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                                                       Calendar No. 331
                                                       
114th Congress  }                                          {  Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session    }                                          {  114-186

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

 
  CLARIFICATION TO THE NORTHERN ARIZONA LAND EXCHANGE AND VERDE RIVER 
                     BASIN PARTNERSHIP ACT OF 2005

                                _______
                                

               December 16, 2015.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1592]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1592) to clarify the description of 
certain Federal land under the Northern Arizona Land Exchange 
and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005 to include 
additional land in the Kaibab National Forest, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1592 is to clarify the description of 
certain Federal land under the Northern Arizona Land Exchange 
and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005 to include 
additional land in the Kaibab National Forest.

                          Background and Need

    S. 1592 clarifies the description of one parcel of land 
that was authorized for conveyance in the Northern Arizona Land 
Exchange and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005 (P.L. 
109-110; 119 Stat. 2356). The 2005 legislation provided for the 
conveyance of 237.5 acres from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) 
to Young Life for a camp near Williams, Arizona. Although the 
legislation described the 237.5-acre parcel (section 
104(a)(5)), the map referenced in the same section erroneously 
depicted only 212.5 acres.
    The 2005 Act provided that ``in the case of any discrepancy 
between a map and legal description, the map shall prevail 
unless the Secretary and Yavapai Ranch agree otherwise.'' (P.L. 
109-110, section 102(a)(4)(B)). Despite the statutory authority 
to reconcile the description with the map, the Secretary of 
Agriculture has taken the position that the USFS lacks the 
legal authority to convey more than the 212.5 acres identified 
on the map. S. 1592 amends the legal description to add the 25 
acres and clarify that the USFS has the authority to convey the 
full 237.5 acres that was described in the text of the 2005 
legislation.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1592 was introduced by Senators Flake and McCain on June 
17, 2015. The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining 
held a hearing on the bill on October 8, 2015.
    On November 19, 2015, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources met in open business session and ordered S. 1592 
favorably reported without amendment.

            Committee Recommendation and Tabulation of Votes

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on November 19, 2015, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
1592.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 amends Section 104(a)(5) of the Northern Arizona 
Land Exchange and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005 
(P.L. 109-110; 119 Stat. 2356) by adding approximately 25 acres 
of Federal land to be given to Yavapai Ranch as part of the 
land exchange in the original Act.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The Congressional Budget Office estimate of the costs of 
this measure has been requested but was not received at the 
time the report was filed. When the report is available, the 
Chairman will request it to be printed in the Congressional 
Record for the advice of the Senate.

                      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. 1592. 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. 1592, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 1592, 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 USFS at the October 8, 2015, 
Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing on S. 
1592 follows:

 Statement of Glenn Casamassa, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest 
      System, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

    Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to present the views of the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) regarding S. 414, S. 1592, and S. 2069.


 s. 414, ``california desert conservation and recreation act of 2015''


