Description: FW 1, Policies, Authorities, and Responsibilities 

FWM#:    091 (new)
Date:        June 4, 1993
Series:      Real Property
Part 340:  Real Property Management
Originating Office:  Division of Realty  

1.1 Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to set out the procedures to be followed by the Service in relation to real property management activities in accordance with statutes, regulations, and policies.

1.2 Policy. The Service will conduct all of its real property management activities in accordance with the statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures governing same.

1.3 Definitions.

A. Real Property. Any interest in land, together with the improvements, structures, and fixtures located thereon and appurtenances thereto, under the control of any Federal agency. (See FPMR 41 CFR 101-47.103-12.)

B. Management. The safeguarding of the Government's interest in property, in an efficient and economical manner consistent with best business practices.

C. Holding Agency. The Federal agency which has accountability for the property involved.

D. Disposal Agency. The executive agency designated by the Administrator of the General Services Administration to dispose of surplus real property, usually the GSA.

E. Available Real Property. Property no longer needed for program activities of the Interior bureau of office controlling it. May be determined excess if not needed by any bureau or office within Interior. (See IPMR 41 CFR 114-47.103-50.)

F. Excess Real Property. Property not required for program activities of the Federal Department or Agency having jurisdiction over it. (See 41 CFR 114-4.103-52.)

G. Surplus Real Property. Real property not required for the needs and responsibilities of any Agency of the Federal Government. (See 41 CFR 114-47.103-52.)

1.4 Authorities. The following Acts are the principal laws which provide much of the authority for the real property management activities of the Service. For more detailed information, consult the appropriate statute, or the Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, dated April 1992, available in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Legislative Services (101 FW 1, Appendix 1).

A. Alaska Native Claims-Settlement Act of December 18, 1971 (43 U.S.C. 1601-1624), as amended. This Act, applicable only to Alaska in authorizing conveyance of 17,806,800 hectares (44 million acres) to Alaska natives, causes some complex land ownership patterns and management problems. Through provisions of section 12(a)(1) and 14(f), the Service will have ownership of 809,389 hectares (2 million acres) of surface-only in pre-1971 refuges and one and 607,050 hectares (1.5 million acres) of surface-only in post-1971 refuges. Section 22(g) continues application of refuge laws and regulations on the surface estate conveyed from the pre-1971 refuges. These "22(g)" lands will be managed as "easement interest" lands. (See 50 CFR 29.21-1(b)). Section 22(g) also reserves the right of first refusal if these lands are ever sold by the patentee. Section 22(f) expands the Secretary's exchange authority in Alaska to include exchange for other than equal value if it is in the public interest.

B. Colorado River Storage Project Act of April 11, 1956 (43 U.S.C. 620-620o, except certain sections classified to the Colorado River Basin Project Act), as amended. Section 8 of this Act authorizes and directs the Secretary of the Interior in connection with the Colorado River Storage Project and participating projects to investigate, plan, construct, and operate facilities to mitigate losses of, and improve conditions for, fish and wildlife. Provides authority to acquire lands and to lease or convey lands and facilities to State and other agencies. Several refuges have been established under this authority.

C. Federal-Aid Highways Act of 1968 (23 U.S.C. 101 et seq., and other U.S.C. titles), as amended--Public Law 90-495, approved August 23, 1968. Provides in section 4(f) for a special effort to preserve natural beauty of such areas as public parks, recreation areas, refuges and historic sites in developing transportation systems, and directs the Secretary of Transportation to cooperate and consult with the Secretary of the Interior and other Federal agencies before approving any program or project which requires the use of any publicly owned lands from certain specified areas including parks and refuges. This Act is the basis for 4f statements.

D. Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 471-535), as amended. This June 30, 1948, Act as amended, provides for management and disposal of Government surplus property (excess property not required for the needs of any Federal agencies) and excess property (property under the control of any Federal agency which is not required for its needs). Public Law 94-519, approved October 17, 1976, (90 Stat. 2451), provided major changes to section 203 of the Act (40 U.S.C. 484) regarding procedures for disposal of surplus property. This is the basic authority for the transfer of excess Federal land to other Federal agencies.

E. Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act (16 U.S.C. 661-667e), as amended. The Act of March 10, 1934, as amended by the Acts of August 14, 1946, August 12, 1958, and July 9, 1965, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to assist Federal, State, and other agencies in development, protection, rearing, and stocking fish and wildlife on Federal lands, and to study effects of pollution on fish and wildlife. Provides for donating land and funds in furthering purposes of the Act and for appropriation of funds. Authorizes Federal water resource agencies to acquire lands or interests in connection with water use projects specifically for mitigation and enhancement of fish and wildlife, and provides for management of such lands by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or State wildlife agencies. Excludes projects involving impoundments of less than 4.05 hectares (10 acres) and Tennessee Valley Authority projects.

F. Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 715-715r), as amended. The Act of February 18, 1929, as amended, establishes a Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to approve areas recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for acquisition with Migratory Bird Conservation Funds. The Commission consists of the Secretary of the Interior as chairman, the Secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture, two members of the Senate and two of the House of Representatives, and a member ex-officio from each State in which acquisition is being considered. The Commission through its chairman is directed to report by the first Monday in December of each year to Congress on its activities. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to cooperate with local authorities in wildlife conservation, as well as conduct investigations, publish documents related to North American birds, and to maintain and develop refuges. Provides for cooperation with States in enforcement. Procedures are established for acquisition by purchase, rental, or gift of areas approved by the Commission as sanctuaries for migratory birds, and an amendment February 17, 1976, clarified that authority as applying to the purchase or rental of a partial interest. Public Law 95-552 signed on October 30, 1978, requires that the Secretary of the Interior consult with the appropriate units of local government and with the Governor of the State concerned or the appropriate State agency before recommending an area for purchase or rental under the provisions of the Act. Public Law 95-616 of November 8, 1978, authorizes acquisition of areas for purposes other than inviolate sanctuary.

G. Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 U.S.C. 703-711), as amended. The Act of July 3, 1918, implemented the 1916 Convention between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds thereby establishing a Federal responsibility for protection of the international migratory bird resource. This Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to close areas of public or private land to the hunting of migratory birds. See 50 CFR 32.4 for a list of areas closed.

H. Mineral Leasing Act of February 25, 1920, (30 U.S.C. 181 et, seq.; 41 Stat. 449), as amended. This Act provides the authority for the leasing of minerals on public domain lands withdrawn for Service use (but not withdrawn from the mineral leasing laws). By regulation, the Secretary has restricted oil, gas, and coal leasing within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Receipts are deposited in the U.S. Treasury with 50 percent paid to the general Treasury, except in Alaska where 90 percent is paid to the State and 10 percent into the Treasury (30 U.S. 191). Section 28 of the Act provided the Secretary with the authority to grant rights-of-way through any Federal lands for the transportation of oil, natural gas, synthetic liquid or gaseous fuels, or any refined product produced therefrom (30 U.S.C. 185).

I. Mineral Leasing Act for Acquired Land of August 7, 1947, (30 U.S.C. 351-359; 61 Stat. 913). Provides the Secretary with the authority to lease minerals on acquired lands. By regulation, the Secretary has restricted oil, gas, and coal leasing within the National Wildlife Refuge System. Receipts go into the revenue sharing fund.

J. National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), as amended. This Act, (derived from sections 4 and 5 of Public Law 89-669 of October 15, 1966) constitutes an "Organic Act" for the National Wildlife Refuge System by providing guidelines and directives for administration and management of all areas in the system including "wildlife refuges, areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, or waterfowl production areas." The Secretary is authorized to permit by regulations the use of any area within the system provided "such uses are compatible with the major purposes for which such areas were established." Public Law 95-616 of November 8, 1978, amends the 1966 Act to permit the opening of more than 40 percent of an area acquired as a migratory bird sanctuary to hunting when it is determined to be beneficial to the species hunted. Contracts may be entered into for public accommodations and donations of funds may be accepted for land acquisition and management. An amendment of July 18, 1968, provides that proceeds from disposal of lands in the system acquired with "duck stamp" funds or by donation are to be paid into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and that the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission must be consulted before disposal of any such acquired land. A December 3, 1974, amendment entitled "National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act Amendments of 1974," requires payment of the fair market value of rights-of-way or other interests granted, and the proceeds deposited in the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and made available for land acquisition. Public Law 94-215, approved February 17, 1976, clarified that acquired lands or interests therein can be exchanged for acquired or public lands. An amendment, February 27, 1976, commonly referred to as the "Game Range Act," directs that all areas in the system on or after January 1, 1975, "shall be administered by the Secretary through the United States Fish and Wildlife Service" and cannot be transferred or disposed of unless otherwise directed by Acts of Congress. Exceptions are provided for areas administered as part of the system pursuant to cooperative agreements and for transfer or disposal and exchange of acquired lands.

