|00:00:01||THIS LEGISLATION IS A COMMONSENSE SOLUTION TO AN INCOMPREHENSIBLE FEDERAL LAND SITUATION.|
|00:00:08||IN 1961 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONDUCTED A SURVEY IN WHICH SEVERAL ACRES OF THE NATIONAL FOREST SERVICE LAND WERE MISIDENTIFIED AS PRIVATE PROPERTY.|
|00:00:18||IT WAS NOT UNTIL 2007 WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTED ANOTHER PRIVATE SURVEY THAT THE MISTAKES WERE REALIZED AND THE RESIDENTS OF THE MOUNTAINEER NEIGHBORHOOD WERE INFORMED OF THESE ERRORS.|
|00:00:29||UNTIL THE 2007 SURVEY, MANY OF THESE RESIDENTS HAVE MAINTAINED THESE PAR SELLS AND DEVELOPED THEM AS THEIR -- PARCELS AND DEVELOPED THEM AS THEIR OWN FOR YEARS AND IN SOME CASES DECADES.|
|00:00:45||SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?|
|00:00:46||ON SOME OF THESE PAR SELLS, THE REVISED BOUND -- PARCELS, THE REVISED BOUNDARY GOES LITERALLY RIGHT THROUGH PEOPLE'S HOMES.|
|00:00:59||CAN YOU IMAGINE IF THE FOREST SERVICE SAID, OOPS, WE OWN HALF OF YOUR LIVING ROOM?|
|00:01:08||THEY PREVENTED A NUMBER OF SELLERS FROM SELLING THEIR HOME.|
|00:01:12||WE TRIED TO WORK WITH THE AGENCY ADMINISTRATIVELY AND IT DID NOT WORK.|
|00:01:19||SO I PUT FORWARD THIS RESOLUTION TO SOLVE IT IMMEDIATELY.|
|00:01:22||H.R. 1038 AUTHORIZES THE FOREST SERVICE TO CONVEY ALL RIGHTS, TITLES AND INTERESTS IN APPROXIMATELY 2.|
|00:01:28||67 ACRES OF THE COCONINO NATIONAL FOREST TO THE HOMEOWNERS.|
|00:01:31||IT WILL PROVIDE MUCH-NEEDED RELIEF TO MY CONSTITUENTS IN THE SUBDIVISION IN COCONINO COUNTY.|
|00:01:37||IN EXCHANGE FOR THE LAND, THE HOMEOWNERS PAY A FEE.|
|00:01:41||THE $20,000 REQUIRED IN THE BILL WHICH WAS AGREED TO BY ALL PARTIES, INCLUDING REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE LOCAL NATIONAL FOREST IN WHICH THIS -- AND THIS IS BASED ON PRECEDENCE.|
|00:01:51||THE NORTHERN ARIZONA LAND EXCHANGE LEGISLATION.|
|00:01:54||THIS LEGISLATION PERTAINED TO A SMALL PIECE OF PROPERTY WITHIN THE SAME COUNTY.|
|00:01:59||FRANKLY, I DO NOT BELIEVE THESE CONSTITUENTS SHOULD HAVE TO PAY NISS TO RETAIN PROPERTY -- PAY ANYTHING TO RETAIN PROPERTY RIGHTS.|
|00:02:08||HOWEVER, I HAVE AGREED TO THIS COMPROMISE.|
|00:02:11||A COMPROMISE AGREED UPON BY ALL PARTIES.|
|00:02:15||BECAUSE MY CONSTITUENTS NEED THE SITUATION FIXED NOW.|
|00:02:18||THE FOREST SERVICE DOES NOT WANT TO OWN THESE PEOPLE'S LIVING ROOMS AND THE PROPERTY OWNERS CERTAINLY DON'T WANT TO SHARE THEIR HOMES OR YARDS WITH THE FOREST SERVICE.|
|00:02:26||THIS BILL IS A NO-BRAINER.|
|00:02:29||EVERYONE SUPPORTS IT, INCLUDING THE ADMINISTRATION.|
|00:02:31||BEFORE I CONCLUDE, I WANT TO THANK THE RESIDENTS OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD AND THE COCONINO COUNTY.|
|00:02:38||THEY WORKED WITH MY OFFICE TO PUT TOGETHER A VIDEO TO CALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY AND TO ADVOCATE ON BEHALF OF THIS BILL.|
|00:02:44||WITHOUT THIS TEAMWORK WE WOULD NOT HAVE GARNERED UNANIMOUS SUPPORT AT THE COMMITTEE LEVEL AND WOULD NOT BE VOTING ON THIS BILL TODAY.|
|00:02:51||I WANT TO THANK CHAIRMAN HASTINGS AND BISHOP AND THEIR STAFFS FOR PUSHING THIS BILL FORWARD.|
|00:02:56||WHILE THIS BILL FIXES A SMALL AMOUNT OF LAND, IT IS VITAL TO THE LIVELIHOOD OF MY CONSTITUENTS THAT ARE AFFECTED.|
|00:03:02||IT IS NOT OFTEN THAT CONGRESS GETS THE OPPORTUNITY TO FAKE UP A NONCONTROVERSIAL LEGISLATION LIKE H.|
|00:03:08||R. 1038. I ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF THIS LEGISLATION AND RELIEVE MY CONSTITUENTS OF THIS FINANCIALLY BURDENSOME SITUATION.|
|00:03:16||I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.|
|00:03:20||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK.|
|00:03:22||THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM MASSACHUSETTS IS RECOGNIZED.|
