Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4275 (ih) To establish the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4275 (ih) To establish the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, and for other purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.4275

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
  To establish the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area and the 
         Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness, 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 ``Colorado Canyons National 
Conservation Area and Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that certain areas located in the 
Grand Valley in Mesa County, Colorado, and Grand County, Utah, should 
be protected and enhanced for the benefit and enjoyment of present and 
future generations. These areas include the following:
        (1) The areas making up the Black Ridge and Ruby Canyons of the 
    Grand Valley and Rabbit Valley, which contain unique and valuable 
    scenic, recreational, multiple use opportunities (including 
    grazing), paleontological, natural, and wildlife components 
    enhanced by the rural western setting of the area, provide 
    extensive opportunities for recreational activities, and are 
    publicly used for hiking, camping, and grazing, and are worthy of 
    additional protection as a national conservation area.
        (2) The Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness Study Area has 
    wilderness value and offers unique geological, paleontological, 
    scientific, and recreational resources.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to conserve, protect, and 
enhance for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations 
the unique and nationally important values of the public lands 
described in section 4(b), including geological, cultural, 
paleontological, natural, scientific, recreational, environmental, 
biological, wilderness, wildlife education, and scenic resources of 
such public lands, by establishing the Colorado Canyons National 
Conservation Area and the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness in the State 
of Colorado and the State of Utah.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
        (1) Conservation area.--The term ``Conservation Area'' means 
    the Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area established by 
    section 4(a).
        (2) Council.--The term ``Council'' means the Colorado Canyons 
    National Conservation Area Advisory Council established under 
    section 8.
        (3) Management plan.--The term ``management plan'' means the 
    management plan developed for the Conservation Area under section 
    6(h).
        (4) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the map entitled ``Proposed 
    Colorado Canyons National Conservation Area and Black Ridge Canyons 
    Wilderness Area'' and dated July 18, 2000.
        (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
    the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land 
    Management.
        (6) Wilderness.--The term ``Wilderness'' means the Black Ridge 
    Canyons Wilderness so designated in section 5.

SEC. 4. COLORADO CANYONS NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA.

    (a) In General.--There is established the Colorado Canyons National 
Conservation Area in the State of Colorado and the State of Utah.
    (b) Areas Included.--The Conservation Area shall consist of 
approximately 122,300 acres of public land as generally depicted on the 
Map.

SEC. 5. BLACK RIDGE CANYONS WILDERNESS DESIGNATION.

    Certain lands in Mesa County, Colorado, and Grand County, Utah, 
which comprise approximately 75,550 acres as generally depicted on the 
Map, are hereby designated as wilderness and therefore as a component 
of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Such component shall be 
known as the Black Ridge Canyons Wilderness.

SEC. 6. MANAGEMENT.

