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Calendar No. 129
112th Congress Report
1st Session 112-49
LA PINE LAND CONVEYANCE ACT
August 30 (legislative day, August 2), 2011.--Ordered to be printed
Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of August 2, 2011
Mr. Bingaman, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 270]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 270) to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to convey certain Federal land to Deschutes County,
Oregon, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do
The amendment is as follows:
On page 2, line 18, insert before the period at the end the
following: ``for which the City or County has submitted to the
Secretary a request for conveyance by the date that is not later than 1
year after the date of enactment of this Act''.
The purpose of S. 270 is to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to convey three parcels totaling approximately 910
acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management to
the city of La Pine and Deschutes County, Oregon.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The city of La Pine in Deschutes County, Oregon, is an
incorporated town located in the central part of the State and
surrounded by Federally-owned land. The community has expressed
interest in acquiring additional land to serve public purposes,
and has identified through discussions with the Bureau of Land
Management (``BLM'') three parcels of Federal land that it
would like to acquire for public use.
The County would like to develop a 150-acre parcel that is
adjacent to the city for use as a public rodeo grounds and a
750-acre parcel to expand the community wastewater treatment
facility. The city would like to acquire a 10-acre parcel on
which it has built a library, parking lot, and picnic area
pursuant to a lease from the BLM.
S. 270 provides for the Secretary of the Interior
(``Secretary'') to convey the three parcels to the community,
subject to valid existing rights and such terms and conditions
that the Secretary may require. The legislation provides an
abbreviated timeframe for resolving the community's ongoing
lease and application under the Recreation and Public Purposes
Act (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.) by requiring the community to seek
the conveyances within one year of the date of enactment of the
bill and by directing the Secretary to convey the land as soon
as practicable thereafter.
S. 270 was introduced by Senators Wyden and Merkley on
February 3, 2011. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests
held a hearing on the bill on May 18, 2011 (S. Hrg. 112-39). At
its business meeting on July 14, 2011, the Committee on Energy
and Natural Resources ordered S. 270 favorably reported with an
amendment. The Committee reported a similar bill, S. 1140, in
the 111th Congress (S. Rept. 111-139).
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on July 14, 2011, by a voice vote of a quorum
present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 270, if amended as
During its consideration of S. 270, the Committee adopted
an amendment that clarifies that the direction to the Secretary
to convey the land identified in the bill is contingent on the
city or county submitting a prior request for the conveyance.
Section 1 contains the short title for the bill.
Section 2 defines key terms used in the legislation.
Section 3(a) directs the Secretary to convey to the city of
La Pine or the county of Deschutes, Oregon, all right, title,
and interest of the United States in and to each of the three
parcels of land described in subsection (b) if the county (with
regard to parcels A and B) or the city (with regard to parcel
C) requests the conveyance within one year of the date of
enactment of the bill. The conveyance would be for no
consideration and would be subject to valid existing rights,
including various rights-of-way across a number of the parcels.
Subsection (b) describes each of the three parcels of land
to be conveyed.
Subsection (c) requires that the map identifying the lands
to be conveyed shall be available for public inspection in the
appropriate offices of the BLM.
Subsection (d) describes the allowed uses for each of the
three parcels of land to be conveyed and authorizes the
Secretary to include additional terms and conditions for the
Subsection (e) requires the city or county to pay all of
the survey and other administrative costs associated with the
Subsection (f) states that if the conveyed land ceases to
be used for the public purposes described in subsection (d),
the land shall, at the discretion of the Secretary, 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. 270--La Pine Land Conveyance Act
S. 270 would direct the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to
convey, without consideration, 910 acres of land in Oregon to
certain local governments. Based on information provided by
BLM, CBO estimates that implementing S. 270 would have no
significant impact on discretionary spending. Enacting the bill
would affect direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go
procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any such effects
would be negligible. Enacting the bill would not affect
Under S. 270, BLM would convey two parcels of land
totalling 900 acres to Deschutes County and one parcel of 10
acres to the city of La Pine. The conveyed properties would be
used for various public purposes, including recreation.
Deschutes County would be responsible for administrative costs
associated with conveying the land that it would receive.
Because some of the property to be conveyed under S. 270
has already been identified by BLM for potential sale, CBO
estimates that enacting the bill would reduce offsetting
receipts (a credit against direct spending). However, we expect
that any such sale would be conducted under the Recreation and
Public Purposes Act (RPPA), which allows state or local
governments to receive federal property at less than fair
market value. Therefore, we estimate that any loss of receipts
that would result from donating the property to the county or
the city (rather than selling it under the RPPA) would be less
than $10,000. We further estimate that any discretionary costs
of the conveyances would be negligible.
