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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    113-198

======================================================================



 
          RANCH A CONSOLIDATION AND MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 10, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1684]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1684) to convey certain property to the State of 
Wyoming to consolidate the historic Ranch A, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1684 is to convey certain property to 
the State of Wyoming to consolidate the historic Ranch A.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Ranch A is a historic property, encompassing approximately 
645 acres in northeastern Wyoming that was first developed in 
the 1930s. After coming under federal ownership in the 1960s, 
it was used as a fish hatchery by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service until 1986. The Ranch A Restoration Foundation was 
formed in 1992 to restore and operate Ranch A as a center for 
learning and interpretation of Western heritage. Ownership of 
Ranch A was officially conveyed to the State of Wyoming in 
1997. However, the conveyance included the stipulation that 
Ranch A only be used for educational purposes, and for unknown 
reasons, excluded 10 acres of land and a facility known as the 
Babcock House that has been managed by the foundation as part 
of Ranch A despite being under federal ownership.
    Since the Ranch has been conveyed, the Ranch A Restoration 
Foundation has invested approximately $1 million to restore and 
upgrade the facilities, but further repairs and renovations are 
needed. Due to the restrictions imposed by the conveyance, 
there is limited opportunity to raise additional income to fund 
the improvements. Removal of these restrictions will allow the 
property to be rented for additional uses by other outside 
groups.
    H.R. 1684 would convey approximately 10 acres of National 
Forest System land without consideration, with the State of 
Wyoming covering the costs to survey the land. The legislation 
also amends Public Law 104-276 (the original statute that 
conveyed Ranch A to the State of Wyoming) to remove certain 
restrictions on the use of the property.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1684 was introduced on April 23, 2013, by 
Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to 
the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. 
On July 19, 2013, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. 
On July 31, 2013, the full Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and 
Environmental Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment 
designated _054 to the bill; the amendment was not adopted by 
voice vote. No further amendments were offered, and the bill 
was then adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1684--Ranch A Consolidation and Management Improvement Act

    H.R. 1684 would require the Forest Service to convey, 
without consideration, 10 acres of federal land to the state of 
Wyoming. Based on information provided by the agency, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting H.R. 1684 
would not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-
as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    The affected lands do not currently generate any receipts 
and are not expected to generate receipts over the next 10 
years. In addition, the Forest Service does not have the 
authority to sell those lands under current law. Therefore, CBO 
estimates that conveying the affected lands would not affect 
direct spending. Finally, because H.R. 1684 would require the 
state of Wyoming to cover the cost of surveying the affected 
lands, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have a 
minimal impact on discretionary spending.
    H.R. 1684 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on 
information provided by the Forest Service, CBO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would have no significant impact 
on the federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to convey certain property to the 
State of Wyoming to consolidate the historic Ranch A.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

                           PUBLIC LAW 104-276


SECTION 1. CONVEYANCE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY TO WYOMING.

