| 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] ...
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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