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Setting Priorities for Land Conservation (1993)

Chapter: 3 The Land Acqisition Process

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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Suggested Citation:"3 The Land Acqisition Process." National Research Council. 1993. Setting Priorities for Land Conservation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2098.
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Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

3 The Land-Acquisi~cion Process The process of federal land acquisition involves interactions among a variety of participants. Some of the participants federal agencies, Congress, local governments, and landowners-have official decision- making or administrative authority; others such as owners of adjoining properly, and national and local interest groups lack formal authority but might have considerable influence on those who do. This chapter reviews the mandates of the federal agencies Mat acquire land for con- servation purposes and the sources of funding available for acquisition. The chapter then explores who exercises authority and influence in We acquisition process and their powers, responsibilities, and modes of interaction, and analyzes how the process actually works to balance often competing interests. Specific consideration is given to how the process incorporates scientific information relevant to reaching conservation objectives and how it accounts for the interests of various groups. SOURCES OF FUNDING Until 1964, each agency had a distinctive funding source for acquisi- tions. The Forest Service (IJSFS) drew a modest annual appropriation from the Weeks Act, and the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) used monies accumulated in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. The infrequent National Park Service (NPS) acquisitions were funded by 51

_ SElTl~G PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION special congressional appropriation. The Bureau of Land Managment 03LM) had little involvement in land aquisition. The Land and Water Conservation Fund The availability of fiends for federal land acquisition increased dramat- ically wig Me passage of Me Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1964. The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is a special account in the U.S. Treasury from which Congress annually appropriates money to acquire lands for conservation and recreation by federal and state agencies. Certain federal revenues, including the proceeds of surplus federal property sales, Me federal motorboat fuels tax, and a portion of Outer Continental Shelf leasing receipts, are credited to the EWCF to provide it with a maximum of $900 million annually. None of this money can be spent, however, unless specifically appropriated by Congress. Since Me act's passage, more than $3.2 billion of matching grants from the EWCF have been made to states to enable Rem to plan, ac- quire, or develop qualifying projects. In the same period, more than $3.6 billion has been expended from the EWCF for land acquisition by We Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture. Appropriations from the EWCF have varied considerably from year to year, from nearly $800 million in 1978 to less than $200 million in 1982. In 1991, EWCF appropriations were $374,943,000. The act specifies that not more Man 60% of Me money appropriated from Me EWCF each year is to be for grants to the states, and the state share has typically been much less Man that amount; in 1982, no EWCF monies were appropriated for state grants. The idea for the kWCF can be traced to a proposal by Stewart Udall in 1961 for a hind for federal land acquisition and to Me Outdoor Recre- ation Resources Review Commission (ORRRC), which was established by Congress in 1958. When its final report was released in 1962, the ORRRC's overall conclusion was that We demand for outdoor recreation had grown dramatically since World War II and was likely to continue to do so, necessitating a major governmental effort to provide the land for such purposes. The ORRRC also noted that although much of the available public recreation land was in the West, much of the nation's

THE LAND ACQUISIT70N PROCESS 53 population was in the East. The congressional committees that were responsible for We legislation creating the EWCF agreed that "a substan- tial part" of We monies to be devoted to federal acquisitions should go toward ache purchase of privately owned inholdings within the authorized boundaries of national parks, forests, and refuges (U.S. Congress, House, 1963; U.S. Congress, Senate, 1964~. Another aim was to estab- lish publicly significant recreation areas within easy distance of major population centers. National Park Service Throughout its history, the national park system as administered by NPS has been a principal beneficiary of the EWCF. Primarily because of backlogs in We acquisition of inholdings within the park system, Congress has on several occasions increased the authorized ceiling for We EWCF to its present level of $900 million (Glicksman and Coggins, 1984). U.S. Forest Service The USES is another federal beneficiary. Although the ~ 897 law creating He USES made no mention of wildlife or public recreation, Hose have been among He purposes for which national forests have been managed since He agency began operation. Passage of the Multi- ple Use and Sustained Yield Act of 1960 heightened the importance of Hose purposes. The national forest system as a whole is to be managed for multiple uses, but He management of particular areas is likely to emphasize only one or a few uses. That is reflected in the limited au- ~ority conferred by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act for land acquisition using monies from He EWCF: The only areas that may be acquired by the USES using EWCF monies are inholdings within nation- al forest wilderness areas, inholdings within other national forest areas that "are primarily of value for outdoor recreation areas," and areas not to exceed 3,000 acres that are adjacent to an existing national forest boundary and that would compose "an integral part of a forest recre- ational management area."

54 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION U.S. fish and Wildlife Service The Bird federal agency for which the EWCF can be tapped for land acquisition is Me USFWS. The Migratory Bird Conservation Act (MBCA) in 1929 gave USFWS (then known as Me Bureau of Biological Surveys) the authority to acquire lands for inviolate sanctuaries for migratory birds. The enactment of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act ~ years later provided a special mechanism for funding such acquisi- tions. The Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 conferred a general grant of authority upon Me USFWS to acquire refuge lands without regard to the inviolate sanctuary provisions of the MBCA and without necessarily being limited to lands of value to migratory birds. The purposes for which lands can be acquired by USFWS using EWCF monies have expanded steadily. Until 1962, the question of whether public recreation was an intended purpose of national wildlife refuges had not been addressed legislatively, although the MBCA since 1929 had empowered USFWS to permit hunting of migratory birds on its refuges. In 1962, Congress passed the Refuge Recreation Act. That act au~or~zed Me secretary of the interior to administer national wildlife refuges or parts Hereof for recreation and "an appropriate incidental or secondary user if it was determined that such use was compatible with the primary purposes for which those areas were established. It also authorized the secretary to acquire lands for recreational development adjacent to wildlife refuges, but stipulated that monies in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund could not be used for that purpose. At the time, however, no other sources of funding were available for acquisi- tions. Two years later, when Congress enacted the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, it authorized USFWS to use EWCF monies to acquire lands for the incidental recreation purposes of the Refuge Recre- ation Act. In 1973, USFWS's land-acquisition authority was expanded signifi- cantly when Congress enacted the Endangered Species Act (ESA). That act authorized the secretary of the interior to acquire lands needed for the conservation of endangered or threatened species. It specifically authorized He use of the EWCF for such purposes and amended the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act to reflect that authorization. This amendment was the first authorized use of the EWCF that was not tied explicitly or implicitly to outdoor recreation resources. A similar amendment followed in 1976, when the Land and Water Conservation

