Summary

To authorize and expedite a land exchange involving National Forest System land in the Laurentian District of the Superior National Forest and certain other National Forest System land... Read More

Status

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on Sep 12, 2012 but was never passed by the Senate.

Date Introduced
May 8, 2012

Bill Text

A BILL

To authorize and expedite a land exchange involving National Forest System land in the Laurentian District of the Superior National Forest and certain other National Forest System land in the State of Minnesota that has limited recreational and conservation resources and lands owned by the State of Minnesota in trust for the public school system that are largely scattered in checkerboard fashion within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and have important recreational, scenic, and conservation resources, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act''.

SEC. 2. LAND EXCHANGE, BOUNDARY WATERS CANOE AREA WILDERNESS AND SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST, MINNESOTA.

(a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings: (1) The State of Minnesota owns multiple parcels of land in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the Superior National Forest that were granted to the State through sections 16 and 36 of the Enabling Act of 1857 to be held in trust for the benefit of the public school system in the State (in this section referred to as ``State trust lands''). (2) The State trust lands were acquired by the State long before the establishment of either the National Forest System or the wilderness area and are scattered in a largely checkerboard fashion amid the Superior National Forest and the wilderness area. (3) The presence of State trust lands...

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September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

Wilderness Watch 2 years ago

September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

Sierra Club 2 years ago

September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

September 12, 2012 Dear Representative: During the week of September 10, the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 5544, the Minnesota Education Investment and Employment Act. On behalf of our organizations and our membership across the country, we are writing to express our opposition to the bill. H.R. 5544 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to complete an expedited land exchange of approximately 86,000 acres of Minnesota School Trust Lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for unidentified federal lands within the Superior or Chippewa National Forests within Minnesota. While we are sympathetic to the desire by the State of Minnesota to utilize school trust lands, H.R. 5544 is not the correct means to accomplish this goal. H.R. 5544 has serious defects, creating a Congressional precedent that should give Congress pause. · H.R. 5544 fails to follow federal appraisal standards. In authorizing land exchanges, Congress has sought to protect the taxpayers’ interests by requiring that the exchange be subject to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. H.R. 5544 does not provide that taxpayer protection. · H.R. 5544 does not protect lands with high recreational or ecological value. Land exchange legislation typically references specific maps and descriptions of lands to be exchanged. The federal lands to be exchanged are not identified in the legislation or accompanying materials. Nor does the bill provide direction for the qualifications for federal lands to be exchanged. As a result, all federal lands within the entire Superior and Chippewa National Forests are possible exchange candidates and there are no protections for lands with high recreational or ecological values. Popular snowmobile routes, hunting sites, hiking and canoe routes and other widely used recreational sites could be closed because of this bill and private property rights could be undermined. · H.R. 5544 waives NEPA and public comment. The land exchange between the state and the Forest Service will not be transparent and the public will have no opportunity to comment on the merits of the various parcels. The exclusion of public participation will hurt all stakeholders, including local private property owners and all recreational users. The BWCA is the most popular wilderness area in our entire Wilderness system. Each year over 250,000 visitors come to the BWCA to enjoy the lakes, fish and wildlife and spectacular scenery. It is a crucial asset for northeastern Minnesota’s tourism and recreation industry. A land exchange of nearly 100,000 acres could have serious and long term repercussions on this national and local treasure. Congress should not ratify the flawed process in H.R. 5544.

Environment America 2 years ago
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Bill Summary

To authorize and expedite a land exchange involving National Forest System land in the Laurentian District of the Superior National Forest and certain other National Forest System land in the State of Minnesota that has limited recreational and conservation resources and lands owned by the State of Minnesota in trust for the public school system that are largely scattered in checkerboard fashion within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and have important recreational, scenic, and conservation resources, and for other purposes.

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