Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Land Exchanges

Land Exchanges: the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742a - 742j) and the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act (16 U.S.C. 668dd-ee), both as amended, provide the Service with authority to conduct inter- and intra-state land exchanges. (See the entries under titles for those Acts.)

In addition, several interstate land exchanges involving the Service have been legislated, including:

Aerojet Exchange -- Public Law 100-275 (102 Stat. 52), approved March 3, 1988 (also known as the "Nevada-Florida Land Exchange Authorization Act"), authorized approximately 28,000 acres of BLM land in Nevada to be exchange to the Aerojet-General Corporation for approximately 4,650 acres of Florida wetlands owned by Aerojet. It specified that the Florida land would then be sold to the South Florida Water Management District, with the revenue to be used by the Service for purchase of inholdings at Florida refuges.

Big Cypress Exchange -- Public Law 100-696 (102 Stat. 4577), approved November 18, 1988 (also known as the "Arizona-Idaho Conservation Act"), directed the Secretary to exchange 68.4 acres of land at the Phoenix Indian School in Arizona for 107,800 acres of land in Collier County, Florida, and $34.9 million, from corporations owned by the Collier family. In addition to extensive provisions for implementation of the exchange and use of the funds to benefit Arizona Indian Tribes, the law directed that 80,070 acres of the Florida land be added to the Big Cypress National Preserve, 5,109 acres be added to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, and 19,620 acres be used to establish a new Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.

Santa Rita Exchange -- Public Law 100-696 (at 102 Stat. 4593) also approved an exchange of lands between the United States and the State of Arizona. In addition to more than 51,000 acres from BLM and Bureau of Reclamation, 2,500 acres of Service lands at Havasu and Imperial National Wildlife Refuges were exchanged to the State, in return for 91,600 acres of State lands at the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and extensive acreage elsewhere in the State added to BLM, Forest Service and Bureau of Reclamation jurisdictions.

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