CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 241, a bill to authorize the conveyance of certain National Forest System lands in the Los Padres National Forest in California, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority for approval. The bill was introduced on January 7, 2011, by Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark up and reported the bill by unanimous consent on July 20, 2011.
H.R. 241 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to exchange approximately five acres of National Forest System land in Santa Barbara County, California, to the White Lotus Foundation, a nonprofit foundation located in Santa Barbara, California, for land worth no less than the appraised market value. Under the bill, if the land exchange does not occur within two years, the Secretary would be authorized to sell the land to the foundation.
According to Committee Report 112-216, the bill gives the Secretary of Agriculture authority to convey for no less than the appraised market value approximately five acres within the Los Padres National Forest in California to the White Lotus Foundation. A short access road that loops into U.S. Forest Service land is the only road that allows White Lotus and the public access from San Marcos Pass Road. Due to steep topography, there is no reasonable alternative location for an access road and without this space the White Lotus Foundation will be forced to cease its operations.
According to CBO, enacting H.R. 241 would “have no significant impact on the federal budget because the agency is unlikely to exchange or sell this parcel of land, and if it was sold or exchanged, the net budgetary impact would be negligible.”