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

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


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4275


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 25, 2000

   Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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 

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