CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 1858 is being considered on the floor under a suspension of the rules, requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. This legislation was introduced by Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) on April 4, 2009. The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which took no official action.
H.R. 1858 would adjust the boundary of Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado, in order to exclude from the National Forest seven acres within the Crystal Lakes Subdivision. The seven acres are to be conveyed to the landowners whose property adjoins the excluded land at no cost to them.
In 2003, the Bureau of Land Management surveyed land within the Crystal Lakes subdivision adjacent to the Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado to ensure that no trees on private property were cleared while the United States Forest Service conducted a forest fire mitigation project. When they surveyed the land, the Bureau of Land Management determined that the original survey conducted in 1975 was inaccurate and that seven acres owned by residents of the Crystal Lakes subdivision were actually located on federal land.
The Forest Service notified the residents of the Crystal Lake subdivision in 2006 that their homes were encroaching on the Roosevelt National Forest, and that if they wanted to continue living there they would have to purchase the land from the federal government. However, residents of the subdivision claim they relied on the 1975 survey boundary when they purchased and developed their land and should not have to pay to buy back their own land.
A CBO cost estimate of H.R. 1858 was not yet available as of press time.
However, a CBO score for a similar bill which passed the House in the 110th Congress (H.R. 3299) stated that "based on the information from the Forest Service, CBO expects that implementing the legislation would cost less than $500,000."