  (a) Conveyance.--
          (1) In general.--Not later than 180 days after the 
        date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the 
        Interior shall convey in ``as is'' condition, to the 
        State of Wyoming without reimbursement--
                  (A) all right, title, and interest of the 
                United States in and to the portion of the 
                property commonly known as ``Ranch A'' in Crook 
                County, Wyoming, other than the portion 
                described in paragraph (2), consisting of 
                approximately 600 acres of land (including all 
                real property, buildings, and all other 
                improvements to real property) and all personal 
                property (including art, historic light 
                fixtures, wildlife mounts, draperies, rugs, and 
                furniture directly related to the site, 
                including personal property on loan to museums 
                and other entities at the time of transfer);
                  (B) all right, title, and interest of the 
                United States in and to all buildings and 
                related improvements and all personal property 
                associated with the buildings on the portion of 
                the property described in paragraph (2); and
                  (C) a permanent right of way across the 
                portion of the property described in paragraph 
                (2) to use the buildings conveyed under 
                subparagraph (B).
          (2) Ranch a.--Subject to the exceptions described in 
        subparagraphs (B) and (C) of paragraph (1), the United 
        States shall retain all right, title, and interest in 
        and to the portion of the property commonly known as 
        ``Ranch A'' in Crook County, Wyoming, described as 
        Township 52 North, Range 61 West, Section 24 N\1/2\ 
        SE\1/4\, consisting of approximately 80 acres of land.
  [(b) Use and Reversionary Interest.--
          [(1) Use.--The property conveyed to the State of 
        Wyoming under this section shall be retained by the 
        State and be used by the State for the purposes of--
                  [(A) fish and wildlife management and 
                educational activities; and
                  [(B) using, maintaining, displaying, and 
                restoring, through State or local agreements, 
                or both, the museum-quality real and personal 
                property and the historical interests and 
                significance of the real and personal property, 
                consistent with applicable Federal and State 
                laws.
          [(2) Access by institutions of higher education.--The 
        State of Wyoming shall provide access to the property 
        for institutions of higher education at a compensation 
        level that is agreed to by the State and the 
        institutions of higher education.
          [(3) Reversion.--All right, title, and interest in 
        and to the property described in subsection (a) shall 
        revert to the United States if--
                  [(A) the property is used by the State of 
                Wyoming for any other purpose than the purposes 
                set forth in paragraph (1);
                  [(B) there is any development of the property 
                (including commercial or recreational 
                development, but not including the construction 
                of small structures, to be used for the 
                purposes set forth in subsection (b)(1), on 
                land conveyed to the State of Wyoming under 
                subsection (a)(1)(A)); or
                  [(C) the State does not make every reasonable 
                effort to protect and maintain the quality and 
                quantity of fish and wildlife habitat on the 
                property.]
  [(c)] (b) Addition to the Black Hills National Forest.--
          (1) Transfer.--Administrative jurisdiction of the 
        property described in subsection (a)(2) is transferred 
        to the Secretary of Agriculture, to be included in and 
        managed as part of the Black Hills National Forest.
          (2) No hunting or mineral development.--No hunting or 
        mineral development shall be permitted on any of the 
        land transferred to the administrative jurisdiction of 
        the Secretary of Agriculture by paragraph (1).

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    We oppose H.R. 1684 because it overrides the sole purpose 
of a past transfer of land from the federal government to the 
State of Wyoming. Ranch A, the property in dispute, has 
valuable historic and environmental significance for the people 
of Wyoming and has received national recognition for these 
traits. The property was conveyed to Wyoming from the federal 
government in 1996 under the condition that it be maintained 
for educational and conservation purposes; no other 
consideration was given by Wyoming to receive title to this 
land. The proposed legislation states that it will grant 
flexibility to the State to preserve the property; however, by 
lifting the provisions upon which the original conveyance was 
based, H.R. 1684 removes any duty of Wyoming to preserve the 
property for the public good.
    The State of Wyoming was conveyed Ranch A in Crook County, 
Wyoming under a very specific set of conditions, all aimed at 
promoting public education and environmental conservation. 
Those conditions were: (1) the property will be used for fish 
and wildlife management and educational activities: (2) the 
property owners will use, maintain, and restore the property 
and it historical significance; (3) institutions of higher 
education will have access to the property; and (4) there will 
be no commercial or recreational development of the property, 
aside from that consistent with the above-mentioned uses. 
Congress approved this conveyance of federal land in Public Law 
104-276 on October 9, 1996. Less than two decades later, this 
bill attempts to negate the goodwill contained in that transfer 
of land by removing all restrictions upon Ranch A. Though the 
State of Wyoming claims that the land will be used to safeguard 
the Ranch for future generations, the intent of this bill is to 
ensure there is no legal duty for them to do so.
    The Majority rejected an amendment from Public Lands and 
Environmental Regulation Subcommittee Ranking Member Grijalva 
(D-AZ) that would have ensured that Ranch A would be preserved 
for its intended use. As written, H.R. 1684 would allow Wyoming 
to manage Ranch A in any manner it so desires in defiance of 
the original intent behind the conveyance of the property.

                                   Peter DeFazio,
                                           Ranking Member, Committee on 
                                               Natural Resources.
                                   Raul Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member, Subcommittee 
                                               on Public Lands and 
                                               Environmental 
                                               Regulation.