H.R. 4073: To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County

H.R. 4073

To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept the quitclaim, disclaimer, and relinquishment of a railroad right of way within and adjacent to Pike National Forest in El Paso County

Date
July 31, 2012 (112th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, July 31, 2012, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 4073, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. The bill was introduced on February 17, 2012, by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and referred to the Natural Resources Committee. On June 7, 2012, the Committee held a mark-up on the bill and reported the legislation, as amended.

Bill Summary

H.R. 4073 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to accept certain lands located in El Paso County, Colorado, from the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company. The land that would be relinquished to the Secretary under the bill is an abandoned right-of-way, known as the “Manitou Incline,” that would be managed as part of the Pike National Forest. According to CBO, the lands consist of less than 1 mile of abandoned railroad bed currently used as a hiking trail.

Background

According to the Committee on Natural Resources, the Manitou Incline was granted as a railroad right-of-way to the Mt. Manitou Park and Incline Railway Company (now the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company) for a one mile cable tram to support the construction of a hydroelectric plant and water line. After completion of the hydroelectric facility, the tram was turned into a tourist attraction that operated until damaged by a landslide in 1990. Since that time, the abandoned cable track has become a popular hiking route and training area for athletes. However, all users of the area are technically unauthorized to do so since the Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway Company has never opened the Manitou Incline for public use. This legislation would allow the Secretary to accept ownership of the right of way to properly manage the Manitou Incline as a recreational site.

Cost

According to CBO, any additional costs to administer the affected lands under H.R. 4073 would be minimal and enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.