TFIE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 5S Fund Act was amended to allow USFWS to tap the LWCF for land acquisition of any refuge area authorized by specific act of Congress, as well as refuges to be acquired under the general grant of land-acquisition authority found in the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. The only limita- tion was that the LWCF could not be used to acquire lands authorized for acquisition under the MBCA. In 1986, the LWCF Act was amended again. The Emergency Wet- lands Resources Act directed the secretary of the interior to establish a plan that specifies the wetlands that should be given priority for federal or state acquisition. In putting together this plan, the secretary is to take into account the value of particular types of wetlands for certain purpos- es, among them wildlife (including threatened or endangered species) and outdoor recreation. The secretary is authorized to acquire wetlands Mat are not acquired under the authority of the MBCA, consistent with Me wetlands conservation plan. The Emergency Wetlands Resources Act also amended the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act to allow Me use of Me LWCF to acquire priority wetlands. Bureau of Land Management The fourth significant recipient of LWCF monies is BLM. The Fed- eral Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) authorizes land acquisition by BLM but does not specify Be source of funds for such acquisition. The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act does not make explicit mention of BEM, but EWCF monies have been used to acquire land for outdoor recreation by BLM since at least the early 1970s. Authority for the secretary of the interior to acquire land for endangered or Greatened species applies to the national wildlife refuge system, which is administered by USFWS however, the ESA au~or~zes land acquisition by the secretary without specifying whether it may be done only through USFWS or other Department of the Interior agencies, such as BEM. ACQUISITION BY FEDERAL AGENCIES Each federal agency acquires lands in pursuit of its own legislative mandate. Acquisition priorities and strategies are also influenced by

56 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION longstanding agency practices. The overriding factor in land acquisition is funding: The administration must identify, priorities among those identified by He four agencies (see Appendix B). The enthusiasm of agencies is tempered by the difficulty in acquiring lands and Me cost of managing lands after acquisition. At minimum, acquiring new lands entails expenditures for boundary maintenance, protection of public safety, and payments to local governments In lieu of taxes that would have been received if the lands were in private owner- ship. Appropriation by Congress of money for acquisition does not necessarily mean that Congress will appropriate funds for management or authorize staff positions. New federal lands sometimes also entail expanded responsibilities for federal agencies. For example, the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area gave NPS substantial new responsibilities for providing urban recreation in the Los Angeles region, and the use of the greenline park concept has led to significant demands for land-use planning and coordination with state and local governments. Expanded responsibilities may be costly and can present administrative challenges for which existing agency staff are unprepared. A relatively new complication affecting acquisition is the problem of toxic contamination, which can permanently bar acquisition a parcel of land that poses a health or safety threat due to the presence of toxic substances or other hazards does not meet administration criteria for . . . acquisition. Acquisitions along Be New River in West Virginia illustrate the problems created by Be presence of toxic waste. Some parcels within the New River National River area (administered by NPS) are privately owned. One parcel includes extensive river shoreline and was for sale in 1992; a coal mine waste dump is part of Be parcel. NPS would have liked to purchase the parcel; however, it is precluded from purchasing the waste dump, and Be seller was unwilling to sell less Man Be whole parcel. Land-acquisition authority includes purchase of land in fee, with or without condemnation by eminent domain (i.e., through sales, exchang- es, gifts, bequests, and other means), as well as Be acquisition of lesser interests (easements, rights of way, life estates, etc.~. The four federal ~ However, acquiring inholdings and adjacent parcels to consolidate existing holdings some- times reduces He length of boundaries and, therefore, lowers associated costs.

58 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION ~- ,/ ~3~) 1 ~ . ~ / · [ ~- ~, . ~ I ~- a ·- . 1 Sly' tic .

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS ~9 gressional mandate to the agency. NPS's assignment was to "conserve Me scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of fixture genera- tions~ (16 USC I). The dual objectives of preservation and use have been the source of numerous controversies over national park management. Proponents of various park visions often disagree on how best to protect park resources while providing for recreational use. The national park system now comprises numerous land categories, including national parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefields, and recreation areas. Each individual park unit is created by an act of Con- gress. The author~ing legislation generally confirms Cat We unit is to be managed according to general rules governing the system and defines management goals for He particular unit. Some units' authorizing legis- lation is very specific; others have ambiguous language. Overall conservation objectives expressed in management policies have changed with increased ecological understanding and use demands. Objectives have included prevention of poaching; control of elements of Me ecosystem considered undesirable- e.g., at first fire and predators, Men human activities that prevent fire and predator control; human-use management to prevent resource degradation; exploration of ways to mitigate effects of human activities on parks as well as land outside of parks; and integration of parks into larger, regional land-use manage- ment patterns to sustain regional biological diversity. Overall NPS policy is to maintain natural processes responsible for the continuing evolution of natural ecosystems and to restore elements lost as a result of human activities (Keystone Center, 1991~. Acquisition Acquisition of private lands did not become an important concern of NPS park managers until the 1960s. Before then, most new parks were created from Me public domain or from national forests, or in a few cases, by donation. In 1961, Congress established We Cape Cod Na- tional Seashore and authorized federal money for parkland acquisition from private owners; the 1964 Land and Water Conservation Fund Act

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 61 legislation for individual park units limits methods of acquisition, for example, to donations or exchanges, to maximum acreage, or to less- than-fee interest. The Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve in Washington, for example, was established by Congress in November 1978 "to preserve and protect a rural community which provides an unbroken historical record from the n~neteenth-century exploration and set~dement in Puget Sound to the present time" (National Parks and Recreation Act of 197S, 16 U.S.C.A. Section 461~. The authority for He acquisition of the proper forbids the use of eminent domain. The reserve is made up of "a scenic island community of farms, woodlands, open space, historical structures, and the historic town of Coupeville. The resources to be protected constitute the historic rural environment of central Whidbey Island," and cover 13,100 acres of land and 4,300 surface acres of salt water. Legislative acquisition strategies also can encourage local zoning. An example of federally encouraged local zoning is found in He Cape Cod National Seashore Act of 1961 (16 U.S.C.A. Section 459b-~), which gives the secretary of He interior the power "to acquire [for He national seashore] by purchase, gift, condemnation, transfer from any Federal agency, exchange or otherwise, the land, waters, and over property, and improvements thereon." But He condemnation powers are con- strained in several ways. Owners whose land is condemned may elect to retain He right of use and occupancy of He property for residential purposes for as long as 25 years. The act also suspends He secretary's authority to acquire improved property (e.g., single-family dwellings) by condemnation if the towns within He seashore have valid zoning laws approved by the secretary and applicable to the property. The Cape Cod Seashore has adopted use guidelines for private properly that direct private owners of improved property to comply wig the act; this formu- la effectively created federal zoning in He form of indirect federal con- tro' over local land-use decisions. Limitations on acquisition authority and criteria for priorities within individual units are reflected in land-protection plans prepared for each NPS unit. Key considerations for establishing land-acquisition criteria are the primary purpose of He park, land price escalation, legislative history, imminent threats, and protection of the park. Current adm~n- istration policy requires land-protection plans to identify, for each pri- vately owned parcel, the least federal interest necessary to achieve the

