Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced his second bill this week, H.R. 1691, "Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range Transfer Act of 2013.'' H.R. 1691 would transfer the administrative jurisdiction of certain public lands in the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range (CMAGR), from the Bureau of Land Management to the Secretary of the Navy.
"I believe this bill offers the solution to the management arrangement between the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Navy," stated Rep. Vargas. "H.R. 1691 would remove the current checkerboard pattern of administrative jurisdiction on the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range, allowing it to operate more efficiently."
CMAGR, located within desert mountain terrain in Imperial and Riverside counties, supports numerous types of military training. Currently, CMAGR's land is owned by both the Bureau of Land Management and the Department of the Navy. Today, Rep. Vargas submitted a statement in support of his legislation to the Natural Resources Committee.
"Consolidating the land management under a sole federal agency will provide regulatory relief and certainty to the Department of the Navy while maintaining the spirit of the land withdrawal program," said Rep. Vargas. "H.R. 1691 preserves the environmental integrity of the land, supports our national security and promotes outdoor recreation and public health."