B-125390, OCT. 6, 1955

B-125390: Oct 6, 1955

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IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24. IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS: " "WHERE NO SUITABLE GOVERNMENT LAND IS AVAILABLE FOR NATIONAL FOREST HEADQUARTERS. THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PURCHASE SUCH LANDS OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION APPLICABLE TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE LAND IS TO BE USED. THAT SUCH LANDS MAY BE ACQUIRED SUBJECT TO SUCH RESERVATIONS AND OUTSTANDING INTERESTS AS THE SECRETARY DETERMINES WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH ACQUIRED: PROVIDED FURTHER. 000 MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR PURSUANT TO THIS AUTHORITY.'" IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ACQUISITION OF THE LAND IS URGENTLY NEEDED FOR CERTAIN EXPOSURE TESTS.

B-125390, OCT. 6, 1955

TO THE HONORABLE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

YOUR LETTER OF AUGUST 31, 1955, REQUESTS OUR DECISION WHETHER ACQUISITION OF A TRACT OF LAND OF APPROXIMATELY FIVE ACRES LOCATED ABOUT ONE-HALF MILE FROM THE PRESENT SITE OF THE FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY AT MADISON, WISCONSIN, IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 13 OF THE ACT OF APRIL 24, 1950, 64 STAT. 86.

SECTION 13 OF THE CITED ACT PROVIDES THAT:

"THAT SECTION 5 OF THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925 (43 STAT. 1133; 16 U.S.C. 555), IS HEREBY AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:

" "WHERE NO SUITABLE GOVERNMENT LAND IS AVAILABLE FOR NATIONAL FOREST HEADQUARTERS, RANGER STATIONS, DWELLINGS, OR FOR OTHER SITES REQUIRED FOR THE EFFECTIVE CONDUCT OF THE AUTHORIZED ACTIVITIES OF THE FOREST SERVICE, THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO PURCHASE SUCH LANDS OUT OF THE APPROPRIATION APPLICABLE TO THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH THE LAND IS TO BE USED, AND TO ACCEPT DONATIONS OF LAND FOR ANY NATIONAL FOREST OR EXPERIMENTAL PURPOSE: PROVIDED, THAT SUCH LANDS MAY BE ACQUIRED SUBJECT TO SUCH RESERVATIONS AND OUTSTANDING INTERESTS AS THE SECRETARY DETERMINES WILL NOT INTERFERE WITH THE PURPOSE FOR WHICH ACQUIRED: PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT NOT TO EXCEED $25,000 MAY BE EXPENDED IN ANY ONE FISCAL YEAR PURSUANT TO THIS AUTHORITY.'"

IT IS STATED IN YOUR LETTER THAT ACQUISITION OF THE LAND IS URGENTLY NEEDED FOR CERTAIN EXPOSURE TESTS. IT IS EXPLAINED THAT WHILE THE TESTS PRESENTLY ARE LOCATED ON LAND PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN REMOVAL OF THE TESTS THIS FALL WILL BE NECESSARY BECAUSE THE UNIVERSITY DESIRES TO MAKE OTHER DISPOSITION OF THE LAND. IT IS STATED THAT SINCE THE NEW SITE IS REQUIRED FOR THE EFFECTIVE CONDUCT OF AUTHORIZED WORK OF THE FOREST SERVICE THE DEPARTMENT IS OF THE VIEW THAT THE ABOVE STATUTE, STANDING ALONE, CLEARLY WOULD AUTHORIZE ACQUISITION OF THE NEW SITE. IS FURTHER STATED, HOWEVER, THAT A QUESTION HAS ARISEN AS TO THE APPLICABILITY OF SECTION 13 OF THE STATUTE TO THIS PARTICULAR TRANSACTION IN VIEW OF THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 14 (B) OF THE ACT WHICH PROVIDE, AS FOLLOWS:

"THERE ARE HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO BE APPROPRIATED---

"/B) NOT TO EXCEED $50,000 FOR THE ACQUISITION OF ADDITIONAL LAND ADJACENT TO THE PRESENT SITE OF THE FOREST PRODUCTS LABORATORY AT MADISON, WISCONSIN; * * *"

IN EXPLANATION OF THE DEPARTMENT'S FAILURE TO REQUEST CONGRESS FOR AN APPROPRIATION AS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 14 (B), IT IS STATED THAT AT THE TIME OF ENACTMENT OF THE ABOVE LEGISLATION IT WAS PLANNED TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL LAND ADJACENT TO THE PRESENT LABORATORY SITE WHICH SITE WOULD ACCOMMODATE NOT ONLY THE EXPOSURE TESTS BUT ALSO ADDITIONAL SPACE FOR OTHER FACILITIES. IT APPEARS, HOWEVER, THAT WHEN THE DEPARTMENT ACTUALLY INSTITUTED PURCHASE NEGOTIATIONS IT WAS FOUND THAT THE LAND NO LONGER WAS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE BY THE DEPARTMENT AND THAT IT WAS NECESSARY TO CONTINUE THE EXPOSURE TESTS AT THE INCONVENIENT LOCATION APPROXIMATELY TWO MILES FROM THE LABORATORY ON SPACE PROVIDED BY THE UNIVERSITY AS A COOPERATIVE MEASURE. IT IS STATED THAT THE SITE WHICH IT IS PROPOSED TO PURCHASE CAN BE ACQUIRED FOR APPROXIMATELY 54,000 AND THAT ACQUISITION THEREOF IS THE MOST SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENT THAT CAN BE MADE. IT APPEARS TO BE THAT DEPARTMENT'S VIEW THAT SINCE THE TRACT IS NOT ADJACENT TO THE PRESENT SITE OF THE LABORATORY AND IS NOT THE SAME SITE AUTHORIZED TO BE ACQUIRED UNDER SECTION 14 (B) OF THE ABOVE ACT THE PROPOSED PURCHASE IS AUTHORIZED UNDER SECTION 13 OF THE ACT.

ON THE BASIS OF THE FACTS REPORTED IN YOUR LETTER WE CONCUR IN THE VIEWS OF THE DEPARTMENT. ACCORDINGLY, WE SEE NO OBJECTION TO ACQUISITION OF THE SITE UNDER THE GENERAL AUTHORITY CONTAINED IN SECTION 13 AND TO PAYMENT THEREFOR FROM THE CURRENT APPROPRIATION FOR CONDUCTING THE EXPOSURE TESTS, SUBJECT, HOWEVER, TO THE EXPRESS CONDITIONS OF SAID SECTION.