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Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1505 and H.R. 587
Friday, July 8, 2011 10:00 AM
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forest and Public Lands
1324 Longworth House Office Building


SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS AND PUBLIC LANDS
1334 Longworth House Office Building
Friday, July 8, 2011
10:00 a.m.

LEGISLATIVE HEARING ON:

  • H.R. 1505 (Bishop) to prohibit the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture from taking action on public lands which impede border security on such lands, and for other purposes. "National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act"
  • H.R. 587 (Grijalva) to amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to expand the authorization of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior to provide service opportunities for young Americans; help restore the Nation's natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources; train a new generation of public land managers and enthusiasts; and promote the value of public service. "Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2011"

WITNESSES AND TESTIMONY:

Panel I (H.R. 587)

Jim Peña
Associate Deputy Chief
National Forest Systems
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Kim Thorsen
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management
U.S. Department of the Interior

Dale Penny
CEO
Student Conservation Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Panel II (H.R. 1505)

Jim Peña
Associate Deputy Chief
National Forest Systems
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Kim Thorsen
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Law Enforcement, Security, and Emergency Management
U.S. Department of the Interior

Claude E. Guyant
Founding member
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers
(Truth in Testimony Form)

Gary Thrasher
Arizona Cattle Growers Association
Public Lands Council
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
(Truth in Testimony Form)

John D. Leshy
Professor of Law
U.C. Hastings College of the Law
(Truth in Testimony Form)

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Department of Homeland Security

BACKGROUND:

Federal land managers are using environmental regulations to prevent Border Patrol from accessing portions of the 20.7 million acres along the U.S. southern border and over 1,000 miles of the U.S.-Canada border. Border Patrol agents are consistently unable to use motorized vehicles to patrol these areas or place electronic surveillance structures in strategic areas. As a result, our federal lands have become a highway open to criminals, drug smugglers, human traffickers and potentially terrorists. This has led to escalated violence and also caused destruction of the environment. Click here to learn more about security gaps along the U.S. border.

H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, prohibits the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using environmental regulations to deter U.S. Border Patrol from securing our border on federal lands. The legislation would ensure Border Patrol, not federal land managers, have operational control of our borders.

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