Amodei's Forest Service small tracts bill passes House 403 - 0
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed 403 - 0 via a suspension vote legislation introduced by Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2). H.R. 1214, the National Forest Small Tracts Act Amendments of 2015, would change existing law to authorize the U.S. Forest Service to sell or exchange parcels of land under 40 acres to resolve encroachments or trespasses and to enhance the Forest Service’s ability to better perform its land management responsibilities. The bill would increase the cap on the value of lands eligible to be sold from $150,000 to $500,000 and expand conveyance authority for certain small isolated parcels.
“This bill, which was drafted in coordination with the Forest Service’s Legislative Drafting Services, is a good example of what’s possible when the lines of communication are open between the Executive and Legislative branches,” said Amodei. “Like many issues surrounding public lands, this solution has been around for about a decade without opposition. I’m happy to be a part of getting it across the finish line. It helps local communities across the West resolve nagging land use issues without the need for a lands bill and it helps the Forest Service to better perform its duties by reducing costs through the disposal of isolated parcels of federal land.”
The Forest Service indicated to the Natural Resources Committee that the agency sold off only 20 acres in 2014 and that with the updates included in HR 1214, the number would increase to between 2,000 and 3,000 acres annually. Approximately 132,000 acres would qualify nationally and 1,277 acres in Nevada. Proceeds from the sale of National Forest System lands would be deposited in an account to be used for administrative sites, recreational access or to reimburse the agency for administrative costs associated with preparing the sales.
# # #