Summary: H.R.3565 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3565. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (10/15/1991)

California Military Lands Withdrawal and Overflights Act of 1991 - Withdraws from appropriation under public land laws, and reserves for military training, research, and development activities by the Secretary of the Navy, specified lands in California known as the China Lake Naval Weapons Center in Inyo, Kern, and San Bernardino Counties and Chocolate Mountain in Imperial County. Withdraws the China Lake lands from the mining and mineral leasing laws and withdraws the Chocolate Mountain lands from the mining, mineral, and geothermal leasing laws. Requires maps and legal descriptions of such lands to be published in the Federal Register, filed with specified congressional committees, and made available for public inspection.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior, during the period of withdrawal, to manage such lands pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, permitting the continuation of grazing, the protection of wildlife and their habitats, the control of animals, recreation, the prevention of brush and range fires, and geothermal leasing (for China Lake only). Subjects all nonmilitary uses of such lands to conditions and restrictions required for its military use. Allows parts of such lands to be closed to public use when determined necessary by the Secretary of the Navy for military reasons.

Directs the Secretary of the Interior, after consultation with the Secretary of the Navy, to develop a plan for the management of each area so withdrawn.

Directs the Secretary of the Navy to take necessary precautions to prevent and suppress brush and range fires occurring on such lands as a result of military activities, with assistance from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and the Navy to enter into a memorandum of understanding to implement the management plan.

Authorizes lands so withdrawn to be used for defense-related purposes other than those previously specified, after notification from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of the Navy.

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to assign the management responsibility for the China Lake area to the Secretary of the Navy, who shall manage such lands in accordance with this Act and other cooperative arrangements entered into between the two Secretaries. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to be responsible for the issuance of any lease, easement, right-of-way, and other authorization with respect to any activity on the withdrawn lands.

Directs the Secretary of the Navy to: (1) prepare and submit to the Secretary of the Interior annual reports on the status of the natural and cultural resources and values of such lands; and (2) be responsible for, and take appropriate action with respect to, the management of wild horses and burros located on such lands.

Terminates land withdrawals under this Act 15 years after this Act's enactment. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to publish a draft environmental impact statement on the continued or renewed withdrawal of lands under this Act. Requires the Secretary to hold a public hearing in California before the withdrawal's termination.

Requires the Secretary of the Navy to maintain a decontamination program for such lands during their withdrawal. Requires the Secretary to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees on such decontamination efforts.

Requires the Secretary of the Navy to notify the Secretary of the Interior, at least three years before the termination of the withdrawal, whether an extension is going to be requested and, if not, to what extent such lands are contaminated with hazardous materials. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to decontaminate relinquished lands, but if such decontamination is not practicable or economically feasible, authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to refuse to accept such lands. Requires the Secretary of the Navy to then: (1) warn the public of risks of entry; (2) conduct only decontamination activities on such lands after the expiration of the withdrawal; and (3) report to the Secretary of the Interior and the Congress on the status of such lands. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to publish the acceptance of withdrawn lands, indicating when such lands will be open and under what conditions.

Exempts the United States from liability for injuries or damages resulting from nonmilitary activity on withdrawn lands.

Authorizes an extension of the Navy's use of the El Centro Ranges in Imperial County, California, through 1993, subject to resource protection requirements. Terminates all military uses of such lands on January 1, 1994, unless authorized otherwise by Act of Congress.

States that nothing in the California Desert Protection Act of 1991 shall preclude, limit, or otherwise affect low-level overflights of military aircraft in the California desert area as such overflights were carried out before the enactment of such Act.