WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04), introduced H.R.6738, the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2018. This bipartisan legislation authorizes Bullhead City to donate the 1,100 acre mountainous property currently owned by the City to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in exchange for 345.2 acres of land in Bullhead City, known as Section 12, held by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the BLM.
U.S. Representative Paul Gosar said, “This common sense legislation provides Bullhead City the opportunity to improve its parks and recreational services for the community. This bipartisan bill is good for the City, good for the BLM, good for local species, good for tourism and good for families. I’m am pleased to have worked with Mayor Brady, Council Member Clark, City Manager Cotter, their staffs and other local stakeholders to craft this locally-driven solution and I applaud their leadership. I look forward to future efforts with other members from the Arizona delegation, local and federal officials and community members to spur this opportunity along.”
Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady stated, “The Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2018 is a win-win for the residents and visitors of Bullhead City as well as the Department of Interior. This measure will help to ensure Bullhead City can continue to provide and improve recreational opportunities while simultaneously improving the Department of Interior's management of important pieces of the Black Mountain Range. I appreciate Congressman Gosar's leadership on this effort, the generous donation of land from Mr. Don Laughlin which helped to engender this proposed exchange, and I look forward to working with him and the rest of Arizona's congressional delegation to help advance this measure in the coming weeks and months.”
On Friday, September 7, 2018, Congressman Paul Gosar introduced H.R.6738, Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2018.
The legislation was drafted at the request of Bullhead City in collaboration with local stakeholders.
The bill authorizes Bullhead City to donate the 1,100 acre mountainous property currently owned by the City to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in exchange for 345.2 acres of land in Bullhead City, known as Section 12, held by the Bureau of Reclamation in cooperation with the BLM. The 1,100 acre property in the Black Mountain range in the middle of nowhere and is difficult to get to by car as it takes a lot of time to travel on a windy, dirt road. The 2007 BLM Lake Havasu Resource Management Plan identified Section 12 as land available for disposal and today Bullhead City leases nearly all of Section 12 from the BLM. Section 12 is a highly disturbed area, along the Colorado River, that is mostly dirt. However, it is easily accessible and along a main corridor within the city limits.
On December 15, 2015, Don Laughlin donated approximately 1,100 acres of mountainous, environmentally-sensitive on a 4,500-foot mountaintop in the Black Mountain range in Arizona between Bullhead City and Golden Valley Arizona. The donated parcel, which includes a house, underground bunker and fish pond, appraised at approximately $7.7 million in 2015. Bullhead City has been caring for and maintaining the property, to keep the value high for the land exchange that can’t take place prior to December 15, 2020, as a result of the 2015 deal. The property supports a large variety of desert plants and animals.
The bill ensures there is no cost to the federal government as the city is required to pay for all land survey, appraisal, and other costs required to facilitate the exchange and the bill requires that the value of the exchanged parcels be equal.
Original Cosponsors of the bipartisan legislation include: Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Debbie Lesko (AZ-08), Martha McSally (AZ-02), David Schweikert (AZ-06) and Kyrsten Sinema (AZ-09).
A map of the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange of 2018 can be foundHERE.
The text of the legislation can be found HERE.