42 FR 46302, Sept. 15, 1977, unless otherwise noted.
Section 5(a) of the Act of July 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 354, 16 U.S.C. 4601-22(a), authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, under specified conditions, to convey a leasehold or freehold interest on federally owned real property acquired by the Secretary from non-Federal sources within any unit of the National Park System except national parks and those national monuments of scientific significance. This legislation is referred to as “the act” in regulations in this part.
As used in the regulations in this part:
(a) Authorized officer shall mean an officer or employee of the National Park Service designated to conduct the sale or lease and delegated authority to execute all necessary documents, including deeds and leases.
(b) The term unit of the National Park System means any area of land or water administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the National Park Service for park, monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.
(c) The term national park means any unit of the National Park System the organic act of which declares it to be a “national park.”
(d) The term national monument of scientific significance means a unit of the National Park System designated as a national monument by statute or proclamation for the purpose of preserving landmarks, structures, or objects of scientific interest.
(e) The term person includes but is not necessarily limited to an individual partnership, corporation, or association.
(f) The term freehold interest means an estate in real property of permanent or of indefinite duration.
(g) The term leasehold interest means an estate in real property for a fixed term of years or an estate from month-to-month or from year-to-year.
(h) The term fair market value means the appraised value as set forth in an approved appraisal made for the Secretary for the interest to be sold or leased.
The Act is applicable to any Federally owned real property acquired by the Secretary from non-Federal sources within any unit of the National Park System other than national parks and those national monuments of scientific significance. No leasehold or freehold conveyance shall be made except as to lands which the General Management Plan for the particular unit of the National Park System has designated as a Special Use Zone for the uses that are permitted by the freehold or leasehold conveyance. No leasehold or freehold conveyance shall be made unless the lands have been surveyed for natural, historical, and cultural values and a determination made by the Secretary that such leasehold or freehold conveyance will not be inconsistent with any natural, historical, or cultural values found on the land. Any conveyances affecting properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places must be reviewed by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Procedures for obtaining the Council's comments appear at 36 CFR part 800, “Procedures for the Protection of Historic and Cultural Resources.”
(a) When the Secretary has determined in accordance with these regulations that a freehold or leasehold interest will be offered, he will have a notice published in the Federal Register and, subsequently, once weekly for five consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the vicinity of the property. Publication of the notice shall be completed not less than 30 nor more than 120 days of the date for bid opening. The notice shall contain, at a minimum:
(1) A legal description of the land by public lands subdivisions, metes-and-bounds, or other suitable method,
(2) a statement of the interest to be conveyed, including restrictions to be placed on the use of the property,
(3) a statement of the fair market value of the interest as determined by the Secretary below which the interest will not be conveyed, together with information as to where the Government's appraisal may be inspected,
(4) information as to any preference rights of former owners to acquire the interest upon matching the highest bid,
(5) an outline of bid procedure and a designation of the time and place for submitting bids, and
(6) an outline of conveyance procedures, requirements, and time schedule.
(b) If the property has been in Federal ownership for less than two years, the last owner or owners of record shall be sent a notice by certified mail to their present or last known address providing the information in the published notice and advising them of their right under section 5(a) of the act to acquire the interest upon payment or agreement to pay an amount equal to the highest bid price.
Bids may be made by the principal or his agent, either personally or by mail. Bids will be considered only if received at the place and prior to the hour fixed in the notice. No particular form is specified for bids. However, a bid must be in writing, clearly identify the bidder, be signed by the bidder or his designated agent, state the amount of the bid, and refer to the notice. Bids conditioned in ways not provided for by the notice will not be considered. Bids must be accompanied by certified checks, post office money orders, bank drafts, or cashier's checks made payable to the United States of America for 2 percent of the amount of the fair market value or $2,500, whichever is greater, in the case of a freehold interest or for the amount of the first year's rent in the case of a leasehold interest. This payment will be refunded to unsuccessful bidders. A separate nonrefundable payment of $100 to cover costs of publication and of processing of bids will also be included with the bid. The bid and payments must be enclosed in a sealed envelope upon which the prospective bidder shall write: (a) Bid on interest in land of the National Park System, and (b) the scheduled date the bids are to be opened. In the event two or more valid bids are received in the same amount, the determination of which is the highest will be by drawing. Bids will be opened at the time and place specified in the notice. Bidders, their agents or representatives, and any other persons may attend the bid opening. No bid in an amount less than the fair market value, as herein defined, shall be considered.
The person who is declared by the authorized officer to be the high bidder shall be bound by his bid and the regulations in this part to complete the purchase in accordance therewith unless his bid is rejected or he is released therefrom by the authorized officer. The declared high bid on property for which a preference right exists will be conditionally accepted subject to the exercise of the preference as described below. In the case of a freehold interest, the high bidder must submit the balance of the bid within 45 days of the bid award in the form of a certified check, post office money order, bank draft, or cashier's check, made payable to the United States of America. Failure to submit the full balance within 45 days will result in the forfeiture of $1,000 of bid deposit, unless the bidder has been released from the bid or an extension has been granted by the authorized officer, and the property will be awarded to the next highest bidder upon fulfillment of the requirements of this section.
On any property which has been in Federal ownership less than two years, the Secretary, in addition to the notice specified in § 17.4, shall inform the last owner or owners of record by certified mail at their present or last known address of the highest bid on the interest and advise them of their right to acquire the interest for an amount equal to the highest bid if within 30 days they notify the Secretary of their desire to do so and make payment or agree to make payment of an amount equal to that specified in § 17.5.
If within 30 days of mailing of such notification, the former owner or owners do not indicate a desire to acquire the interest and make payment or agree to make payment for such interest in an amount equal to the declared high bid, or, if they do indicate such a desire but fail to consummate the transaction within the time period established for the conveyance, then the bid of the declared high bidder will be accepted. In the event that a former owner who indicates a desire to repurchase pursuant to this procedure fails to consummate the transaction within the established time period the declared high bidder shall be permitted, but not required, to consummate the transaction. If the declared high bidder does not choose to consummate the transaction in this circumstance, the entire transaction will be cancelled, and, if appropriate, a new bidding procedure instituted.
Conveyance of a leasehold or freehold interest shall be by lease or deed, as appropriate, at the highest bid price, but not less than fair market value. All conveyance of leasehold or freehold interests shall contain such terms and conditions as the Secretary deems necessary to assure use of the property in a manner consistent with the purpose for which the area was authorized by Congress. The conveyancing or leasing document shall contain such provisions and restrictions as may be determined by the Secretary to be necessary to protect the natural, historic, cultural or other values present on the lands. All conveyances shall be without warranty.