§ 460ll–3. Land acquisition and exchange (a) Authority of Secretary of Agriculture
Within the boundaries of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Wilderness, the Secretary is authorized and directed to acquire with donated or appropriated funds including amounts appropriated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, by exchange, gift, or purchase, such non-Federal lands, interests, or any other property, in conformance with the provisions of this section. Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to limit or diminish the existing authority of the Secretary to acquire lands and interests therein within or contiguous to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area or Rattlesnake Wilderness.
(b) Exchange of lands for bidding rights on coal lease sales or coal lease modifications; bidding rights as monetary credit; transfer or sale (1) The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, is authorized to consider and consummate an exchange with the owner of the private lands or interests therein within or contiguous to the boundaries of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Wilderness, as described in sections 460ll–1 and 460ll–2 of this title, by which the Secretary of the Interior may accept conveyance of title to these private lands for the United States and in exchange issue bidding rights that may be exercised in competitive coal lease sales, or in coal lease modifications, or both, under sections 2 and 3 of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920, as amended (30 U.S.C. 201(a), 203). Any lands so acquired shall become national forest lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture to be managed in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter and other laws applicable to the management of national forest lands. Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to limit or diminish any existing authority of the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to acquire private lands and interests therein in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Wilderness. Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to require any owner of the lands within or contiguous to the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area or Rattlesnake Wilderness to accept coal lease bidding rights in exchange for title to those private lands.
(2) The coal lease bidding rights to be issued may be exercised as payment of bonus or other payment required of the successful bidder for a competitive coal lease, or required of an applicant for a coal lease modification. The bidding rights shall equal the fair market value of the private lands or interests therein conveyed in exchange for their issuance. The use and exercise of the bidding rights shall be subject to the provisions of the Secretary of the Interior’s regulations governing coal lease bidding rights, to the extent that they are not inconsistent with this subchapter, that are in effect at the time the bidding rights are issued.
(3) If for any reason, including but not limited to the failure of the Secretary of the Interior to offer for lease lands in the Montana portion of the Powder River Coal Production Region as defined in the Federal Register of November 9, 1979 (44 F.R. 65196), or the failure of the holder of the bidding rights to submit a successful high bid for any such leases, any bidding rights issued in an exchange under this subchapter have not been exercised within two years from October 31, 1983, the bidding rights may be used as a monetary credit, which shall be considered “money” within the meaning of section 35 of the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 191), against that portion of bonus payments, rental or royalty payments paid into the Treasury of the United States and retained by the Federal Government on any Federal coal lease won or otherwise held by the applicant, its successors or assigns. The holder of the bidding rights shall pay the balance due on such bonus payments, rental or royalty payments in cash for transmittal to the States in the same manner and in the same amounts as though the entire payment were made in cash under the provisions of the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 as amended [30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.]. The bidding rights may be transferred or sold at any time by the owner to any other party with all the rights of the owner to the credit, and after such transfer, the owner shall notify the Secretary.
(4) It is the intent of Congress that the exchange of bidding rights for the private lands or interests therein authorized by this subchapter shall occur within three years of October 19, 1980.
(5) In order to facilitate the exchange authorized by this subchapter, the Executive order captioned “Order of Withdrawal”, of June 6, 1929, creating “Coal Reserve No. 1, Montana, No. 1”, is hereby revoked to the extent that it constitutes a withdrawal of the lands therein from disposal under the Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920, as amended [30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.]. (c) Exchange of lands involving Burlington Northern, Inc.
The exchange of lands involving Burlington Northern, Inc. shall be in accordance with the agreement entitled “Statement of Intent” entered into by Burlington Northern, Inc. and the Regional Forester of the United States Forest Service, Region 1, signed September 18, 1980, and it is the intent of Congress that this exchange shall occur within three years of October 19, 1980.
(d) Non-Federal lands; water rights
(1) As non-Federal lands and interests in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area are acquired, the lands shall become part of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. As non-Federal lands and interests in the Rattlesnake Wilderness are acquired, the lands shall become part of the Rattlesnake Wilderness. The Secretary shall publish from time to time a notice of such classifications in the Federal Register. It is the intention of Congress that acquisition of the non-Federal lands shall be completed no later than three years after October 19, 1980.
(2) Nothing in this subchapter shall be construed to permit the Secretary to affect or diminish any water right which is vested under either State or Federal law on October 19, 1980, nor the rights of the owner of such water right to the customary and usual access, including necessary motorized use over and along existing roads and trails to any facilities used in connection therewith, and the right to operate and maintain such facilities.
(e) Exchange of land owned by Montana Power Company for bidding rights
The Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall consummate the exchange of the lands owned by the Montana Power Company within the boundaries of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area and Rattlesnake Wilderness by issuing bidding rights to the Montana Power Company which shall equal the negotiated cash equivalent of the fair market value of such Montana Power Company lands, as provided in the agreement of April 4, 1983, signed by the authorized representatives of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior and the Montana Power Company, except that adjustments in the “Cash Equivalency Rate” referred to in said agreement shall not exceed a rate determined by the Secretary of the Interior taking into consideration the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the remaining period during which the bidding rights may be used.
(Pub. L. 96–476, § 4, Oct. 19, 1980, 94 Stat. 2272; Pub. L. 98–140, § 7, Oct. 31, 1983, 97 Stat. 907.)