February 6, 2017 - Issue: Vol. 163, No. 20 — Daily Edition115th Congress (2017 - 2018) - 1st Session
CRAGS, COLORADO LAND EXCHANGE ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 20
(House of Representatives - February 06, 2017)
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 H980-H982] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] CRAGS, COLORADO LAND EXCHANGE ACT OF 2017 Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 618) to authorize, direct, expedite, and facilitate a land exchange in El Paso and Teller Counties, Colorado, and for other purposes. The Clerk read the title of the bill. The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 618 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 ``Crags, Colorado Land Exchange Act of 2017''. SEC. 2. PURPOSES. The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to authorize, direct, expedite, and facilitate the land exchange set forth herein; and (2) to promote enhanced public outdoor recreational and natural resource conservation opportunities in the Pike National Forest near Pikes Peak, Colorado, via acquisition of the non-Federal land and trail easement. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) BHI.--The term ``BHI'' means Broadmoor Hotel, Inc., a Colorado corporation. (2) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to approximately 83 acres of land within the Pike National Forest, El Paso County, Colorado, together with a non- exclusive perpetual access easement to BHI to and from such land on Forest Service Road 371, as generally depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed Crags Land Exchange-Federal Parcel- Emerald Valley Ranch'', dated March 2015. (3) Non-federal land.--The term ``non-Federal land'' means the land and trail easement to be conveyed to the Secretary by BHI in the exchange and is-- (A) approximately 320 acres of land within the Pike National Forest, Teller County, Colorado, as generally depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed Crags Land Exchange- Non-Federal Parcel-Crags Property'', dated March 2015; and (B) a permanent trail easement for the Barr Trail in El Paso County, Colorado, as generally depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed Crags Land Exchange-Barr Trail Easement to United States'', dated March 2015, and which shall be considered as a voluntary donation to the United States by BHI for all purposes of law. (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Agriculture, unless otherwise specified. SEC. 4. LAND EXCHANGE. (a) In General.--If BHI offers to convey to the Secretary all right, title, and interest of BHI in and to the non- Federal land, the Secretary shall accept the offer and simultaneously convey to BHI the Federal land. (b) Land Title.--Title to the non-Federal land conveyed and donated to the Secretary under this Act shall be acceptable to the Secretary and shall conform to the title approval standards of the Attorney General of the United States applicable to land acquisitions by the Federal Government. (c) Perpetual Access Easement to BHI.--The nonexclusive perpetual access easement to be granted to BHI as shown on the map referred to in section 3(2) shall allow-- (1) BHI to fully maintain, at BHI's expense, and use Forest Service Road 371 from its junction with Forest Service Road 368 in accordance with historic use and maintenance patterns by BHI; and (2) full and continued public and administrative access and use of FSR 371 in accordance with the existing Forest Service travel management plan, or as such plan may be revised by the Secretary. (d) Route and Condition of Road.--BHI and the Secretary may mutually agree to improve, relocate, reconstruct, or otherwise alter the route and condition of all or portions of such road as the Secretary, in close consultation with BHI, may determine advisable. (e) Exchange Costs.--BHI shall pay for all land survey, appraisal, and other costs to the Secretary as may be necessary to process and consummate the exchange directed by this Act, including reimbursement to the Secretary, if the Secretary so requests, for staff time spent in such processing and consummation. SEC. 5. EQUAL VALUE EXCHANGE AND APPRAISALS. (a) Appraisals.--The values of the lands to be exchanged under this Act shall be determined by the Secretary through appraisals performed in accordance with-- (1) the Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions; (2) the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice; (3) appraisal instructions issued by the Secretary; and (4) shall be performed by an appraiser mutually agreed to by the Secretary and BHI. (b) Equal Value Exchange.--The values of the Federal and non-Federal land parcels exchanged shall be equal, or if they are not equal, shall be equalized as follows: (1) Surplus of federal land value.--If the final appraised value of the Federal land exceeds the final appraised value of the non-Federal land parcel identified in section 3(3)(A), BHI shall make a cash equalization payment to the United States as necessary to achieve equal value, including, if necessary, an amount in excess of that authorized pursuant to section 206(b) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(b)). (2) Use of funds.--Any cash equalization moneys received by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall be-- (A) deposited in the fund established under Public Law 90- 171 (commonly known as the ``Sisk Act''; 16 U.S.C. 484a); and (B) made available to the Secretary for the acquisition of land or interests in land in Region 2 of the Forest Service. (3) Surplus of non-federal land value.--If the final appraised value of the non-Federal land parcel identified in section 3(3)(A) [[Page H981]] exceeds the final appraised value of the Federal land, the United States shall not make a cash equalization payment to BHI, and surplus value of the non-Federal land shall be considered a donation by BHI to the United States for all purposes of law. (c) Appraisal Exclusions.-- (1) Special use permit.--The appraised value of the Federal land parcel shall not reflect any increase or diminution in value due to the special use permit existing on the date of the enactment of this Act to BHI on the parcel and improvements thereunder. (2) Barr trail easement.--The Barr Trail easement donation identified in section 3(3)(B) shall not be appraised for purposes of this Act. SEC. 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS. (a) Withdrawal Provisions.-- (1) Withdrawal.--Lands acquired by the Secretary under this Act shall, without further action by the Secretary, be permanently withdrawn from all forms of appropriation and disposal under the public land laws (including the mining and mineral leasing laws) and the Geothermal Steam Act of 1930 (30 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). (2) Withdrawal revocation.--Any public land order that withdraws the Federal land from appropriation or disposal under a public land law shall be revoked to the extent necessary to permit disposal of the Federal land parcel to BHI. (3) Withdrawal of federal land.--All Federal land authorized to be exchanged under this Act, if not already withdrawn or segregated from appropriation or disposal under the public lands laws upon enactment of this Act, is hereby so withdrawn, subject to valid existing rights, until the date of conveyance of the Federal land to BHI. (b) Postexchange Land Management.