    The Department supports S. 414 and would like to work with 
the Committee and bill sponsor on several clarifications, some 
of which we will highlight in the testimony that follows. We 
defer to the Department of Interior regarding the provisions in 
this bill concerning lands under its management.
    The majority of National Forest System lands in S. 414, 
Title XIV (Sand to Snow National Monument) are within the San 
Gorgonio Wilderness Area on the San Bernardino National Forest 
(NF). The San Bernardino National Forest Land and Resource 
Management Plan (Forest Plan) was revised in 2006 and then 
amended in 2014 using an extensive public process. The proposed 
Monument and wilderness designations in S. 414, Title XIV, are 
closely aligned with recommended wilderness and forest 
management objectives included in the Forest Plan.
    S. 414 would designate approximately 62,648 acres of the 
San Bernardino National Forest, along with approximately 73,000 
acres administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), as 
the Sand to Snow National Monument. The Monument would be 
managed jointly by both agencies. This approach has been 
successful for over 15 years on the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto 
Mountains National Monument in California. The purpose of the 
Monument would be to preserve the nationally significant 
biological, cultural, educational, geological, historic, 
scenic, and recreational values at the convergence of the 
Mojave and Colorado deserts and the San Bernardino Mountains.
    The 2014 Forest Plan Revision for the San Bernardino NF 
recognized the importance of wildlife connections and corridors 
to and from the Forest, as well as the significant biological, 
cultural, scenic and recreational values of the greater San 
Gorgonio Mountain ecosystem.
    The Department welcomes the opportunity to work with the 
Secretary of the Interior in jointly managing the proposed 
Monument using the different authorities and guidelines 
governing the National Forest and Bureau of Land Management 
lands designated within the Monument. Using a joint management 
model, the Secretaries would be responsible for separately 
managing lands under their jurisdictions. The Department 
recommends distinguishing between the Secretary of Agriculture 
and the Secretary of Interior in this legislation to avoid 
confusion about which sections of the bill pertain to National 
Forest System or BLM-administered lands.
    In Section 1403(b), the Department is asking the Committee 
and the bill sponsor to consider adding ``management'' to the 
general authority on Cooperative Agreements that could be used 
in the Monument. This change would allow the Forest Service to 
work with the BLM and the advisory committee in considering a 
Service First Agreement to manage the Monument. This approach 
is currently being used successfully on the Santa Rosa and San 
Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
    Section 1501(c), as added to the California Desert 
Protection Act of 1994 by S. 414, would designate a 7,141-acre 
wilderness addition on the west and south ends of the existing 
95,953-acre San Gorgonio Wilderness; this addition includes 
1,000 acres of private property owned by the Wildlands 
Conservancy. The area under consideration is currently an 
inventoried roadless area. The Department supports this 
wilderness addition as it would improve management efficiencies 
in this area, and would like to work with the Subcommittee to 
ensure the roadless areas can be consistently managed pursuant 
to this Act and the Wilderness Act.
    Section 104(2)(209)(A) and Section 104(2)(210)(A) of this 
legislation would designate approximately 76.3 miles of the 
specified rivers as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers 
System. Of this total, approximately 34.5 miles of Deep Creek, 
including its principal tributary, Holcomb Creek, and 17.1 
miles of the North, Middle and South Forks of the Whitewater 
River are within the boundary of the San Bernardino National 
Forest and would be administered by the Forest Service. In 
order to ensure consistency with the current provisions of the 
Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the 2014 Revision of the San 
Bernardino NF Plan, the Department would like to work with the 
Subcommittee to include some technical corrections in Section 
104(2).
    The Forest Service has found each of these rivers to be 
eligible for designation based on their free-flowing character 
and regionally important river-related values. The Department 
supports designation of these eligible rivers as Wild and 
Scenic based on general support from the communities of 
interest and consistency of designation with the management of 
National Forest System lands within the river corridors.
    Section 1406 of this bill would establish an advisory 
committee to provide advice on the development and 
implementation of the management plan for the proposed 
Monument, closely mirroring the successful approach of the 
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument. The 
Department believes an advisory committee would contribute 
greatly to the development of the management plan for the Sand 
to Snow National Monument. Given the length of time necessary 
to establish a committee under the Federal Advisory Committee 
Act, and the importance of creating a successful monument 
management plan, the Department requests the time frame for 
completing the plan be changed to three years after the 
advisory committee is established, rather than three years 
after the date of enactment of the bill.
    Finally, Section 1403(g)(4) of this legislation states that 
pending completion of the Monument management plan, the 
Secretary shall manage any Federal land and Federal interests 
in land within the boundary of the Monument in accordance with 
section 1.6D of the Bureau of Land Management manual numbered 
6220, dated July 13, 2012, and entitled ``National Monuments, 
National Conservation Areas, and Similar Designations.''
    The Department would like to work with the Committee and 
the bill sponsor on this section to ensure that interim 
management of the Monument is consistent with current uses 
occurring on both National Forest System and BLM-administered 
lands under the authorities, policies, and existing management 
plans of both the Forest Service and the BLM for such lands, 
and in a manner that is consistent with other applicable 
Federal laws.
    Title XIX of S. 414, Section 1905 (``Transfer of 
Administrative Jurisdiction''), would transfer administrative 
jurisdiction of over approximately 40 acres of National Forest 
System land to the BLM for inclusion in the proposed Alabama 
Hills National Scenic Area. This is an isolated parcel of land 
and the Department supports the transfer of administrative 
jurisdiction to the BLM.
    In Title XX--Miscellaneous, Section 105 (Conforming 
Amendments) the Department would like to work with the 
Committee and bill sponsor on proposed amendments to provisions 
of the California Desert Protection Act to address concerns 
related to effects on wilderness from activities outside the 
wilderness boundary.


 s. 1592, ``a bill to clarify the description of certain federal land 
    under the northern arizona land exchange and verde river basin 
   partnership act of 2005 to include additional land in the kaibab 
                           national forest''


