Congressman Greg Walden

Representing the 2nd District of Oregon

Greg Walden applauds Senate committee action on bill to force Forest Service to complete Mt. Hood land exchange

March 30, 2017
Press Release

Greg Walden applauds Senate committee action on bill to force Forest Service to complete Mt. Hood land exchange

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) applauded the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee for unanimously approving his bill to force the U.S. Forest Service to complete a land exchange on Mt. Hood. The Mt. Hood Cooper Spur Land Exchange Clarification Act (H.R. 699) directs the Forest Service to move forward with a land exchange first approved by Congress in 2009. 

“Nearly eight years ago, Congress told the Forest Service to complete this land exchange on Mt. Hood, which would help protect the local water source and grow family wage jobs in the community. They still haven’t gotten it done, so we need to pass new legislation to force them to do so,” Walden said. “Last month, the House overwhelmingly passed our bill, and I’m glad the Senate moved forward with it today. I hope the full Senate will quickly pass it so we can get it to the President’s desk and get this done—finally.” 

The 2009 law authorizes a land exchange to allow development of 120 acres of federal land in Government Camp in exchange for 770 acres of non-federal land at Cooper Spur. That law clearly stated that the Forest Service should complete the land exchange within 16 months. However, the exchange has yet to be completed, creating frustration and uncertainty in the local communities around Mt. Hood.

H.R. 699, introduced by Walden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland), expresses Congress’ intent that the Forest Service move quickly to complete the exchange, addresses disagreements over a conservation easement, and allows for a more transparent appraisal process. Walden and Blumenauer introduced identical legislation in the previous session of Congress, which passed the House on a near-unanimous vote of 401-2, but failed to pass the Senate.

Walden plans to discuss this bill -- and other local issues -- at upcoming town hall meetings in Hood River and The Dalles in April. Stay tuned for further details.

###