HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 21

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Bill Status



HJM021....................................................by WAYS AND MEANS
NATIONAL FOREST LAND - STATE MANAGEMENT - Stating findings of the
Legislature and urging Congress to support federal legislation transferring
management of National Forest System lands within Idaho to the state of
Idaho to be managed for the benefit of the rural counties and schools, with
the state of Idaho being held harmless from the costs of administration;
and urging Congress to seek a long-term solution to the significant issues
that will face rural counties in the event the Secure Rural Schools
payments are not reauthorized or are allowed to expire following the 2006
reauthorization.
                                                                        
03/07    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
03/08    Rpt prt - to Res/Con
03/14    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 2nd rdg
03/15    2nd rdg - to 3rd rdg
03/16    3rd rdg - ADOPTED - voice vote
    Floor Sponsor - Shepherd(8)
    Title apvd - to Senate
03/17    Senate intro - 1st rdg - to Res/Env
03/21    Rpt out - rec d/p - to 10th Ord
03/22    10th Ord - ADOPTED - voice vote
    Floor Sponsor - Pearce
    Title apvd - to House
03/23    To enrol
03/24    Rpt enrol - Sp signed
03/27    Pres signed
03/28    To Secretary of State

Bill Text


                                                                        
                                                                        
  ]]]]              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ]]]]
 Fifty-eighth Legislature                   Second Regular Session - 2006
                                                                        
                                                                        
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                                                        
                                HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL NO. 21
                                                                        
                                BY WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE
                                                                        
  1                                   A JOINT MEMORIAL
  2    TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED  STATES  IN  CONGRESS
  3        ASSEMBLED,  AND  TO THE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION REPRESENTING THE STATE OF
  4        IDAHO IN THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES.
                                                                        
  5        We, your Memorialists, the House of Representatives and the Senate of  the
  6    State  of  Idaho  assembled  in the Second Regular Session of the Fifty-eighth
  7    Idaho Legislature, do hereby respectfully represent that:
                                                                        
  8        WHEREAS, the United States Forest Service administers  the  management  of
  9    39%  of the land base in the state of Idaho, and an additional 22% is adminis-
 10    tered by the United States Bureau of Land Management; and
 11        WHEREAS, pursuant to 16 U.S.C. Section 471, an 1891  law  authorizing  the
 12    President  to  establish  national  forests,  the purpose for establishing and
 13    administering national forests was to  set  aside  public  lands  reserved  as
 14    national  forests  to be controlled and administered, to the extent practical,
 15    in accordance with the Act which provided that  "no  national  forest  may  be
 16    established  except  to improve and protect the forest, or to secure favorable
 17    conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply  of  timber  for
 18    the use and necessities of citizens"; and
 19        WHEREAS,  it has long been the intent and policy of the federal government
 20    to hold rural communities harmless from the creation of federal lands  and  in
 21    1906  the  Committee  on  Public Lands recognized that the presence of federal
 22    lands could create a hardship for many counties, as they provided little reve-
 23    nue or commerce at that time; and
 24        WHEREAS, in 1908, Congress created the Twenty-five Percent Fund Act to pay
 25    states and counties 25% of receipts collected from national forests  and  man-
 26    dated  that  payments  were to be spent on schools and roads, recognizing that
 27    viable communities adjacent to the  public  lands,  with  adequate  roads  and
 28    schools,  were  essential for the development and preservation of the national
 29    forests; and
 30        WHEREAS, the federal policy of holding counties harmless from the creation
 31    of public lands within counties was reiterated in 1916 with  the  creation  of
 32    the  Oregon  and  California Grant Lands under the Chamberlain-Ferris Act, and
 33    again in 1937 with passage of the Oregon and California Grant Lands Act; and
 34        WHEREAS, the forest resources were intended  to  be  managed  in  such  an
 35    environmentally  responsible manner that they would produce long-term sustain-
 36    able revenue to share with schools and counties as well as  products  for  the
 37    nation; and
 38        WHEREAS,  in  2000, Congress passed the Secure Rural Schools and Community
 39    Self-Determination Act, commonly known as public law 106-393,  which  restored
 40    historical payment levels previously made to states and counties from the fed-
 41    eral government for road and school purposes due to declining levels of actual
 42    forest receipts; and
 43        WHEREAS,  the  reauthorization of public law 106-393 is pending before the
 44    United States Congress and Idaho counties are on record as being strongly sup-
                                                                        