    (a) Conservation Area.--The Secretary shall manage the Conservation 
Area in a manner that--
        (1) conserves, protects, and enhances the resources of the 
    Conservation Area specified in section 2(b); and
        (2) is in accordance with--
            (A) the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
        U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); and
            (B) other applicable law, including this Act.
    (b) Uses.--The Secretary shall allow only such uses of the 
Conservation Area as the Secretary determines will further the purposes 
for which the Conservation Area is established.
    (c) Withdrawals.--Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal 
land within the Conservation Area and the Wilderness and all land and 
interests in land acquired for the Conservation Area or the Wilderness 
by the United States are withdrawn from--
        (1) all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the 
    public land laws;
        (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and
        (3) the operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, 
    and geothermal leasing laws, and all amendments thereto.
Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to affect discretionary 
authority of the Secretary under other Federal laws to grant, issue, or 
renew rights-of-way or other land use authorizations consistent with 
the other provisions of this Act.
    (d) Off-Highway Vehicle Use.--
        (1) In general.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), use of 
    motorized vehicles in the Conservation Area--
            (A) before the effective date of a management plan under 
        subsection (h), shall be allowed only on roads and trails 
        designated for use of motor vehicles in the management plan 
        that applies on the date of the enactment of this Act to the 
        public lands in the Conservation Area; and
            (B) after the effective date of a management plan under 
        subsection (h), shall be allowed only on roads and trails 
        designated for use of motor vehicles in that management plan.
        (2) Administrative and emergency response use.--Paragraph (1) 
    shall not limit the use of motor vehicles in the Conservation Area 
    as needed for administrative purposes or to respond to an 
    emergency.
    (e) Wilderness.--Subject to valid existing rights, lands designated 
as wilderness by this Act shall be managed by the Secretary, as 
appropriate, in accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et 
seq.) and this Act, except that, with respect to any wilderness areas 
designated by this Act, any reference in the Wilderness Act to the 
effective date of the Wilderness Act shall be deemed to be a reference 
to the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (f) Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing.--
        (1) In general.--Hunting, trapping, and fishing shall be 
    allowed within the Conservation Area and the Wilderness in 
    accordance with applicable laws and regulations of the United 
    States and the States of Colorado and Utah.
        (2) Area and time closures.--The head of the Colorado Division 
    of Wildlife (in reference to land within the State of Colorado), 
    the head of the Utah Division of Wildlife (in reference to land 
    within the State of Utah), or the Secretary after consultation with 
    the Colorado Division of Wildlife (in reference to land within the 
    State of Colorado) or the head of the Utah Division of Wildlife (in 
    reference to land within the State of Utah), may issue regulations 
    designating zones where, and establishing limited periods when, 
    hunting, trapping, or fishing shall be prohibited in the 
    Conservation Area or the Wilderness for reasons of public safety, 
    administration, or public use and enjoyment.
    (g) Grazing.--
        (1) In general.--Except as provided by paragraph (2), the 
    Secretary shall issue and administer any grazing leases or permits 
    in the Conservation Area and the Wilderness in accordance with the 
    same laws (including regulations) and Executive orders followed by 
    the Secretary in issuing and administering grazing leases and 
    permits on other land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land 
    Management.
        (2) Grazing in wilderness.--Grazing of livestock in the 
    Wilderness shall be administered in accordance with the provisions 
    of section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)), in 
    accordance with the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of House 
    Report 101-405 of the 101st Congress.
    (h) Management Plan.--
        (1) In general.--Not later than 3 years after the date of the 
    enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop a comprehensive 
    management plan for the long-range protection and management of the 
    Conservation Area and the Wilderness and the lands described in 
    paragraph (2)(E).
        (2) Purposes.--The management plan shall--
            (A) describe the appropriate uses and management of the 
        Conservation Area and the Wilderness;
            (B) take into consideration any information developed in 
        studies of the land within the Conservation Area or the 
        Wilderness;
            (C) provide for the continued management of the utility 
        corridor, Black Ridge Communications Site, and the Federal 
        Aviation Administration site as such for the land designated on 
        the Map as utility corridor, Black Ridge Communications Site, 
        and the Federal Aviation Administration site;
            (D) take into consideration the historical involvement of 
        the local community in the interpretation and protection of the 
        resources of the Conservation Area and the Wilderness, as well 
        as the Ruby Canyon/Black Ridge Integrated Resource Management 
        Plan, dated March 1998, which was the result of collaborative 
        efforts on the part of the Bureau of Land Management and the 
        local community; and
            (E) include all public lands between the boundary of the 
        Conservation Area and the edge of the Colorado River and, on 
        such lands, the Secretary shall allow only such recreational or 
