4:07 PM EST

Rush Holt, D-NJ 12th

Mr. HOLT. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from New Jersey will be postponed.

AMENDMENT NO. 11 OFFERED BY MR.

POLIS

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 11 printed in House Report 113-339.

4:08 PM EST

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chairman, in 1972, President Nixon signed Executive Order 11644, which required that the U.S. Forest Service create travel management plans for the operation of off-road vehicles in our national forests, including snowmobiles. These travel management plans were designed to address the concerns of different users. They can be simple or detailed enough to affect noise, carbon emissions, traffic patterns, and protect animal migratory patterns.

In 2005, the Forest Service finalized its travel management rules for off-road vehicles in the national forest system except for snowmobiles, which were granted an exemption.

Each year, outdoor enthusiasts contribute enormous amounts to our economy, and snowmobiles support thousands of jobs not only in my district, but across the country. Not only do many of our residents enjoy snowmobiling, but it attracts significant tourism to areas like Eagle and Summit and Grand Counties and actually creates jobs in those areas.

Although snowmobiles were exempted from this rule, individual forest managers were still able to restrict snowmobile travel as appropriate on a case-by-case basis through individual travel management plans which met the unique needs of each area.

In 2013, however, a Federal District Court in Idaho in the Winter Wildlands Alliance v. U.S. Forest Service ruled the Forest Service must develop an overarching travel management rule that includes snowmobiles to comply with President Nixon's original executive order.

This amendment states that while the National Forest Service develops this travel management plan, it is a sense of Congress that the Forest Service should continue to allow snowmobiles on Federal lands during this rule's development with the same restrictions that were in place prior to the Winter Wildlands Alliance decision to ensure that the ability of snowmobilers to recreate is not interfered with because of this period where we are developing our permanent policy.

Given the breadth of outdoor activities, it makes simple sense that public lands should be available for multiple uses, including snowmobiling. About a quarter of Americans who participate in outdoor recreation enjoy motorized vehicles as part of that activity. Like other outdoor enthusiasts, snowmobilers contribute to communities by renting equipment, staying in hotels, purchasing souvenirs, enjoying local restaurants, and more.

As off-road vehicle use expands, it becomes increasingly important for the U.S. Forest Service to issue its rules to determine whether areas are open or closed to snowmobiles. This sense of Congress will allow that certainty that will allow our tourism industry to continue and our residents to continue to enjoy snowmobiling.

4:08 PM EST

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chairman, in 1972, President Nixon signed Executive Order 11644, which required that the U.S. Forest Service create travel management plans for the operation of off-road vehicles in our national forests, including snowmobiles. These travel management plans were designed to address the concerns of different users. They can be simple or detailed enough to affect noise, carbon emissions, traffic patterns, and protect animal migratory patterns.

In 2005, the Forest Service finalized its travel management rules for off-road vehicles in the national forest system except for snowmobiles, which were granted an exemption.

Each year, outdoor enthusiasts contribute enormous amounts to our economy, and snowmobiles support thousands of jobs not only in my district, but across the country. Not only do many of our residents enjoy snowmobiling, but it attracts significant tourism to areas like Eagle and Summit and Grand Counties and actually creates jobs in those areas.

Although snowmobiles were exempted from this rule, individual forest managers were still able to restrict snowmobile travel as appropriate on a case-by-case basis through individual travel management plans which met the unique needs of each area.

In 2013, however, a Federal District Court in Idaho in the Winter Wildlands Alliance v. U.S. Forest Service ruled the Forest Service must develop an overarching travel management rule that includes snowmobiles to comply with President Nixon's original executive order.

This amendment states that while the National Forest Service develops this travel management plan, it is a sense of Congress that the Forest Service should continue to allow snowmobiles on Federal lands during this rule's development with the same restrictions that were in place prior to the Winter Wildlands Alliance decision to ensure that the ability of snowmobilers to recreate is not interfered with because of this period where we are developing our permanent policy.

Given the breadth of outdoor activities, it makes simple sense that public lands should be available for multiple uses, including snowmobiling. About a quarter of Americans who participate in outdoor recreation enjoy motorized vehicles as part of that activity. Like other outdoor enthusiasts, snowmobilers contribute to communities by renting equipment, staying in hotels, purchasing souvenirs, enjoying local restaurants, and more.

As off-road vehicle use expands, it becomes increasingly important for the U.S. Forest Service to issue its rules to determine whether areas are open or closed to snowmobiles. This sense of Congress will allow that certainty that will allow our tourism industry to continue and our residents to continue to enjoy snowmobiling.

4:11 PM EST

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I congratulate Mr. Polis and Congressman Kildee, who is detained at the White House, for offering this amendment.

I appreciate that the majority has accepted it. This will be a temporary provision until such a time as the final rule is adopted. There was never, I don't think, intent to have this sort of a blanket ban on snowmobiles, and this would correct that error by the Forest Service as they go through a deliberative process on where, when, and how snowmobiles will access Federal forest lands on a unit-by-unit basis.

4:11 PM EST

Peter A. DeFazio, D-OR 4th

Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I congratulate Mr. Polis and Congressman Kildee, who is detained at the White House, for offering this amendment.

I appreciate that the majority has accepted it. This will be a temporary provision until such a time as the final rule is adopted. There was never, I don't think, intent to have this sort of a blanket ban on snowmobiles, and this would correct that error by the Forest Service as they go through a deliberative process on where, when, and how snowmobiles will access Federal forest lands on a unit-by-unit basis.

4:12 PM EST

Jared Polis, D-CO 2nd

Mr. POLIS. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman from Washington for his remarks. You know that when the defense of one team scores more points than the offense of the other team, your team is not in good shape. But I congratulate the gentleman on the 12-second, fastest ever score in a way that was quite embarrassing for the Broncos, but we will be back next year. We look forward to challenging in the NFL.

I appreciate the support from both the chair and the ranking member for Mr. Kildee's and my amendment. This rule will help the U.S. Forest Service improve management, prevent the disruption of the tourism industry, allow for the continued enjoyment of residents in snowmobiling, and ensure that [Page: H1584]

off-road vehicles are used in a manner that protects natural resources, minimizes conflict with other users, and provides and protects motorized recreation.

Until we finalize the travel plan, snowmobilers will be able to, under this sense of Congress, enjoy their favorite activity, and communities should continue to reap the economic benefits of hosting these winter sport enthusiasts.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. Does anyone seek time in opposition?

Seeing none, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. Polis).

The amendment was agreed to.

4:13 PM EST

Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I move that the Committee do now rise.

The motion was agreed to.

Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. Mullin) having assumed the chair, Mr. Stewart, Acting Chair of the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 3590) to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting, and for other purposes, had come to no resolution thereon.

END