Summary: S.884 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (12/19/1995)

Utah Public Lands Management Act of 1995 - Designates specified lands in Utah as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Directs the Secretary of the Interior to prepare plans to manage the areas designated as wilderness (wilderness areas) within five years.

Provides for continuation of existing grazing on such lands. Specifies that wilderness shall not be used as a suitability criteria for managing any grazing allotment.

Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect Utah's jurisdiction of fish and wildlife management, including water development for fish and wildlife purposes and predator control.

States that the Congress does not intend these wilderness designations to lead to creation of buffer zones.

Provides that the Oil Shale Reserve Number Two, within Desolation Canyon Wilderness, shall not be reserved for oil shale purposes after the date of enactment of this Act.

Prescribes footages for use of roads and rights-of-way as wilderness boundaries and prohibits closure of roads except in specified circumstances. Provides for reasonable access, including the use of motorized equipment where necessary or customarily or historically employed, on routes within the wilderness areas in existence as of this Acts' enactment date for the exercise of valid existing rights. Permits existing routes as of such date to be maintained and repaired as necessary to maintain their customary or historic uses.

Authorizes: (1) the Secretary to acquire, by exchange, donation, or purchase from willing sellers, from non-governmental entities, lands within or adjacent to wilderness areas; and (2) the use of motorboats, subject to certain restrictions.

Specifies that nothing in this Act shall be construed as establishing a precedent regarding any future wilderness designation.

(Sec. 4) Authorizes the United States to acquire and exercise such water rights as it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities on any lands designated as wilderness by this Act pursuant to the substantive and procedural requirements of the State of Utah.

States that nothing in this Act shall: (1) be construed to authorize the use of eminent domain by the United States to acquire water rights from such lands or to constitute Federal reservation of water or water rights for any purpose arising from designation of the areas as wilderness, to limit the exercise of water rights as provided under Utah law, or to limit or be a consideration in Federal approvals or denials for access to or use of the Federal lands outside wilderness areas for development and operation of water resource projects; (2) affect the capacity, operation, maintenance, repair, modification, or replacement of municipal, agricultural, livestock, or wildlife water facilities in existence as of the enactment date within the boundaries of wilderness areas; or (3) create a right of access through a wilderness area for the purposes of water resource projects.

(Sec. 5) Makes the Secretary responsible for the protection and interpretation of cultural, archaeological, and paleological resources located within wilderness areas.

(Sec. 6) Requires the Secretary to assure nonexclusive access to Native American sites for traditional cultural and religious purposes, including wood gathering and plant collecting.

(Sec. 7) States that nothing in this Act, the Wilderness Act, or other land management laws generally applicable to the new areas of the Wilderness Preservation System designated by this Act, shall: (1) restrict flights of military aircraft over such areas; (2) restrict or preclude the designation of new units of special use airspace or the use or establishment of military flight training rules over such areas; and (3) be construed to require the removal of existing communication or electronic tracking systems from wilderness areas, prohibit the maintenance of existing communications or electronic tracking systems within such areas, or prevent the installation of portable electronic communication or tracking systems in support of military operations as long as installation, maintenance, and removal of such systems does not require construction of temporary or permanent roads.

(Sec. 8) States that the Congress does not intend these wilderness designations to lead to reclassification of any airshed to a more stringent Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air quality classification.

(Sec. 9) Finds that all public lands in Utah administered by the Bureau of Land Management have been adequately studied for wilderness designation under provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976. Directs that such lands be managed for the full range of nonwilderness multiple uses including Areas of Critical Environmental Concern, Outstanding Natural Areas, National Landmarks, Research Natural Areas, Primitive Areas, Visual Resource Management Class I areas, and the full range of administrative management designations provided under such Act, with specified exceptions.

(Sec. 10) Provides for the exchange for other Federal lands of school and institutional trust lands granted to Utah which are within or adjacent to wilderness areas.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) exchange requirements (e.g., the exchange of lands shall be subject to valid existing rights, including the right of the State of Utah to receive, and distribute pursuant to State law, 50 percent of the revenue, less a reasonable administrative fee, from the production of minerals that are leased or would have been subject to leasing under the Mineral Leasing Act); (2) exchanges for equal value and appraisal standards; (3) deadlines and dispute resolution; (4) duties of the parties and other provisions relating to the exchange (e.g., regarding inspection of hazardous materials); (5) proceeds from the lease and production of minerals and sales and harvests of timber; and (6) administration of lands acquired by the United States.

(Sec. 11) Requires lands acquired pursuant to this Act to be appraised without regard to the presence of a species listed as threatened or endangered pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Directs the Secretary, if within 18 months the Water Conservancy District of Washington County, Utah, offers to transfer to the United States the Bulloch Site (specified lands located in Kane County, Utah, adjacent to Zion National Park), to transfer to such District the Sand Hollow Site, the Quail Creek Pipeline, and the Quail Creek Reservoir, subject to specified requirements. Exempts such exchange of lands from provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.