CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
H.R. 689 is scheduled to be considered on the House floor on Tuesday, July 12, 2010, under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for passage. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Wally Herger (R-CA). The bill was referred to the Committee on Natural resources, which reported the bill by unanimous consent on May 7, 2010.
H.R. 689 would transfer administrative jurisdiction of certain land within the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California between the U.S. Forest Service to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM would assume control of 12,000 acres of Forest Service land while the Forest Service would take control of 5,000 acres of land currently administered by the BLM.
In addition, the bill would require the Secretaries to identify any known sites on the lands to be transferred that contain a hazardous substance.
The Shasta Trinity National Forest is the largest forest in California with a landscape ranging from 1,000 to 14,162 feet. The 2.1 million acre forest encompasses five wilderness areas, hundreds of mountain lakes and 6,278 miles of streams and rivers.
According to the Committee on Natural Resources, in House Report 111-108, the purpose of the exchange is to ease problems that off-highway vehicle (OHV) users are having regarding OHV use on the Trinity-Shasta National Forest and adjacent public lands. Due to the ‘patchwork' nature of the federal lands in that area, OHV permitting is currently split between the BLM and the FS, and thus OHV users have to deal with two agencies, and conflicting regulations on OHV use. Upon enactment of this exchange into law, OHV use in the area wouldbe consolidated on BLM-administered public lands and users would need only to obtain permits from the BLM.
According to CBO, H.R. 689 “would have no significant effect on the federal budget and would not affect direct spending or revenues.”