Home > 106th Congressional Bills > S. 1892 (rh) To authorize the acquisition of the Valles Caldera, to provide for an effective land and wildlife management program for this resource within the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...

S. 1892 (rh) To authorize the acquisition of the Valles Caldera, to provide for an effective land and wildlife management program for this resource within the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes. [Reported in House] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 1892


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 2, 2000

                 Referred to the Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To authorize the acquisition of the Valles Caldera, to provide for an 
effective land and wildlife management program for this resource within 
         the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

          TITLE I--VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE AND TRUST

SEC. 101. SHORT TITLE.

    This title may be cited as the ``Valles Caldera Preservation Act''.

SEC. 102. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) the Baca ranch comprises most of the Valles Caldera in 
        central New Mexico, and constitutes a unique land mass, with 
        significant scientific, cultural, historic, recreational, 
        ecological, wildlife, fisheries, and productive values;
            (2) the Valles Caldera is a large resurgent lava dome with 
        potential geothermal activity;
            (3) the land comprising the Baca ranch was originally 
        granted to the heirs of Don Luis Maria Cabeza de Vaca in 1860;
            (4) historical evidence, in the form of old logging camps 
        and other artifacts, and the history of territorial New Mexico 
        indicate the importance of this land over many generations for 
        domesticated livestock production and timber supply;
            (5) the careful husbandry of the Baca ranch by the current 
        owners, including selective timbering, limited grazing and 
        hunting, and the use of prescribed fire, have preserved a mix 
        of healthy range and timber land with significant species 
        diversity, thereby serving as a model for sustainable land 
        development and use;
            (6) the Baca ranch's natural beauty and abundant resources, 
        and its proximity to large municipal populations, could provide 
        numerous recreational opportunities for hiking, fishing, 
        camping, cross-country skiing, and hunting;
            (7) the Forest Service documented the scenic and natural 
        values of the Baca ranch in its 1993 study entitled ``Report on 
        the Study of the Baca Location No. 1, Santa Fe National Forest, 
        New Mexico'', as directed by Public Law 101-556;
            (8) the Baca ranch can be protected for current and future 
        generations by continued operation as a working ranch under a 
        unique management regime which would protect the land and 
        resource values of the property and surrounding ecosystem while 
        allowing and providing for the ranch to eventually become 
        financially self-sustaining;
            (9) the current owners have indicated that they wish to 
        sell the Baca ranch, creating an opportunity for Federal 
        acquisition and public access and enjoyment of these lands;
            (10) certain features on the Baca ranch have historical and 
        religious significance to Native Americans which can be 
        preserved and protected through Federal acquisition of the 
        property;
            (11) the unique nature of the Valles Caldera and the 
        potential uses of its resources with different resulting 
        impacts warrants a management regime uniquely capable of 
        developing an operational program for appropriate preservation 
        and development of the land and resources of the Baca ranch in 
        the interest of the public;
            (12) an experimental management regime should be provided 
        by the establishment of a Trust capable of using new methods of 
        public land management that may prove to be cost-effective and 
        environmentally sensitive; and
            (13) the Secretary may promote more efficient management of 
        the Valles Caldera and the watershed of the Santa Clara Creek 
        through the assignment of purchase rights of such watershed to 
        the Pueblo of Santa Clara.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this title are--
            (1) to authorize Federal acquisition of the Baca ranch;
            (2) to protect and preserve for future generations the 
        scientific, scenic, historic, and natural values of the Baca 
        ranch, including rivers and ecosystems and archaeological, 
        geological, and cultural resources;
            (3) to provide opportunities for public recreation;
            (4) to establish a demonstration area for an experimental 
        management regime adapted to this unique property which 
        incorporates elements of public and private administration in 
        order to promote long term financial sustainability consistent 
        with the other purposes enumerated in this subsection; and
            (5) to provide for sustained yield management of Baca ranch 
        for timber production and domesticated livestock grazing 
        insofar as is consistent with the other purposes stated herein.

