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H.R. 6682 - Protection and Transparency for Adjacent Landowners Act

Introduced: 2018-08-28
Bill Status: Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
 
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115th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6682


    To amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to improve the transparency and oversight of land conveyances involving disposal or acquisition of National Forest System lands or Bureau of Land Management public lands, to provide protections and certainty for private landowners related to resurveying such public lands, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 28, 2018

    Mr. Tipton introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

    To amend the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 to improve the transparency and oversight of land conveyances involving disposal or acquisition of National Forest System lands or Bureau of Land Management public lands, to provide protections and certainty for private landowners related to resurveying such public lands, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Protection and Transparency for Adjacent Landowners Act”.

TITLE Irequirements for Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land acquisitions and conveyances

SEC. 101. Additional requirements for Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land acquisitions and conveyances.

(a) Notice to adjacent landowners.—

(1) LAND ACQUISITIONS.—Section 205 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1715) is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(f) Notice to adjacent landowners.—As part of the acquisition of a parcel of non-Federal lands under this section, section 206, or other applicable law that will become public lands or National Forest System lands, the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may be, shall provide advance written notification to each owner of land that is adjacent to the parcel of land to be acquired. To assist in identifying adjacent landowners, the Secretary concerned should use the most recently available tax records.”.

(2) LAND CONVEYANCES.—Section 208 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1718) is amended—

(A) by inserting “(a) Issuance of patent and other conveyance documents.—” before the first sentence and “(b) Other terms and conditions.—” before the second sentence; and

(B) by adding at the end the following new subsection:

“(c) Notice to adjacent landowners.—As part of the conveyance of a parcel of public lands or National Forest System lands by sale, exchange, or other disposal method under section 203 or 206 or other applicable law, the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may be, shall provide advance written notification to each owner of land that is adjacent to the parcel of land to be conveyed. To assist in identifying adjacent landowners, the Secretary concerned should use the most recently available tax records.”.

(b) Oversight of use of third-Party facilitators.—

(1) ACQUISITION.—Section 205 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1715) is amended by inserting after subsection (f), as added by subsection (a)(1), the following new subsection:

“(g) Oversight of use of third-Party facilitators.—(1) If the acquisition process for a parcel of non-Federal lands under this section, section 206, or other applicable law that will become public lands or National Forest System lands involves the use of a third-party facilitator, the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may be, shall require, as a condition of the approval of the acquisition—

“(A) submission of all purchase contracts and related agreements held by the third-party facilitator related to the parcel to be acquired; and

“(B) supervisor review of such purchase contracts and related agreements, the purpose of the acquisition, and other terms and conditions of the acquisition.

“(2) In this subsection, the term ‘third-party facilitator’ means any entity (other than an agent of the United States) whose role in a real estate transaction is to assist the buyer or seller, or both, in reaching agreement in the transaction.”.

(2) LAND CONVEYANCES.—Section 208 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1718) is amended by inserting after subsection (c), as added by subsection (a)(2), the following new subsection:

“(d) Oversight of use of third-Party facilitators.—(1) If the process by which a parcel of public lands or National Forest System lands will be conveyed by sale, exchange, or other disposal method under section 203 or 206 or other applicable law, involves the use of a third-party facilitator, the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, as the case may be, shall require, as a condition of the approval of the conveyance—

“(A) submission of all purchase contracts and related agreements held by the third-party facilitator related to the Federal land to be conveyed;

“(B) submission to appraisers of contact information for prospective end owners of the Federal land to be conveyed; and

“(C) supervisor review of such purchase contracts and related agreements, the purpose of the conveyance, and other terms and conditions of the conveyance.

“(2) In this subsection, the term ‘third-party facilitator’ means any entity (other than an agent of the United States) whose role in a real estate transaction is to assist the buyer or seller, or both, in reaching agreement in the transaction.”.

TITLE IIBureau of Land Management Resurvey Requirements

SEC. 201. Bureau Resurvey Transparency; Notice requirements.

(a) Notice.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 30 days before the commencement of a resurvey of Federal land under the administrative jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management, the Secretary shall notify all property owners with land abutting or adjacent to the Federal land being resurveyed of the pending resurvey. If a resurvey extends the boundaries of Federal land, the Secretary shall notify affected landowners of the results of the resurvey not later than 30 days after the completion of the survey.

(2) NOTIFICATION.—The Secretary shall use certified or registered mail to notify landowners under this subsection.

(3) IDENTIFICATION OF LANDOWNERS.—When identifying affected landowners for the purpose of notification under this subsection, the Secretary shall use the most recently available tax records.

(b) Public comment.—Not later than 30 days after completing a resurvey, the Secretary shall publish a notice in the Federal Register. Affected landowners may comment to the Secretary and by submitting formal comments to the Federal Register notice.

SEC. 202. Protection of persons.

If a resurvey results in land previously thought to be privately owned to be reclassified as Federal land, the persons thought to be a private owner of such land—

(1) shall—

(A) be given the right of first refusal to purchase the land for fair market value minus the value of any significant improvements made to such lands; or

(B) be reimbursed for the fair market value of any significant improvements made to such lands; and

(2) may not be charged with willful trespass onto such land unless the person used such lands with the knowledge that the lands should be classified as Federal land.

SEC. 203. Definitions.

For the purposes of this title:

(1) RESURVEY.—The term “resurvey” means an official rerunning and remarking intended to supersede the records of the original survey.

(2) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management.


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