Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4484, The Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act, sponsored by Congressman Jason Chaffetz.
"This is a win for the federal government and a win for Utah," said Chaffetz. "It makes sense that the trail will now be maintained better than ever."
H.R. 4484 would improve long-term maintenance and planning for the Y Mountain Trail by eliminating split ownership of the trail. Currently, Brigham Young University owns the land surrounding the trailhead, but the US Forest Service owns the land surrounding the block "Y". This legislation would direct the Department of Agriculture to sell the "Y" and surrounding land at fair market value to BYU with proceeds from the sale used to reduce the federal deficit. BYU would cover administrative and appraisal costs associated with the sale of the 80 acres. The bill guarantees that public access to the "Y" and the Y Mountain Trail would be maintained following the land sale.
Several decades ago, BYU owned the "Y" and the surrounding area, but the land was ultimately transferred to a private trust which then transferred the land to the Forest Service. This bill would restore ownership to BYU and would provide long-term certainty by removing any questions as to who owns the land and who is responsible for maintaining the trail. H.R. 4484 ensures access to the "Y" for future generations.
"I'm proud this legislation allows permanent public access to the "Y" like never before," added Chaffetz.
H.R. 4484 now moves to the Senate where Sen. Orrin Hatch has introduced a companion bill, S. 2471.