CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1121 is being considered on the floor under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Monday, July 27, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-VA) on February 23, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill, as amended, by voice vote on July 9, 2009.
H.R. 1121 would authorize a land exchange between the federal government, which administers the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Town of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Under the bill, the Secretary of Interior would exchange 20 acres within the Blue Ridge Parkway for 192 acres of land owned by the Town of Blowing Rock.
H.R. 1121 would require that the Secretary seek to complete the exchange within three years of enactment. In addition, the bill would authorize the adjusting of the acreage amounts in order to ensure that the exchange is equal in value.
According to Committee Report 111-227, the 20 acres of land that would be exchange by the NPS to the Town of Blowing Rock, N.C. was willed to the federal government in 1908, but held in trust until 1949. During the time that the land was held in trust, the donor's widow allowed the Town of Blowing Rock to remove water from a steam on the land, and, in 1955, the government issued a special use permit to the Town to construct a small dam and reservoir on the property. The exchange would allow the reservoir to be transferred the Town for management purpose. In exchange, the government would receive approximately 192 acres of underdeveloped land as a buffer zone between the Blue Ridge Parkway and nearby developed areas.
According to CBO, H.R. 1121 would "have no significant effect on discretionary spending and no effect on revenues or direct spending."