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H.R. 1014 (rh) To require Federal land managers to support, and to communicate, [Reported in House] ...
108th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 1014 _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES July 20, 2004 Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources _______________________________________________________________________ AN ACT To require Federal land managers to support, and to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with, designated gateway communities, to improve the ability of gateway communities to participate in Federal land management planning conducted by the Forest Service and agencies of the Department of the Interior, and to respond to the impacts of the public use of the Federal lands administered by these agencies, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the ``Gateway Communities Cooperation Act''. SEC. 2. IMPROVED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FEDERAL LAND MANAGERS AND GATEWAY COMMUNITIES TO SUPPORT COMPATIBLE LAND MANAGEMENT OF BOTH FEDERAL AND ADJACENT LANDS. (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) Many communities that abut or are near Federal lands, including units of the National Park System, units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, units of the National Forest System, and lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, are vitally impacted by the management and public use of these Federal lands. (2) Some of these communities, commonly known as gateway communities, fulfill an integral part in the mission of the Federal lands by providing necessary services, such as schools, roads, search and rescue, emergency service, medical support, logistical support, living quarters, and drinking water and sanitary systems for visitors to the Federal lands and employees of Federal land management agencies. (3) Provision of these vital services by gateway communities is an essential ingredient for a meaningful and enjoyable experience by visitors to the Federal lands because Federal land management agencies are unable to provide, or are prevented from providing, these services. (4) Many gateway communities serve as an entry point for persons who visit the Federal lands and are ideal for establishment of visitor services, including lodging, food service, fuel, auto repairs, emergency services, and visitor information. (5) Development in some gateway communities may impact the management and protection of these Federal lands. (6) The planning and management decisions of Federal land managers can have unintended consequences for gateway communities and the Federal lands when the decisions are not adequately communicated to, or coordinated with, the elected officials and residents of gateway communities. (7) Experts in land management planning are available to Federal land managers, but persons with technical planning skills are often not readily available to gateway communities, particularly small gateway communities. (8) Gateway communities are often affected by the policies and actions of several Federal land management agencies and the communities and the agencies would benefit from greater interagency coordination of those policies and actions. (9) Persuading gateway communities to make decisions and undertake actions in their communities that would also be in the best interest of the Federal lands is most likely to occur when such decisionmaking and actions are built upon a foundation of cooperation and coordination. (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to require Federal land managers to communicate, coordinate, and cooperate with gateway communities in order to-- (1) improve the relationships among Federal land managers, elected officials, and residents of gateway communities; (2) enhance the facilities and services in gateway communities available to visitors to Federal lands when compatible with the management of these lands, including the availability of historical and cultural resources; and (3) result in better local land use planning in gateway communities and decisions by the relevant Secretary. (c) Definitions.--For the purpose of this section, the following definitions apply: (1) Gateway community.--The term ``gateway community'' means a county, city, town, village, or other subdivision of a State, a federally recognized Indian tribe, or Alaska Native village, that-- (A) is incorporated or recognized in a county or regional land use plan or within tribal jurisdictional boundaries; and (B) the relevant Secretary (or the head of the tourism office for the State) determines is significantly affected economically, socially, or environmentally by planning and management decisions regarding Federal lands administered by the relevant Secretary. (2) Relevant secretary--The term ``relevant Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of Agriculture, as appropriate. (d) Participation in Federal Planning and Land Use.-- (1) Participation in planning.--At the earliest possible time, the relevant Secretary shall solicit the involvement of elected and appointed officials of governments of gateway communities in the development of land use plans, programs, land use regulations, land use decisions, transportation plans, general management plans, and any other plans, decisions, projects, or policies for Federal lands under the jurisdiction of these Federal agencies that are likely to have a significant impact on these gateway communities. (2) Information provided.--To facilitate such involvement, the relevant Secretary shall provide the appropriate officials, at the earliest possible time but not later than the scoping process, with the following: (A) A summary, in nontechnical language, of the assumptions, purposes, goals, and objectives of the a plan, decision, project, or policy. (B) A description of any anticipated significant impact of the plan, decision, project, or policy on gateway communities. (C) Information regarding the technical assistance and training available to the gateway community. (3) Training sessions.--At the request of a gateway community, the relevant Secretary shall offer training sessions for elected and appointed officials of gateway communities at which such officials can obtain a better understanding of-- (A) the agency planning processes; and (B) the methods by which they can participate most meaningfully in the development of the agency plans, decisions, and policies referred to in paragraph (1). (4) Technical assistance.--At the request of a gateway community, the relevant Secretary shall make available personnel, on a temporary basis, to assist gateway communities in development of mutually compatible land use or management plans. (5) Coordination of land use.--The relevant Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements with gateway communities to coordinate the management of-- (A) the land use inventory, planning, and management activities for the Federal lands administered by the relevant Secretary; and (B) the land use planning and management activities of other Federal agencies, agencies of the State in which the Federal lands are located, and local and tribal governments in the vicinity of the Federal lands. (6) Interagency cooperation and coordination.--To the extent practicable, when the plans and activities of 2 or more Federal agencies are anticipated to have a significant impact on a gateway community, the Federal agencies involved shall consolidate and coordinate their plans and planning processes to facilitate the participation of affected gateway communities in the planning processes. (7) Treatment as cooperating agencies.--To the earliest extent practicable, but not later than the scoping process, when a proposed action is determined to require an environmental impact statement, the relevant Secretary shall allow any affected gateway communities the opportunity to be recognized as cooperating agencies under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). (e) Grants to Small Gateway Communities.-- (1) In general.--The relevant Secretary may make grants to any gateway community with a population of 10,000 or less to carry out the purposes of this section. (2) Authorization of appropriations for grantmaking.-- There are hereby authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for each fiscal year for grants under this subsection. (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are hereby authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act (other than for grants under subsection (e)), $10,000,000 for each fiscal year. Passed the House of Representatives July 19, 2004. Attest: JEFF TRANDAHL, Clerk.
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