K. North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4401-4412)--Public Law 101-233, enacted December 13, 1989. This Act provides funding and administrative direction for implementation of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Tripartite Agreement on wetlands between Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Funds may be expended, upon approval by the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission, for cost sharing payments for wetlands conservation projects in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The Act created the North American Wetlands Conservation Council to recommend projects to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

L. Refuge Revenue Sharing Act (16 U.S.C. 715s; 49 Stat. 383), as amended. Section 401 of the Act of June 15, 1935, established the procedure for making certain payments to counties from revenues derived from the sale of products from refuges located in the county. Major revisions were made August 30, 1964, by Public Law 88-523 requiring that all revenues received from refuge products such as animals, timber and minerals, or from leases or other privileges be deposited in a special Treasury account and net receipts distributed to counties for public schools and roads. The Act was amended again by Public Law 95-469, signed October 17, 1978. This amendment, which became effective with fiscal year 1979, expands the revenue sharing system to include National Fish Hatcheries, Service Research Stations, Administrative Sites, and includes in the Refuge Revenue Sharing Fund receipts from the sale of salmonoid carcasses. Counties where the Service has purchased land will receive the greatest of: 75 cents per acre; three-fourths of one percent of the appraised value of the land; or 25 percent of the net receipts of revenue produced from the land. Payments on Service land withdrawn from the public domain will remain at 25 percent of net receipts but the law also makes these lands eligible for the basic payments under Public Law 94-565, the payment in lieu of taxes legislation approved in 1976.

M. Transfer of Certain Real Property for Wildlife Conservation Purposes Act of May 19, 1948, Public Law 80-537, (16 U.S.C. 667b-667d; 62 Stat. 240), as amended. As amended by the Act of June 30, 1949, the Act of September 26, 1972, and by Public Law 94-432, this statute provides that upon a determination by the Administrator of the General Services Administration, real property no longer needed by a Federal agency can be transferred without reimbursement to the Secretary of the Interior if the land has particular value for migratory birds or to a State agency as surplus land for wildlife conservation.

N. Wilderness Act of 1964 (16 U.S.C. 1131-1136; 78 Stat. 890)--Public Law 88-577, approved September 3, 1964. Directs the Secretary of the Interior, within 10 years, to review every roadless area of 2,024 or more hectares (5,000 or more acres) and every roadless island (regardless of size) within national wildlife refuges and national parks and to recommend to the President the suitability of each such area or island for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System by later special Acts of Congress. Provides criteria for determining suitability and contains provisions related to activities that can be undertaken on a designated area. Authorizes the acceptance of gifts bequests and contributions in furtherance of the purposes of the Act and requires an annual report at the opening of each session of Congress on the status of the wilderness system.

1.5 Responsibilities

A. The Director is responsible for setting policy and oversees all Service programs, including activities relating to the management of real property.

B. The Assistant Director - Refuges and Wildlife has overall responsibility for real property management activities.

C. The Chief, Division of Realty is responsible for developing policy and procedures to implement the laws and regulations pertaining to real property management. The Chief ensures that real property management activities are accomplished in accordance with legislation, regulations, policies, and procedures.

D. Regional Directors must ensure that Part 340 of the FWM is adhered to within the Regions. The Regional Directors have authority to approve Regional issuances that supplement the FWM in accordance with 010 FW 1.4.

E. Senior Staff Realty Officers must conduct realty activities in accordance with the policies and guidelines contained in this part.

1.6 Relationship to Other Directives. Chapters of the FWM are the primary source for policy and procedural guidance relating to realty activities. Other sources of information and guidelines, and their relationships to Part 340 are described below.

A. Code of Federal Regulations. The Code of Federal Regulations is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive Departments and agencies of the Federal Government. Title 50 contains land use management regulations for rights-of-way, mineral operations and revenue sharing. Title 43 contains regulations pertaining to the Office of the Secretary of the Interior and regulations relating to the public lands. Title 41 Chapter 101 contains the Federal Property Management Regulations and Chapter 102 contains the Interior Property Management Regulations. Any conflicts between the CFR's and the chapters of the Service Manual pertaining to real property management activities should be brought to the attention of the Chief, Division of Realty.

B. Regional Issuances. Regional issuances may be used to supplement chapters in the FWM, pertaining to real property management activities.

(1) Regional issuances are used only when a Regional Director determines through consultation with the Assistant Regional Director - Refuges and Wildlife, that additional guidance is required to address a situation unique to that Region.

(2) Regional issuances may be more restrictive than those in the FWM, but in no case do they relieve restrictions or requirements specified in the FWM.

(3) One copy of each Regional issuance should be provided to the Headquarters, Division of Realty.

For additional information about this policy, contact the Division of Realty. For more information regarding this Web page, contact Krista Bibb, in the Division of Policy and Directives Management. 

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