CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, October 3, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 686 under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. H.R. 686 was introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) on February 14, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill as amended on June 15, 2011, by unanimous consent.
H.R. 686 would authorize the conveyance of 420 acres of land currently owned by the federal government to the state of Utah for use by the Utah National Guard. Under the bill, the Secretary of Interior, acting through the Bureau of Land Management, would have to convey the land to the state without consideration within 120 days of enactment. According to CBO, the Utah National Guard already trained at the area and the land has been withdrawn from commercial mineral development for use by the Utah National Guard, thus the legislation would have no budgetary impact. The land would revert to federal ownership if it is used for non-national defense purposes.
According to House Report 112-163, the Utah National Guard has possessed facilities and trained at Camp Williams since 1912. The legislation would convey 420 acres that are within the boundaries of Camp Williams, but are not owned by the Utah National Guard. According to the report, “This land transfer will open access to property along a major transportation corridor with all the utilities and services necessary to support expanded military use. The Utah National Guard already owns and operates several buildings, an air traffic control tower and a tactical airfield on portions of this property. Placing the land in the State's name for use by the National Guard consolidates ownership patterns in the headquarters area and allows the State of Utah to bond for future Guard facilities. Transfer of title to these lands expedites the building and expansion of Camp Williams training facilities and would improve the readiness of the Utah National Guard. Additionally, the bill includes a provision directing that the land revert to federal ownership if it stops being used for National Guard or national defense purposes.”
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 686 would have “no significant impact on the federal budget.”