H.R. 3088 (104th): To provide for the exchange of certain federally owned lands and mineral interests therein, and for other ...

...purposes.

104th Congress, 1995–1996. Text as of Mar 14, 1996 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 3088 IH

104th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 3088

To provide for the exchange of certain federally owned lands and mineral interests therein, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 14, 1996

Mr. BREWSTER (for himself, Mr. DICKEY, and Mr. HUTCHINSON) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on 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 provide for the exchange of certain federally owned lands and mineral interests therein, 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. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that:

      (1) The Weyerhaeuser Company has offered to the United States Government an exchange of lands under which Weyerhaeuser would receive approximately 50,000 acres of Federal land in Arkansas and Oklahoma in return for conveying to the United States lands owned by Weyerhaeuser consisting of approximately 165,000 acres of forested wetlands and other forest land of public interest in Arkansas and Oklahoma, consisting of--

        (A) certain Arkansas Ouachita lands located near Lake Ouachita, Little Missouri Wild and Scenic River, Flatside Wilderness and the Ouachita National Forest;

        (B) certain lands in Oklahoma located near the McCurtain County Wilderness, the Broken Bow Reservoir, the Glover River, and the Ouachita National Forest; and

        (C) certain Arkansas Cossatot lands located on the Little and Cossatot Rivers and identified as the ‘Pond Creek Bottoms’ in the Lower Mississippi River Delta section of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

      (2) Acquisition of the Arkansas Cossatot lands by the United States will remove the lands in the heart of a critical wetland ecosystem from sustained timber production and other development.

      (3) The acquisition of the Arkansas Ouachita lands and the Oklahoma lands by the United States for administration by the Forest Service will provide an opportunity for enhancement of ecosystem management of the National Forest System lands and resources.

      (4) The Arkansas Ouachita lands and the Oklahoma lands have outstanding wildlife habitat and important recreational values and should continue to be made available for activities such as public hunting, fishing, trapping, nature observation, enjoyment, education, and timber management.

      (5) Private use of the lands the United States will convey to Weyerhaeuser will not conflict with established management objectives on adjacent Federal lands.

      (6) The lands the United States will convey to Weyerhaeuser as part of the exchange described in paragraph (1) do not contain comparable fish, wildlife, or wetland values.

      (7) The United States will convey all mineral interests and oil and gas interests to Weyerhaeuser on or under all surface acres designated to be exchanged pursuant to the exchange described in paragraph (1) in which the Federal Government owns such interests.

      (8) Pursuant to such exchange, Weyerhaeuser will convey to the United States all mineral interests and equivalent oil and gas interests on or under all surface acres designated to be exchanged pursuant to the exchange described in paragraph (1) in which Weyerhaeuser owns such interests.

      (9) The United States and Weyerhaeuser have agreed to the values and boundaries of all lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests to be conveyed in the exchange and concur that the lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests to be conveyed by Weyerhaeuser and the lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests to be conveyed by the United States area approximately equal in value.

      (10) The exchange of lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests between Weyerhaeuser and the United States is in the public interest.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to authorize and direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into an exchange of lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests that will provide environmental, land management, recreational, and economic benefits to the States of Arkansas and Oklahoma and to the United States.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    As used in this Act:

      (1) LAND- The terms ‘land’ or ‘lands’ mean the surface estate and any other interests therein except for mineral interests and oil and gas interests.

      (2) MINERAL INTERESTS- The term ‘mineral interests’ means geothermal steam and heat and all metals, ores, and minerals of any nature whatsoever, except oil and gas interests, in or upon lands subject to this Act including,but not limited to, coal, lignite, peat, rock, sands, gravel, and quartz.

      (3) OIL AND GAS INTERESTS- The term ‘oil and gas interests’ means all oil and gas of any nature whatsoever including carbon dioxide, helium, and gas taken from coal seams (collectively ‘oil and gas’) together with the right to enter lands for the purpose of exploring the lands for oil and gas and drilling, opening, developing, and working wells on such lands and taking out and removing from such lands all such oil and gas together with the right to occupy and make use of as much of the surface of said lands as may reasonably be necessary for these purposes subject to the Secretary of Agriculture’s rules and regulations set forth in section 251.15 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations.

