Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 901 (rh) To preserve the sovereignty of the United States over public lands and acquired lands owned by the United States, and to preserve State sovereignty and private property rights in non-Federal lands surrounding those public lands and acquired...

H.R. 901 (rh) To preserve the sovereignty of the United States over public lands and acquired lands owned by the United States, and to preserve State sovereignty and private property rights in non-Federal lands surrounding those public lands and acquired...


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105th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 901


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            October 9, 1997

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

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To preserve the sovereignty of the United States over public lands and 
   acquired lands owned by the United States, and to preserve State 
     sovereignty and private property rights in non-Federal lands 
           surrounding those public lands and acquired lands.

    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 ``American Land Sovereignty Protection 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) The power to dispose of and make all needful rules and 
        regulations governing lands belonging to the United States is 
        vested in the Congress under article IV, section 3, of the 
        Constitution.
            (2) Some Federal land designations made pursuant to 
        international agreements concern land use policies and 
        regulations for lands belonging to the United States which 
        under article IV, section 3, of the Constitution can only be 
        implemented through laws enacted by the Congress.
            (3) Some international land designations, such as those 
        under the United States Biosphere Reserve Program and the Man 
        and Biosphere Program of the United Nations Scientific, 
        Educational, and Cultural Organization, operate under 
        independent national committees, such as the United States 
        National Man and Biosphere Committee, which have no legislative 
        directives or authorization from the Congress.
            (4) Actions by the United States in making such 
        designations may affect the use and value of nearby or 
        intermixed non-Federal lands.
            (5) The sovereignty of the States is a critical component 
        of our Federal system of government and a bulwark against the 
        unwise concentration of power.
            (6) Private property rights are essential for the 
        protection of freedom.
            (7) Actions by the United States to designate lands 
        belonging to the United States pursuant to international 
        agreements in some cases conflict with congressional 
        constitutional responsibilities and State sovereign 
        capabilities.
            (8) Actions by the President in applying certain 
        international agreements to lands owned by the United States 
        diminishes the authority of the Congress to make rules and 
        regulations respecting these lands.
    (b) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are the following:
            (1) To reaffirm the power of the Congress under article IV, 
        section 3, of the Constitution over international agreements 
        which concern disposal, management, and use of lands belonging 
        to the United States.
            (2) To protect State powers not reserved to the Federal 
        Government under the Constitution from Federal actions 
        designating lands pursuant to international agreements.
            (3) To ensure that no United States citizen suffers any 
        diminishment or loss of individual rights as a result of 
        Federal actions designating lands pursuant to international 
        agreements for purposes of imposing restrictions on use of 
        those lands.
            (4) To protect private interests in real property from 
        diminishment as a result of Federal actions designating lands 
        pursuant to international agreements.
            (5) To provide a process under which the United States may, 
        when desirable, designate lands pursuant to international 
        agreements.

SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION OF CONGRESSIONAL ROLE IN WORLD HERITAGE SITE 
              LISTING.

