- Not enactedThe President has not signed this bill
- The senate has not voted
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
- senate Committees
- The house Passed June 27th, 2017Roll Call Vote 424 Yea / 0 Nay
National Parks, Forests, and Public LandsCommittee on Natural ResourcesIntroducedJanuary 12th, 2017
- house Committees
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Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange Act
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal lands in San Bernardino County, California, to the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, and to accept in return certain non-Federal lands, and for other purposes.
(This measure has not been amended since it was reported to the House on June 2, 2017. The summary of that version is repeated here.) Santa Ana River Wash Plan Land Exchange Act (Sec. 3) This bill directs the Department of the Interior: (1) to convey to the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District in California approximately 327 acres of identified federal land administered by the Bureau of Land Management and any portion of an identified federal parcel necessary to equalize the values of the lands exchanged; and (2) to accept in exchange approximately 310 acres of district land and any portion of an identified nonfederal parcel necessary to equalize the values of the lands exchanged. To the extent an equalization payment is necessary pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the amount of such payment shall first be made by way of an in-kind transfer as may be necessary to equalize the fair market values of the properties exchanged. If after such in-kind transfer: (1) the value of the federal lands exceeds the value of the nonfederal lands, the district may make a payment equal to the remaining amount to the United States (if the district opts not to make such payment, the exchange shall not proceed); or (2) the value of the nonfederal lands exceeds the value of the federal lands, Interior shall order the exchange to proceed without requiring any additional payment by the United States to the district. The values of the lands to be exchanged shall be determined by independent and qualified appraisers according to nationally recognized appraisal standards. The district shall pay any costs related to such conveyance. (Sec. 4) The land exchange shall be subject to continuing rights of the district to use, maintain, operate, construct, or relocate or expand groundwater recharge facilities on the nonfederal land exchanged to accommodate groundwater recharge of the Bunker Hill Basin to the extent that those activities are not in conflict with any Habitat Conservation Plan or Habitat Management Plan under which such nonfederal land may be held or managed. (Sec. 5) The bill terminates Secretarial Order 241, dated November 11, 1929 (relating to the withdrawal of a portion of the federal land for an unconstructed transmission line) and revokes the withdrawal effected by such order.
This bill satisfies many needs in one fell swoop. As far as I can tell, there are no major downsides, but many benefits. I appreciate the efforts to protect important wildlife habitat and the infrastructure to lead to better groundwater penetration. Runoff is such a massive waste of our precious water in California. Making sure every drop of rainwater ends up in our aquifer and NOT in the ocean should be a major priority.
"Sponsor Paul Cook (R - CA) Official ID H.R. 497 Official Title To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain public lands in San Bernardino County, California, to the San Bernardino Valley Water Conservation District, and to accept in return certain exchanged non-public lands, and for other purposes. What "certain exchanged non-public lands...and...other purposes." This is too broad, I fear this opens the door for corruption. Until the sponsor proves there's no under-handed back room deal(s) I say no.