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USDA Forest Service,
Lands and Realty Staff

1400 Independence Ave., SW
Mailstop 1124
Washington, DC 20250-1124
Phone: (202) 205-1248

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Sale of Forest Service Lands

Does the Forest Service sell property?

The Forest Service has very limited authority to sell National Forest System lands. Most authorities allowing the sale of lands have specific criteria or identify only a small number of properties for sale in a limited geographical area. The tool used most often for conveyance of lands within National Forest boundaries is land exchange.

Various authorities provide for the sale of specific properties within a specific State or National Forest. These properties, which are usually administrative sites and facilities, are named in the acts, and once all properties are sold the act expires. State-wide acts passed within the last several years involve properties in Arizona (P.L. 106-458), Arkansas (P.L. 108-350), Idaho (P.L. 108-436), Florida (P.L. 108-152), Oklahoma (P.L. 108-350), Oregon (P.L. 106-526, P.L. 105-282), Mississippi (P.L. 106-113), South Dakota (P.L. 106-329), Virginia (P.L. 105-171). Copies of the individual Public Laws may be obtained online at thomas.loc.gov. For more information on the status of these properties contact the applicable Regional Office or National Forest ( www.fs.fed.us ).

In 2002, Congress provided the authority to sell a limited number of administrative sites. This authority was expanded in subsequent years (2003-2005) (P.L. 108-447, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005, DIVISION E, Title III GENERAL PROVISIONS. Section. 322). To date, eleven sales have been completed. Additional properties will be offered for sale in 2005 and 2006 as public noticing and environmental analysis is completed by the local National Forest unit.

Properties offered competitively will either be posted on the General Services Administration webpage at www.auctionrp.com/auctions2/ . Sealed bid and oral auction held by a local National Forest unit will be advertised through local newspapers, mailings and may also be advertised on individual National Forest websites.

(For example, www.fs.fed.us/r6/willamette/admin/excess-facilities/index.html.) Contact the applicable National Forest Supervisors office for more information on specific sales.

Non-competitive sales may be made only to governmental entities and non-profit organizations.

Two additional sale authorities available to the Forest Service are the Small Tracts Act and the Townsite Act. Small Tracts Act is a tool to address title claims, and disposal of mineral fractions and unneeded rights-of-ways. Townsite Act allows the sale of lands for townsite purposes to counties, cities or other local governmental subdivisions and is limited to the eleven contiguous western states. The specific requirements related to these acts are detailed in regulations in the 36 Code of Federal Regulations Part 254, Subparts B & C.

Secure Rural Schools Lands Sales proposal not adopted by Congress

Select this link for more information about the proposal status.

FSH 5509.11 - Title Claims, Sales, and Grants Handbook, Chapter 20, 26.7 - Exhibits

Select this link for 5509.11 - 20 - Sales.

Select this link for the exhibits page.

USDA Forest Service
Last modified: Friday, 23-Dec-2022 11:52:53 CST

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