|Committee||Energy and Natural Resources|
|Date||September 10, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)|
|Staff Contact||David Smentek|
On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the House will consider S. 130, the Powell Shooting Range Land Conveyance Act, under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced in the Senate on January 24, 2013 by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY). The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent. S. 130 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent.
S. 130 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the Powell Recreation District in Wyoming, without consideration, the land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in the Wind River District. The land is to be used as a shooting range or for any other public purpose consistent with the uses allowed under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA, 43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.). In addition, it instructs the Secretary to require the District to pay survey and administrative costs for the preparation and completion of any patents and transfers of title to such land. If the land in question ceases to be used for public purposes, the conveyed land must be reverted to the U.S.
Finally, it requires the District to agree to pay administrative costs associated with the conveyance of the land, including environmental, cultural, or historical studies, and to release the U.S. from claims or liabilities that could occur on such land from uses on or before the legislation’s enactment.
The Town of Powell is located in Park County, Wyoming. Since 1980, the Powell Recreation District has used approximately 322 acres of public land as a public shooting range. Because the lands are located within the boundaries of an irrigation district, they were presumed to be under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Reclamation. The Bureau issued the original lease for the shooting range in 1980 and a renewal in 2007.
Recently, it was determined that the lands are under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In October 2005, the recreation district applied for a transfer of the land under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act. The land, however, had not been identified by BLM as appropriate for conveyance under the RPPA, and the Department of the Interior concluded that it does not have authority to administratively transfer the land under the RPPA because the land is contaminated with lead from its long-time use as a shooting range.
The CBO estimates that this legislation would have no significant impact on the federal budget.
For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.