Real Estate Appraisal

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uses appraisals to determine the fair market value of property involved in purchase, exchange, sale, and certain use authorizations of public lands. Prior to 2003, BLM staff appraisers and review appraisers prepared these appraisals. In November 2003, Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, consolidated the real estate appraisal functions of the BLM, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation into the Appraisal Services Directorate (ASD) located within the DOI National Business Center.   ASD provided all appraisal services formerly provided by BLM appraisers. 

In May 2010, Secretary Salazar, responding to suggestions from the four bureaus utilizing ASD, reorganized ASD into the Office of Valuation Services (OVS) within the Office of the Secretary. This reorganization also shifted the appraisal function from a regional structure with seven geographic regions to a client service team-based organization with each bureau having a specific team within OVS to handle their valuation needs. Another significant change was the inclusion of the Office of Minerals Evaluation (OME) into OVS. Previously, OME was within ASD, but separate from the real estate appraisal function. The incorporation of OME into OVS resulted in additional expertise in geology, mineral ecology, and mine engineering for the appraisal function and to better support the client bureaus. 

OVS provides a wide range of valuation services including appraisals, appraisal reviews, consultation services, and minerals evaluation products for Department and client agencies that conform to the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA), as appropriate for the assignment, and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). 

The BLM Client Service Team within OVS has 19 personnel including the Client Service Manager (CSM), Team Lead Appraiser (TLA), and an Administrative Officer (AO). There are currently BLM Team appraisers located in 9 of the 11 western states, with Washington and Arizona being the exceptions. One OVS appraiser is located in Alaska and shared by BLM, NPS, and FWS teams. The primary OVS offices for the BLM Team are Lakewood, Colorado and Portland, Oregon with satellite offices in Billings, Boise, Cheyenne, Las Cruces, Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City.

The BLM authorized officer requesting appraisal services is responsible for accepting and authorizing the appraisal to support a land transaction.  In approving the OVS-prepared appraisal report, the BLM authorized officer agrees the report is credible and sufficiently supports the appraised value. The stated value serves as the basis for the realty action specified in the valuation request.

In addition to appraisal and appraisal review, OVS is responsible for contracting for valuation services. OVS Review Appraisers work with BLM realty staff and OVS contracting staff for each valuation assignment requiring procurement. The BLM and OVS Interagency Agreement establishes the valuation services process and contracting expenses reimbursement process.   

Held to high standards, OVS contract appraisers must be state certified or licensed. Additional accreditation from professional appraisal organizations, such as the Appraisal Institute and the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, is highly desirable.

Contact Information

Timothy J. Hansen, RPRA  
BLM Team Client Service Manager 
Office of Valuation Services
12136 W. Bayaud Ave., Suite 100
Lakewood, CO 80228
303-969-5368            
Doug Braun, MAI
BLM Team Lead Appraiser
Office of Valuation Services
EGWW Federal Building
1220 SW 3rd Avenue, 10th Floor
Portland, OR  97204-2825
503-808-6070

 

Resources:

U.S. Department of Justice Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA): http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/land-ack/

The Appraisal Foundation: http://www.appraisalfoundation.org/

The Appraisal Subcommittee National Registry of state certified and licensed appraisers: http://www.asc.gov/

Professional Appraisal Organizations:

American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers: http://www.asfmra.org/

American Society of Appraisers:  http://www.appraisers.org/

Appraisal Institute:  http://www.appraisalinstitute.org/


Other Information:

Departmental Manual 112 DM 33 – Organization - http://elips.doi.gov/ELIPS/DocView.aspx?id=561

Departmental Manual 212 DM 33.3 – Delegation - http://elips.doi.gov/ELIPS/DocView.aspx?id=3854

OVS Valuation Policy Manual 602 DM 1 – Land Acquisition, Exchange, and Disposal - http://elips.doi.gov/ELIPS/DocView.aspx?id=3860