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Congressman Rob Bishop

Representing the 1st District of Utah

Bishop Offers Support for Key Provisions Included in NDAA

December 3, 2014
Press Release
WASHINGTON—House Natural Resources Committee Chairman-elect Rob Bishop (UT-01) released the following statement in support of many of the natural resources provisions included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

"The natural resources provisions included in the NDAA bring resolution to multi-year legislative efforts that seek to establish new opportunities for energy production, mineral development, job creation, grazing, recreation, conservation, and other secondary economic benefits. They have unnecessarily languished in the Senate for two years as a result of the Senate's inaction on most natural resources bills. For many western states like Utah, jobs, education, and economic development depend upon the multiple use of our lands. As a westerner, I can attest to the inherent need for these policies to become law. The nature of a compromise is that everyone gets something, but nobody gets everything they want. Conservation can be utilized as currency and in this bill, it enabled us to convey over 100,000 acres out of the federal estate and bring economic development, jobs, and education funding to states that need it most."

Congressman Bishop cited the following as key natural resources provisions included in the NDAA:

CONVEYING LAND OUT OF FEDERAL OWNERSHIP, JOB CREATION, AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

·         Designates 245,000 acres of wilderness, which have strong local and Congressional support, are balanced with conveyances of land out of the federal estate, new opportunities for energy production, mineral development, grazing, recreation, and economic development for public lands states.  In addition, nearly half of the wilderness acres are already managed by the federal government as if it were wilderness due to status as a Wilderness Study Area (WSA) or roadless area

·         Releases 26,000 acres of current wilderness study areas to multiple use

  • Conveys 110,000 acres of land out of federal ownership for economic and community development
    • 1,518 acres of federal land to the Olgoonik Corporation and Alaska Native-owned village corporation
    • 70,075 acres of federal land to Sealaska, an Alaska Native corporation
    • 31 acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land conveyed to Idaho County, Idaho for a shooting range
    • 10,000 acres of land managed by the BLM to the City of Yerington, Nevada to facilitate the Nevada Copper operation at Pumpkin Hollow which is projected to produce more than 800 construction and mining jobs. A University of Nevada Cooperative Extension study noted the mining operation should also create almost 4,400 indirect jobs in Northern Nevada.
    • 1,329 acres of land managed the BLM to the city of Carlin, Nevada
    • Federal land and a reversionary interest managed by BLM to Storey County, Nevada
    • 275 acres of land managed by the BLM to Elko County, Nevada for a motocross park
    • 400 acres of federal land to the Secretary of the Navy to develop new housing at Naval Air Station Fallon
    • 19 acres of federal land to a private land owner in San Juan County, NM
    • 80 acres of National Forest Service land to Brigham Young University for Y Mountain
    • 100 acres of National Forest Service Land to Fruit Heights, Utah for a much-needed community cemetery
    • Two parcels conveyed by the Department of Energy to the State of Washington
    • Federal land conveyed by the Department of Agriculture land at Ranch A to the State of Wyoming
    • Authorization of a land exchange between the U.S. Geological Survey and School District 318 in Minnesota

·         Enhances of programs to raise private funding for National Parks, such as donor recognition programs and the issuance of a commemorative coin to recognize the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016

EXPANSION OF MULTIPLE-USE ON FEDERAL LANDS

  • Amends the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPLMA) to grant federal land management agencies with needed authorities to renew and process grazing permits and leases on more than 200 million acres of public rangeland
  • Authorizes the Department of Interior to hold live internet auctions for onshore oil and gas lease sales
  • Designates a limited number of new park units that have strong local support
  • Updates the fee schedule and rates for recreational cabins so that owners are not forced to tear down cabins that reside within national forests

EXPANSION OF ENERGY AND MINERAL PRODUCTION, JOB CREATION

·         Extends and expands the successful BLM permit streamlining pilot project. The program will be extended nationwide to improve the efficiency of the approval process, which will ultimately increase oil and gas production from federal lands;

    • Expanding the previous pilot project will address permitting delays that have held up energy production and slowed the growth of jobs on federal lands

·         Facilitates several proposed mineral development projects, including the third-largest undeveloped copper resource in the world        

  • Resolution Copper in Arizona will lead to:
  • 3,000 construction jobs over a six-to-ten year period.
  • Over 3,700 high-paying jobs once the mine is fully operational.
  • A total economic impact on the state of Arizona estimated over $61.4 billion, over $1 billion per year.
  • Nearly $20 billion in federal, state, county and local tax revenue.

·         Conveys federal land to the Nevada Copper operation at Pumpkin Hollow will produce more than 800 construction and mining jobs.  A University of Nevada Cooperative Extension study noted the mining operation should also create almost 4,400 indirect jobs in Northern Nevada.

·         Approves a swap of coal mineral rights between the federal government, a private mineral rights holder, and Montana's Northern Cheyenne Tribe

  • consolidates land into trust in the Northern Cheyenne Reservation, transfer into trust tribally owned sacred lands, and settle claims brought by the Tribe against the United States

 

PROTECTS TRIBAL INTERESTS

  • Settles Northern Cheyenne's claims against the federal government for failing to take the subsurface estate under its reservation into trust
    • This bill fixes a mistake made in 1900, when the government expanded the Northern Cheyenne reservation but failed to acquire the underlying minerals
  • Settles land claims for the Sealaska Native Corp
  • Conveys federal property to an Alaska Native village for economic development
  • Provides access and protection for cultural resources and traditional uses at Oak Flat and Apache Leap in Superior, Arizona

PROTECTS PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS

  • Ensures private property interests are fully protected in all special land designations
  • Protects all private activities taking place outside of the special land designations
  • Ensures no private property can be condemned, and prevents acquisitions through eminent domain
  • Prohibits buffer zones and protective perimeters