      (4) SECRETARIES- The term ‘Secretaries’ means the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture.

      (5) WEYERHAEUSER- The term ‘Weyer-haeuser’ means Weyerhaeuser Company, a company incorporated in the State of Washington.

SEC. 3. EXCHANGE.

    (a) EXCHANGE OF LANDS AND MINERAL INTERESTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), within 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall convey to Weyerhaeuser, subject to any valid existing rights, approximately 20,000 acres of Federal lands and mineral interests in the State of Arkansas and approximately 30,000 acres of Federal lands and mineral interests in the State of Oklahoma as depicted for exchange on maps entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Federal Arkansas and Oklahoma Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996 and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Secretaries.

      (2) OFFER AND ACCEPTANCE OF LANDS- The Secretary of Agriculture shall make the conveyance to Weyerhaeuser if Weyerhaeuser offers deeds of title, subject to limitations and the reservation described in subsection (b), acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture that convey to the United States the following:

        (A) Approximately 110,000 acres of lands and mineral interests owned by Weyerhaeuser in the State of Oklahoma, as depicted for transfer to the United States upon a map entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Oklahoma Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996 and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Secretaries.

        (B) Approximately 30,000 acres of lands and mineral interests owned by Weyerhaeuser in the State of Arkansas, as depicted for transfer to the United States upon a map entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Arkansas Ouachita Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996 and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Secretaries.

        (C) Approximately 25,000 acres of lands and mineral interests owned by Weyerhaeuser in the State of Arkansas, as depicted for transfer to the United States upon a map entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Arkansas Cossatot Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996 and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Secretaries.

    (b) EXCHANGE OF OIL AND GAS INTERESTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), at the same time as the land and mineral interests exchange is carried out pursuant to this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall exchange all Federal oil and gas interests, including existing leases and other agreements, in the lands described in subsection (a)(1) for equivalent oil and gas interests, including existing leases and other agreements, owned by Weyerhaeuser in the lands described in subsection (a)(2). Any exchange of oil and gas interests pursuant to this Act may be made without regard to the limitations requiring that exchanges be made within the same State under section 206 of the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716).

      (2) RESERVATION- In addition to exchanging oil and gas interests pursuant to paragraph (1), to account for the acreage imbalance in the exchange

required under this Act, there is hereby reserved to Weyerhaeuser, its successors, and assigns until December 31, 2041, and for so long thereafter that oil or gas is produced therefrom (‘term reservation’), all oil and gas in and under the acreage imbalance lands depicted for reservation by Weyerhaeuser upon a map entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Oil and Gas Interest Reservation Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996 and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Secretaries. Beginning January 1, 2042, there is hereby reserved to Weyerhaeuser, its successors and assigns, a proportionately reduced 6.25 percent of 8/8’s overriding royalty interest in all oil and gas produced from any well in any governmental section adjacent to or cornering a section in which oil and gas is being produced at the expiration of the term reservation (‘overriding royalty’). The overriding royalty will continue until either the producing well (a well producing on December 31, 2041) ceases production or until all federally leased wells to which the overriding royalty applies cease production, which is later.

    (c) GENERAL PROVISIONS-

      (1) VALUATION- The lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests exchanged pursuant to this Act shall be approximately equal in value, as determined by the Secretaries and agreed to by Weyerhaeuser. To ensure that the natural values of the area are not affected by the exchange, a formal appraisal based upon drilling or other surface disturbing activities shall not be required for any mineral interests or oil and gas interests exchanged.

      (2) MAPS CONTROLLING- The acreage cited in this Act is approximate. In the case of a discrepancy between the description of lands, mineral interests, and/or oil and gas interests to be exchanged pursuant to subsection (a) and the lands, mineral interests, and/or oil and gas interests depicted on a map referred to in such subsection, the map shall control. Subject to the notification required by paragraph (3), the maps referenced in this Act are subject to such minor corrections as may be agreed upon by the Secretaries and Weyerhaeuser.

