25 U.S. Code § 1780j - Conveyance of the Northern Tier Land

(a) Conveyance authorization
(1) In general
Subject to valid existing rights, including reservations in the United States and any right under this section, the Secretary of Agriculture shall sell the Northern Tier Land on such terms and conditions as the Secretary may prescribe as being in the public interest and in accordance with this section.
(2) Effect of paragraph
The authorization under paragraph (1) is solely for the purpose of consolidating Federal and non-Federal land to increase management efficiency and is not in settlement or compromise of any claim of title by any Pueblo, Indian tribe, or other entity.
(b) Rights of refusal
(1) Pueblo of Santa Clara
(A) In general
In consideration for an easement under subsection (e)(2), the Pueblo of Santa Clara shall have an exclusive option to purchase the Northern Tier Land for the period beginning on September 27, 2006, and ending 90 days thereafter.
(B) Resolution
Within the period prescribed in subparagraph (A), the Pueblo of Santa Clara may exercise its option to acquire the Northern Tier Land by delivering to the Regional Director of Lands and Minerals, Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Department of Agriculture, a resolution of the Santa Clara Tribal Council expressing the unqualified intent of the Pueblo of Santa Clara to purchase the land at the offered price.
(C) Failure to act
If the Pueblo of Santa Clara does not exercise its option to purchase the Northern Tier Land within the 90-day period under subparagraph (A), or fails to close on the purchase of such land within 1 year of the date on which the option to purchase was exercised, the Secretary of Agriculture shall offer the Northern Tier Land for sale to the Pueblo.
(2) Offer to Pueblo
(A) In general
Not later than 90 days after receiving a written offer from the Secretary of Agriculture under paragraph (1)(C), the Pueblo may exercise its option to acquire the Northern Tier Land by delivering to the Regional Director of Lands and Minerals, Forest Service, Southwestern Region, a resolution of the Pueblo Tribal Council expressing the unqualified intent of the Pueblo to purchase the land at the offered price.
(B) Failure of Pueblo to act
If the Pueblo fails to exercise its option to purchase the Northern Tier Land within 90 days after receiving an offer from the Secretary of Agriculture, or fails to close on the purchase of such land within 1 year of the date on which the option to purchase was exercised under subparagraph (A), the Secretary of Agriculture may sell or exchange the land to any third party in such manner and on such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be in the public interest, including by a competitive process.
(3) Extension of time period
The Secretary of Agriculture may extend the time period for closing beyond the 1 year prescribed in subsection (b), if the Secretary determines that additional time is required to meet the administrative processing requirements of the Federal Government, or for other reasons beyond the control of either party.
(c) Terms and conditions of sale
(1) Purchase price
Subject to valid existing rights and reservations, the purchase price for the Northern Tier Land sold to the Pueblo of Santa Clara or the Pueblo under subsection (b) shall be the consideration agreed to by the Pueblo of Santa Clara pursuant to that certain Pueblo of Santa Clara Tribal Council Resolution No. 05–01 “Approving Proposed San Ildefonso Claims Settlement Act of 2005, and Terms for Purchase of Northern Tier Lands” that was signed by Governor J. Bruce Tafoya in January 2005.
(2) Reserved rights
On the Northern Tier Land, the United States shall reserve the right to operate, maintain, reconstruct (at standards in existence on the date of the Settlement Agreement), replace, and use the stream gauge, and to have unrestricted administrative access over the associated roads to the gauge (as depicted in Appendix B of the Settlement Agreement).
(3) Conveyance by quitclaim deed
The conveyance of the Northern Tier Land shall be by quitclaim deed executed on behalf of the United States by the Director of Lands and Minerals, Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Department of Agriculture.
(d) Trust status and forest boundaries
(1) Acquisition of land by Indian tribe
If the Northern Tier Land is acquired by an Indian tribe (including a Pueblo tribe), the land may be reconveyed by quitclaim deed or deeds back to the United States to be held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior for the benefit of the tribe, and the Secretary of the Interior shall accept the conveyance without any additional administrative action by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior.
(2) Land held in trust
On recording a quitclaim deed described in paragraph (1) in the Land Titles and Records Office, Southwest Region, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Northern Tier Land shall be deemed to be held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the Indian tribe.
(3) Boundaries of Santa Fe National Forest
Effective on the date of a deed described in paragraph (1), the boundaries of the Santa Fe National Forest shall be deemed modified to exclude from the National Forest System the land conveyed by the deed.
(e) Inholder and administrative access
(1) Failure of Pueblo of Santa Clara to act
(A) In general
If the Pueblo of Santa Clara does not exercise its option to acquire the Northern Tier Land, the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior, as appropriate, shall by deed reservations or grants on land under their respective jurisdiction provide for inholder and public access across the Northern Tier Land in order to provide reasonable ingress and egress to private and Federal land as shown in Appendix B of the Settlement Agreement.
(B) Administration of reservations
The Secretary of the Interior shall administer any such reservations on land acquired by any Indian tribe.
(2) Effect of acceptance
If the Pueblo of Santa Clara exercises its option to acquire all of the Northern Tier Land, the following shall apply:
(A) Easements to United States
(i) Definition of administrative access In this subparagraph, the term “administrative access” means access to Federal land by Federal employees acting in the course of their official capacities in carrying out activities on Federal land authorized by law or regulation, and by agents and contractors of Federal agencies who have been engaged to perform services necessary or desirable for fire management and the health of forest resources, including the cutting and removal of vegetation, and for the health and safety of persons on the Federal land.
(ii) Easements
(I) In general The Pueblo of Santa Clara shall grant and convey at closing perpetual easements over the existing roads to the United States that are acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture for administrative access over the Santa Clara Reservation Highway 601 (the Puye Road), from its intersection with New Mexico State Highway 30, westerly to its intersection with the Sawyer Canyon Road (also known as Forest Development Road 445), thence southwesterly on the Sawyer Canyon Road to the point at which it exits the Santa Clara Reservation.
(II) Maintenance of roadway An easement under this subparagraph shall provide that the United States shall be obligated to contribute to maintenance of the roadway commensurate with actual use.
(B) Easements to private landowners
Not later than 180 days after September 27, 2006, the Pueblo of Santa Clara, in consultation with private landowners, shall grant and convey a perpetual easement to the private owners of land within the Northern Tier Land for private access over Santa Clara Reservation Highway 601 (Puye Road) across the Santa Clara Indian Reservation from its intersection with New Mexico State Highway 30, or other designated public road, on Forest Development Roads 416, 445 and other roads that may be necessary to provide access to each individually owned private tract.
(3) Approval
The Secretary of the Interior shall approve the conveyance of an easement under paragraph (2) upon receipt of written approval of the terms of the easement by the Secretary of Agriculture.
(4) Adequate access provided by Pueblo of Santa Clara
If adequate administrative and inholder access is provided over the Santa Clara Indian Reservation under paragraph (2), the Secretary of the Interior—
(A) shall vacate the inholder access over that portion of Forest Development Road 416 referenced in section 1780e (e)(5) of this title; but
(B) shall not vacate the reservations over the Northern Tier Land for administrative access under subsection (c)(2).

Source

(Pub. L. 109–286, § 12,Sept. 27, 2006, 120 Stat. 1225.)

 

LII has no control over and does not endorse any external Internet site that contains links to or references LII.