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Amodei Reintroduces Bill to Streamline Small Land Transfers

February 16, 2017
Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                Contact: Logan Ramsey, 202-225-6155                                      

Amodei Reintroduces Bill to Streamline Small Land Transfers

WASHINGTON, D.C – Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) today released the following statement after reintroducing the Small Tracts Conveyance Act (H.R. 1106), legislation to accelerate the process for transferring small parcels of federal land to local communities:

“This legislation has been introduced the past three Congresses and seeks to address the issue of small conveyances of federal land where there are no environmental issues, exceptional resources, or valid existing rights present. It will facilitate the conveyance of small tracts, 160 acres or less, for adjoining land owners or political subdivisions – rather than the present process which essentially requires congressional legislation to transfer a single square foot of land in some cases.

“Nevada has many instances where this is the only process available to meet those needs, and quite frankly, it’s unworkable and doesn’t result in responsible, non-environmentally sensitive lands being put toward a legitimate public priority. This bill would save the taxpayers, the BLM, and the USFS the expense of managing an excessive portfolio of federal lands, while generating revenue for local governments. Most importantly, it would give states like Nevada the freedom to determine how best to use their own lands, whether it's for economic development, agriculture, recreation, or conservation.”

Background:

In western states, straightforward, non-controversial efforts to increase local control can take more than a decade to complete. While there should be scrutiny for any sale, the bureaucratic regulatory maze and slow legislative process are the main culprits in dragging out the transfers.

The Small Tracts Conveyance Act (H.R. 1106) defines a "small tract" as 160 acres or less, and would limit the transfer process for such lands to 18 months by establishing firm deadlines for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) to meet. It would exclude lands with established federal protection for cultural, biological, or endangered species issues.

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