Rep. Gosar Introduces Bipartisan Bill Allowing States, Local Governments and Nonprofits to Operate Concessions on RPPA Land

Rep. Gosar Introduces Bipartisan Bill Allowing States, Local Governments and Nonprofits to Operate Concessions on RPPA Land

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after introducing H.R.4786, the RPPA Commercial Recreation Concessions Pilot Program Act of 2016 which amends the Recreation and Public Purposes Act (RPPA) and creates a pilot program that allows state, local governments and nonprofits to operate third-party recreational concessions on RPPA lands under the same guidelines that govern such activities on other BLM lands:

“The BLM currently allows all kinds of third-party commercial concessions to take place on BLM lands including mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, golfing and zip-lining. These concessions are a critically important part of the economy for many communities throughout the West. However, due to a lack of statutory authority and outdated regulations, third-party concessions that would otherwise be allowed on BLM lands are prohibited or severely restricted on RPPA parcels.

“This bipartisan bill is consistent with the original intent of the RPPA and will significantly enhance recreational opportunities by empowering states, local governments and nonprofits to also operate third-party recreational concessions on lands under their control. Utilizing public-private partnerships that benefit local communities and create more outdoor activities for all Americans is just commonsense.”

Background:

The RPPA Commercial Recreation Concessions Pilot Program Act is endorsed by: the National Association of Counties, the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials, the National Association of State Park Directors, and the National Recreation and Park Association.

16 original cosponsors joined Congressman Gosar in introducing this legislation including: Mark Amodei, Brad Ashford, Diane Black, Kevin Cramer, Scott DesJarlais, Trent Franks, Cresent Hardy, Andy Harris, Ann Kirkpatrick, Cynthia Lummis, Steve Pearce, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert, Pete Sessions, Kyrsten Sinema and Lamar Smith.

This commonsense legislation amends the RPPA and creates a pilot program that allows states, local governments and nonprofits to operate third-party recreational concessions on RPPA lands under the same guidelines that govern such activities on other BLM lands (43 C.F.R. 2920 and 43 C.F.R. 2930).

SPECIFIC PROVISIONS

Requires the Secretary of the Interior to establish a pilot program within 90 days of enactment.
Allows up to 10 pilots of third-party commercial recreation concessions.
The concessionaire is not required to use proceeds exclusively on the RPPA land.
Authorized RPPA commercial recreation concessions include any authorized on other BLM lands.
The execution of this pilot program will not trigger the RPPA reversionary clause.
The length of the pilots will be commensurate with the capital investment, but in no case longer than 20 years, extendable once with a finding of satisfactory performance.
Senators Flake and McCain have introduced companion legislation in the form of S.2380.

Contact: Steven D. Smith
Steven.Smith (at) mail.house (dot) gov
Source: Congressman Paul A. Gosar

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