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PROVO — After passing in the House of Representatives for two consecutive years, a bill was passed by the Senate that will allow Brigham Young University to purchase the mountain named after it.
The Y Mountain Access Enhancement Act, also known as HR253, was included in the National Defense Authorization Act and passed Friday, according to Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s office. The bill was sponsored by Chaffetz and Sen. Orrin Hatch.
“I thank … my Utah colleagues for their leadership in chipping away at the inventory of federal lands in Utah,” Hatch said in a statement.
The bill will allow BYU to purchase the top 80 acres of Y Mountain from the Department of Agriculture, according to BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins. Jenkins said BYU previously owned the lower one-third of the trail on Y Mountain, but maintained the entire trail.
The bill requires the trail to remain open to public access, and Jenkins said BYU plans to continue offering reasonable public access, as well as protecting the land around the trail against erosion. The land will be appraised and the purchase will likely take place in 2015, Jenkins said.
“We are very glad to see this bill pass and are grateful to all those who made it possible,” BYU President Kevin Worthen said in a statement. “Since 1906, when students shuttled lime, sand and rocks to build the Y, this landmark has stood as a welcoming symbol to all those who come to Utah Valley, whether it be for their studies, work or simply a visit. We look forward to sharing the trail to the Y with our neighbors, friends and visitors.”
The bill now needs to be signed by President Obama, which is expected to happen in the next few days.