36 CFR § 254.4 - Agreement to initiate an exchange.

§ 254.4 Agreement to initiate an exchange.

(a) Exchanges may be proposed by the Forest Service or by any person, State, or local government. Initial exchange proposals should be directed to the authorized officer responsible for the management of Federal lands proposed for exchange.

(b) To assess the feasibility of an exchange proposal, the prospective parties may agree to obtain a preliminary estimate of the values of the lands involved in the proposal. A qualified appraiser must prepare the preliminary estimate.

(c) If the authorized officer agrees to proceed with an exchange proposal, all prospective parties shall execute a nonbinding agreement to initiate an exchange. At a minimum, the agreement must include:

(1) The identity of the parties involved in the proposed exchange and the status of their ownership or ability to provide title to the land;

(2) A description of the lands or interest in lands being considered for exchange;

(3) A statement by a party, other than the United States and State and local governments, that such party is a citizen of the United States or a corporation or other legal entity subject to the laws of the United States or a State thereof;

(4) A description of the appurtenant rights proposed to be exchanged or reserved; any authorized uses, including grants, permits, easements, or leases; and any known unauthorized uses, outstanding interests, exceptions, covenants, restrictions, title defects or encumbrances;

(5) A time schedule for completing the proposed exchange;

(6) An assignment of responsibility for performance of required functions and for costs associated with processing the exchange;

(7) A statement specifying whether compensation for costs assumed will be allowed pursuant to the provisions of § 254.7 of this subpart;

(8) Notice of any known release, storage, or disposal of hazardous substances on involved Federal or non-Federal lands and any commitments regarding responsibility for removal or other remedial actions concerning such substances on involved non-Federal lands (§ 254.3(i) and § 254.14);

(9) A grant of permission by each party to physically examine the lands offered by the other party;

(10) The terms of any assembled land exchange arrangement, pursuant to § 254.5 of this subpart;

(11) A statement as to the arrangements for relocation of any tenants occupying non-Federal lands pursuant to § 254.15 of this subpart;

(12) A notice to an owner-occupant of the voluntary basis for the acquisition of the non-Federal lands, pursuant to § 254.15 of this subpart; and

(13) A statement as to the manner in which documents of conveyance will be exchanged, should the exchange proposal be successfully completed.

(d) Unless the parties agree to some other schedule, no later than 90 days from the date of the executed agreement to initiate an exchange, the parties shall arrange for appraisals which are to be completed within timeframes and under such terms as are negotiated. In the absence of current market information reliably supporting value, the parties may agree to use other acceptable and commonly recognized methods to estimate value.

(e) An agreement to initiate may be amended by consent of the parties or terminated at any time upon written notice by any party.

(f) Entering into an agreement to initiate an exchange does not legally bind any party to proceed with processing or to consummate a proposed exchange, or to reimburse or pay damages to any party to a proposed exchange that is not consummated or to anyone doing business with any such party.

(g) The withdrawal from an exchange proposal by the authorized officer at any time prior to the notice of decision pursuant to § 254.13 of this subpart is not appealable under 36 CFR part 214 or 215.

[59 FR 10867, Mar. 8, 1984, as amended at 64 FR 25822, May 13, 1999; 78 FR 33725, June 5, 2013]