Congressman Gosar and Arizona Stakeholders Applaud the Signing of the Lands Package

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Washington, March 12, 2019 | comments
Today, is a great day for Arizona as President Trump signed five of my bills and two other bills that are good for the state into public law as part of a historic lands package. These victories are bottom-up initiatives brought to us by county supervisors and people on the ground.
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Paul A Gosar, D.D.S, (AZ-04), La Paz County Supervisors D. L. Wilson, Holly Irwin, Duce Minor, Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman, Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady, Bullhead City Council Member Mark Clark and University President Dr. P. Barry Butler released the following statements applauding the signing of S.47 by President Trump that included seven bills that will benefit Arizona:

U.S. Representative Paul Gosar (AZ-04): "Today, is a great day for Arizona as President Trump signed five of my bills and two other bills that are good for the state into public law as part of a historic lands package. These victories are bottom-up initiatives brought to us by county supervisors and people on the ground. My five Arizona bills included in the package remove an outdated restriction limiting economic growth for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Yavapai County, convey nearly 6,000 acres back to La Paz county to allow for new economic development opportunities in a county with only 5% private land, benefit local communities and families in Cornville by allowing for expansion of Windmill Park, allow Bullhead city to provide new recreational opportunities and address the Bureau of Reclamation maintenance backlog to ensure an abundant supply of clean water and power for future generations. I thank House Natural Resources Ranking Republican Rob Bishop, Senator Martha McSally, other cosponsors from the Arizona delegation and President Donald Trump for reversing years of poor federal land policy. It was an honor to join the President in the oval office for this historic signing. I congratulate and thank the La Paz and Yavapai County Supervisors and other local elected officials, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s President Butler and exceptional staff, Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady, and all the people in Arizona that worked hard to make these bills happen and get them over the finish line."

Bullhead City Mayor Tom Brady: "I am extremely pleased that Senate Bill 47 has now been signed into law by President Trump, and I am forever grateful to Congressman Paul Gosar for his leadership on moving this historic legislation forward. The passage of this bi-partisan bill will undoubtedly reshape the face of Bullhead City."

Yavapai County Supervisor Tom Thurman: "I couldn't be happier and am proud of Congressman Gosar for spearheading a common sense land exchange that we have been working on at a local level for years. I thank Congressmen O’Halleran for making the exchange a positive from both sides of the aisle. Now we can make our community park larger and more informative for the public while keeping ancestral conditions intact."

La Paz County Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors Holly Irwin: "On behalf of La Paz County, I would like to thank Congressman Gosar for his leadership in sponsoring H.R.304, the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act of 2019. The passing of this bill is a huge economic driver for our County. With its proximity to Interstate I-10 and electric transmission lines it will allow for easy access to attract a workforce from within the Counties jurisdiction. This is significant given the Counties unemployment rate which is a full percent higher than the Statewide average. Congressman Gosar understands the economic needs for La Paz County and I appreciate all his efforts on this bill."

La Paz County Supervisor D.L. Wilson and Duce Minor: "The La Paz Board of Supervisors would like to thank all members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation both past and present, especially Senators Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally as well as Congressman Paul Gosar for making the passage of this valuable legislation possible."

University President Dr. P. Barry Butler: “The Embry-Riddle Tri City Land Agreement will pave the way for high-paying jobs and positive economic impact in Arizona. Our continued growth will strengthen America’s STEM talent pipeline while creating jobs for the state. We applaud the leadership of Senator McSally and Congressman Gosar to remove the historic restriction on our parcel in Prescott, Arizona, allowing us to work with community leaders to develop the property for the economic benefit of the university and region.

Bullhead City Council Member Mark Clark: "This is a very important piece of legislation for us. It will help us transform the Northern part of the Bullhead City and provide additional recreational and economic opportunities for our community. I am very grateful to Congressman Gosar for all his efforts in getting this passed into law along with everyone else that shepherded this through the process."

Background:

Today, March 12th, President Trump signed a historic federal lands package into law in the form of S.47.

