Facilities Toolbox: Excess Facilities
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Authorities for Sale of Land

Photo of a storage building

Steamboat Springs Civilian Conservation Corps
(CCC) storage building.

Forest: Medicine Bow-Routt
District: Hahn's Peak/Bear Ears
Region: 2


The Forest Service Facilities Realignment and Enhancement Act (FSREA) provides broader authority for disposal of excess administrative facilities than the Forest Service had ever has before.

The Pilot Conveyance Authority is extremely limited. If your site was not one of the 40 selected, you cannot use it.

Standard sale authorities for NFS lands are narrow in scope and application (see FSM 5500, chapter 5570—Sales, Grants and Special Acts). The authorities most commonly used by the Forest Service are:

  1. FSM 5570.11-Townsite Act of July 31, 1958 and FSM 5571.2-Townsite Act
    Requirements are:
    • Sale must go to a government subdivision (city, county, Public Utility District, Fire Department, etc.)
    • Applicant must pay fair market value. Dollars go to the treasury.
    • Land must be used for community purposes.
    • A public notice is required.

  2. Sisk Act of December 4, 1967-16 USC 484a
    Requirements are:
    • Sale applies to State, county or municipal governments or public school authorities.
    • Dollars go to an account to purchase similar land from same State
    • Parcels cannot be larger than 80 acres.
    • Sales are allowed only if the government or school district doesn't have enough land to do an exchange.
  3. FSM 5571.1—Small Tracts Act of January 12, 1983 provides the Secretary of Agriculture with the authority to sell, exchange, or interchange all right, interest, or title, including mineral estate, to resolve certain land ownership disputes associated with encroachments and land management problems when it is in the public interest.

Contact a Specialist: Start by contacting the forest property and lands specialist in your area. Also check the disposal process Web page.

Where the dollars go: Townsite Act proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury. Sisk Act authority proceeds are held in an account to purchase similar land in the same State. Small Tracts Act proceeds go to the U.S. Treasury. Proceeds from the FSFREA and the Pilot Conveyance Authority disposals return to the Forest Service region.