HELP TO ACCESS LAND FOR THE EDUCATION OF SCOUTS; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 146
(House of Representatives - October 03, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages H6475-H6476]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




            HELP TO ACCESS LAND FOR THE EDUCATION OF SCOUTS

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass 
the bill (H.R. 473) to provide for the conveyance of approximately 140 
acres of land in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the Indian 
Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America, and for other 
purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                                H.R. 473

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Help to Access Land for the 
     Education of Scouts'' or ``HALE Scouts Act''.

     SEC. 2. LAND CONVEYANCE, OUACHITA NATIONAL FOREST, OKLAHOMA.

       (a) Finding.--Congress finds that it is in the public 
     interest to provide for the sale of certain federally owned 
     land in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the 
     Indian Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America, 
     for market value consideration.
       (b) Conveyance Required.--Subject to valid existing rights, 
     the Secretary of Agriculture shall convey, by quitclaim deed, 
     to the Indian Nations Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of 
     America (in this section referred to as the ``Council'') all 
     right, title, and interest of the United States in and to 
     certain National Forest System land in the Ouachita National 
     Forest in the State of Oklahoma consisting of approximately 
     140 acres, depending on the final measurement of the road set 
     back and the actual size of the affected sections, as more 
     fully described in subsection (c). The conveyance may not 
     include any land located within the Indian Nations National 
     Scenic and Wildlife Area designated by section 10 of the 
     Winding Stair Mountain National Recreation and Wilderness 
     Area Act (16 U.S.C. 460vv-8).
       (c) Covered Lands.--The National Forest System land to be 
     conveyed under subsection (b) is depicted on the map entitled 
     ``Boy Scout Land Request--Ouachita NF''. The map shall be on 
     file and available for public inspection in the Forest 
     Service Regional Office in Atlanta, Georgia.
       (d) Consideration.--As consideration for the land conveyed 
     under subsection (b), the Council shall pay to the Secretary 
     an amount equal to the fair market value of the land, as 
     determined by an appraisal approved by the Secretary and done 
     in conformity with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for 
     Federal Land Acquisitions and section 206 of the Federal Land 
     Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716).
       (e) Survey and Administrative Costs.--The exact acreage and 
     legal description of the land to be conveyed under subsection 
     (b) shall be determined by a survey satisfactory to the 
     Secretary. The Council shall pay the reasonable costs of 
     survey, appraisal, and any administrative analyses required 
     by law.
       (f) Access.--Access to the land conveyed under subsection 
     (b) shall be from the adjacent land of the Council or its 
     successor. Notwithstanding section 1323(a) of the Alaska 
     National Interest Lands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 3210(a)), 
     the Secretary shall not be required to provide additional 
     access to the conveyed land.
       (g) Additional Terms and Conditions.--The Secretary may 
     prescribe such terms and conditions on the conveyance under 
     subsection (b) as the Secretary considers in the public 
     interest, including the reservation of access rights to the 
     conveyed land for administrative purposes.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Utah (Mr. Bishop) and the gentleman from the Northern Mariana Islands 
(Mr. Sablan) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Utah.


                             General Leave

  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all 
Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from Utah?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  If I spend less time speaking about this particular bill, it's not my 
commitment to this particular bill, only the gentleman from Oklahoma 
seems to be here already.
  H.R. 473 was introduced by the gentleman from Oklahoma (Mr. Boren). 
It would authorize the Forest Service to sell 143 acres of the Ouachita 
National Forest to the Camp Hale Boy Scout camp, which is just under 
500 acres adjacent to those Federal lands. The additional acreage will 
allow the Boy Scouts to accommodate more campers and allow for a larger 
array of activities at the camp. The legislation stipulates that the 
acres will be appraised and sold at market value. The Boy Scouts will 
pay for the appraisal as well as the survey and the administrative 
costs.
  This legislation is a commonsense solution to allow for an expansion 
of the camp and better accommodations for the Boy Scouts of America.
  I urge adoption of this brilliant piece of legislation, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.

[[Page H6476]]

