16 U.S. Code § 494 - Calaveras Bigtree National Forest
The Secretary of Agriculture, to secure and protect for all time the big trees scientifically known as Sequoia washingtoniana, is empowered, in his discretion, to obtain for the United States the complete title to any or all of the following-described lands in the State of California: In township 4 north, range 15 east, Mount Diablo meridian, the northeast quarter of section 1; in township 4 north, range 16 east, Mount Diablo meridian, the north half of section 6; in township 5 north, range 15 east, Mount Diablo meridian, the southwest quarter of section 14, south half of section 15, north half of section 22, northwest quarter of section 23, and southeast quarter of section 36, and in township 5 north, range 16 east, Mount Diablo meridian, the west half of section 28, the east half and southwest quarter of section 29, the southeast quarter of section 30, all of sections 31, 32, and the northwest quarter of section 33. And such area or areas, as fast as complete title is acquired, shall be permanently held by the United States and shall be known as the Calaveras Bigtree National Forest and shall be administered, and protected, by the Secretary of Agriculture from the funds appropriated for the administration of National Forest land to prolong the existence, growth, and promote the reproduction of said big trees. The owners of land acquired hereunder shall convey to the United States full title to any of the above-described areas approved for said national forest by the Secretary of Agriculture, the completeness of such title to be determined by the Secretary of the Interior in each case, and shall be reimbursed therefor only in one or both of the following ways:
(1) They may be given the right to file with the Secretary of the Interior, within sixty days after such conveyance, selections of surveyed, unappropriated, nonmineral public lands or of nonmineral national forest lands, and if the lands so selected shall be found subject to selection and of the actual value in lands and stumpage substantially equal to that of the lands and stumpage conveyed they may be patented to said owners in lieu of the conveyed lands. In any case where any part of the lands selected is national forest land, the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture shall first be secured with respect to such part, or
(2) the Secretary of Agriculture may grant to any such conveying owner the right to cut from national forest land an amount of timber and wood substantially equal to the amount of timber and wood on the land acquired by the United States under the provisions of this section.
Source(Feb. 18, 1909, ch. 143, 35 Stat. 626; May 7, 1912, ch. 105, § 1,37 Stat. 108.)
A proviso of the section as originally enacted “That nothing contained in this Act shall warrant an appropriation from the Treasury to carry out the terms of this Act,” was superseded by the appropriation of a sum for the purposes of the Act by section 2 of act May 7, 1912.
1912—Act May 7, 1912, changed provisions of original act as to modes of reimbursement of owners of lands taken.
Transfer of Lands in Calaveras Big Trees National Forest to State of California
“SECTION 1. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
“(a) Findings.—The Congress finds and declares that—
“(1) in order to protect certain outstanding examples of ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and giant sequoia trees located in the North and South Calaveras Groves, on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the State of California has established the Calaveras Big Trees State Park;
“(2) for similar purposes, the United States has designated certain adjacent Federal lands, amounting to approximately 379 acres, as the Calaveras Big Trees National Forest; and
“(3) this National Forest (managed as part of the Stanislaus National Forest) is the smallest National Forest in the United States and could be more appropriately and efficiently managed as part of the Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
“(b) Purpose.—The purpose of this Act is to improve the management of the lands located in the Calaveras Big Trees National Forest, and to protect certain examples of ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and giant sequoia trees, by unifying the management of the lands in such National Forest and in the California Calaveras Big Trees State Park.“SEC. 2. LAND CONVEYANCE.
“(a) Conveyance.—Subject to valid existing rights and the provisions of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Secretary’) is authorized and directed to convey all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to lands and interests therein within the Calaveras Big Trees National Forest, as generally depicted on a map numbered 20435 and dated June 5, 1989, prepared by the California Department of Parks and Recreation, to the State of California for inclusion within the Calaveras Big Trees State Park.
“(b) Map and Description.—As soon as practicable after the enactment of this Act [Oct. 17, 1990], the Secretary shall submit a map and legal description of the lands referred to in subsection (a) to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs [now Committee on Natural Resources] of the United States House of Representatives, and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. Such map and legal description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that any clerical or typographical errors in such map or legal description may be corrected. The Secretary shall place such map and legal description on file, and make them available for public inspection, in the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service.
“(c) Conditions of Conveyance.—Conveyance of the lands and interests described in subsection (a) of this section shall be subject to the following conditions:
“(1) The conveyance shall take place only if within two years after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 17, 1990], there is concluded an agreement between the State of California and the Secretary whereby the State of California agrees to provide to the United States, in exchange for the lands described in subsection (a) and pursuant to terms and conditions which the Secretary finds acceptable, consideration of approximately equal value. Such consideration shall include either lands in California that the Secretary finds suitable for addition to, and are contiguous to, one or more units of the National Forest System, cash payment, or monetary grants awarded to the United States after June 1, 1990, or any combination thereof.
“(2) No harvest of timber (except as may be necessary for the control of fire, insects, or disease) and no mining, mineral leasing, or geothermal exploration or development shall be permitted on such lands;
“(3) Any action by the State of California to convey any portion of such lands or interests to any entity other than the United States shall be void ab initio and shall result in the reversion to the United States of all right, title, and interest in such lands;
“(4) Any action by the State of California to permit the use of any portion of such lands for any purpose prohibited by this subsection or any purpose incompatible with the continued ability of such lands to support ponderosa pine, sugar pine, or giant sequoia trees, shall result in the reversion of all right, title, and interest in such lands to the United States. Any such lands which revert to the United States shall be incorporated into the Stanislaus National Forest and managed to preserve and protect the stands of ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and giant sequoia trees located on such lands.
“(5) The Secretary, acting through the Forest Service, shall be afforded by appropriate officials of the State of California reasonable opportunities to collect seeds from trees located on such lands for scientific or silvicultural purposes.
“(6) The Secretary, upon prior notification to the State of California, shall be entitled at any time to enter upon such lands for the purpose of monitoring the management of such lands and the compliance of the State of California with the provisions of this subsection.
“(7) The conveyance shall be subject to the following reservations or exceptions:
“(B) any existing rights-of-way to provide the United States and its assigns access to federally owned lands.
“(d) Enforcement.—Upon the request of the Secretary, the Attorney General shall bring any action or take any other steps necessary to enforce the provisions of subsection (c) of this section.
“(e) Timing, Value, and Status.—(1) Conveyance of lands to the State of California pursuant to this Act shall occur when the agreement described in paragraph (1) of subsection (c) has been reached. The restrictions and conditions specified in paragraphs (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), and (7) of subsection (c) shall be included in the instruments of conveyance of lands to the State of California.
“(2) Effective upon the conveyance to the State of California of lands described in subsection (a) of this section, or two years after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 17, 1990], whichever is sooner, the National Forest designation of such lands shall terminate. Any such lands not conveyed to the State of California shall thereupon be incorporated into the Stanislaus National Forest and managed to preserve and protect the stands of ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and giant sequoia trees located on such lands.
“(3) Any lands conveyed to the United States pursuant to this Act shall be deemed national forest lands and managed according to the laws governing the management of the National Forest System. If any such lands are outside existing boundaries of one or more National Forests, the Secretary shall modify such boundaries as he deems appropriate to include such lands.
“(4) Values of the respective lands exchanged between the United States and the State of California pursuant to this Act shall be of ‘approximately equal value’ as that term is defined by regulations implementing the Act of January 12, 1983, known as the Small Tracts Act (16 U.S.C. 521c–521i).”
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