62 SErTlNG PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION goals of the park. Land-protection plans identify nonfederal tracts, identify the interest needed in each tract, and establish priorities. Acqui- sition authority under some enactments (such as Me National Trails System Act) is limited to a certain number of acres per mile in fee sim- ple. And under the W & SRA, once 50% of any type of unit is in public ownership, NPS can no longer condemn an easement. NPS developed ranking criteria for parcels in different units during the 1980s. Under those criteria, projects were ranked according to regional acquisition priorities. Considerations included The type of area; Whether legislation was needed; Whether plans were completed; Whether there was a congressional or executive mandate; Location, number of tracts and acres; Cost; Whether it was key to accomplishing a mission defined in plans (e.g., to provide access to larger tract of public land, or protect key natural or cultural features); . Probability of damage within 3 years and pellllanence of damage; Whether it protected an established area; · Population within ~ and 2 hours of driving time; · Availability of acquisition alternatives; Operation, maintenance, and development costs; Development and timing; Willingness of seller; Whether condemnation authority existed and willingness to use it; Organizational capability; Local support; Whether congressional oversight or approval was required; Whether it was coordinated with other planning processes; Whether it would have completed or continued an existing project or started a new area; · Whether the authorization was general or specific; · Whether it was eligible for funding from a special account Nat was available under We 1978 Omnibus Parks Act of 1978. These criteria never were fully implemented. In We early months of

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 63 the Bush administration, the Federal Land Acquisition Priority Proce- dure was put into effect by OMB to rank the priorities of NPS, BEM, USFS, and USFWS. NPS never intended to buy everything inside park boundaries. Priori- ties do change, e.g., because of owner hardship or threats to resources. Some boundary changes have been made to reduce the priority of tracts that were not necessary or already were developed, but there is no sys- tematic understanding of the properties in the acquisition backlog. According to NPS, most landowners are willing to sell for the right price. In condemnation proceedings, an independent third party estab- lishes Me price, but condemnation cases often are settled before going to court or by willing sellers. For the Appalachian Trail, for example, NPS negotiated with some owners 30 or 40 times before using condem- nation authority. On other occasions, such as the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area in Ohio, NPS has undertaken removal of people from farmlands and towns, many of whom were unwilling sell- ers. U.S. Forest Service USFS has three general missions: management of the national for- ests; cooperation with Me states in Be protection of forests against wild- Hres, insects, and disease and in providing technical and financial assis- tarlce to private and over nonfederal forest owners; and forest-related research. Land acquisition mainly is related to the national forests, but the cooperative USFS protection and management programs for state arid private forests might be relevant tangentially to national forest land · · - acquisitions. Mandates The IS97 Forest Service organic act provided that national forests be established only "to improve and protect die forest within the bound- aries, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of the citizens of the United States. The clause "to improve and pro

64 SElTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION sect" was interpreted broadly. Uses other Man those specifically men- tioned in the IS97 act, including livestock grazing and recreation, were allowed. The Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 provided specific authority for five categories of use outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish and confirmed by statute what had been administrative policy for more Man 50 years. Multiple-use was defined to include the "harmonious and coordinated management of Me various resources, each with the other, without impairment of the productivity of the lanai; Me land remained open to mining, except where specifically withdrawn from application of the mining laws. The national forests are described aptly as lands of many uses, wig no one of Me listed uses having automatic statutory priority over Me others. Setting priorities locally is left to the land managers, and this policy was given additional statutory blessing in the land-use planning provisions of the National Forest Management Act of 1976. Although USES had much earlier administratively set aside extensive areas of Me national forests as wilderness and primitive areas, it was not until the Wilderness Act of 1964 Mat wilderness was added to the list of uses recognized in law. The authorized uses Mat can be pursued on wilder- ness areas designated by Congress are limited by provisions of the Wil- derness Act. Since 1964, various other designations also have limited the uses that can be made of specific parts of the national forests. Des- ignat~ng areas of the national forests as national wild and scenic rivers, national trails, national monuments, scenic areas, and volcanic areas reduces the total area of We national forests available for multiple-use management, although it ensures a broader range of uses overall. Acquisition authority Land-acquisition authorities for the national forests initially were broad and supported the overall missions for the national forests. The 1911 Weeks Act provided for the purchase of "such forested, cutover, or denuded lands within the watersheds of navigable streams as in [the secretary's] judgment may be necessary to Me regulation of Me flow of navigable streams or for the production of timber. Lands were pur- chased under the Weeks Act to support Me broad missions for Me na- tional forests, but each acquisition had to be based on regulating stream flows or producing timber.

_ THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 65 The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act provided for land acqui- sition for the national forests for inholdings within wilderness areas and other areas primarily of value for outdoor recreation purposes. The latter limitation was an attempt to keep USFS from using the act as a vehicle for acquisitions for general forest management or expansion purposes (Fe Gregg, USFS, pets. comm., June 2l, 1990~. Various acts that designate federal lands for specific purposes add to USFS land-acquisition authority. One compilation identifies IS sign~fi- cant statutory fragments Mat control We agency's acquisition practices (Lewis, 1978~. The National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, for example, provides land-acquisition authority to meet the purpose of the act, which is to protect rivers and their immediate environments for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. The act authorizes use of EWCF appropriations. The National Trails Act provides authority to acquire lands to meet the purposes of the act within the boundaries of federal areas, as well as outside of federal areas if state or local govern- ments fail to acquire land or enter into satisfactory agreements with landowners. The broad purpose of that act is To provide for the ever- increasing outdoor recreation needs of an expanding population . . . (i) primarily, near the urban areas of the Nation, and (ii) secondarily, with- in scenic areas and along historic travel routes of the Nation, which are often more remotely located." FATIMA authorizes USFS land acquisi- tion to provide access to national forests over nonfederal lands. Other acts establishing specific units, such as national recreation areas, provide additional land-acquisition authority. Because of the numerous statutory provisions, criteria for setting USFS acquisition priorities must serve a panoply of purposes and uses, some of which give greater statutory priority in land acquisition than others (e.g., wilderness or wild and scenic rivers), despite the evenhand- ed treatment associated with the Multiple-Use and Sustained-Yield Act. Regulations for the national forests provide for land-use plans for each national forest; each plan is accompanied by an environmental impact statement and is revised on a 10- to 15-year cycle. The planning regulations do not mention land acquisition as one of the matters to be discussed in Me plans, but because Me plans concern the overall mis- sions and mandates for the national forests, many plans do address land- acquisition goals. Those activities are required to be consistent wig forest and resource management plans. The current planning regulations detail Me factors to be considered

66 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION during the planning process. In addition to goals for national forest outputs (e.g., timber and grazing), the regulations include goals such as maintaining viable populations of native and desired nonnative species well distributed throughout their geographic ranges and protecting and restoring natural biological communities; conservation of biological diversity, including recovery of threatened and endangered species; sustaining population viability of species that are sensitive to anticipated trends in environmental conditions or human activities; protecting rare, unique, and highly productive communities of plants and animals; and managing habitats and populations to produce ecological conditions Hat sustain human uses of species desired as commercial, recreational, or subsistence resources. Acquisition Criteria -Land-acquisition needs initially are identified in Individual forest plans. Some are very general and say, in effect, that lands will be acquired as they become available for purchase and meet the plan and USES priorities. For example, the recent plan for the Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont states that highest priority for acquisition "will be given to tracts which: are near the Appalachian and Long Trails; are within or adjoining Wildernesses and Management Area 6.1 [a land-use category], where Primitive recreation is emphasized; have uncommon or outstanding qualities which make them special; adjoin significant streams; have important wildlife habitats; or consolidate public ownership" (USES, 1989~. The plan does not identify specific tracts that fit these priorities. Plans for some over national forests are more specific in identifying priorities for land acquisition. For example, Me 1987 plan for the Koo- tenai National Forest in northwestern Montana identifies 90,999 acres within the boundaries of the forest that are desirable for acquisition. It also identifies 6S,922 acres that are desirable for dispose because they are isolated parcels, do not have the character associated with national forests, have management problems, or would contribute greater public benefits if they were state-owned. Areas to be acquired or that are available for disposal are identified on maps. Reasons for acquisition of areas specified in plans cover a spectrum

7UE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 67 of concerns, including recreation, consolidation of national forest land, water frontage, isolated private parcels, big-game habitat, threatened or endangered species habitat, public access, improvement of timber pro- duction, essential fish or bird habitat, improvement of public manage- ment or use, protection of cultural resources, elimination of title prob- lems, and cost-effective management (USFS, 1987a). The Kootenai National Forest plan identified areas for acquisition that would support the broad USFS missions. But many areas identified for acquisition in individual forest plans might not be considered of high priority once they are ranked against those from other national forests. USFS uses a point system similar to the one used by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (see Appendix B) to rate properties and assemble information from Me regions. Projects first must meet four minimum criteria, unless a project is of particular importance to USFS. Other information gathered includes the type of area, the priority within the region, acreage, location, price per acre, and total cost. Points are assigned based on whether Me project meets needs speciBed in a forest plan, as well as Me OMB criteria. That system was used as a guide to select $100 million of projects from Me $500 million of projects that were proposed in FY 1992. USFS fish, wildlife, and recreation staff then decided whether the resulting priorities reflected the national USFS goals. Interagency coordination generally occurs in response to specific local concerns, such as management of grizzly bears in Yellowstone with USFWS and NPS and a joint effort with BEM to inventory and monitor spotted owls in Oregon. USFS also participates in and uses data from The Nature Conservancy's State Heritage Program. USFS aggressively pursues increasing the area of land under its juris- diction. In 196S, it administered IS6,893,133 acres (IJ.S. Public Land Law Review Commission? 1970~. By 1991, that figure had increased to 191,324,090 acres (Figure 3-2~. In FY 1991, USFS bought 67,321 acres with EWCF money and increased its area by 43,027 acres Trough land exchanges. U.S. fish and Wildlife Service USFWS carries out regulatory and land-management responsibilities

70 SElTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION with respect to the nation's wildlife resources. It has primary respon- sibility for the management of migratory birds, most endangered species, and certain marine mammals. Primary management and conservation authority for other resident wildlife rests with the states, although USFWS closely cooperates with the states in meeting their resident wildlife objectives. For the present study, the national wildlife refuge system is the principal subject of interest. Agency Mandate and Acquisition Authority 'rhe national wildlife refuge system is a set of lands administered by USFWS to conserve the wildlife thereon, prevent extinction, and con- sen~e wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, and waterfowl production areas (Figure 3-3~. The system originated with the designation of Pelican Island Refuge by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903. The biggest impetus for Me establishment of a true system of refuges was the enactment of the MBCA in 1929, which authorized USFWS to acquire land or interests in land to conserve the habitats of migratory birds, particularly waterfowl. Much of the system has been acquired primarily for waterfowl conservation purposes, although many units in the system were acquired or reserved from Me public domain to conserve endangered species or over designated wildlife. The national wildlife refuge system is a collection of diverse lands, many managed for unique purposes. The various units were established under many different authorities and for quite different purposes. Many were acquired under Me authority of the MBCA "for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any over management purpose, for migratory birds." Monies to acquire Rose refuges come from Me Migratory Bird Conser- vation Fund, comprising the revenues from Me sale of migratory bird hunting and conservation stamps. About 40 units of Me national wildlife refuge system were acquired under Me authority of Me ESA, using monies from Me EWCF to con- serve one or more Greatened or endangered species. Still others were reserved from the public domain pursuant to executive orders or public land orders that described the refuge's purposes. Unlike lands in the park system, only 16 refuges were established through special enabling legislation.

