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Calendar No. 54
109th Congress Report
1st Session 109-39
EDWARD H. MCDANIEL AMERICAN LEGION POST NO. 22 LAND CONVEYANCE ACT
March 14, 2005.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 253]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 253) to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to convey certain land to the Edward H. McDaniel
American Legion Post No. 22 in Pahrump, Nevada, for the
construction of a post building and memorial park for use by
the American Legion, other veterans' groups, and the local
community, having considered the same, reports favorably
thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill, as
amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. On page 2, line 21, strike ``subsection (b)'' and insert
2. On page 3, line 7, strike ``section (b)'' and insert
PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE
The purpose of S. 253 is to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to convey approximately 4.5 acres of land to the
Edward H. McDaniel American Legion Post No. 22 in Pahrump,
Nevada, for the construction of a post building and memorial
park for use by the American Legion, other veterans' groups,
and the local community.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The existing facility used by veterans in Pahrump was built
by the Veterans of Foreign Wars in the 1960's. It is inadequate
for the veterans' current needs. The nearest facility that can
accommodate their needs is located in Las Vegas, more than 60
miles away. S. 253 will provide land necessary for the Pahrump
American Legion to build new facilities that will benefit local
veterans and community activities. S. 253 directs the Secretary
of the Interior to convey approximately 4.5 acres to American
Legion ``Edward H. McDaniel'' Post No. 22 in Pahrump without
S. 253 was introduced by Senators Reid and Ensign on
February 1, 2005. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
held a hearing on a similar bill, S. 1521, on May 5, 2004. S.
1521 was passed by the Senate twice, first as a stand alone
bill on September 15, 2004. The House of Representatives
amended S. 1521 on October 4, 2004 to add several unrelated
provisions. On December 7, 2004, the Senate concurred in the
House amendment, again adding several unrelated provisions. The
House did not act on that amended version prior to the sine die
adjournment of the 108th Congress.
At its business meeting on February 9, 2005, the Committee
on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 253, as amended,
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open
business session on February 9, 2005, by a unanimous vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 253, if
amended as described herein.
During the consideration of S. 253, the Committee adopted
two technical amendments.
Section 1 contains the short title.
Section 2 defines key terms used in the bill.
Section 3 provides for the conveyance of 4.5 acres of land
in Pahrump, Nevada, and makes the conveyance subject to
requirements on the use of the land or, unless waived by the
Secretary, the parcel will revert to the United States.
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office.
S. 253--Edward H. McDaniel American Legion Post No. 22 Land Conveyance
S. 253 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to
convey, for no consideration, 4.5 acres of land in Nye County,
Nevada, to the Edward H. McDaniel American Legion Post. The
bill specifies that the group must use the land only to
construct and operate facilities for use by the American
Legion, other veterans groups, or the local community. Under
the bill, if that condition is not met, ownership of the land
would revert to the federal government.
According to the Bureau of Land Management, the property to
be conveyed currently generates no significant receipts and is
not expected to do so over the next 10 years. Therefore, we
estimate that conveying it would not affect offsetting receipts
(a credit against direct spending). We also estimate that the
agency's administrative costs to complete the proposed
conveyance would be negligible, assuming the availability of
appropriated funds. Enacting S. 253 would not affect revenues.
S. 253 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Lisa Cash
Driskill. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine,
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. 253.
The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of
imposing Government-established standards or significant
economic responsibilities on private individuals and
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 253, as ordered reported.
Views of the Administration were included in testimony
received by the Committee on a substantially similar bill at a
hearing on May 5, 2004.
Statement of Bob Anderson, Deputy Assistant Director, Minerals, Realty
and Resource Protection, Bureau of Land Management
Thank you for inviting me to testify regarding a number of
land conveyance bills of interest to the Bureau of Land
s. 1521--the ``edward h. mcdaniel american legion post no. 22 land
The Administration supports the goals of S. 1521, but would
like to work with the Committee to address certain concerns and
clarify technical issues discussed more fully below.
The Administration has a number of concerns with S. 1521 as
introduced. First, the tract to be conveyed under S. 1521 has
not been identified for disposal under the current land use
plan, which was adopted in 1998. The BLM would like to work
with the Committee and the American Legion Post No. 22 to
identify an alternate site within the over 9,300 acres of
public lands in the area currently identified as suitable for
disposal in the current land use plan. Second, the legislation
directs the Secretary of the Interior to transfer the lands
identified within 120 days. This requirement results in time
concerns relative to the BLM's ability to fulfill certain
requirements associated with the land conveyance, which
include, among others, conducting a cadastral survey and
performing hazardous substances and cultural resources
clearances. This is in addition to the ability to fulfill
requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act
(NEPA). Selection of alternate lands that are currently
identified for disposal in the land use plan could help
alleviate the conflict created between the time limitation and
the requirement to comply with applicable Federal laws,
although more time may still be needed.
Third, the Administration requests an addition to the
reversionary clause to provide for the sale of these lands by
the transferee, with the sale proceeds going to the Federal
government, as an alternative to reversion. This would protect
taxpayers from assuming potential liabilities that might arise
by giving the Federal government discretion regarding the
Finally, the BLM, as a matter of practice, receives fair
market value for land being transferred out of public
ownership. For conveyances to non-governmental entities that
qualify under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act, the
United States receives 50 percent of fair market value. We
would like to work with the Committee to address these concerns
so that the necessary work can be completed and public notice
and participation can occur.
We look forward to working with the Committee and local
interests to address the concerns we have identified in S.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. I'll be happy to
answer any 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 S. 253, as ordered