Congressman Gosar Applauds The Return Of Local Control of Land and Resources Across the WestWASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today U.S. Representative Paul A. Gosar D.D.S., released the following statement after the Natural Resources Management Act passed the House. This package includes a number of significant bills, including five of Congressman Gosar’s. This lands package provides common sense solutions to local challenges posed by the existence of federally-owned lands in states across the West.
"After years of collaboration with stakeholders, landowners and other policymakers, I’m proud to have five of my bills included in this lands package and see them headed to President Trump’s desk," said Congressman Gosar. "These victories were bottom-up priorities put on my plate by county supervisors and people in my district. For far too long, Arizonans have suffered from poor federal lands policies and overreaching mandates enacted by out-of-touch Washington bureaucrats. This package consolidates multiple checkerboards of land, returns control to the people on the ground, and increases multiple-use as well as economic development opportunities for several communities in Arizona. I thank House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop and his team for working with me to secure numerous wins for the people of Arizona’s Fourth District."
Today, the House of Representatives passed S.47, the Natural Resources Management Act, introduced by Rep. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bipartisan agreement contained in this legislation includes more than 120 bills addressing various land and natural resource management issues (~78 Republican and 47 Democrat bills).
The text of the bill can be found HERE. A list of supporters when this legislation passed the Senate can be found HERE. A helpful question and answer page can be found HERE. A title by title summary of the bill can be found HERE. A short summary of each section in the package and the process document can be found HERE.
Five of Congressman Gosar’s bills were included in the package and will be signed into law.
These pieces of legislation include: 1) H.R. 274, the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act of 2019; 2) H.R. 755, the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2019; 3) H.R. 756, the Embry-Riddle Tri-City Land Exchange Completion Act of 2019; 4) H.R. 304, the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act of 2019 and 5) H.R. 1268, the Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act. Summaries for each bill are below.
H.R. 274, the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act of 2019
Yavapai County officials have been in discussions with the Forest Service for several years and passed a resolution in favor of advancing this mutually beneficial exchange. The isolated lot of National Forest land is an 80 acre island parcel not contiguous or adjacent to any other Forest or state land. It is surrounded completely by private or county land which is mostly residential in nature. The 369 acres which the Coconino National Forest will receive from the County and will add value to the Forest Service system by connecting separated tracts and consolidating land already under the stewardship of the Forest Service. The County intends to maximize use of Windmill Park to better serve the residents of Yavapai County, the City of Cottonwood and the community of Cornville. The bill will allows significant improvements that could include adding a walking bridge, adding a new trail and expanding the park. A map of this land exchange can be found HERE.
H.R. 304, the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act of 2019
The bill was drafted at the request of the La Paz County Supervisors and local communities. This bipartisan bill helps facilitate a land transfer from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the County. Specifically, the La Paz County Land Exchange Act of 2019 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey 5,935 acres of Federal Land to La Paz County with the intent of using this land for economic development opportunities. This legislation requires the County to pay fair-market value for the Land involved in this transfer. The bill also requires the County to pay for all costs related to the conveyance, including all surveys, appraisals and other administrative costs. The map of this land exchange can be found HERE.
H.R. 755, the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2019
The Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange was drafted at the request of Bullhead City in collaboration with local stakeholders. The bill authorizes Bullhead City to donate the 1,100 acre mountainous property currently owned by the City to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in exchange for 345.2 acres of land in Bullhead City, known as Section 12, held by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the BLM. The 1,100 acre property in the Black Mountain range in the middle of nowhere and is difficult to get to by car as it takes a lot of time to travel on a windy, dirt road. The 2007 BLM Lake Havasu Resource Management Plan identified Section 12 as land available for disposal and today Bullhead City leases nearly all of Section 12 from the BLM. Section 12 is a highly disturbed area, along the Colorado River, that is mostly dirt. However, it is easily accessible and along a main corridor within the city limits. A map of the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange of 2018 can be found HERE.
H.R. 756, the Embry-Riddle Tri-City Land Exchange Completion Act of 2019
The bill was drafted at the request of the College. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s leader in aviation aerospace education has over $1.4 billion in impact nationally and $400M in economic impact to the State of Arizona. This not-for-profit higher education institution is a critical component of the STEM talent pipeline for the aviation aerospace industry. Arizona has recently been ranked No. 1 in aerospace manufacturing attractiveness by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Arizona Commerce Authority claims over 52,000 people are employed by aerospace and defense-related companies with a $5.5 billion total annual payroll and states there are 1,200 aerospace and defense companies in Arizona. A map of the 16-acre parcel can be found HERE.
H.R. 1268, the Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act
This legislation increases transparency, consolidates multiple reports and requires the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to do a thorough inventory of its assets as well as prioritize major repairs necessary at the agency’s facilities. The House bill has 5 Democrat cosponsors and 15 Republican cosponsors. The bill will help ensure future generations have access to an abundant supply of clean water and power.