CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, December 12, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider S. 278 under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval. S. 278 was introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) on February 3, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources.
S. 278 would authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to exchange approximately 5 acres of land owned by the Department of Agriculture located in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forests with the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District of Boulder, Colorado. Under the legislation, if the land is not exchanged within one year of the bill's enactment, the Secretary would be authorized to sell the land to the Sugar Loaf fire district for a federally appraised amount.
The Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District of Boulder, Colorado, operates two fire stations on National Forest Service land. The Sugar Loaf district has sought ownership of the land in order to establish a firefighter training area and make improvements to the facilities. The Sugar Land district owns a separate, five-acre parcel of non-federal land which it would exchange with the National Forest Service. According to House Report 112-161, the District has tried, unsuccessfully, since 1997 to have the lands that these two fire stations operate on administratively transferred to it under the Small Tracts Act. Having exhausted this process, legislative action is needed to effect the change.
According to CBO, the bill would have no impact on discretionary spending. The bill could increase revenue because the nonfederal lands have a lower value than the Forest Service lands that would be conveyed, CBO expects that the Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District would provide a cash payment to the agency equal to the difference in values between the two parcels of land. Based on information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates that such a payment would be less than $50,000.