Report text available as:

(PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?


                                                       Calendar No. 129
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 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 
pass.
    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''.

                                PURPOSE

    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.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    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).

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    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 
described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    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-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    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 
conveyance.
    Subsection (e) requires the city or county to pay all of 
the survey and other administrative costs associated with the 
conveyances.
    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 
revenues.
    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 
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. 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.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    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.


                               background


    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 
public purposes.
    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 
11, 2009.


                                 s. 270


    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.


                               conclusion


    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.

                                APPENDIX