CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, September 16, 2015, the House will consider the H.R. 2223, the Crags, Colorado Land Exchange Act of 2015, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 2223 was introduced on May 1, 2015 by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent on July 9, 2015.
H.R. 2223 requires the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to facilitate an equal-value land exchange, at the request of a private entity, of 82 acres of federal lands in the Pike National Forest for 320 acres of private lands in that forest. The purpose of this bill is to exchange National Forest System lands at Emerald Valley Ranch that have lost their National Forest character for private lands in the Pikes Peak region with high National Forest values.
If the value of the non-Federal parcel exceeds that of the Federal parcel in this exchange, the United States will not be required to make a cash equalization payment to the private entity and any surplus value will be considered a donation by private entity to the United States. If the value of the Federal parcel exceeds the non-Federal parcel, the private entity will make a cash equalization payment to the United States.
The Broadmoor Hotel Inc. (the private entity) recently acquired a 320-acre Crags property on the west side of Pikes Peak National Forest in Colorado. According to the Committee, the property has been a top acquisition priority for the USFS Pikes Peak Ranger District for several years because the area has high National Forest character and is completely surrounded by the Pike National Forest. The property provides several opportunities to connect Forest System trails emanating from the Crags Campground with trails in the Horsethief Park/Putney Gulch area.
In October 2012, USFS issued a 20-year special use permit to Broadmoor Hotel Inc. to operate and maintain Emerald Valley Ranch, which is located southwest of Colorado Springs, Colorado, as a guest ranch, and the company recently acquired buildings on the parcel from the previous owner. Since issuance of the special use permit, Broadmoor Hotel Inc. has invested in significant upgrades and improvements throughout the parcel.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that enacting H.R. 2223 would reduce direct spending by about $350,000 over the 2016 to 2025 period; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 2223 would not affect revenues.
For questions or further information please contact John Huston with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-5539.