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115th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session     }                                      {      115-280




August 29, 2017.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed


Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1547]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1547) to provide for the unencumbering of title 
to non-Federal land owned by the city of Tucson, Arizona, for 
purposes of economic development by conveyance of the Federal 
reversionary interest to the City, 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. 1547 is to provide for the 
unencumbering of title to non-Federal land owned by the city of 
Tucson, Arizona, for purposes of economic development by 
conveyance of the Federal reversionary interest to the City.


    In 1980, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a 
Recreation and Public Purposes lease for approximately 173 
acres of land to the City of Tucson for the purpose of 
operating a public park. As a part of the lease, BLM included a 
reversionary interest that specified it could take back the 
park if the City no longer used the land for public purposes or 
if the City used the park for commercial purposes. After 
acquiring the land through the lease, the City of Tucson began 
making improvements to the park (named Udall Park) and invested 
millions of dollars to establish a large community recreation 
and senior center, swimming pool, walking track, athletic 
fields and picnic areas.
    While making these improvements, the City of Tucson and BLM 
began negotiating a deal in 1989 to give the City clear title 
to the park and remove the reversionary interest in exchange 
for 297 acres of land owned by the City valued at $4 
million.\1\ After accepting this land from the City, BLM 
participated in further land exchanges with other entities to 
obtain an area that included office buildings for BLM's Tucson 
headquarters, and environmentally sensitive parcels in the Las 
Cienegas National Conservation Area and Empirita Ranch Multi 
Species Conservation Area.\2\ In addition to the exchange, the 
City agreed to resolve a long-standing legal dispute between 
BLM, Browne/Tankersley Trust and Pioneer Trust regarding a sand 
and gravel trespass on an adjacent parcel of land to the 
park.\3\ Despite a clear agreement between the City of Tucson 
and BLM, the City never received clear title to Udall Park even 
after transferring the 297 acres of land and resolving the 
trespass issue for BLM.
    \1\Rep. Martha McSally, ``Udall Park Land Exchange Completion 
    \2\Information provided by the City of Tucson to the Committee on 
Natural Resources.
    \3\City of Tucson, ``Summary of Recent Historical Records of Udall 
Park Issue'', pg. 2.
    For nearly three decades, officials in the City of Tucson 
believed the agreement from 1989 removed the United States' 
reversionary interest in Udall Park. However, in 2010, BLM sent 
a letter to the City of Tucson threatening to invoke the 
reversionary interest if the City did not stop a small farmer's 
market located within the park.\4\ The prohibition on 
commercial uses in the park also prevented the City from siting 
cellular towers in the park to offset the cost of its 
maintenance.\5\ Following the letter from BLM, the City began 
pursuing legislative options to resolve the reversionary 
interest issue to have clear title to the land and complete 
control over the use of the park.
    \4\Information provided by the City of Tucson to the Committee on 
Natural Resources.
    H.R. 1547, Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act, removes 
the United States' reversionary interest in Udall Park so the 
City of Tucson can continue to make improvements and expand 
amenities and activities within the park, including commercial 
uses. The bill directs BLM to make this conveyance without 
further consideration, reflecting the completion of the deal 
the City and BLM negotiated over 28 years ago. The bipartisan 
bill is supported by the entire Arizona Congressional 
delegation, with the exception of one member. Senators Jeff 
Flake (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) introduced a Senate 
companion bill, S. 612, on March 13, 2017.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1547 was introduced on March 15, 2017, by 
Congresswoman Martha McSally (R-AZ). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to 
the Subcommittee on Federal Lands. On July 14, 2017, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On July 25, 2017, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. No amendments 
were offered, and the bill was ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by unanimous consent on July 26, 


    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.


    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 18, 2017.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1547, the Udall 
Park Land Exchange Completion Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
                                                        Keith Hall.

H.R. 1547--Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act

    H.R. 1547 would require the Secretary of the Interior to 
convey the reversionary interest of the United States in 173 
acres of land to the city of Tucson, Arizona. Under current 
law, the city holds title to those lands and will retain title 
as long as the lands are used for public purposes. If the city 
stops using the lands for such purposes, title would revert 
back to the federal government.
    Based on information provided by the city of Tucson, CBO 
expects that, under current law, the city will continue to use 
the affected lands for public purposes and will hold title to 
those lands over the next 10 years. Furthermore, under the 
bill, any administrative costs associated with conveying the 
reversionary interest in those lands would be paid by the city; 
therefore, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would have 
no effect on the federal budget.
    Because enacting H.R. 1547 would not affect direct spending 
or revenues, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting the bill would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1547 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 CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.
    2. 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 provide for the unencumbering of 
title to non-Federal land owned by the city of Tucson, Arizona, 
for purposes of economic development by conveyance of the 
Federal reversionary interest to the City.

                           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. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    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.


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

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    H.R. 1547 transfers the reversionary interest associated 
with Udall Park to the City of Tucson, Arizona (Tucson). Udall 
Park was originally leased in 1980 to Tucson by the Bureau of 
Land Management (BLM) under the Recreation and Public Purposes 
Act, a program that conveys federal land to local governments 
and non-profits, free of charge, to establish parks and other 
allowable public purposes. These conveyances include what is 
known as reversionary interest, which stipulates that the land 
must permanently remain in use for a public purpose or 
ownership reverts back to the United States.
    BLM only has the authority to convey reversionary interest 
if it receives fair market value for the land in question. This 
is a critical component of the law that ensures fair use of 
taxpayer owned assets. However, in the case of Udall Park, 
Tucson executed a land exchange with the BLM to compensate the 
federal government for the reversionary interest. 
Unfortunately, Congress never completed the exchange.
    At the July 14, 2017, Federal Lands Subcommittee hearing on 
the bill, Michael Ortega, Tucson City Manager, Arizona, 
presented testimony regarding the 1989 land exchange between 
Tucson and the BLM that led to the patent transfer of Udall 
Park. In exchange for the patent and reversionary interest on 
Udall Park, the City of Tucson provided the BLM with a 297 acre 
parcel known as the ``Freeman Road Property,'' which was then 
valued at $4 million. As evidence that the land exchange was 
part of the agreement to transfer the reversionary interest, 
the testimony points to a 1989 letter from the BLM State 
Director. The letter recognized the ``agreement between the 
City and Bureau of Land Management regarding Udall Park'' and 
emphasized BLM's commitment to ``support legislative efforts to 
eliminate the reverter clause.'' Elimination of the 
reversionary interests without payment of fair market value 
requires an act of Congress. Congress never ratified the 1989 
land exchange by eliminating the reversionary interest.
    H.R. 1547 honors the federal government's long forgotten 
commitment. The unique circumstances of Udall Park justify 
transferring the reversionary interest without further 
consideration or compensation.
                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member,
                                           House Natural Resources
                                   Nanette Diaz Barragan.
                                   Darren Soto.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   A. Donald McEachin.
                                   Colleen Hanabusa.