      (3) FINAL MAPS- Not later than 180 days after the conclusion of the exchange required by subsection (a), the Secretaries shall transmit maps accurately depicting the lands and mineral interests

conveyed and transferred pursuant to this Act and the acreage and boundary descriptions of such lands and mineral interests to the Committees on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives.

      (4) CANCELLATION- If, before the exchange has been carried out pursuant to subsections (a) and (b), Weyerhaeuser provides written notification to the Secretaries that Weyerhaeuser no longer intends to complete the exchange, with respect to the lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests that would otherwise be subject to the exchange, the status of such lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests shall revert to the status of such lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests as of the day before the date of enactment of this Act and shall be managed in accordance with applicable management plans.

      (5) WITHDRAWAL- Subject to valid existing rights, the lands, mineral interests, and oil and gas interests depicted for conveyance to Weyerhaeuser for possible exchange on the maps referenced in subsections (a) and (b) are withdrawn from all forms of entry and appropriation under the public land laws (including the mining laws); and from the operation of mineral leasing and geothermal steam leasing laws effective upon the date of the enactment of this Act. Such withdrawal shall terminate 45 days after completion of the exchange provided for in subsections (a) and (b) or on the date of notification by Weyerhaeuser of a decision not to complete the exchange.

SEC. 4. DESIGNATION AND USE OF LANDS ACQUIRED BY THE UNITED STATES.

    (a) NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM-

      (1) ADDITION TO THE SYSTEM- Upon acceptance of title by the Secretary of Agriculture, the 140,000 acres of land conveyed to the United States pursuant to section 3(a)(2) (A) and (B) of this Act shall be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the laws and regulations pertaining to the National Forest system.

      (2) PLAN AMENDMENTS- Within 36 months after the completion of the exchange required by this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall amend applicable land and resource management plans and accompanying documents pursuant to section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1604).

    (b) Other-

      (1) ADDITION TO THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM- Once acquired by the United States, the 25,000 acres of land identified in section 3(a)(2)(C), the Cossatot lands, shall be managed by the Secretary of the Interior as a component of the Cossatot National Wildlife Refuge in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee).

      (2) PLAN PREPARATION- Within 24 months after the completion of the exchange required by this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare and implement a single refuge management plan for the Cossatot National Wildlife Refuge, as expanded by this Act. Such plans shall recognize the important public purposes served by the nonconsumptive activities, other recreational activities, and wildlife-related public use, including hunting, fishing and trapping. The plan shall permit, to the maximum extent practicable, compatible uses to the extent that they are consistent with sound wildlife management and in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and other applicable laws. Any regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior with respect to hunting, fishing, and trapping on those lands shall, to the extent practicable, be consistent with State fish and wildlife laws and regulations. In preparing the management plan and regulations, the Secretary of the Interior shall consult with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

      (3) Interim use of lands-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), during the period beginning on the date of the completion of the exchange of lands required by this Act and ending on the first date of the implementation of the plan prepared under paragraph (2), the Secretary of the Interior shall administer all lands added to the Cossatot National Wildlife Refuge pursuant to this Act in accordance with the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee) and other applicable laws.

        (B) HUNTING SEASONS- During the period described in subparagraph (A), the duration of any hunting season on the lands described in paragraph (1) shall comport with the applicable State law.

SEC. 5. OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Upon acceptance of title by the Secretary of Agriculture of the lands conveyed to the United States pursuant to section 3(a)(2) (A) and (B), the boundaries of the Ouachita National Forest shall be adjusted to encompass those lands conveyed to the United States generally depicted on the maps entitled ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Oklahoma Lands’ and ‘Arkansas-Oklahoma Land Exchange--Weyerhaeuser Arkansas Ouachita Lands’, dated XXXXXX 1996. For the purpose of section 7 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l-9), the boundaries of the Ouachita National Forest, as adjusted by this Act, shall be considered to be the boundaries of the Forest as of January 1, 1965.

    (b) MAPS AND BOUNDARY DESCRIPTIONS- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall prepare a boundary description of the lands depicted on the maps referred to in section 3(a)(2) (A) and (B). Such maps and boundary description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary of Agriculture may correct clerical and typographical errors.