        other uses as are consistent with this Act.
    (i) No Buffer Zones.--The Congress does not intend for the 
establishment of the Conservation Area or the Wilderness to lead to the 
creation of protective perimeters or buffer zones around the 
Conservation Area or the Wilderness. The fact that there may be 
activities or uses on lands outside the Conservation Area or the 
Wilderness that would not be allowed in the Conservation Area or the 
Wilderness shall not preclude such activities or uses on such lands up 
to the boundary of the Conservation Area or the Wilderness consistent 
with other applicable laws.
    (j) Acquisition of Land.--
        (1) In general.--The Secretary may acquire non-federally owned 
    land within the exterior boundaries of the Conservation Area or the 
    Wilderness only through purchase from a willing seller, exchange, 
    or donation.
        (2) Management.--Land acquired under paragraph (1) shall be 
    managed as part of the Conservation Area or the Wilderness, as the 
    case may be, in accordance with this Act.
    (k) Interpretive Facilities or Sites.--The Secretary may establish 
minimal interpretive facilities or sites in cooperation with other 
public or private entities as the Secretary considers appropriate. Any 
facilities or sites shall be designed to protect the resources referred 
to in section 2(b).
    (l) Water Rights.--
        (1) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (A) the lands designated as wilderness by this Act are 
        located at the headwaters of the streams and rivers on those 
        lands, with few, if any, actual or proposed water resource 
        facilities located upstream from such lands and few, if any, 
        opportunities for diversion, storage, or other uses of water 
        occurring outside such lands that would adversely affect the 
        wilderness or other values of such lands;
            (B) the lands designated as wilderness by this Act 
        generally are not suitable for use for development of new water 
        resource facilities, or for the expansion of existing 
        facilities;
            (C) it is possible to provide for proper management and 
        protection of the wilderness and other values of such lands in 
        ways different from those utilized in other legislation 
        designating as wilderness lands not sharing the attributes of 
        the lands designated as wilderness by this Act.
        (2) Statutory construction.--
            (A) Nothing in this Act shall constitute or be construed to 
        constitute either an express or implied reservation of any 
        water or water rights with respect to the lands designated as a 
        national conservation area or as wilderness by this Act.
            (B) Nothing in this Act shall affect any conditional or 
        absolute water rights in the State of Colorado existing on the 
        date of the enactment of this Act.
            (C) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as 
        establishing a precedent with regard to any future national 
        conservation area or wilderness designations.
            (D) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as limiting, 
        altering, modifying, or amending any of the interstate compacts 
        or equitable apportionment decrees that apportion water among 
        and between the State of Colorado and other States.
        (3) Colorado water law.--The Secretary shall follow the 
    procedural and substantive requirements of the law of the State of 
    Colorado in order to obtain and hold any new water rights with 
    respect to the Conservation Area and the Wilderness.
        (4) New projects.--
            (A) As used in this paragraph, the term ``water resource 
        facility'' means irrigation and pumping facilities, reservoirs, 
        water conservation works, aqueducts, canals, ditches, 
        pipelines, wells, hydropower projects, and transmission and 
        other ancillary facilities, and other water diversion, storage, 
        and carriage structures. Such term does not include any such 
        facilities related to or used for the purpose of livestock 
        grazing.
            (B) Except as otherwise provided by section 6(g) or other 
        provisions of this Act, on and after the date of the enactment 
        of this Act, neither the President nor any other officer, 
        employee, or agent of the United States shall fund, assist, 
        authorize, or issue a license or permit for the development of 
        any new water resource facility within the wilderness area 
        designated by this Act.
            (C) Except as provided in this paragraph, nothing in this 
        Act shall be construed to affect or limit the use, operation, 
        maintenance, repair, modification, or replacement of water 
        resource facilities in existence on the date of the enactment 
        of this Act within the boundaries of the Wilderness.
        (5) Boundaries along colorado river.--(A) Neither the 
    Conservation Area nor the Wilderness shall include any part of the 
    Colorado River to the 100-year high water mark.
        (B) Nothing in this Act shall affect the authority that the 
    Secretary may or may not have to manage recreational uses on the 
    Colorado River, except as such authority may be affected by 
    compliance with paragraph (3). Nothing in this Act shall be 
    construed to affect the authority of the Secretary to manage the 
    public lands between the boundary of the Conservation Area and the 
    edge of the Colorado River.
        (C) Subject to valid existing rights, all lands owned by the 
    Federal Government between the 100-year high water mark on each 
    shore of the Colorado River, as designated on the Map from the line 
    labeled ``Line A'' on the east to the boundary between the States 
    of Colorado and Utah on the west, are hereby withdrawn from--
            (i) all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under 
        the public land laws;
            (ii) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and
            (iii) the operation of the mineral leasing, mineral 
        materials, and geothermal leasing laws.

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