    S. 1592 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to 
convey an additional 25 acres to Young Life Lost Canyon 
Organizational Camp. The Department can support enactment of S. 
1592, if a technical amendment is included that would provide 
an easement for a proposed extension for the Water Storage Tank 
Road.
    This legislation clarifies the Northern Arizona Land 
Exchange and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 2005. The 
original Act authorized a land exchange with Yavapai Ranch and 
the United States that was not completed. The Act also 
authorized the sale of a parcel of National Forest System lands 
to Young Life Lost Canyon Organizational Camp on the Kaibab 
National Forest. The legislative map referenced by the Act for 
the Young Life private property showed an area of only 
approximately 212 acres to be conveyed, instead of the 
approximately 237.5 acres stated in the Act. The area shown on 
the legislative map excluded a particular 25-acre parcel. 
Because the legislative map controlled over the reference to 
approximately 237.5 acres, the Act did not authorize conveyance 
of the 25-acre parcel excluded by the map. S. 1592 was 
introduced to clarify that conveyance of the 25-acre parcel is 
also authorized, allowing the United States to convey a total 
of approximately 237.5 acres to Young Life.
    In summary, S. 1592 would resolve the disparity between the 
legislative map and the total acreage authorized for 
conveyance, allowing the Secretary to proceed with the direct 
sale of a total of approximately 237.5 acres to Young Life Lost 
Canyon Organizational Camp. In order to ensure agreement 
between the acreage and the legal description, the Agency is 
willing to provide additional technical assistance to the 
Committee, and wants to work with the Committee to include the 
easement for the Water Tank Road Extension.


  s. 2069, ``mount hood cooper spur land exchange clarification act''


    S. 2069 concerns the Mount Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange 
Clarification Act. We would like to work with the Committee and 
Sponsor to address several concerns. The Cooper Spur Land 
Exchange was initially authorized by the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009. Clarifications are needed to move 
forward with the exchange.
    The following issues concern the Forest Service:
           The bill would require the Forest Service to 
        reserve a 24-foot wide trail easement. The width of the 
        easement would restrict the ability of the Forest 
        Service to appropriately address reconstruction and 
        repair needs of the trail, the drainage and soil 
        protection features that go beyond the normal 3-4 foot 
        tread path, and the loss of buffer between the trail 
        and any non-federally owned building or facility 
        adjacent to the trail.
           The bill would eliminate the requirement 
        that the Forest Service reserve a conservation easement 
        on the Federal land to be conveyed. We understand there 
        may be state-level protections under the bill; however, 
        the Forest Service will have no legal right or 
        obligation to monitor and enforce the status of any of 
        the identified wetlands after conveyance because the 
        United States will have no property interest, such as a 
        conservation easement, protecting the property. In 
        addition, without a reserved federal interest like a 
        conservation easement, Executive Order 1990 will become 
        inapplicable to the lands once they leave federal 
        ownership.
           The bill would require the joint selection 
        of an appraiser by the Forest Service and Mount Hood 
        Meadows within 60 days after enactment of this 
        legislation. Selection of an appraiser is not 
        attainable within a 60 day period. The process to hire 
        a non-agency appraiser must follow federal contracting 
        regulations. The contracting process typically takes 
        120 days for contract selection.
           The bill would require the land exchange be 
        completed within 1 year after passage of the 
        legislation. It typically takes the better part of a 
        year to just obtain an approved appraisal. 
        Realistically, it will take more than 18 months to 
        complete the appraisal and all necessary analysis to 
        complete the exchange.
    We look forward to working with the Committee and the 
Sponsor to resolve these issues.
    This concludes my remarks. I would be happy to answer any 
questions. Thank you for the opportunity to testify.

                        Changes In Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the original 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):

Northern Arizona Land Exchange and Verde River Basin Partnership Act of 
2005

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 104. DESCRIPTION OF FEDERAL LAND.

    (a) In General.--The Federal land referred to in this title 
consists of the following:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (5) Certain land located in the Kaibab National 
        Forest, comprising approximately 237.5 acres, as 
        generally depicted on the map entitled ``Yavapai Ranch 
        Land Exchange, Younglife Lost Canyon'', dated August 
        2004, which, notwithstanding section 102(a)(4)(B), 
        includes the N \1/2\, NE \1/4\, SW \1/4\, SW \1/4\, the 
        N \1/2\, N \1/2\, SE \1/4\, SW \1/4\, and the N \1/2\, 
        N \1/2\, SW \1/4\, SE \1/4\, sec. 34, T. 22 N., R. 2 
        E., Gila and Salt River Meridian, Coconino County, 
        comprising approximately 25 acres.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *