View all text of Subchapter XVIII [§ 159 - § 159g]

§ 159g. Acquisition of lands
(a) Manner; limitations

Except as provided in subsection (b), within the boundary of the park, the Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the “Secretary”), is authorized to acquire lands and interests therein by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or exchange. Except for the tract identified on the aforesaid map as tract number 01–132, which was authorized to be acquired by section 159e of this title, the Secretary may not acquire (except by donation) fee simple title to those lands depicted on the map as proposed for less than fee acquisition. The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

(b) Conditions for forced sale; right of first refusal
(1) Appropriated funds may not be used to acquire lands or interests therein within the park without the consent of the owner except when—
(A) the Secretary determines that such owner is subjecting, or is about to subject, the property to actions which would significantly degrade its value as a component of the park; or
(B) the owner fails to comply with the provisions of paragraph (2).
The Secretary shall immediately notify the owner in writing of any determination under subparagraph (A). If the owner immediately ceases the activity subject to such notification, the Secretary shall attempt to negotiate a mutually satisfactory solution prior to exercising any authority provided by subsection (a) of this section.
(2) If an owner of lands or interests therein within the park intends to transfer any such lands or interest to persons other than the owner’s immediate family, the owner shall notify the Secretary in writing of such intention. Within forty-five days after receipt of such notice, the Secretary shall respond in writing as to his interest in exercising a right of first refusal to purchase fee title or lesser interests. If, within such forty-five days, the Secretary declines to respond in writing or expresses no interest in exercising such right, the owner may proceed to transfer such interests. If the Secretary responds in writing within such forty-five days and expresses an interest and intention to exercise a right of first refusal, the Secretary shall initiate an action to exercise such right within ninety days after the date of the Secretary’s response. If the Secretary fails to initiate action to exercise such right within such ninety days, the owner may proceed to otherwise transfer such interests. As used in this subsection with respect to a property owner, the term “immediate family” means the spouse, brother, sister, parent, or child of such property owner. Such term includes a person bearing such relationships through adoption and a stepchild shall be treated as a natural born child for purposes of determining such relationship.
(c) Exception

Subsection (b) shall not apply with respect to tract number 01–142.

(d) Notification by owner of intended actions

When an owner of property within the park desires to take an action with respect to his property, he shall request, in writing, a prompt written determination from the Secretary as to the likelihood of such action provoking a determination by the Secretary under the provisions of subsection (b)(1)(A). The Secretary is thereupon directed to promptly issue such owner a certificate of exemption from condemnation for such actions proposed by the owner which the Secretary determines to be compatible with the purposes of the park.

(e) Limited right of retention; calculation of payment
(1) An owner of improved property which is used solely for noncommercial residential purposes, or for commercial agricultural purposes found to be compatible with the General Management Plan, on the date of its acquisition by the Secretary may retain, as a condition of such an acquisition, a right of use and occupancy of the property for such residential or agricultural purposes. The right retained may be for a definite term which shall not exceed twenty-five years, or in lieu thereof, for a term ending at the death of the owner. The Secretary shall pay to the owner the fair market value of the property on the date of such acquisition, less the fair market value, of the term retained by the owner.
(2) Except for tract number 01–142, paragraph (1) shall not apply to property which the Secretary determines to be necessary for the purposes of administration, development, access, or public use.
(f) Rapid acquisition

Any owner of lands or interests therein within the park who desires to have such lands or interests acquired by the Secretary may notify the Secretary in writing of such desire. It is the intention of the Congress that, upon receipt of such notification, and on the condition that such acquisition will transpire at fair market value and in accordance with other conditions acceptable to the Secretary, the Secretary shall endeavor to acquire such lands or interests therein within six months of the date of receipt of such notice from the owner.

(Pub. L. 97–460, § 2, Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2520.)