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115th Congress     }                                 {        Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session        }                                 {        115-922

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



 
                     WALNUT GROVE LAND EXCHANGE ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 7, 2018.--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

                        [To accompany H.R. 5923]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5923) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to 
exchange certain public lands in Ouachita National Forest, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Walnut Grove Land Exchange Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Church.--The term ``Church'' means the Walnut Grove 
        Church in Garland County, Arkansas.
          (2) Offered tract.--The term ``Offered Tract'' means all 
        right, title, and interest of the Church in and to 
        approximately 6.3 acres of non-Federal land identified as 
        ``Offered Tract 5742''on the Detail Map of the Walnut Grove 
        Exchange, Ouachita National Forest map (printed date May 11, 
        2017).
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture.
          (4) Selected tract.--The term ``Selected Tract'' means all 
        right, title, and interest of the United States in and to 
        approximately 4 acres identified as ``Selected Tract 5743'' on 
        the Detail Map of the Walnut Grove Exchange, Ouachita National 
        Forest map (printed date May 11, 2017), subject to the 
        reservation of a road easement by the Secretary.

SEC. 3. EXCHANGE OF LAND; EQUALIZATION OF VALUE.

  (a) Exchange Authorized.--Subject to the provisions of this Act, not 
later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, if the 
Church offers to convey the Offered Tract to the United States, the 
Secretary shall--
          (1) convey to the Church all right, title, and interest of 
        the United States in and to the Selected Tract; and
          (2) accept from the Church a conveyance of all right, title, 
        and interest of the Church in and to the Offered Tract.
  (b) Requirements.--The exchange under subsection (a) shall be--
          (1) subject to valid existing rights;
          (2) conditioned on an equalization payment made by the Church 
        in accordance with subsection (c); and
          (3) conditioned on the payment of the costs described in 
        subsection (g).
  (c) Equal Value and Cash Equalization.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
        exchange under subsection (a) shall be for equal value or the 
        values shall be equalized by a cash payment.
          (2) Exception.--If the value of the Offered Tract exceeds the 
        Selected Tract, an equalization payment shall not be required.
  (d) Appraisals.--
          (1) In general.--The value of the land to be exchanged under 
        this Act shall be determined by appraisals conducted by one or 
        more independent and qualified appraisers.
          (2) Appraisal standards.--The Secretary shall complete an 
        appraisal of the land to be exchanged under this Act in 
        accordance with--
                  (A) the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land 
                Acquisitions; and
                  (B) the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal 
                Practice.
  (e) Format.--Title and valuation to the land to be exchanged under 
this Act shall be in a format acceptable to the Secretary and the 
Church.
  (f) Map and Legal Descriptions.----
          (1) In general.--As soon as practicable after the date of the 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall finalize a map and 
        legal descriptions of all land to be conveyed under this Act.
          (2) Corrections.--The Secretary may correct any minor errors 
        in the map or in the legal descriptions.
          (3) Map on file.--The map and legal descriptions shall be on 
        file and available for public inspection in appropriate offices 
        of the United States Forest Service.
  (g) Costs of Conveyance.--As a condition of conveyance, any costs 
related to the conveyance under this section shall be paid by the 
Church.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 5923 is to direct the Secretary of 
Agriculture to exchange certain public lands in the Ouachita 
National Forest.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Walnut Grove Community Church is located in the 
unincorporated community of Jessieville, Arkansas. Originally 
built in 1938, the congregation moved the Church to its current 
location to be closer to its historic cemetery.\1\ The Church 
building, community center, and cemetery sit on approximately 
four acres of land owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). The 
Church was originally constructed on federal land at a time 
when oversight of these issues was far less stringent than it 
is today. The tract also contains part of a USFS road 
connecting the parcel to additional USFS land to the South. 
Although the Church owns the facilities, because USFS owns the 
underlying land, the Church has faced significant challenges as 
it seeks to maintain, improve and expand its facilities to meet 
the needs of its growing congregation.\2\ The Church has 
operated under a special use permit from the USFS which has 
been renewed by USFS every year since 2002.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Testimony of George Joseph Bassett III before the Subcommittee 
on Federal Lands on July 17, 2018.
    \2\Ibid.
    \3\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Church owns approximately six acres of woodland 
inholdings within the Ouachita National Forest and has offered 
to exchange this six-acre tract for the four acres of land on 
which the Church's buildings and cemetery sit. The Church has 
been unsuccessfully seeking an administrative exchange of land 
with USFS for over 20 years.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The legislation would authorize the land exchange between 
the Church and USFS. The bill requires the Church to pay any 
appraisal, survey, and any other conveyance costs of the 
exchange. If the Church's offered parcel is determined to be of 
lower value than the selected tract currently owned by USFS, 
the Church will be required to make an equalization payment to 
the government. The USFS would not be required to make an 
equalization payment if the offered tract is determined to be 
of higher value than the selected USFS land.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 5923 was introduced on May 22, 2018, by Congressman 
Bruce Westerman (R-AR). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Federal Lands. On July 17, 2018, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the legislation. On July 18, 
2018, the Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. 
The Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Westerman offered an amendment designated #1; it 
was adopted by unanimous consent. No further amendments were 
offered and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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 AND CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    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 29, 2018.
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. 5923, the Walnut 
Grove Land Exchange Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Jeff LaFave 
and Sophie Godfrey-McKee.
            Sincerely,
                                                        Keith Hall.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 5923--Walnut Grove Land Exchange Act

    H.R. 5923 would require the Forest Service to exchange, at 
the request of a private entity, four acres of federal land in 
the Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas, for six acres of 
private land in that forest.
    Using information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates 
that under current law the land that would be conveyed by the 
agency will generate receipts from a special-use permit 
totaling about $4,000 over the 2019-2028 period. Because those 
receipts would not be collected under the bill, CBO estimates 
that enacting H.R. 5923 would increase direct spending by that 
amount.
    If appraisals indicate that the value of the federal parcel 
exceeds the value of the nonfederal parcel, the bill would 
require the private entity to provide a cash equalization 
payment to the Forest Service. Such payments are recorded as 
offsetting receipts, which are treated as reductions in direct 
spending. However, because CBO expects that the parcels would 
have a similar value, any such payment would not exceed 
$100,000, CBO estimates.
    H.R. 5923 would require the private entity to cover all 
administrative costs associated with the land exchange. Any 
land received by the Forest Service would be managed in 
accordance with existing authority to manage National Forest 
land.
    Because enacting H.R. 5923 would affect direct spending, 
pay-as-you-go procedures apply. However, CBO estimates that any 
such effects would not be significant in any year. Enacting 
H.R. 5923 would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5923 would not 
significantly affect net direct spending or on-budget deficits 
in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 
2029.
    H.R. 5923 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Jeff LaFave 
and Sophie Godfrey-McKee. The estimate was reviewed by H. 
Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 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 direct the Secretary of 
Agriculture to exchange certain public lands in the Ouachita 
National Forest.

                           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.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    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 
law.

                                  [all]