SEC. 103. DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Baca ranch.--The term ``Baca ranch'' means the lands 
        and facilities described in this section 104(a).
            (2) Board of trustees.--The terms ``Board of Trustees'' and 
        ``Board'' mean the Board of Trustees as describe in section 
        107.
            (3) Committees of congress.--The term ``Committees of 
        Congress'' means the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
        of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of 
        Representatives.
            (4) Financially self-sustaining.--The term ``financially 
        self-sustaining'' means management and operating expenditures 
        equal to or less than proceeds derived from fees and other 
        receipts for resource use and development and interest on 
        invested funds. Management and operating expenditures shall 
        include Trustee expenses, salaries and benefits of staff, 
        administrative and operating expenses, improvements to and 
        maintenance of lands and facilities of the Preserve, and other 
        similar expenses. Funds appropriated to the Trust by Congress, 
        either directly or through the Secretary, for the purposes of 
        this title shall not be considered.
            (5) Multiple use and sustained yield.--The term ``multiple 
        use and sustained yield'' has the combined meaning of the terms 
        ``multiple use'' and ``sustained yield of the several products 
        and services'', as defined under the Multiple-Use Sustained-
        Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 531).
            (6) Preserve.--The term ``Preserve'' means the Valles 
        Caldera National Preserve established under section 105.
            (7) Secretary.--Except where otherwise provided, the term 
        ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Agriculture.
            (8) Trust.--The term ``Trust'' means the Valles Caldera 
        Trust established under section 106.

SEC. 104. ACQUISITION OF LANDS.

    (a) Acquisition of Baca Ranch.--
            (1) In general.--In compliance with the Act of June 15, 
        1926 (16 U.S.C. 471a), the Secretary is authorized to acquire 
        all or part of the rights, title, and interests in and to 
        approximately 94,761 acres of the Baca ranch, comprising the 
        lands, facilities, and structures referred to as the Baca 
        Location No. 1, and generally depicted on a plat entitled 
        ``Independent Resurvey of the Baca Location No. 1'', made by 
        L.A. Osterhoudt, W.V. Hall, and Charles W. Devendorf, U.S. 
        Cadastral Engineers, June 30, 1920-August 24, 1921, under 
        special instructions for Group No. 107 dated February 12, 1920, 
        in New Mexico.
            (2) Source of funds.--The acquisition under paragraph (1) 
        may be made by purchase through appropriated or donated funds, 
        by exchange, by contribution, or by donation of land. Funds 
        appropriated to the Secretary from the Land and Water 
        Conservation Fund shall be available for this purpose.
            (3) Basis of sale.--The acquisition under paragraph (1) 
        shall be based on an appraisal done in conformity with the 
        Uniform Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisitions and--
                    (A) in the case of purchase, such purchase shall be 
                on a willing seller basis for no more than the fair 
                market value of the land or interests therein acquired; 
                and
                    (B) in the case of exchange, such exchange shall be 
                for lands, or interests therein, of equal value, in 
                conformity with the existing exchange authorities of 
                the Secretary.
            (4) Deed.--The conveyance of the offered lands to the 
        United States under this subsection shall be by general 
        warranty or other deed acceptable to the Secretary and in 
        conformity with applicable title standards of the Attorney 
        General.
    (b) Addition of Land to Bandelier National Monument.--Upon 
acquisition of the Baca ranch under subsection (a), the Secretary of 
the Interior shall assume administrative jurisdiction over those lands 
within the boundaries of the Bandelier National Monument as modified 
under section 3 of Public Law 105-376 (112 Stat. 3389).
    (c) Plat and Maps.--
            (1) Plat and maps prevail.--In case of any conflict between 
        a plat or a map and acreages, the plat or map shall prevail.
            (2) Minor corrections.--The Secretary and the Secretary of 
        the Interior may make minor corrections in the boundaries of 
        the Upper Alamo watershed as depicted on the map referred to in 
        section 3 of Public Law 105-376 (112 Stat. 3389).
            (3) Boundary modification.--Upon the conveyance of any 
        lands to any entity other than the Secretary, the boundary of 
        the Preserve shall be modified to exclude such lands.
            (4) Final maps.--Within 180 days of the date of acquisition 
        of the Baca ranch under subsection (a), the Secretary and the 
        Secretary of the Interior shall submit to the Committees of 
        Congress a final map of the Preserve and a final map of 
        Bandelier National Monument, respectively.
            (5) Public availability.--The plat and maps referred to in 
        the subsection shall be kept and made available for public 
        inspection in the offices of the Chief, Forest Service, and 
        Director, National Park Service, in Washington, D.C., and 
        Supervisor, Santa Fe National Forest, and Superintendent, 
        Bandelier National Monument, in the State of New Mexico.
    (d) Watershed Management Report.--The Secretary, acting through the 
Forest Service, in cooperation with the Secretary of the Interior, 
acting through the National Park Service, shall--
            (1) prepare a report of management alternatives which may--
                    (A) provide more coordinated land management within 
                the area known as the upper watersheds of Alamo, 
                Capulin, Medio, and Sanchez Canyons, including the 
                areas known as the Dome Diversity Unit and the Dome 
                Wilderness;
                    (B) allow for improved management of elk and other 
                wildlife populations ranging between the Santa Fe 
                National Forest and the Bandelier National Monument; 
                and
                    (C) include proposed boundary adjustments between 
                the Santa Fe National Forest and the Bandelier National 
                Monument to facilitate the objectives under 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B); and
            (2) submit the report to the Committees of Congress within 
        120 days of the date of enactment of this title.
    (e) Outstanding Mineral Interests.--The acquisition of the Baca 
ranch by the Secretary shall be subject to all outstanding valid 
existing mineral interests. The Secretary is authorized and directed to 
negotiate with the owners of any fractional interest in the subsurface 
estate for the acquisition of such fractional interest on a willing 
seller basis for not to exceed its fair market value, as determined by 
appraisal done in conformity with the Uniform Appraisal Standards for 
Federal Land Acquisitions. Any such interests acquired within the 
boundaries of the Upper Alamo watershed, as referred to in subsection 
(b), shall be administered by the Secretary of the Interior as part of 
Bandelier National Monument.
    (f) Boundaries of the Baca Ranch.--For purposes of section 7 of the 
Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 4601-9), the 
boundaries of the Baca ranch shall be treated as if they were National 
Forest boundaries existing as of January 1, 1965.
    (g) Pueblo of Santa Clara.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary may assign to the Pueblo of 
        Santa Clara rights to acquire for fair market value portions of 
        the Baca ranch. The portion that may be assigned shall be 
        determined by mutual agreement between the Pueblo and the 
        Secretary based on optimal management considerations for the 
        Preserve including manageable land line locations, public 
        access, and retention of scenic and natural values. All 
        appraisals shall be done in conformity with the Uniform 
        Appraisal Standards for Federal Land Acquisition.
            (2) Status of land acquired.--As of the date of 
        acquisition, the fee title lands, and any mineral estate 
        underlying such lands, acquired under this subsection by the 
        Pueblo of Santa Clara are deemed transferred into trust in the 
        name of the United States for the benefit of the Pueblo of 
        Santa Clara and such lands and mineral estate are declared to 
        be part of the existing Santa Clara Indian Reservation.
            (3) Mineral estate.--Any mineral estate acquired by the 
        United States pursuant to section 104(e) underlying fee title 
        lands acquired by the Pueblo of Santa Clara shall not be 
        developed without the consent of the Secretary of the Interior 
        and the Pueblo of Santa Clara.
            (4) Savings.--Any reservations, easements, and covenants 
        contained in an assignment agreement entered into under 
        paragraph (1) shall not be affected by the acquisition of the 
        Baca ranch by the United States, the assumption of management 
        by the Valles Caldera Trust, or the lands acquired by the 
        Pueblo being taken into trust.

