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Ranking Member Rob Bishop’s Statement On Today’s Markup Of “Public Land Communities Transition Act Of 2007”
Natural Resources Committee 9/26/07
Washington, D.C. – The following is U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop’s (R-UT) statement regarding the passage today of “The Public Land Communities Transition Act of 2007” (H.R. 3058) by the House Natural Resources Committee.
Bishop is the Ranking Member on the Committee’s Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
“This is not a perfect bill, but the county payments and Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments in this bill are going to be critical for public lands counties to financially survive. To that end, I support enacting these payments into law. This current version of the legislation is a vast improvement over the original bill that was introduced. So I congratulate the Committee on improving the bill. But it could still be better. If we could include elements in there to permanently assist the counties in meeting their own needs and managing what should be their own resources, that would be ideal.
“It was lawsuits and the Clinton forest plan that caused the initial problem in most of these areas and now these counties impacted by these problems are barely hanging on. So they deserve this SRS funding. And I still contend that PILT payments are simply rent owed by the federal government on land controlled by the federal government. These counties deserve their land back, but until that happens, they at least deserve some compensation for it. This bill recognizes that fact.
“We are not terribly pleased with the proposed funding offset in the bill and we have proposed better funding mechanisms, so hopefully this bill will continue to be a work in progress.”
For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources’ Minority website at:
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