|00:03:24||TSONGAS: MR. SPEAKER, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO READVICE AND|
Mr. GOSAR. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of my legislation, H.R. 1038, legislation that settles a Federal land boundary dispute in the Mountainaire subdivision in Coconino County, Arizona. This legislation is a commonsense solution to an incomprehensible Federal land situation.
In 1961, the Federal Government conducted a survey in which several acres of the United States Forest Service land were misidentified as private property. It was not until 2007, when the Federal Government contracted another private survey, that the mistakes were realized, and the residents of the Mountainaire neighborhood were informed of these errors.
Until the 2007 survey, many of these residents had maintained these parcels and had developed them as their own for years and, in some cases, decades. In essence, the Federal Government seized lands that residents had maintained, developed, and paid taxes on for years.
So what does this mean? On some of these parcels, the revised boundary goes right through the portions of the residents' homes, literally right through people's homes. Can you imagine the Forest Service, if they told you we own half of your living room? Questions associated with the land ownership have plummeted property values in the neighborhood and prevented a number of owners from selling their homes.
For years, the residents of this neighborhood have tried to work individually with the Forest Service to settle the situation administratively. It did not work. So I put forth this legislation to solve the problem immediately.
H.R. 1038 authorizes the Forest Service to convey all rights, titles, and interests in approximately 2.67 acres of the Coconino National Forest to the homeowners. It will provide much-needed relief to my constituents in the Mountainaire subdivision in Coconino County.
In exchange for the land, the homeowners pay a fee. The $20,000, required in the bill, which was agreed to by all parties, including representatives from the local national forest, is based on precedence, the Northern Arizona Land Exchange legislation. This legislation pertained to a small piece of property within the same county.
Frankly, I do not believe these constituents should have to pay anything to retain property rights on land they have developed and paid taxes on as property owners for decades. However, I have agreed to this compromise, a compromise agreed upon by all parties, because my constituents need this situation fixed now.
The Forest Service does not want to own these people's living rooms, and the property owners certainly don't want to share their homes or yards with the Forest Service. This bill is a no-brainer. Everyone supports it, including the administration.
Before I conclude, I want to thank the residents of the Mountainaire neighborhood and Coconino County. They worked with my office to put together a video, to call members of the committee, and to advocate on behalf of this bill. Without this teamwork, we would not have garnered unanimous support at the committee level and would not be voting on this bill today.
I would also like to thank Chairmen HASTINGS and BISHOP and their staffs for pushing this bill forward. While this bill affects a small amount of land, it is vital to the livelihoods of my constituents that are affected.
It is not often that Congress gets the opportunity to take up noncontroversial legislation like H.R. 1038. I encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of this legislation and relieve my constituents of this financially burdensome situation.