SEC. 105. THE VALLES CALDERA NATIONAL PRESERVE.

    (a) Establishment.--Upon the date of acquisition of the Baca ranch 
under section 104(a), there is hereby established the Valles Caldera 
National Preserve as a unit of the National Forest System which shall 
include all Federal lands and interests in land acquired under sections 
104(a) and 104(e), except those lands and interests in land 
administered or held in trust by the Secretary of the Interior under 
sections 104(b) and 104(g), and shall be managed in accordance with the 
purposes and requirements of this title.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes for which the Preserve is established 
are to protect and preserve the scientific, scenic, geologic, 
watershed, fish, wildlife, historic, cultural, and recreational values 
of the Preserve, and to provide for multiple use and sustained yield of 
renewable resources within the Preserve, consistent with this title.
    (c) Management Authority.--Except for the powers of the Secretary 
enumerated in this title, the Preserve shall be managed by the Valles 
Caldera Trust established by section 106.
    (d) Eligibility for Payment in Lieu of Taxes.--Lands acquired by 
the United States under section 104(a) shall constitute entitlement 
lands for purposes of the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act (31 U.S.C. 6901-
6904).
    (e) Withdrawals.--
            (1) In general.--Upon acquisition of all interests in 
        minerals within the boundaries of the Baca ranch under section 
        104(e), subject to valid existing rights, the lands comprising 
        the Preserve are thereby withdrawn from disposition under all 
        laws pertaining to mineral leasing, including geothermal 
        leasing.
            (2) Materials for roads and facilities.--Nothing in this 
        title shall preclude the Secretary, prior to assumption of 
        management of the Preserve by the Trust, and the Trust 
        thereafter, from allowing the utilization of common varieties 
        of mineral materials such as sand, stone, and gravel as 
        necessary for construction and maintenance of roads and 

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