WASHINGTON, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and U.S. Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK-2) reintroduced the Help to Access Land for the Education of Scouts (HALE) Act in their respective chambers. This legislation authorizes the U.S. Forest Service to sell, at fair-market value, 140 acres of land from the Ouachita Forest to the Indian Nations Council of Boy Scouts.

Originally introduced in the 110th Congress, the HALE Act passed the House of Representatives but failed to reach the Senate floor. Citing the need to finally pass this non-controversial legislation, U.S. Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) today joined Inhofe in sending a letter to U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. The letter urges her committee to quickly consider the HALE Act so it can be considered by the full Senate.  

“The HALE Act provides a unique opportunity to assist the Boy Scouts of America,” said Inhofe. “Currently, the U.S. Forest Service owns 140 acres of land adjacent to a Boy Scout campsite in southeastern Oklahoma. As the organization continues to grow, they are in desperate need of a new expansion to their campsite. Since the 110th Congress, we have attempted to alleviate this problem, and the U.S. Forest Service has testified that it does not oppose this legislation.  The Boy Scouts is a praiseworthy organization that provides students with valuable opportunities in leadership, and Congress should finally pass this measure.”

“Since its creation, Hale Scout Reservation has offered thousands of Boy Scouts from Oklahoma and the central United States with the opportunity to build leadership and social skills while learning outdoor activities and wilderness training,” said Boren.  “Camp Hale has seen a strong increase in attendance in recent years.  The HALE Scouts Act, coupled with the Indian Nation Council Boy Scout’s recent capital improvement program, will provide the camp with the space and facilities necessary to meeting this growing demand.  The U.S. House overwhelmingly supported passage of this measure in 2009, and I look forward to working with my colleague and fellow Oklahoman, Senator Jim Inhofe, to make certain it is signed into law.”