36 CFR 254.10 - Bargaining; arbitration.
(a) Unless the parties to an exchange agree in writing to suspend or modify the deadlines contained in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(4) of this section, the parties shall adhere to the following:
(i) Within 180 days from the date of receipt of the appraisal(s) for review and approval by the authorized officer, the parties to an exchange may agree on the appraised values or may initiate a process of bargaining or some other process to determine values. Bargaining or any other process must be based on an objective analysis of the valuation in the appraisal report(s) and is a means of reconciling differences in such report(s). Bargaining or another process to determine values may involve one or more of the following actions:
(A) Submission of the disputed appraisal(s) to another qualified appraiser for review:
(B) Request for additional appraisals;
(C) Involvement of an impartial third party to facilitate resolution of the value disputes, or
(D) Use of some other acceptable and commonly recognized practice for resolving value disputes.
(ii) Any agreement based upon bargaining must be in writing and made part of the administrative record of the exchange. Such agreement must contain a reference to all relevant appraisal information and state how the parties reconciled or compromised appraisal information to arrive at an agreement based on market value.
(2) If within 180 days from the date of receipt of the appraisal(s) for review and approval by the authorized officer, the parties to an exchange cannot agree on values but wish to continue with the land exchange, the appraisal(s), at the initiative of either party, must be submitted to arbitration, unless, in lieu of arbitration, the parties have employed a process of bargaining or some other process to determine values. If arbitration occurs, it must be conducted in accordance with the real estate valuation arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Secretary or an official to whom such authority has been delegated shall appoint an arbitrator from a list provided by the American Arbitration Association.
(3) Within 30 days after completion of arbitration, the parties involved in the exchange must determine whether to proceed with the exchange, modify the exchange to reflect the findings of the arbitration or any other factors, or withdraw from the exchange. A decision to withdraw from the exchange may be made upon written notice by either party at this time or at any other time prior to entering into a binding exchange agreement.
(4) If the parties agree to proceed with an exchange after arbitration, the values established by arbitration are binding upon all parties for a period not to exceed 2 years from the date of the arbitration decision.
(b) Arbitration is limited to the disputed valuation of the lands involved in a proposed exchange and an arbitrator's award decision is limited to the value estimate(s) of the contested appraisal(s). An arbitrator may not include in an award decision recommendations regarding the terms of a proposed exchange, nor may an arbitrator's award decision infringe upon the authority of the Secretary to make all decisions regarding management of Federal lands and to make public interest determinations.