S. 270 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.
The land conveyance authorized in the bill would benefit the
city of La Pine and Deschutes County. Any costs to those
entities would be incurred voluntarily.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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. 270.
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. 270, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
S. 270, 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.
The testimony provided by the Bureau of Land Management at
the May 18, 2011, hearing on S. 270 follows.
Statement of Mike Pool, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management,
Department of the Interior
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on S. 270, the La
Pine Land Conveyance Act. The bill proposes to convey to the
city of La Pine and Deschutes County, Oregon, three parcels
(consisting of 150 acres, 750 acres, and 10 acres). The BLM
does not object to the conveyances in S. 270. We note that
these conveyances are consistent with our existing authority
under the Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP;) Act, so they
could be accomplished administratively. We appreciate the
improvements made to this legislation since last Congress, and
would like the opportunity to continue to work with Senator
Wyden and the Committee on S. 270.
La Pine is a rural community located in southern Deschutes
County, Oregon. The BLM and the City of La Pine have a long
history of working together and have completed several
Recreation and Public Purposes (R&PP;) Act conveyances,
including the sites of the La Pine library and fire station.
Since La Pine is surrounded by BLM-administered lands,
community leaders have held ongoing discussions with the BLM
concerning the city's need for additional land to serve other
The R&PP; Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to
lease or convey public lands for recreational and public
purposes, such as campgrounds, municipal buildings, hospitals,
and other facilities benefitting the public. The La Pine
Special Sewer District submitted an R&PP; application to BLM's
Prineville District Office in 2007, and an amended application
in January 2009, for 750 acres of BLM-administered lands on the
eastern edge of the La Pine city limits. The District has
informed BLM that its intention is to use the lands to expand
their current wastewater treatment facilities. The parcel is
largely vacant, but does contain rights-of-way for a natural
gas pipeline, transmission line, and roads. This parcel of land
is shown as ``Parcel B'' on the map prepared at the request of
Senator Wyden, dated December 11, 2009. ``Parcel C'' on the map
is currently leased under R&PP; through 2020 and consists of a
library, parking lot and picnic area.
Additionally, the City of La Pine has expressed an interest
in developing a public rodeo grounds and equestrian center on a
150-acre parcel of BLM-administered lands adjacent to the
southwest border of the city. This parcel is also largely
vacant, but contains rights-of-way for a road and transmission
lines. It also provides important habitat and a travel corridor
for elk. This parcel of land is shown as ``Parcel A'' on the
map prepared at the request of Senator Wyden, dated December
S. 270 proposes to convey, at no cost, to the city of La
Pine and Deschutes County, Oregon, all right, title and
interest of the United States to the three parcels (consisting
of 150 acres, 750 acres, and 10 acres), detailed on the map
prepared at the request of Senator Wyden, dated December 11,
2009. These conveyances would be subject to valid existing
rights and are intended to address the city's and county's
stated need for additional land to accommodate the expansion of
its wastewater treatment facilities and provide land for a
public library, rodeo grounds and equestrian center.
The bill requires that the three parcels of land be used
only for purposes consistent with the R&PP; Act and includes a
reversionary clause to enforce that requirement. Finally, the
bill requires the County to pay all administrative costs
associated with the transfer.
As a matter of policy, the BLM supports working with local
governments to resolve land tenure issues that advance
worthwhile public policy objectives. In general, the BLM
supports the proposed conveyances, as they are consistent with
the existing R&PP; authority. We would like to work with Senator
Wyden and the Committee to further address concerns related to
Parcel A, which serves as an important travel corridor and
shelter area for elk along the Little Deschutes River, either
through additional boundary modifications or through
identification of alternative sites. To avoid constitutional
concerns, the Department of Justice recommends that the bill be
revised to make absolutely clear that the city or county would
have to agree to the proposed conveyance, which is what we
understand Congress intends. This change might be accomplished
by adding ``and subject to the city's or county's agreement''
after ``without reimbursement'' in section 3(a) of the bill.
Thank you for the opportunity to testify. We look forward
to working with Senator Wyden and the Committee to address the
needs of La Pine, Oregon.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
In compliance with paragraph 12 of the XXVI of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no changes in
existing law are made by the bill S. 270 as ordered reported.