  Mr. SABLAN. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  (Mr. SABLAN asked and was given permission to revise and extend his 
remarks.)
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, this legislation will allow the Indian 
Nation's Council of the Boy Scouts to expand a very popular adventure 
camp in Oklahoma. The Scouts would pay fair market value for an 
additional 140 acres of Forest Service land to be added to the existing 
camp.
  Mr. Speaker, the Boy Scouts are a beloved organization dedicated to 
education and public service. The sale of this parcel to the Scouts is 
a good use of public lands, and we support the legislation.
  I would also like to acknowledge that my good friend, Mr. Boren, has 
been a tireless champion for this bill and for the Boy Scouts and is to 
be commended for his work over several years on behalf of this 
proposal.
  I urge my colleagues to support H.R. 473.
  I yield the balance of my time to the good gentleman from Oklahoma 
(Mr. Boren).
  Mr. BOREN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to urge passage of H.R. 473, the 
HALE Scouts Act. This bill grants the U.S. Forest Service the authority 
to sell roughly 140 acres of land to the Indian Nation's Council of Boy 
Scouts. The land for conveyance is adjacent to the Scouts' summer camp, 
Camp Tom Hale, located in Talihina, Oklahoma.
  The Indian Nation's Council of Boy Scouts is a nonprofit 
organization, providing educational programs for boys and young adults 
to build character, to train in the responsibilities of citizenship, 
and to develop personal fitness.
  Camp Tom Hale first opened in June 1930 to serve Boy Scouts in 
McAlester, Oklahoma. It was originally located in what is now Robbers 
Cave State Park near Wilburton, Oklahoma. In 1963, the Boy Scout 
Council in McAlester worked with the State of Oklahoma and the U.S. 
Forest Service to exchange the camp at Robbers Cave for 480 acres of 
wilderness area in the Ouachita National Forest. This ``new'' Camp Hale 
has continued as a summer adventure camp, serving thousands of Scouts 
during the intervening 41 years.
  In 1997, the council board developed a strategic plan for a $3.5 
million expansion and renovation of the camp. Since then, the council 
has spent in excess of $1 million continually updating and expanding 
facilities to meet the needs of scouts. As a result, a renewed emphasis 
on wilderness and outdoors has flourished, with over 6,000 scouts and 
leaders from a five-State area attending weekly sessions offered in 
June and July and enjoying the beautiful Ouachita Forest.

                              {time}  1630

  Attendance has now exceeded the maximum number of available campsites 
and program areas, which is causing Camp Hale to begin turning away 
hundreds of scouts each summer. It is now critical for camp growth that 
the boundaries be extended to include more area for camping and 
additional program and training services.
  Successful completion of this objective will allow the Boy Scouts to 
continue the expansion of outdoor and leadership training for thousands 
of youths living in the central Southwest and bring additional usage 
and enjoyment of the Ouachita Forest for more families.
  I want to emphasize that the Boy Scouts will pay fair market value, 
as was mentioned before, for this land, so that this bill will actually 
bring money to the U.S. Government.
  It is for the benefit of these thousands of young men across a five-
State area that I proudly sponsored this measure. I greatly appreciate 
the House's consideration of the bill and would like to urge my 
colleagues to support this bill, this legislation. I can think of no 
greater thing that we can do than to invest in our young people. And 
how can you be against the Boy Scouts?
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. Mr. Speaker, to be honest, I had some doubts 
about this piece of legislation. But after the eloquence of the 
gentleman from Oklahoma, he has removed any doubts as to the viability 
of this piece of legislation. It's obviously a brilliant bill and will 
be a capstone to his career.
  I urge its adoption, and I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. SABLAN. Mr. Speaker, I associate myself also with my good friend 
Mr. Bishop. How can anyone be against the Boy Scouts?
  I ask my colleagues to support this legislation, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. BISHOP of Utah. I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of 
H.R. 473, ``Help to Access Land for the Education of Scouts Act,'' 
which requires the conveyance of specified National Forest System land 
in the Ouachita National Forest in Oklahoma to the Indian Nations 
Council, Inc., of the Boy Scouts of America. This legislation is 
appropriate and necessary for the continuation of the very principles 
that Boy Scouts of America stands for.
  Currently, the Indian Nations Council serves more than 28,000 youth 
and 5,500 adult volunteers throughout 18 counties in eastern Oklahoma. 
Over the past century, the Council has positively impacted hundreds of 
thousands of Scouts and their families. However, due to the increased 
growth of the scouting program in Eastern Oklahoma, attendance at Camp 
Tom Hale has surpassed the maximum number of available campsites and 
program capacity. In turn, the organization has been forced to turn 
away many scouts and their families. There is a critical need to serve 
more scouts. However, more land is needed to ensure the quality of 
camping and experience for the scouts. Boundaries need to be extended 
to help accommodate more scouts, and to maximize their camp experience.
  Boy Scouts of America is a prominent values-based organization that 
has helped to mold young boys into model citizens, while simultaneously 
building character and promoting physical fitness. I do not feel that 
anyone, or the lack of sufficient land should deprive more of our youth 
from taking full advantage of all of the possibilities that Boy Scouts 
of America, specifically, the Indian Nations Council provides. I 
believe it is the responsibility of myself, as well as my colleagues, 
to ensure that we do everything in our ability to ensure that we pass 
H.R. 473 so that we can aid our young men in their development.
  If passed, H.R. 473 will allow the Indian Nations Council to purchase 
an additional 140 acres of U.S. Forest Service land immediately 
adjacent to the existing Camp Tom Hale facility. To add to this, the 
Indian Nations Council can expect to have more scouts participate in 
their summer camps, without the burden of having to turn eager scouts 
away.
  H.R. 473 can benefit the overall well being of the public by 
providing the Indian Nations Council of Boy Scouts of America with the 
adequate and necessary space needed to accommodate the growing number 
of scouts. It is essential that we pass H.R. 473 because organizations 
such as Boy Scouts of America are the driving force behind the leaders 
of tomorrow. By providing these young men, as well as their adult 
leaders with the proper space they need, we will simultaneously provide 
our youth with a place where they can live up to the morals and 
standards of the organization's mission.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Utah (Mr. Bishop) that the House suspend the rules and 
pass the bill, H.R. 473, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________