72 SElTINA' PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION UNITED STATES DEPARTIIE!`IT or TIIE 11~4TEB10B / ~ ~;t A._ ~ MD; A K | my t~ ~ 4~ ~ ~ ~ { G-+= WU,~BAT W. c.~..--r~ ~°4v \ v I R~5 ~°~4r 'ALPS damps - ~_ Y 0. · P~n" · If 5~ --' !---~ ,~ _ wow ~ : ~ ~ ~ ~R ~j ~7R~,~4,~s,,~ A. Hi: _ z / r ~1 ~ |_ ,, ~ O"I - A '( ·"s vats j j W~TA 5FVQ=A'~ OUERou, 1- ~Gnu Is. 1 ~ ~ x. _ ~ I ~ _ ~Let I ~1_ 1 ~1_' t ~-. ~ / ~I r ° C C ~TV W\ N\ ~ L^SK~ . _. n~ - AL - A I"RIT" · ·~ ~ ~C.1 RAt5 \ \ ~ T E X ~ All`IAl'R "WIIE a~ ~ S - - "A~ VAUEY ~4 ~ - trA 1 . ~13~ ( \t'- ar A=~U47~ HAWAI ~ _ . _ F - L ~rA , - 1 . I - AUU ·JO~l~l 1. , ,~ 4:OMPILED 1N TH£ DIVISION OF REALTY ·ASHINCT<)N. D.~ 1tBUt-,IWI IJIGURE 3-3 The national wildlife refuge system. Source: USFWS, 1991.

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 73 U N ITED STATES F158 AND WILDLIFE SERVICE +l a. -~_ ~ ~lDi~= eciAT~b ~ ·~=f -`o' ~ it AT ~ - a_ orel~ + ~;W~,~.~` ; L ~ i/ ~ 4\ .~ ~ ~ ~ . MATE A - ~ .7 ~sr~,:~t' In- ~?g ~5 ~Lo~cm i <man A -~- r--~_ ~ . ~- j: AL AWL " 13 S - ABT L / I She L- W ~ _ ~a ; O _ as ._ as

74 SEWING PRIORlrlES FOR LAND CONSERVATION Wildlife Act, the Recreation Use of Conservation Areas Act, the ESA, and congressional recognition of the need to protect biological diversity; · The nationally significant wetlands target under the authority of the Emergency Wetland Resources Act (EWRA) of 1986, and the NAWCA; · Fishery resources under the authority of all statutes that require action related to the protection of fishery resources. Separate criteria were developed for each target and are derived from plans prepared under the different authorities. Criteria for migratory birds are based on the Norm American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP), for wetlands on the National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan (NWPCP), and for recovery of threatened species on the published list of endangered and threatened species and species recovery plans. The key concerns expressed in the criteria for endangered species are recovery priorities, species status, and consistency with endangered species priorities (GAO, 1988~; for migratory birds, they are habitat loss and population management objectives; for wetlands, they are habitat and threat; and for significant biological diversity they are degree of diversity at various levels, significance of protection, long-term viability, and protection of species of particular management concern. Fishery resources, a new target, emphasizes anadromous and Great Lakes fishery resources represented by indigenous or native species within their origi- nal range whose population has been reduced to suboptimal levels as a result of habitat degradation and excessive use. LAPS has additional criteria common to all projects, including whe~- er a project in one target area contributes to USFWS goals in any of the other target areas or poses threats to the habitat, and if so, permanency and duration of the threats. Other criteria are Me percent of the project Hat would be affected and the potential for public use based on proxim~- ty to an urban or tourist area that receives a significant number of visi- tors. When a project fits into more Can one target area, it is put into the target in which it rattles highest. The regional offices develop an initial list of priorities accompanied by preliminary project proposals for Be USFWS director's approval to proceed with We planning process. The preliminary project proposals identify Me concerns Mat would be ad- dressed by acquiring a particular area. Regional acquisition priorities are Men compiled in a national data base that ranks projects in accor- dance wig LAPS.

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 77 classified as suitable for exchange before negotiations with another party (Wheatley, 1970~. FLPMA gave BL`M its first general land-acquisition authority. It authorized the secretary of the interior to acquire land or interests in land by purchase, exchange, donation, or eminent domain; eminent domain was restricted to securing access to public lands. Congress did not give BEM broad authority to expand the western federal domain. Chavez (1987) concludes Mat the authority to acquire access corridors has not solved BEM's problem of affording access to public lands. According to Chavez, the reasons for this are many, but a primary reason is that BEM does not have Me funds to acquire easements. For example, landowners sometimes demand prices much higher than a property's appraised value. Some landowners fear that if the public gains access to federal lands, they will lose the revenues earned by selling hunting and fishing rights for their own lands and Mat the public might harm private lands in crossing to the public Landis. Unlike the Taylor Grazing Act, F~PMA limits exchanges to lands within the same state. This might have been in response to problems caused by some proposed exchanges across state fines-for example, a proposed exchange in the mid-1960s of BEM lands in southwestern Oregon for lands in the Point Reyes National Seashore in California gave rise to controversy within the Oregon congressional delegation and the Department of the Interior (Comptroller General of the United States, 1966; Wheatiey, 1970~. FI~PMA directs BEM to manage the public lands under its jurisdiction "in a manner which recognizes the Nation's needs for domestic sources of minerals, food, timber, and fiber." But these lands are also to be managed fin a manner that will protect the quality of scientific, scenic, ecological, environmental, air and atmospheric, water resource, and archeological values; ~at, where appropriate, will preserve and protect certain public lands in their natural condition; Cat will provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife and domestic animals; and that will provide for outdoor recreation and human occupancy and use." All of this is to be done on the basis of multiple use and sustained yield. The means for meeting these statutory goals is land-use planning, for which resource-management plans (RMPs) are prepared for each man- agement unit. The content of plans has evolved over the past 15 years. Some of Me most recent plans include detailed descriptions of lands Cat

ME COUISITION PROCESS 79 I .... .~ ....~..~...- .~...~.............. ~i2411~ ~'1'' FIGURE 34 Judith Phillips resource management plan. Source: BLM, 1991.

