GovTrack’s Bill Summary
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The bill’s title was written by the bill’s sponsor. H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.
We don’t have a summary available yet.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
This summary can be found at http://www.gop.gov/bill/112/2/hr5544.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) is a unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System which includes 1.1 million acres of land and water in and around the Superior National Forest in Northern Minnesota. The State of Minnesota owns multiple parcels of land in the BWCAW which are held in trust for the benefit of the public school system. According to the legislation, the state trust lands were acquired before the establishment of the National Forest or the BWCAW. These lands are scattered throughout the wilderness area and, largely because of federal development restrictions, are effectively prohibited from being used for development of resources to benefit the state’s public school system. The legislation would provide a land exchange that would allow the federal government to take over these lands in the BWCAW in exchange for National Forest land which the state could develop in order to provide assistance to the public school system.
In March, the Minnesota State Legislature enacted legislation to expedite the state’s portion of a proposed land exchange. Under that measure, the state-held lands within the canoe area would be conveyed to the federal government in exchange for lands of equal value outside the area. In addition to allowing the state to develop their trust lands, this transfer would also allow the Forest Service to manage and protect all of the land and resources within the wilderness area.
H.R. 5544 would require the Secretary of Agriculture to exchange federal land for land owned by the State of Minnesota. Specifically, the bill would require the Secretary to exchange approximately 86,000 acres (according to CBO estimates) of National Forest System land located in the Superior National Forest for approximately 86,000 acres of land owned by the state within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Under the legislation, land obtained by the federal government would be added to and administered as part of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Land acquired by the state would be deemed state trust lands and would be held in trust for the benefit of the Minnesota public school system.
Under the legislation, the exact acreage and legal description of the land to be exchanged would be determined through a survey that is paid for by the State of Minnesota and approved by the Secretary. In addition, the State of Minnesota would be responsible for all other administrative costs related to the land exchange. The exchange would occur pursuant to the terms outlined by law recently enacted by the State of Minnesota (S.F. 1750), that requires equal value for the parcels to be exchanged.
If the Secretary fails to complete the land transfer by the end of an 18-month period beginning after the legislation is enacted, the Secretary would be required to submit a report detailing why the exchange has not been completed.
The bill would prohibit the acquisition of land by the federal government from affecting any fishing and hunting rights in existence immediately before the land was transferred.
Initially, CBO estimated that implementing this legislation would increase direct spending by $6 million over ten years because it would increase the amount of land used to calculate federal payments made under the Humphrey-Thye-Blatnik-Andresen Acts. However, the manager’s amendment removes any transferred lands from such calculations, and therefore eliminates any direct spending associate with the bill.
The House Democratic Caucus does not provide summaries of bills.
So, yes, we display the House Republican Conference’s summaries when available even if we do not have a Democratic summary available. That’s because we feel it is better to give you as much information as possible, even if we cannot provide every viewpoint.
We’ll be looking for a source of summaries from the other side in the meanwhile.
The bill contains the following citations to other parts of U.S. law:
The United States Code is the compilation of permanent laws enacted by Congress. Temporary and other non-permanent laws do not appear in the United States Code. (About half of the United States Code is the law itself, called positive law. The other half is merely a compilation of the laws but has no legal significance.)