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Public Statements

Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CHAFFETZ. The gentleman from Utah is very correct, this is very different and not nearly as controversial, I assure you.

H.R. 253, the Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act, directs the Department of Agriculture to sell 80 acres of U.S. Forest Service land to Brigham Young University often referred to as BYU. This parcel of land includes the block Y on Y Mountain, a major landmark in the Provo area.

H.R. 253 requires BYU to pay fair market value for the land and requires BYU to cover administrative and appraisal costs associated with the sale. Proceeds of the land sale would be used to reduce the deficit.

H.R. 253 guarantees public access to the block Y and the Y Mountain trail after the sale. BYU has managed this parcel of land for 50 years and has always allowed public access.

BYU actually owned the entire trail at one point many years ago. H.R. 253 would restore ownership to Brigham Young University, but BYU would have to pay fair market value for the land.

Currently, one part of the trail is owned by BYU and the other is owned by the U.S. Forest Service. Split ownership of the trail complicates trail maintenance and long-term planning, which ultimately puts public access at risk.

Restoring this land to BYU would provide long-term certainty by removing any questions as to who owns the land and who is responsible for maintaining the trail.

Hiking up the Y is a popular pastime in the Provo area, and H.R. 253 ensures that the trail will be maintained for future hikers.

This bill was introduced in the 112th Congress as H.R. 4484 and passed the House on voice vote. I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this particular piece of legislation, and I appreciate the bipartisan support and work on this piece.

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