                                           2
                                                                        
  1    portive of a fully-funded approval of this Act; and
  2        WHEREAS, recently, federal land managers have been  faced  with  an  ever-
  3    present funding shortage and rural counties will be faced with higher property
  4    taxes  or  a  reduction  in services if the Secure Rural Schools and Community
  5    Self-Determination Act is not reauthorized and appropriated; and
  6        WHEREAS, there is continued concern that if the Act  is  reauthorized  and
  7    appropriated  it  may  be  the last time it occurs and a long-term solution to
  8    these issues is necessary; and
  9        WHEREAS, the state of Idaho is dependent upon healthy national forest sys-
 10    tem lands for economic benefit, recreation and scenic beauty and it is time to
 11    demonstrate a new initiative and commitment to the intent and  policy  of  the
 12    federal  government to hold counties and schools harmless from the creation of
 13    federal lands and construct a path leading to  economic  stability  for  rural
 14    communities and schools; and
 15        WHEREAS,  transfer  of  the management of the national forest system lands
 16    that are not designated as wilderness,  proposed  or  recommended  wilderness,
 17    wild  and  scenic  river,  or national recreation area, or designated roadless
 18    area in Idaho, to the state of Idaho would promote better stewardship  of  the
 19    public lands, provide financial returns to the counties, secure public access,
 20    meet Congress's intent to hold rural communities harmless from the creation of
 21    federal  lands,  and  fund schools, road and bridge infrastructure which would
 22    offset significant tax increases in rural counties in  the  event  the  Secure
 23    Rural Schools payments are not reauthorized or are allowed to expire following
 24    the 2006 reauthorization; and
 25        WHEREAS,  precedent  for  state  administration  of  federally-owned lands
 26    exists in the state of Idaho at the City of Rocks area in southern  Idaho  and
 27    campground-related facilities and land at Lake Cascade; and
 28        WHEREAS,  a transfer of management to the state of Idaho would demonstrate
 29    a new initiative and commitment to the intent and policy of the  federal  gov-
 30    ernment  to  hold rural counties and schools harmless from the consequences of
 31    the reservation of federal lands and construct a process leading  to  economic
 32    stability for rural communities and schools; and
 33        WHEREAS,  lands  for which management responsibility is transferred to the
 34    state of Idaho could be administered by the Idaho Department of Lands in coop-
 35    eration with county officials and with cooperative  oversight  by  the  United
 36    States  Forest  Service and state and local government could establish, or use
 37    existing natural resource advisory committees composed of a diverse cross-sec-
 38    tion of the public, with all decisions and actions relating to the lands being
 39    required to comply with every federal and state environmental law; and
 40        WHEREAS, the management of these lands would have to meet the mandates  of
 41    the  Healthy  Forest  Initiative, the National Fire Plan, and state and county
 42    fire mitigation plans.
 43        NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the members of the Second  Regular  Ses-
 44    sion  of  the Fifty-eighth Idaho Legislature, the House of Representatives and
 45    the Senate concurring therein, that we urge the Congress  to  support  federal
 46    legislation  transferring  management  of  national forest system lands within
 47    Idaho to the state of Idaho to be managed for the benefit of the  rural  coun-
 48    ties and schools with the state of Idaho being held harmless from the costs of
 49    administration.
 50        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress is urged to provide that any transfer
 51    of  management authority would not affect any rights or authority of the state
 52    with respect to fish and wildlife, or repeal or modify any  provision  of  law
 53    that  permits the state or political subdivisions of the state to share in the
 54    revenues from federal lands, or any provision of law that provides  that  fees
 55    or  charges  collected  at particular federal areas be used for or credited to
                                                                        
                                           3
                                                                        
  1    specific purposes or special funds.
  2        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress is urged to provide that fees or rev-
  3    enues collected under state management be allocated 75%, or other  appropriate
  4    percentage,  for the benefit of the counties and schools in which the national
  5    forest system lands are located and 25%, or other appropriate percentage,  for
  6    the  benefit  of  the  national  forest in which the lands administered by the
  7    state of Idaho are located to be paid at the end of the year to the  Secretary
  8    of  the  Treasury,  and  that  amounts allocated to the counties should not be
  9    taken into account for purposes of the Twenty-five Percent Fund pursuant to 16
 10    U.S.C. Section 500.
 11        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Congress is urged to seek a long-term solution
 12    to the significant issues that will face  rural  counties  in  the  event  the
 13    Secure  Rural  Schools  payments are not reauthorized or are allowed to expire
 14    following the 2006 reauthorization.
 15        BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chief Clerk of the  House  of  Representa-
 16    tives  be, and she is hereby authorized and directed to forward a copy of this
 17    Memorial to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Repre-
 18    sentatives of Congress, and  the  congressional  delegation  representing  the
 19    State of Idaho in the Congress of the United States.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact



                       STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

                            RS 16195C1

The purpose of this memorial to the U.S. Congress is to request
the transfer of management of the national forest system lands
within Idaho to the State of Idaho to be managed for the benefit
of the rural counties and schools.



                           FISCAL NOTE

There is no fiscal impact to the General Fund.






Contact
Name: Representatives Paul Shepherd, Mike Moyle, Ken Roberts, 
      Lawerence Denney, Clete Edmunson
Phone: (208) 332-1000


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE                           HJM 21