CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Monday, June 17, 2013, the House will consider H.R. 862, a bill to authorize the conveyance of two small parcels of land within the boundaries of the Coconino National Forest containing private improvements that were developed based upon the reliance of the landowners in an erroneous survey conducted in May 1960,under a suspension of the rules. The bill was introduced on February 27, 2013 by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which held a mark-up and reported the bill by unanimous consent.
H.R. 862 authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to convey all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to two small parcels of land to a person or entity that represents the majority of landowners with private property adjacent to the two parcels. In exchange for the land, the landowners are required to pay $20,000, which shall be available to the Secretary for the purchase of land in the National Forest System. The authority to convey the land sunsets three years after enactment.
he two land parcels referenced in the bill were developed by private landowners based on an erroneous land survey conducted in 1960. It wasn’t until a subsequent survey was conducted in 2007 that it was discovered the two parcels of land were actually inside the boundaries of Coconino National Forest in Arizona.
H.R. 862 resolves this boundary dispute by authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to convey the approximately 2.67 acres of land to the landowners in question for a price of $20,000. An identical bill (H.R. 1038) passed the House in the 112th Congress on April 25, 2012 by a recorded vote of 421-1 (Roll no. 181).
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 862 would “have a negligible impact on the federal budget.” Pay-as-you-go procedures would apply because “implementing the legislation would increase offsetting receipts and associated direct spending…however, CBO estimates that those changes would have no significant impact on future budget deficits.”