80 SElTING PRIOR117ES FOR LAND CONSERVATION FIGURE 34 Continued

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84 SEl-lING PRIORI"ES FOR LAND CONSERVATION ... : ~: : . : . : :. ~ :~: ~ ,~ '3 ~ ._ - o t Lid 5

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 85 ............. :::::::::::: ........... ......... Is .~ o

86 SE1-1ING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION federal ownership. In the process, provision is made for Me appraisal of lands and, ultimately, binding arbitration on the question of valuation. Lands acquired by exchange that are within the boundaries of any unit become a part of that unit (e.g., national forest system, national park system, national wildlife refilge system, and national wild and scenic rivers system). Under later amendments to FATIMA, the respective secretaries were instructed to promulgate anew and comprehensive rules and relations governing exchanges of land and interests therein." Acquisition Criteria The EWCF is used to acquire land needed for recreational uses (in- cluding cultural), wilderness, natural and scenic areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and critical riparian and wetland areas. Specific planning objec- tives are specified In BEM's Recreation 2000 and midlife 2000 initia- tives (ELM, 1990; undated). The key objectives in midlife 2Ooo are to enhance recreation opportunities, acquire critical wildlife habitat, and consolidate scattered tracts of land for more efficient management of resources. Management goals related to threatened and endangered species are to meet BEM's responsibility for recovery of threatened and endangered species on BEM lands and to ensure they are not adversely affected by modification of critical habitat. According to Me Recreation 2000 document, BLM's recreation policies are to provide wide diversity of recreational opportunities and respond to increased recreational de- mand, provide resource~ependent recreational opportunities, manage and monitor resources essential to recreational experience, use landown- ership and access adjustments to enhance recreational opportunities by creating more manageable units through consolidation of land holdings, and contribute to local economic vitality through cooperation with tour- ism entities. BEM has 150 resource areas and 300~00 management plans (Figure 3-5~. Properties identified in land-use planning are screened against national initiatives to give emphasis and priority to noncommodity pro- grams such as recreation and wildlife.

TfiE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 87 ~--~~~. -_ '' ;' ~ ~ 'ply '.'t~ ' ' ~'. , ~17 'a ~ BUREAL' OF ID MAGI RESOUND ~ ~ ...,...__ ....' ' -._ I_ 1 \k WN ' '-.. ~ 1 .. ~ . . .___! ~ _~ ~ ~ aft._ · _ a_ - 7_~ in_ ~ ~ ' _, ___, ~ FIGURE 3-5 BLM lands. Source: DOI, 1989. OMB Criteria . . · a' < V ~ The need for systematic ranking of land acquisitions among agencies has become apparent for budgeting fevers funds, because no cross

88 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION agency, national system was available to set acquisition priorities for EWCF appropriations. (President Bush asked in his first budget mes- sage that EWCF be funded at an average level of $250 million over years.) To provide a ranking scheme, ODDS created a system that incor- porates some aspects of the ranking systems of the individual agencies, but also emphasizes the current administration's national priorities. The latter include access to recreational areas close to urban zones and wet- lands protection. To identify acquisitions to be included in Me federal budget, each agency's list of priorities is ranked based on uniform OMB criteria, adjusted to reflect department policies, and is submitted annually to the Land Acquisition Working Group.2 The working group sends its final submission to OMB with written justifications for high-priority acquisi- tions. OMB criteria are used to establish a single list ranking the re- quested acquisitions of all the agencies. The budget includes an estimate for the EWCF and a list of acquisitions for each agency for Be upcom- ing fiscal year. The list is dlen submitted to Congress in Be president's budget. Congress reviews and amends the priority list and enacts appro- priations for specific acquisitions by agency. OMB criteria rank potential acquisitions according to a point system (see Chapter 8 and Appendix B). Initially, minimum standards must be met, including · Availability of Be project within Be boundaries of or contiguous with an authorized unit; · Absence of known heath or safety hazards; · Absence of opposition from current owners; · Limit of 10% of Be purchase price for necessary expenditures on Be infrastructure (e.g., public facilities, trails, and campsites). Points are Men awarded for roughly a dozen different categories. For example, a parcel slated for development within 2-3 years gets 50 2 The ~ and Acquisition Working Group consists of the assistant secretary of the interior for fish, wildlife and parks; the assistant secretary of the interior for land and minerals management; and the assistant secretary of agriculture for nature, resources and environment.

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 89 points; one slated for development within 4-5 years gets 25 points. This recognizes the danger created by the imminent threat of development which, if allowed to occur, eliminates the potential acquisition altogeth er. The criteria can be grouped into five general categories: recreation and access, habitat and wetlands protection, cost minimization, threat of development, and protection of cultural arid natural features. The total points a parcel can be awarded for recreation and access is 140; for habitat and wetlands protection, 120; for cost minimization, 70; for imminent threat of development, 50; and for protection of cultural and natural features, 40. Each agency's assistant secretary can add as many as 150 points for that agency's highest priority items, 142.5 for the second priority item, and so on, wig the number of points decreasing with the priority assigned to a parcel of land. The current criteria replace an earlier interagency system to rank priorities among government entities, which was administered by the Heritage Conservation and Recreation Service (HCRS) until 1980. Projects were racked for minimum, current, and unconstrained budget levels. The criteria were degree of threat, price escalation, and other special considerations. The degree of threat was characterized according to the nature of the threat, He probability of occurrence within 2 years, the severity and permanence of the impact, and the cost of converting land back to original project purposes. Other factors considered were program continuity, congressional directives, and the maximum amount an agency could obligate to a particular area in the given budget year. A line item to purchase inholdings could be used for opportunity buying. After 1980, when HCRS was abolished, the land-management agencies began to function independently. THE CONGRESS Congress has three formal types of direct authority over the acquisi- tion of federal land. First, and by far the most important, Congress annually appropriates funds for land purchases by the administrative agencies. In making appropriations, relevant congressional subcom- mittees begin with acquisitions budgets proposed for each agency by OMB. Second, Congress au~or~zes new NPS units; only wig this

