Chairman will request that they be 
printed in the Congressional Record for the advice of the 
Senate.
    The Administration testimony is attached.
Statement of Mat Millenbach, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management

    Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I appreciate 
the opportunity to appear here today to discuss S. 587, a bill 
a require the Secretary of the Interior to exchange certain 
lands located in Hinsdale, Colorado.


                                 s. 587


    The BLM supports S. 587 which would allow for the 
completion of a significant land exchange in Hinsdale County, 
Colorado. This land exchange, beneficial both to the public and 
the local community, cannot be completed without legislation.
    The bill provides for an equal value exchange of three 
parcels of public land involving 560 acres for private lands in 
Hinsdale County, Colorado. Legislation will solve a land status 
restriction preventing the exchange of two of the parcels 
containing 440 acres that are within the Larson Creek 
Wilderness Study Area (WSA) and are subject to wilderness 
interim management restrictions. When the adjacent lands were 
designated a part of the Uncompahgre Wilderness Area and 
incorporated into the adjacent Uncompahgre National Forest as 
part of 1993 Colorado Wilderness Bill (P.L. 103-77), these 440 
acres were neither designated wilderness nor were they released 
from wilderness Interim Management Policy (IMP) restrictions. 
The IMP requires that the lands remain in Federal ownership. 
Since that legislation became law, we have determined that 
these lands are not best suited for continued Federal ownership 
and management. These particular parcels are isolated and 
difficult and uneconomic for BLM to manage because they are 
bordered on three sides by private land owned by Lake City 
Ranches (LCR), totally restricting access.
    The exchange is contingent upon LCR granting the Secretary 
of the Interior a permanent conservation easement on the 440 
acre ``Larson Creek Portin''--which currently has WSA status. 
The conservation easement will limit the future use of the 
``Larson Creek Portion'' to agricultural, wildlife, 
recreational, or open space purposes, thereby protecting the 
existing resource values on these lands.
    The bill provides that the BLM will acquire private 
inholdings within or adjacent to the Handies Peak or Red Cloud 
WSAs or along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway in Hinsdale 
County. The exact lands are not described in the bill because 
the legislation provides for a full analysis of the transaction 
including resource assessments and appraisals. LCR has options 
on eight properties which the BLM in Colorado is currently 
reviewing. The WSW's and backcountry byway described in the 
bill are among the BLM Gunnison Resource Area's highest 
priority land acquisitions because of the important wilderness, 
wildlife, and recreational values.
    The bill provides for an equal value exchange which will 
require appraisals of both the public and private lands. The 
lands will be appraised to federal appraisal standards by an 
appraiser acceptable to both BLM and LCR. A NEPA analysis will 
be completed as will all required resource clearances (e.g., 
threatened and endangered species, cultural and historic 
resources, and hazardous materials). The bill provides that the 
cost of the analysis and clearance will be paid by LCR. These 
costs may subsequently be credited against the value of the 
public land, if appropriate.
    This proposal is supported by the Hinsdale County 
Commissioners, Sierra Club, Rocky Mountain Chapter, and 
Colorado Environmental Coalition.

                        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 S. 587, as ordered 
reported.