[House Report 109-624]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-624




 September 6, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed


  Mr. Pombo, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2110]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2110) to provide for a study of options for protecting 
the open space characteristics of certain lands in and adjacent 
to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in Colorado, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 


  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Colorado Northern 
Front Range Mountain Backdrop Protection Study Act''.
  (b) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
          (1) Rising dramatically from the Great Plains, the Front 
        Range of the Rocky Mountains provides a scenic mountain 
        backdrop to many communities in the Denver metropolitan area 
        and elsewhere in Colorado. The portion of the range within and 
        adjacent to the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests also 
        includes a diverse array of wildlife habitats and provides many 
        opportunities for outdoor recreation.
          (2) The open space character of this mountain backdrop is an 
        important esthetic and economic asset for adjoining 
        communities, making them attractive locations for homes and 
          (3) Rapid population growth in the northern Front Range area 
        of Colorado is increasing recreational use of the Arapaho and 
        Roosevelt National Forests and is also placing increased 
        pressure for development of other lands within and adjacent to 
        that national forest.
          (4) Efforts by local governments and other entities have 
        provided important protection for portions of this mountain 
        backdrop, especially in the northern Denver metropolitan area. 
        However, some portions of the mountain backdrop in this part of 
        Colorado remain unprotected and are at risk of losing their 
        open space qualities.
          (5) It is in the national interest for the Federal 
        Government, in collaboration with local communities, to assist 
        in identifying options for increasing the protection of the 
        mountain backdrop in the northern Front Range area of Colorado.
  (c) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to identify options that may 
be available to assist in maintaining the open space characteristics of 
lands that are part of the mountain backdrop of communities in the 
northern section of the Front Range area of Colorado.


  (a) Study and Report.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting through 
the Chief of the Forest Service and in consultation with the State and 
local officials and agencies specified in subsection (c), shall review 
the lands within the study area and, not later than one year after the 
date of the enactment of this Act, shall report to such officials and 
to Congress regarding the following:
          (1) The present ownership of such lands.
          (2) Which undeveloped land may be at risk of development.
          (3) Actions that could be taken by the United States, the 
        State of Colorado or a political subdivision of such State, or 
        any other parties to preserve the open and undeveloped 
        character of such lands.
  (b) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section, the following 
definitions apply:
          (1) Study area.--The term ``study area'' means those lands in 
        southern Boulder, northern Jefferson, and northern Gilpin 
        Counties, Colorado, that are situated west of Colorado State 
        Highway 93, south and east of Colorado State Highway 119, and 
        north of Colorado State Highway 46, excluding lands within the 
        city limits of the cities of Boulder or Golden, Colorado, as 
        generally depicted on the map entitled ``Northern Front Range 
        Mountain Backdrop Study Area'' dated April, 2006.
          (2) Undeveloped land.--The term ``undeveloped land'' means 
        land that--
                  (A) is located within the study area;
                  (B) is free or primarily free of structures; and
                  (C) the development of which is likely to adversely 
                affect the scenic, wildlife, or recreational value of 
                the study area.
  (c) Consultations.--In implementing this Act, the Secretary shall 
consult with the following:
          (1) The Colorado Department of Natural Resources.
          (2) Colorado State Forest Service.
          (3) Colorado State Conservation Board.
          (4) Great Outdoors Colorado.
          (5) The Boards of County Commissioners of Boulder, Jefferson, 
        and Gilpin Counties, Colorado.
  (d) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this Act shall be construed as 
authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to take any action that would 
affect the use of any lands not owned by the United States.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2110 is to provide for a study of 
options for protecting the open space characteristics of 
certain lands in and adjacent to the Arapaho and Roosevelt 
National Forests in Colorado, and for other purposes.


    The State of Colorado has grown significantly in recent 
years and even gained a House of Representatives seat in th 
last census. As such, the Denver-metro area has expanded and 
may continue expanding into the ``front range'' of the Rocky 
Mountains. West of the front range, the Forest Service manages 
the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. H.R. 2110 would 
authorize a study conducted by the Forest Service on the best 
way to protect open space between the Denver-metro area and the 
National Forest.
    The bill would require, within one year of enactment, the 
Forest Service to study the ownership patterns of the land in 
the front range area, identify areas that are open and could 
possibly be developed, and recommend to Congress how these 
lands might be protected and how the federal government could 
help local communities and residents preclude development. The 
lands identified for study are within Colorado's Second 
Congressional District represented by Congressman Mark Udall.
    At the legislative hearing on H.R. 2110, the Forest Service 
made several suggestions, including clarifying language that 
would ensure the Forest Service and the Department of 
Agriculture only influenced lands under its jurisdiction and 
that land use decisions on non-federal land be made by the 
appropriate zoning or planning authority. Congressman Mark 
Udall worked with the Forest Service to draft an amendment to 
the bill making these and other technical changes. The 
amendment was approved during the Full Committee markup.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2110 was introduced on May 4, 2005, by Congressman 
Mark Udall (D-CO). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Forests and Forest Health. On March 9, 2006, the Subcommittee 
held a hearing on the bill. On July 19, 2006, the Full 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee 
was discharged from further consideration of the bill by 
unanimous consent. An amendment making substantive changes 
requested by the Forest Service was offered by Congressman 
Udall and agreed to by unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, 
was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.


    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.


    Article I, section 8, clause 3 of the Constitution of the 
United States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.


    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 

H.R. 2110--Colorado Northern Front Range Mountain Backdrop Protection 
        Study Act

    H.R. 2110 would require the Forest Service to conduct a 
study of the lands in and adjacent to the Arapaho and Roosevelt 
National Forests in Colorado. The study would report on the 
present ownership of the lands, underdeveloped areas that may 
be at risk for development, and preservation actions that can 
be taken by Colorado state and local governments and other 
interested parties. Under the bill, the agency would report its 
findings and recommendations to the Congress within one year of 
the bill's enactment.
    Based on information provided by the Forest Service, CBO 
estimates that the study required under H.R. 2110 would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting the bill 
would have no effect on revenues or direct spending.
    H.R. 2110 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Leigh Angres 
and Deborah Reis. This estimate was approved by Peter H. 
Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.


    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing