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Countywide : House OKs Land Swap With Boy Scouts

The House approved a land exchange Tuesday between the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America and the Cleveland National Forest that would give the Scouts space to expand their Lost Valley Scout Reservation.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach), would resolve a boundary conflict between the Scouts and the national forest.

“It shouldn’t take an act of Congress for kids to go to summer camp,” Cox said on the House floor Tuesday.

The Scouts want to renovate a dining hall and build new dormitories to accommodate the 10,000 Orange County Scouts who visit the camp each year.

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The Orange County Scouts agreed to give 94 acres of their land to the Cleveland National Forest in exchange for the rights to 60 acres already used by the campers.

The Scout reservation, on 1,400 acres in northern San Diego County, was purchased in 1956 by the Orange County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, based on an erroneous land survey conducted in 1880.

A U.S. Forest Service survey completed in 1987 found that part of the Scout reservation encroached on federal land. When the Scouts sought to make improvements to buildings on the property, they were unable to secure construction permits because of federal ownership.


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