90 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION l legislative approval may NPS create new units. The other three federal land-management agencies do not need specific authorization to acquire land In new areas. (However, USES goes to Congress for specific legislation whenever it wants to create a new purchase unit to add to the national forest system.) Third, Congress specifically may forbid agen- cies to make certain acquisitions, even when the agency is otherwise permitted, or may restrict acquisitions in a given project to transactions with willing sellers or to acquisitions that do not raise the aggregate amount of federal land in a particular county or state beyond a specified level. Congress also influences land acquisition indirectly. For example, Congress can order agencies to study certain areas (e.g., a potential national park) or certain subjects (e.g., biological diversity). Results of such studies often include recommendations for acquisitions. Congress also controls agency staffing levels; Mat influences how agencies expand their missions and sometimes, particularly in He case of exchanges, determines how many new projects can be put together each year. Congress can create private entitlements and rights in land, which can necessitate later acquisitions. Finally, Trough amendments to organic acts or by other legislative directives, Congress can add to or modify agency missions, as it did through the ESA. For FY 1991, congressional appropriations diverged significantly from administration requests. The administration requested $212 million for 107 sites; of that, Congress appropriated $163 million for 70 sites. - Congress then added $~10 million for 67 other sites for a total of 137 sites and $273 million. NPS fared considerably better than did other agencies in having its sites approved by Congress: 80% of NPS re- quests were approved, compared with 64% each for USES, USFWS, and BEM. Of He sites added by Congress, 30 were NPS acquisitions, 23 were USFWS acquisitions, I! were USES acquisitions, and only 3 were BEM acquisitions. In addition to eliminating some acquisitions and adding others, Con- gress made changes in requested amounts for individual sites. For example, funding for acquisitions in the Columbia Gorge National Sce- nic Area was Increased to $7.4 million, from an administration request of $4.6 million. A proposal for additional old-growth forest adjoining a wilderness areas on He Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest re- ceived $7 million, although only $2 million was requested. But other

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 93 a decade or so after passage of EWCF, federal funds from EWCF were matched with state and local funds to provide and develop recreation opportunities, as well as to protect open space. (Receipt of EWCF fiends required that states prepare "Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans".) The state grants portion of the EWCF has declined substantially over the past 15 years (Table 3-~. This is the result of budget constraints at all levels of government, as well as growing congressional interest in shifting the balance of funding toward acquisition of federal lands. And without significant federal fiends to encourage He states to allocate Weir limited funds to acquisition and development of recreation lands, the availability of state and local recreation opportunities is not keeping up with population pressures? especially in urban areas. One result of decreased state funding is a tendency for some states to look to the federal government to provide recreation land and opportuni- ties that would relieve the states of what would otherwise be Heir re- sponsibility. As described by state officials to the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs in a hearing on "The Crisis in State and Local Recreation" prior- ities for the use of state EWCF funds are for accessible recreational facilities that do not require travel, rehabilitation and refurbishment of existing resources, for enhancement of the state tourism industry a major employer in many states, and preservation of the rural character of some areas (Travous, 1992~. State officials also pointed out Hat properly placed urban parks are important for connecting the inner city wig coasts and wilderness areas. Lack of funding Trough the EWCF has also led to over funding mechanisms Hat complicate the issue. For example, He National Recre- ational Trails Trust Fund Act, funded by Be gas tax paid by recreational vehicle use, was authorized as part of the Intermodal Surface Transpor- tation Efficiency Act of 1991 (P.L. 102-240) and is under He jurisdic- tion of the Deparunent of Transportation. This has the potential to circumvent He recreational-land-planning process and to result in con- flicts with He intent of the LWCF. Native American Tribes The conservation needs of Native Americans have not been consid

94 SETTING PRIORITIES FOR LAND CONSERVATION ered in the context of the EWCF, because no mechanism has been devel- oped to address the sovereign status of tribes and their role in land conservation. The federal portion of the EWCF is used to acquire pub- lic lands; tribal lands are held in trust by Me federal government but are not classified as public lands. States have been unwilling to address these needs, because tribal territories are not political subdivisions of state governments. Also, because of the sovereign immunity of tribes, it would be difficult for states to enforce legal agreements upon which grants might be conditional. In 1979, the Department of the Interior Task Force on Increasing Participation by Indian Tribes in We EWCF prepared a report and pro- posed legislation amending the EWCF to include tribes. The task force found Tat tribes have outdoor recreation needs for purposes of meeting community conservation needs and for tourist attraction just as state and local governments do (DON, 19791. Tribes are partners in the federal historic preservation program and are eligible to receive grants for historic preservation purposes (NHPA, 16 USC Section 470~. Tribal historic preservation concerns are de- scribed in an NPS report on protecting historic properties and cultural traditions on Indian lands and include some concerns similar to those addressed by the EWCF (NPS, 1990~. Reservation boundaries encom- pass approximately 52.5 million acres of land now held in trust by the United States for Indian tribes and individuals (Cohen, 1982~. This land is 3% of the land base in the United States and has less than ~ % of the nation's cropland, close to I% of the nation's commercial forest land, and approximately 5% of the nation's rangeland. It also includes signifi- cant amounts of U.S. coal and uranium resources and numerous produc- tive of] and gas fields. Native American tribes also occupy important watersheds, particularly in He west and in some of the most pristine areas (e.g., in the areas of Glacier and Yellowstone National parks). The outcome of tribal and state water adjudications could have major effects on what lands can be conserved. Furthermore, with high unem- ployment rates, tribes face great pressure to develop nonrenewable re- sources. The General Allotment Act of 1887 was particularly detrimental to native Americans, because it divided reservation land into small, individ- ual units that could be sold to anyone, disrupting traditional collective landownership practices and use rights and resulting in fragmented land- tenure patterns within many reservations (White and Cronon, 1988;

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 97 NPS, 1990~. This fractionated land-tenure pattern interferes win the ability of tribes to manage their resources for conservation and survival as Native American communities, because the tribes lack many attributes of jurisdiction over lands inside reservation borders. The American Indian Policy Review Commission found We problem with landowner- ship on Indian reservations to be one of the biggest obstacles to future tribal economic and community development. Many tribes are seeking to reacquire lands Aide reservation bound- aries Hat were lost as a result of Be General Allotment Act or through various types of land transactions. For example, on We White Earth Indian Reservation near the headwaters of the Mississippi River, tribal members make up 40% of the population, but only 6% of the acreage is tribally controlled. A community survey was conducted to assess land- use needs and priorities for a land-recovery program. Priorities identi- fied in the survey include land for housing, access to and conservation of wild-rice harvesting and hunting areas, and recreation as well as burial sites and cultural areas. Although White Earth contains several lakefront resorts, few recreational opportunities are available to the Indian inhabitants. The resorts and much of the lakefront properties are owned by nontribal people, many of whom have been identified as will- ing sellers because of the depressed real estate market and land title problems resulting from transactions earlier in this century. Sites and areas of tribal cultural, religious, and economic significance are not confined to reservation boundaries, and tribes have an interest in identification, protection, interpretation, and management of these sites as well as access to them. For native peoples, entire landscapes often have historic, cultural, and religious significance (White and Cronon, 1988), including "whore classes of natural elements such as plants, animals, fish, birds, rocks, and mountains" Mat are incorporated into tribal tradition and help form Me "matrix of spiritual, ceremonial, politi- cat, social, and economic life" (NPS, 1990~. Continued relationships with certain lands and natural resources are key to preservation of cul- tural heritage as a part of contemporary life and to fighting social prob- lems, such as alcohol and drug abuse, Mat afflict some Indian communi- ties (NPS, 1990).