    Section 401 of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 
1980 (Public Law 96-515; 94 Stat. 2987) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a) in the first sentence, by--
                    (A) striking ``The Secretary'' and inserting 
                ``Subject to subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e), the 
                Secretary''; and
                    (B) inserting ``(in this section referred to as the 
                `Convention')'' after ``1973''; and
            (2) by adding at the end the following new subsections:
    ``(d)(1) The Secretary of the Interior may not nominate any lands 
owned by the United States for inclusion on the World Heritage List 
pursuant to the Convention, unless--
            ``(A) the Secretary finds with reasonable basis that 
        commercially viable uses of the nominated lands, and 
        commercially viable uses of other lands located within 10 miles 
        of the nominated lands, in existence on the date of the 
        nomination will not be adversely affected by inclusion of the 
        lands on the World Heritage List, and publishes that finding;
            ``(B) the Secretary has submitted to the Congress a report 
        describing--
                    ``(i) natural resources associated with the lands 
                referred to in subparagraph (A); and
                    ``(ii) the impacts that inclusion of the nominated 
                lands on the World Heritage List would have on existing 
                and future uses of the nominated lands or other lands 
                located within 10 miles of the nominated lands; and
            ``(C) the nomination is specifically authorized by a law 
        enacted after the date of enactment of the American Land 
        Sovereignty Protection Act and after the date of publication of 
        a finding under subparagraph (A) for the nomination.
    ``(2) The President may submit to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President of the Senate a proposal for 
legislation authorizing such a nomination after publication of a 
finding under paragraph (1)(A) for the nomination.
    ``(e) The Secretary of the Interior shall object to the inclusion 
of any property in the United States on the list of World Heritage in 
Danger established under Article 11.4 of the Convention, unless--
            ``(1) the Secretary has submitted to the Speaker of the 
        House of Representatives and the President of the Senate a 
        report describing--
                    ``(A) the necessity for including that property on 
                the list;
                    ``(B) the natural resources associated with the 
                property; and
                    ``(C) the impacts that inclusion of the property on 
                the list would have on existing and future uses of the 
                property and other property located within 10 miles of 
                the property proposed for inclusion; and
            ``(2) the Secretary is specifically authorized to assent to 
        the inclusion of the property on the list, by a joint 
        resolution of the Congress after the date of submittal of the 
        report required by paragraph (1).''.
    ``(f) The Secretary of the Interior shall submit an annual report 
on each World Heritage Site within the United States to the Chairman 
and Ranking Minority member of the Committee on Resources of the House 
of Representatives and of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
of the Senate, that contains for the year covered by the report the 
following information for the site:
            ``(1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the 
        site.
            ``(2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours 
        related to management of the site.
            ``(3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the site.
            ``(4) A summary and account of the disposition of 
        complaints received by the Secretary related to management of 
        the site.''.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITION AND TERMINATION OF UNAUTHORIZED UNITED NATIONS 
              BIOSPHERE RESERVES.

    Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 
1980 (16 U.S.C. 470a-1 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:
    ``Sec. 403. (a) No Federal official may nominate any lands in the 
United States for designation as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man and 
Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and 
Cultural Organization.
    ``(b) Any designation on or before the date of enactment of the 
American Land Sovereignty Protection Act of an area in the United 
States as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program of 
the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization 
shall not have, and shall not be given, any force or effect, unless the 
Biosphere Reserve--
            ``(1) is specifically authorized by a law enacted after 
        that date of enactment and before December 31, 2000;
            ``(2) consists solely of lands that on that date of 
        enactment are owned by the United States; and
            ``(3) is subject to a management plan that specifically 
        ensures that the use of intermixed or adjacent non-Federal 
        property is not limited or restricted as a result of that 
        designation.
    ``(c) The Secretary of State shall submit an annual report on each 
Biosphere Reserve within the United States to the Chairman and Ranking 
Minority member of the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of 
the Senate, that contains for the year covered by the report the 
following information for the reserve:
            ``(1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the 
        reserve.
            ``(2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours 
        related to management of the reserve.
            ``(3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the 
        reserve.
            ``(4) A summary and account of the disposition of the 
        complaints received by the Secretary related to management of 
        the reserve.''.

SEC. 5. INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS IN GENERAL.

    Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 
1980 (16 U.S.C. 470a-1 et seq.) is further amended by adding at the end 
the following new section:
    ``Sec. 404. (a) No Federal official may nominate, classify, or 
designate any lands owned by the United States and located within the 
United States for a special, including commercial, or restricted use 
under any international agreement unless such nomination, 
classification, or designation is specifically authorized by law. The 
President may from time to time submit to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President of the Senate proposals for 
legislation authorizing such a nomination, classification, or 
designation.
    ``(b) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of lands owned by a State or local government 
shall have no force or effect unless the nomination, classification, or 
designation is specifically authorized by a law enacted by the State or 
local government, respectively.
    ``(c) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of privately owned lands shall have no force 
or effect without the written consent of the owner of the lands.
    ``(d) This section shall not apply to--
            ``(1) agreements established under section 16(a) of the 
        North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4413); and
            ``(2) conventions referred to in section 3(h)(3) of the 
        Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 712(2)).
    ``(e) In this section, the term `international agreement' means any 
treaty, compact, executive agreement, convention, bilateral agreement, 
or multilateral agreement between the United States or any agency of 
the United States and any foreign entity or agency of any foreign 
entity, having a primary purpose of conserving, preserving, or 
protecting the terrestrial or marine environment, flora, or fauna.''.

SEC. 6. CLERICAL AMENDMENT.

    Section 401(b) of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments 
of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 470a-1(b)) is amended by striking ``Committee on 
Natural Resources'' and inserting ``Committee on Resources''.

            Passed the House of Representatives October 8, 1997.

            Attest:

                                                ROBIN H. CARLE,

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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