H.R. 253: Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act

H.R. 253

Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act

Date
June 17, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, June 17, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 253, the Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on January 15, 2013 by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 253 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to Brigham Young University (BYU) all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to an approximately 80-acre parcel of land that is part of the National Forest System.  The bill requires BYU to pay the fair market price, as determined by an appraisal approved by the Secretary, and to pay the costs associated with surveying and appraising, as well as any administrative costs.  Further, the bill requires that BYU continue to allow public access to the portions of the Y Mountain trail on the newly conveyed land as well as the land BYU already owns, as a condition of the conveyance.

Background

Y Mountain and the familiar mountainside landmark “Y” is located in Provo, Utah, overlooking the Utah Valley and the Brigham Young University (BYU) campus. The Y was constructed in 1906 and has been part of the Provo landscape ever since.[1]

Currently, BYU provides public access to the 380-foot tall by 130-foot wide landmark through its privately owned and maintained trailhead and much of the trail leading up to it. The remaining property is owned by the U.S. Forest Service, but is conserved by the university under a permit that has typically been renewed every 10 years. BYU seeks to guarantee its ability to maintain the Y and surrounding grounds without the risk of losing the right through the permitting process.

To that end, H.R. 253 requires the Secretary of Agriculture to convey, at fair market value, approximately 80 acres of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest located in Provo, Utah, to BYU.  Similar legislation (H.R. 4484) passed the House in the 112thCongress by voice vote on July 23, 2012.


[1] See Committee Report 113-98

Cost

CBO estimates that “that implementing [H.R. 253] would not affect discretionary spending. Enacting H.R. 253 would not affect revenues.”  However, pay-as-you-go procedures apply because it would increase offsetting receipts by less than $500,000 in 2014.[1]