Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability
The Bureau of Land Management Eastern States held a virtual public meeting on Aug. 15, 2020, to inform potential claimants on how the BLM will convey certain federal lands in the state of Louisiana, including mineral interests, to potential claimants who have had possession of the land and held it in good faith, and whom Section 1009 (Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability) of the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act requires the BLM to identify for the issuance of land patents to each. Information will be provided during the virtual public meeting to explain who is eligible to submit a claim, how to submit a claim, what documents are needed, and how the BLM will review and process the claims.
Q1. As a condition of conveyance, BLM must recover the costs associated with the related project work. Who pays?
A1. The state of Louisiana. As a condition of the conveyance, the BLM shall recover from the state of Louisiana all costs it incurred, prior to making the conveyance of omitted land to claimants.
Q2. How were the lands omitted from the original survey, identified to be public now?
A2. BLM conducted a lands survey in 1967 (approved in 1969) that identified approximately 230 acres of public domain land that had been omitted from the original survey.
Q3. What map is being used for this purpose?
A3. Per Sec. 1009, the term "Map" means the map entitled "Lands as Delineated by Original Survey December 18, 1842 showing the 1969 Meander Line at the 148.6 Elevation Line" and dated January 30, 2018.
Q4. What is the description of the original survey?
A4. Per Sec. 1009, the term "Original Survey" means the survey of land surrounding Lake Bistineau, Louisiana, conducted by the General Land Office in 1838 and approved by the Surveyor General on December 8, 1842.
Q5. Why aren’t you conducting an environmental analysis in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act?
A5. BLM has no discretionary authority to issue or not issue the patents. The Dingell Act is written in such a way that the BLM has no discretionary authority to decide not to implement this decision. Therefore, no analysis under the NEPA is required prior to the issuance of patents to identified claimants.
Q6. Why are private landowners occupying Public Domain land?
A6. The state of Louisiana in 1901 erroneously transferred the land to the Bossier Levee Board. The land has been sold and subdivided since over the years. The State transfer created a title conflict.
Q7. Who can be considered a claimant?
A7. Per Sec. 1009, the term "claimant" means any individual, group, or corporation authorized to hold title to land or mineral interests in land in the state of Louisiana with a valid claim to the omitted land, including any mineral interests.
Q8. Are any mineral interests conveyed to claimants of omitted lands?
A8. Per Sec. 1009, the Secretary shall convey to the claimant the omitted land, including any mineral interests. The long-term projection of the Federal mineral value in section 30 is in the range of $10 million.
Q9. What should a claimant include in their claim?
A9. A claimant must include, at a minimum, the following items in their claim:
- A completed Color-of-Title application (2540-1) form and Conveyances Affecting Color or Claim of Title (2540-2) form (required);
- Legal name(s) of all claimant(s) to the parcel being applied for;
- The Bossier Parrish Tax Assessor number for the legal description of the portion of omitted land;
- All land title documents for the past 20 years (minimum) for the parcel being applied for or succession documentation (if the land or interest in the land was inherited); and
- Signature(s) by all claimant(s) to the parcel being applied for.
Q10. Where / how does a claimant submit their claim?
A10. A claimant must submit the completed Color-of-Title application (2540-1) form and Conveyances Affecting Color or Claim of Title (2540-2) form and the required documentation of title history (a minimum of the past 20 years) for the parcel being applied for:
- By mailing to BLM ESSO, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041.
Q11. How can a claimant seek assistance with completing a Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability form?
A11. A claimant can seek assistance with completing a Lake Bistineau Land Title Stability form by:
- View the videos on completing the application forms; or
- Scheduling an appointment – either video conference or by phone