--Land acquired by the Secretary under this Act shall become part of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest and be managed in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to the National Forest System. (c) Exchange Timetable.--It is the intent of Congress that the land exchange directed by this Act be consummated no later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act. (d) Maps, Estimates, and Descriptions.-- (1) Minor errors.--The Secretary and BHI may by mutual agreement make minor boundary adjustments to the Federal and non-Federal lands involved in the exchange, and may correct any minor errors in any map, acreage estimate, or description of any land to be exchanged. (2) Conflict.--If there is a conflict between a map, an acreage estimate, or a description of land under this Act, the map shall control unless the Secretary and BHI mutually agree otherwise. (3) Availability.--Upon enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall file and make available for public inspection in the headquarters of the Pike-San Isabel National Forest a copy of all maps referred to in this Act. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) and the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis) each will control 20 minutes. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn). General Leave Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration. The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Colorado? There was no objection. Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I rise in strong support of H.R. 618, the Crags, Colorado Land Exchange Act of 2017 that I introduced along with Congressman Tipton and Congressman Polis. This legislation will facilitate a mutually beneficial land exchange between the U.S. Forest Service and the Emerald Valley Ranch in El Paso and Teller Counties in Colorado. Specifically, this legislation would convey to the United States the 320-acre Crags property located on the west side of Pikes Peak that is currently owned by The Broadmoor Hotel, and a perpetual public-access easement for the lower portion of the popular Barr Trail. In exchange, an 83-acre Federal parcel located at Emerald Valley Ranch on the southeast side of Pikes Peak and a perpetual access easement along two Forest Service roads would be granted to The Broadmoor. This would eliminate the management and liability issues currently facing the United States because of the significant upgrades and improvements The Broadmoor has made to the Emerald Valley Ranch parcel. This land exchange is intended to provide increased recreational opportunities for the public on the Pike National Forest. The 320-acre Crags property is completely surrounded by the Pike National Forest and has been the top acquisition priority for the Pikes Peak Ranger District for several years. The property provides several opportunities to connect Forest Service trails emanating from the Crags campground with trails in the Putney Gulch area. In addition, existing trails within the property could become key links in the proposed Ring the Peak trail. I thank Chairman Bishop and Chairman McClintock and the entire staff of the Subcommittee on Federal Lands for all of their work and bringing this bill to the floor. I urge the adoption of the measure, and I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I thank the Speaker for the recognition and Mr. Lamborn for bringing forward this bill. H.R. 618 is legislation I am proud to cosponsor because it is a commonsense land exchange in my home State of Colorado. It authorizes the Forest Service to exchange the Emerald Valley Ranch for the larger ecologically sensitive Crags parcel. The world-famous Broadmoor Hotel-- that I visited many times and attended many education conferences at-- currently has a 25-year special use permit to operate the guest ranch on the Emerald Valley parcel. This parcel has lost its National Forest character, and conveying it out of Pike National Forest will simplify management at that site and replace it with a parcel that is more appropriate. In exchange, the Forest Service will receive the 320-acre Crags parcel and a permanent trail easement for the historic Barr Trail. The Crags property connects with several Forest Service trails in the Pikes Peak Ranger District and has been identified by the Forest Service as a priority for acquisition. I am glad that, under this bill, we can accomplish that priority. The exchange eliminates a large private inholding in the National Forest and removes the need for Federal land management of the Emerald Valley Ranch. It is a win-win scenario. Essentially, this legislation simplifies land management around Pikes Peak, while protecting public lands and growing our economy. The Forest Service testified in support of H.R. 618. I support its adoption, as do stakeholders across the spectrum. It has been a pleasure to work with my colleagues, Mr. Lamborn and Mr. Tipton, on this bill, and I appreciate their hard work and constructive work for this legislation. I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I echo what my colleague has just said about those of us from Colorado working together. Of the six bills that we are going to be discussing today, four of them are from Colorado; and yourself, myself, and Representative Tipton from southwest Colorado have collaborated on these four bills. It is bipartisan and we have worked hard and have gotten some good legislation to offer to the House for consideration. I look forward to doing this through the rest of the afternoon, plus two other bills as well. Mr. Speaker, I have no additional speakers, and I reserve the balance of my time. Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume. I, as well, am prepared to close and I just want to highlight my agreement with the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn). When people work together, these are the kind of commonsense results we get. Unfortunately, on these bills, I don't think we will be making the front page of The Washington Post or The New York Times or the FOX News Talk hour, but that is so much of the workhorse-type work that we need to do in this body. What we have done with Mr. Tipton, Mr. Lamborn, and myself is we have been able to put together the commonsense priorities around public land management. The district I have the honor of representing is 65 percent public land. So these are everyday issues that my constituents deal with living in and around public land. It is very exciting to be passing H.R. 618 and allowing getting rid of the private inholding, putting some appropriate land in the management of the Forest Service and, of course, doing something that will also benefit one of our iconic conference centers and hotels in Colorado Springs that I have [[Page H982]] had the opportunity to be a guest and a conferee at so many times. I deeply appreciate the work of Mr. Tipton and Mr. Lamborn. I urge a ``yes'' vote. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time. Mr. LAMBORN. Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time. The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Lamborn) that the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 618. The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the rules were suspended and the bill was passed. A motion to reconsider was laid on the table. ____________________