Two Bishop Bills Pass the House and Head to Senate
Legislation Improves Access for Utah National Guard and Increases Recreational Opportunities Available Throughout the Year
Oct 3, 2011 -
Two bills authored by Congressman Rob Bishop (UT-01), the Utah National Guard Readiness Act [H.R. 686] and the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011[H.R. 765], passed today in the U.S. House of Representatives. Both bills must now be considered and passed by the U.S. Senate before they can be signed into law by the Presiden
The Utah National Guard Readiness Act, cosponsored by both Congressman Jason Chaffetz (UT-03) and Congressman Jim Matheson (UT-02), identifies parcels of federally owned land located within Camp Williams that are necessary to support expanded development and use for future growth of the National Guard. This bill authorizes the transfer of the parcels to the state for use by the National Guard, which has identified these areas as a critical component of the Guard’s ability to develop future training areas and buildings on Camp Williams.
“Improved access within Camp Williams is essential to the Utah National Guard’s ability to expand and grow in order to meet the needs of our state and country. I am pleased that my colleagues in the House recognize the importance of this legislation and passed it with overwhelming support. It is my hope that the Senate will do so as well,” said Congressman Bishop.
The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to allow permitting for year-round recreational activities in ski areas located on National Forest Service lands.
The 1986 law currently states that only ski-related activities may occur in Forest Service ski areas. The proposed legislation would amend and update the law to include other recreational snow sports other than alpine and Nordic skiing, such as snowboarding. Additionally, the bill would authorize the Forest Service to allow year-round activities beyond the winter months, such as mountain biking and zip-lining. This legislation does not waive the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to allow for these new activities to take place.
“The outdated National Forest Ski Area Permit Act hinders many ski areas that utilize public lands from offering year-round recreational opportunities. This legislation will improve access beyond the winter months, which in turn will bring added support to local economies that rely heavily upon recreation-based revenue,” said Congressman Bishop.