Federal Land Exchange:

Assessment of Mount Hood Land Appraisal Reports

GAO-06-1135R: Published: Sep 26, 2006. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 2006.

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In response to a Congressional request, we briefed Congressional staff on September 21, 2006, on the results of our review of two appraisal reports prepared for a proposed land exchange contained within the pending bill H.R. 5025, the Mount Hood Stewardship Legacy Act. This bill would authorize the exchange of private land and business interests at Cooper Spur for Forest Service land at Government Camp in Oregon. Specifically, Congress asked that we determine whether the appraisal reports supporting this land exchange were prepared in compliance with recognized appraisal standards, namely, appraisal industry standards as defined in the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP) and federal standards as defined in the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions (UASFLA).

Both appraisers concluded that the Cooper Spur appraisal report did not comply with the recognized standards, although they differed on whether the Government Camp appraisal report complied with the standards. On the basis of the review appraisers' reports and conclusions, we concluded that the federal government has limited assurance that the Cooper Spur and Government Camp appraisal reports reflect market value for the land and business interests proposed for this exchange. We discussed our results with the certified appraiser who prepared the appraisal reports and considered his comments in preparing our final report.

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