Five sponsoredGosar bills and two other Arizona bills Congressman Gosar supported were included in the package:

H.R. 274, the Cottonwood Land Exchange Act of 2019
Yavapai County officials have been in discussions with the Forest Service for several years and passed aresolution in favorof advancing this mutually beneficial exchange. The isolated lot of National Forest land is an 80 acre island parcel not contiguous or adjacent to any other Forest or state land. It is surrounded completely by private or county land which is mostly residential in nature. The 369 acres which the Coconino National Forest will receive from the County and will add value to the Forest Service system by connecting separated tracts and consolidating land already under the stewardship of the Forest Service.The County intends to maximize use of Windmill Park to better serve the residents of Yavapai County, the City of Cottonwood and the community of Cornville. The bill will allows significant improvements that could include adding a walking bridge, adding a new trail and expanding the park. A map of this land exchange can be foundHERE.

H.R. 304, the La Paz County Land Conveyance Act of 2019

The bill was drafted at the request of the La Paz County Supervisors and local communities. This bipartisan bill helps facilitate a land transfer from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the County. Specifically, the La Paz County Land Exchange Act of 2019 directs the Secretary of the Interior to convey 5,935 acres of Federal Land to La Paz County with the intent of using this land for economic development opportunities. This legislation requires the County to pay fair-market value for the Land involved in this transfer. The bill also requires the County to pay for all costs related to the conveyance, including all surveys, appraisals and other administrative costs. The map of this land exchange can be foundHERE.

H.R. 755, the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange Act of 2019

The Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange 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. A map of the Black Mountain Range and Bullhead City Land Exchange of 2018 can be foundHERE.

H.R. 756, theEmbry-Riddle Tri-City Land Exchange Completion Act of 2019
The bill was drafted at the request of the College. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world’s leader in aviation aerospace education has over $1.4 billion in impact nationally and $400M in economic impact to the State of Arizona. This not-for-profit higher education institution is a critical component of the STEM talent pipeline for the aviation aerospace industry. Arizona has recently been ranked No. 1 in aerospace manufacturing attractiveness by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Arizona Commerce Authority claims over 52,000 people are employed by aerospace and defense-related companies with a $5.5 billion total annual payroll and states there are 1,200 aerospace and defense companies in Arizona. A map of the 16-acre parcel can be foundHERE.

H.R. 1268, the Bureau of Reclamation Transparency Act
This legislation increases transparency, consolidates multiple reports and requires the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to do a thorough inventory of its assets as well as prioritize major repairs necessary at the agency’s facilities.The House bill has 5 Democrat cosponsors and 15 Republican cosponsors.The bill will help ensure future generations have access to an abundant supply of clean water and power.

Sec. 1102, the Young Life Land Exchange
The bill corrects an error in previous law from 2005 and allows Young life to complete a land sale that will allow for future camping and other activities as well as provide certainty for Young Life’s Lost Canyon Camp near Williams. The camp hosts more than 25,000 children and adults each year. Rep. Gosar pushed this bill, S.466 at the time, through the House Committee on Natural Resources in the 115th Congress and was able to get it into the package. A thank you letter from Young Life President Newt Crenshaw to Rep. Gosar Gosar can be found HERE.

S.55, the Udall Park Land Exchange Completion Act
The Udall Park Land Exchange will complete a complex agreement made between the City of Tucson and the Bureau of Land Management in 1989. It will convey full title of Udall Park lands from the Bureau of Land Management to the City of Tucson. Rep. McSally spearheaded this bill in the U.S. Senate and Rep. Gosar was a cosponsor of the House version the last two Congresses.

The bipartisan agreement contained in this legislation includes approximately 78 Republican and 47 Democrat bills addressing various land and natural resource management issues.

The text of the bill can be foundHERE. A list of supporters when this legislation passed the Senate can be foundHERE. A helpful question and answer page can be foundHERE. A title by title summary ofthe bill can be foundHERE. A short summary of each section in the package and the process document can be foundHERE.

Courtesy of the House Committee on Natural ResourcesMinority:

S. 47 provides for a net reduction in the federal estate. Roughly 18,000 acres of federally-owned land is conveyed outside of federal ownership and only 2,337 acres of non-federal land is acquired under the bill.

S.47 will lead to economic development across the west and greater public access to land and natural resources.

The bill authorizes title transfer of certain federal water facilities to local communities and the expansion of local control over federal water projects.

S.47 makes reforms to the Land and Water Conservation Fund to curb federal acquisition, promote transparency and local input in federal land management, and increase access to existing federal lands.

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