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S. 1219 - Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act

Sponsor: Bill Cassidy (R)
Introduced: 2017-05-24
Bill Status: By Senator Murkowski from Committee on Energy and Natural Resources filed written report. Report No. 115-403.
 

Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act

This bill declares that the document titled "Dependent Re-Survey, Extension Survey and Survey of Two Islands, Sections 17, 29, and 30" (published in the Federal Register on February 27, 1969) shall not be considered to be, or serve as, a gross error determination and shall have no legal force or effect on the ownership of certain land surrounding Lake Bistineau in northern Louisiana.

The meander lines recorded in the original survey of such land approved by the Surveyor General on December 8, 1842, shall be definitive for purposes of determining title to such land and two adjacent islands.

The Department of the Interior shall prepare a disclaimer of any U.S. right, title, or interest in and to any such land that is located outside such meander lines and any omitted land that was in place, but not included, in the original survey.

Full Text


115th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1219


    To provide for stability of title to certain land in the State of Louisiana, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 24, 2017

    Mr. Cassidy introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

    To provide for stability of title to certain land in the State of Louisiana, 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 “Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purpose.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

(1) on December 8, 1842, the Surveyor General approved an original survey of land in northern Louisiana, which included the land surrounding Lake Bistineau;

(2) under the equal footing doctrine, the State of Louisiana was entitled to the land underlying the navigable waters in place within the boundaries of the State as of the date on which the State joined the Union;

(3) the State of Louisiana delineated the ownership of the land in the State based on the Original Survey;

(4) in 1901, the State of Louisiana—

(A) transferred more than 7,000 acres of land to the commissioners of the Bossier Levee District through Louisiana Act Number 89 of 1892; and

(B) conducted a survey that followed the same path around Lake Bistineau as the path included in the Original Survey;

(5) in 1904, the Bossier Levee District subsequently conveyed the land described in paragraph (4)(A) to private ownership;

(6) parcels of the land described in paragraph (4)(A) were bought and sold in good faith based on the stability of the title to the land;

(7) on September 16, 1967, the Bureau of Land Management submitted a resurvey of the land described in paragraph (4)(A) for S30–T16N–R10W and 2 adjacent islands, which presented a new line to represent what the Bureau of Land Management surveyors believed to be the contour of Lake Bistineau as of the date on which the State of Louisiana joined the Union;

(8) on January 15, 1969, the Bureau of Land Management approved the Resurvey;

(9) on February 27, 1969, notice of the filing of the Resurvey was filed in the Federal Register (34 Fed. Reg. 2677), but the Bureau of Land Management has presented no records of further notice provided to the affected landowners regarding—

(A) the effects of the Resurvey; or

(B) the right of affected landowners to contest the Resurvey;

(10) on September 27, 2013, the Bureau of Land Management responded to an inquiry by certain owners of land subject to the Resurvey to inform the landowners that title to the land of the landowners would “appear to be still vested in the United States”; and

(11) there are estimated to be more than 200 acres of, and more than 50 residential homes located on, the land subject to the Resurvey.

(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue a recordable disclaimer of interest of the United States in and to—

(1) any land described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) of section 4 that is located outside the record meander lines described in that subsection; and

(2) any omitted land.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) OMITTED LAND.—The term “omitted land” means any land in S30–T16N–R10W, including adjacent islands and the meander lines of the water body, that was in place during the Original Survey, but that was not included in the Original Survey, regardless of whether the exclusion of the land was due to gross error in the Original Survey or fraud by any individual conducting the Original Survey.

(2) ORIGINAL SURVEY.—The term “Original Survey” means the survey of land in northern Louisiana approved by the Surveyor General on December 8, 1842.

(3) RESURVEY.—The term “Resurvey” means the document entitled “Dependent Re-Survey, Extension Survey and Survey of Two Islands, Sections 17, 29, and 30”, which was completed on November 24, 1967, approved on January 15, 1969, and published in the Federal Register on February 27, 1969 (34 Fed. Reg. 2677).

(4) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 4. Legal status of Resurvey.

(a) In general.—The Resurvey—

(1) shall not be considered to be, or serve as, a gross error determination; and

(2) shall have no legal force or effect on the ownership of the land described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b).

(b) Meander lines.—The meander lines in the Original Survey are definitive for purposes of determining title to—

(1) the land in S30–T16N–R10W; and

(2) the 2 islands adjacent to the land described in paragraph (1).

(c) Disclaimer of interest.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall prepare a disclaimer of interest in which the United States disclaims any right, title, or interest of the United States in and to—

(A) any land described in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b) that is located outside the recorded meander lines described in that subsection; and

(B) any omitted land.

(2) FILING.—The Secretary shall record the disclaimer of interest prepared under paragraph (1) in the appropriate local office in the State of Louisiana in which real property documents are recorded.

(3) INCLUSIONS.—The disclaimer of interest filed under paragraph (2) shall include legal descriptions of the land subject to the disclaimer of interest using the lot or tract numbers included in the Resurvey.


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