For the purposes of assisting in the permanent settlement of farm families, protecting project land, and facilitating project development, the Secretary is authorized to administer public lands of the United States in the project area and lands acquired under this section; to sell, exchange, or lease such lands; to dedicate portions of such lands for public purposes in keeping with sound project development; to acquire in the name of the United States, at prices satisfactory to him, such lands or interests in lands, within or adjacent to the project area, as he deems appropriate for the protection, development, or improvement of the project; and to accept donations of real and personal property for the purposes of this Act. Any moneys realized on account of donations for purposes of this Act shall be covered into the Treasury as trust funds.
Contracts, exchanges, and leases made under this section shall be on terms that, in the Secretary’s judgment, are in keeping with sound project development. In addition, land sale and exchange contracts shall be on a basis that, in the Secretary’s judgment, provides for the return, in a reasonable period of years, of not less than the appraised value of the land and improvements thereon. Qualification of applicants for the purchase of land for irrigation farming shall be prescribed as provided in section 433 of title 43, notwithstanding any other provisions of law. No farm unit shall be sold to, and no contract to sell a farm unit shall be entered into with, any person, corporation, or joint-stock association which has theretofore purchased or entered into a contract to purchase a farm unit from the United States on the Columbia Basin project. The foregoing provisions of this subsection shall apply only to the sale of farm units which are suitable for settlement purposes. Farm units which, in the opinion of the Secretary, are not suitable for settlement purposes may be sold with a preference to resident project landowners as supplemental units, subject to the applicable irrigable acreage limitations on the delivery of water, but the purchasers thereof shall not be entitled to benefits of the Act of August 13, 1953 (67 Stat. 566) [43 U.S.C. 451 et seq.] with respect thereto.