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112th Congress                                            Rept. 112-164
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     Part 1

======================================================================



 
       SKI AREA RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITY ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 2011

                                _______
                                

                 July 20, 2011.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 765]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 765) to amend the National Forest Ski Area 
Permit Act of 1986 to clarify the authority of the Secretary of 
Agriculture regarding additional recreational uses of National 
Forest System land that is subject to ski area permits, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 765 is to amend the National Forest Ski 
Area Permit Act of 1986 to clarify the authority of the 
Secretary of Agriculture regarding additional recreational uses 
of National Forest System land that is subject to ski area 
permits.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 
2011, H.R. 765, amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act 
of 1986 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to permit 
seasonal and year-round natural resource-based, recreational 
activities and associated facilities at ski areas, in addition 
to those that support Nordic and alpine skiing and other snow 
sports that are currently authorized by the Act. Current law 
does not address activities other than Nordic and alpine 
skiing, snow sports, and their ancillary facilities at ski 
areas on U.S. Forest Service lands. Congress intended the term 
``appropriate ancillary facilities'' to include ``only those 
facilities directly necessary for the operation and support of 
a winter sports facility.'' This legislation would allow for 
new activities such as ziplines, climbing walls, mountain 
biking, and alpine slides.
    The additional seasonal and year-round recreational 
activities and associated facilities authorized by the bill 
would encourage outdoor recreation and require such activities 
to harmonize with the natural environment. The bill would make 
clear that the primary purpose of the authorized use and 
occupancy would continue to be skiing and other snow sports. 
This legislation will not waive existing laws such as the 
Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy 
Act to allow for these new activities to take place. Ski areas 
on Forest Service lands are themselves ``developed sites'' so 
these new activities will be keeping with the intended use of 
these areas.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 765 was introduced on February 17, 2011, by 
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands. The 
bill primarily referred to the Committee on Agriculture. On May 
4, 2011, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public 
Lands held a hearing on the bill. On June 15, 2011, the Full 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands was discharged by 
unanimous consent. No amendments were offered and the bill was 
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
unanimous consent.

            Committee Oversight Findings and Recommendations

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 765--Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011

    H.R. 765 would expand the authority of the Forest Service 
to allow ski concessioners to offer additional recreational 
services on public lands. Based on information provided by the 
agency, CB0 estimates that enacting the legislation would have 
no significant impact on the federal budget. The Forest Service 
already has authority to allow its concessioners to provide 
certain off-season and other recreational services at ski 
resorts. Expanding that authority could increase the agency's 
collection of fees from ski concessioners (currently yielding 
offsetting receipts to the Treasury of about $30 million a 
year) but CBO estimates that any increase would total less than 
$500,000 a year.
    Because enacting the legislation could result in additional 
offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending), pay-as-
you-go procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 765 would not affect 
revenues.
    The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in tax expenditures. CBO estimates that enacting 
the legislation would have no significant impact on the federal 
budget. The Forest Service already has authority to allow its 
concessioners to provide certain off-season and other 
recreational services at ski resorts. Expanding that authority 
could increase the agency's collection of fees from ski 
concessioners (currently yielding offsetting receipts to the 
Treasury of about $30 million a year) but CBO estimates that 
any increase would total less than $500,000 a year. Because 
enacting the legislation could result in additional offsetting 
receipts (a credit against direct spending), pay-as-you-go 
procedures apply. Enacting H.R. 765 would not affect revenues.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

              NATIONAL FOREST SKI AREA PERMIT ACT OF 1986




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
SEC. 3. SKI AREA PERMITS.

  (a) Law applicable to permits.--The provisions of the Act of 
March 4, 1915 (16 U.S.C. 497) notwithstanding, the term and 
acreage of permits for the operation of [nordic and alpine ski 
areas and facilities] ski areas and associated facilities on 
National Forest System lands shall henceforth be governed by 
this Act and other applicable law.
  (b) Authority.--The Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter 
referred to as ``the Secretary'') is authorized to issue 
permits (hereinafter referred to as ``ski area permits'') for 
the use and occupancy of suitable lands within the National 
Forest System for [nordic and alpine skiing operations and 
purposes] skiing and other snow sports and recreational uses 
authorized by this Act. A ski area permit--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Other Recreational Uses.--
          (1) Authority of secretary.--Subject to the terms of 
        a ski area permit issued pursuant to subsection (b), 
        the Secretary may authorize a ski area permittee to 
        provide such other seasonal or year-round natural 
        resource-based recreational activities and associated 
        facilities (in addition to skiing and other snow-
        sports) on National Forest System land subject to a ski 
        area permit as the Secretary determines to be 
        appropriate.
          (2) Requirements.--Each activity and facility 
        authorized by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) encourage outdoor recreation and 
                enjoyment of nature;
                  (B) to the extent practicable--
                          (i) harmonize with the natural 
                        environment of the National Forest 
                        System land on which the activity or 
                        facility is located; and
                          (ii) be located within the developed 
                        portions of the ski area;
                  (C) be subject to such terms and conditions 
                as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; 
                and
                  (D) be authorized in accordance with--
                          (i) the applicable land and resource 
                        management plan; and
                          (ii) applicable laws (including 
                        regulations).
          (3) Inclusions.--Activities and facilities that may, 
        in appropriate circumstances, be authorized under 
        paragraph (1) include--
                  (A) zip lines;
                  (B) mountain bike terrain parks and trails;
                  (C) frisbee golf courses; and
                  (D) ropes courses.
          (4) Exclusions.--Activities and facilities that are 
        prohibited under paragraph (1) include--
                  (A) tennis courts;
                  (B) water slides and water parks;
                  (C) swimming pools;
                  (D) golf courses; and
                  (E) amusement parks.
          (5) Limitation.--The Secretary may not authorize any 
        activity or facility under paragraph (1) if the 
        Secretary determines that the authorization of the 
        activity or facility would result in the primary 
        recreational purpose of the ski area permit to be a 
        purpose other than skiing and other snow-sports.
          (6) Boundary determination.--In determining the 
        acreage encompassed by a ski area permit under 
        subsection (b)(3), the Secretary shall not consider the 
        acreage necessary for activities and facilities 
        authorized under paragraph (1).
          (7) Effect on existing authorized activities and 
        facilities.--Nothing in this subsection affects any 
        activity or facility authorized by a ski area permit in 
        effect on the date of enactment of this subsection 
        during the term of the permit.
  [(c) Rules and regulations.--Within one year after the date 
of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate rules 
and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act, and 
shall, to the extent practicable and with the consent of 
existing permit holders, convert all existing ski area permits 
or leases on National Forest System lands into ski area permits 
which conform to the provisions of this Act within 3 years of 
the date of enactment of this Act.]
  (d) Regulations.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall promulgate 
regulations to implement this section.
  [(d)] (e)   Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to amend, 
modify or otherwise affect the Secretary's duties under [the 
National Environmental Policy Act, or the Forest and Rangelands 
Renewable Resources Planning Act as amended by the National 
Forest Management Act] the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Forest and Rangeland 
Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et 
seq.), including his duties to involve the public in his 
decisionmaking and planning for the national forests.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *