Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) praised the House for passage of his legislation, HR 356, removing restrictions on the use of land patented to the Mammoth Community Water District in Mono County.
"Passage of this bill represents a sensible approach to land usage and the empowerment of the Mammoth Community Water District," said McKeon. "The House, in passing HR 356, recognizes that the District knows best how to use its resources and will be good stewards of the land."
Prior to 1987, the Mammoth Community Water District occupied certain lands administered by the Forest Service through a special use permit. At the time, the law allowed the District to acquire 25 acres, but directed that 12 acres of the land could only be used for the purposes for which it had been used prior to the time of the conveyance, principally the storage of materials and for oxidation ponds. Those 12 acres are no longer needed for storage but current law (PL 97-465) forbids the District from using it in an alternative and economically viable way.
"Mammoth is growing and Mono County is growing and it simply made no sense to leave 12 acres of land sitting idle. As such, passage of my bill will allow Mammoth to accommodate the growing economic needs of the region. It also represents a reassertion of the principle that local control is almost always the best approach," added McKeon.
The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration. However, it is not clear when the measure will be considered in that chamber.
"I am pleased that the House acted so quickly, and I encourage my colleagues in the Senate to follow suit. The people in Mammoth have been waiting for this since 1987, and I hope they don't have to wait much longer," said McKeon.