THE LAND ACQUISITION PROCESS 99 One of He top goals of the "wise-use movement," a coalition Cat in- cludes inholders, is opposition to all use of eminent domain to acquire inholdings. Over opponents fear Be loss of access to federal lands for production of commodities; deterioration of rural cultures; federal inat- tention to maintenance, improvement, and development of existing pub- lic lands before acquiring additional land; regulatory land-use restrictions that might result from nearby public acquisition; and potential benefits to certain interest groups and nonprofit intermediaries. Many opponents find intellectual support in the writings of We new resource economists and political support in groups such as the National Inholders Associa- tion. Acquisition Intermediaries During the past 2 decades, several national nonprofit organizations have assumed a prominent role as intermediaries in U.S. land protection. These entities sometimes serve as land-protection advocates; sometimes, as owners of properties acquired by purchase or donation, they act as enthusiastic sellers. But they also have a role as facilitators of potential transactions. The Land Trust Alliance is a network of approximately 900 state and local land trusts that has a major role in project identification and pro- vides an interim source of financing and public support. The Alliance demonstrates an awareness of local and regional concerns and offers understanding of resources and of potential economic effects on He communities In which the individual trusts operate. Each nonprofit organization has its own criteria for selecting potential land acquisitions. For the American Land Conservancy, the Conserva- tion Fund, and He Trust for Public Land, those criteria largely reflect agency criteria (H. Burgess, ALC, pers. comrn., Feb. 13, 1991; P. Noonan, OF, pars. comm., fan., 1991), because Hose organizations normally resell properties as rapidly as possible to He government. The criteria of The Nature Conservancy ~NC) are especially well developed and distinctive (see Appendix D).

100 SEWING PRIORIES FOR [AND rDN.~RVATIoN Scientific Community Scientists have been involved In conservation efforts for many years. Recently, they have become involved increasingly with systematically surveying species or ecosystem and determining whether existing pro- tected areas are adequate to ensure their survival. This technique was pioneered in the 1970s by The Nature Conservancy, which undertook Unnatural heritage inventories" in several states (Hoose, 1981~. Today, inventories are available for most states and are being provided in more detail for counties and other substate areas. Detailed inflation is available on the resources to be found on federal land, after almost 2 decades of planr ing efforts. Scientists are combining this information with the heritage inventories to prepare sophisticated gap analyses that pinpoint species and systems underrepresented in tile federal system. Those gaps become obvious candidates for acquisition (see Chapter 5~. Gap analyses are performed by agency scientists, as well as by acqui- sition advocates. The resulting lists are Me basis for local advocacy of acquisitions as well as for comprehensive proposals such as The Conser- vation Alterr~ve. RATIONAL ANALYSIS AND POLITICS IN THE ACQUISITION PROCESS The differences between agency lists and He projects eventually funded by Congress have led some observers to charge that political considerations override criteria Hat might be at least described as sys- tematic, and at best as embodying a certain amount of objectivity, ratio- nality, and science. Stone (1988) observes that "inspired by a vague sense that reason is clean and politics is dirty, Americans yearn to replace politics with rational decisionmak~ng." Yet, "~e enterprise of extricating policy from politics assumes that analysis and politics can be, and are in some essen- tial way, separate and distinctive activities." In fact, politics and analy- sis overlap in many ways. Politics is He expression Trough a variety of governmental processes of group and individual interests. Those interests, in turn, are a compli

TTIE LAND A COUISITION PROCESS 101 cased mixture of perceptions, ideology, economic self-interest, and altruism. Among the interests expressed in Me debate over federal land acquisition are ideological judgments regarding the amount of land that should be controlled by government, local and national preferences for the protection of particular resources or ecosystems, relative weights given to resource conservation compared with recreation, preferences for one sort of recreation relative to another (e.g., snowmobiling versus nature photography), interests of owners of adjoining lands (who might benefit or suffer if adjoining land is federally acquired), and fiscal and economic development interests of local communities. Interests ex- pressed in the political process bring to bear vital information; for exam- ple, testimony from landowners can make clear He human costs of a given acquisition, and pressure from urban constituencies can remind policy-makers that there is a demand for urban recreation. Sometimes, political activity even becomes the conduit for scientific information, as has occurred when scientists and acquisition intermediaries inventory natural areas and lobby for Heir protection. It should be noted that judgments and values play a role even among scientists and agency professionals (see Hays, 19871. For example, one scientist may value wetlands more than prairie ecosystems, while another may put relatively more weight on creating a natural area system resil- ient to climate change. A USES land-acquisition committee, weighing the claims of recreation and habitat protection, might make very differ- ent judgments from a USFWS group, even when Heir scientific compe- tence is indistinguishable. Foresta (1987) compared He record of national park acquisition dur- ing the 1970s in Canada, where parks were selected on the basis of a long-term plan prepared by the Canadian administrative agency Parks Canada wig the U.S. system, where Congress had the dominant role. Foresta found that 30 units were added to the U.S. park system, but only 4 were added in Canada. All of He Canadian parks were in re- gions Hat had been wholly unrepresented in the existing park system. hn the U.S., only half were in unrepresented regions. The politically dominated U.S. park selection system has advantages. Foresta points out Hat He system is "likely to be more dynamic and therefore capable of protecting many more areas." The U.S. process was also "likely to encourage a greater inventiveness because it allows a wider range of interests into the decision-making process" thereby

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This book responds to a congressional request to evaluated criteria by which land is acquired under the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The committee reviews criteria and procedures by which four agencies acquire lands for conservation; examines the historic, public policy, and scientific bases of criteria and compares them with nongovernmental organizations; and assesses the effectiveness of the agencies in preserving natural resources while achieving agency objectives.

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