H.R.2955 - Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area Act108th Congress (2003-2004)
|Sponsor:||Rep. McInnis, Scott [R-CO-3] (Introduced 07/25/2003)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 07/31/2003 Executive Comment Requested from Interior. (All Actions)|
This bill has the status Introduced
Here are the steps for Status of Legislation:
Text: H.R.2955 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)
There is one version of the bill.
Text available as:
- PDF (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip?
Introduced in House (07/25/2003)
[Congressional Bills 108th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 2955 Introduced in House (IH)] 108th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 2955 To establish the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES July 25, 2003 Mr. McInnis (for himself, Mr. Tancredo, and Mr. Hefley) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To establish the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area in the State of Colorado, 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 ``Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. (a) Findings.--Congress finds as follows: (1) Preservation and restoration of the land in the Area are required to preserve the Area's unique scientific, scenic, educational, and environmental values, including unique land forms, scenic beauty, cultural sites, and habitats used by various species of raptors and other birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. (2) There are archeological and historic sites in the Area resulting from at least 10,000 years of use for subsistence and commerce. (3) The archeological sites represent regional ancestry, including Paleo-Indian and nomadic bands of Ute and Apache. (4) The Area contains exceptional scenic values and opportunities for wildlife viewing. (5) Approximately 2,771 acres of land within the Area are owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, and approximately 7,885 acres of land within the Area are owned by private landowners. (6) The Area is located downstream from areas in Colorado of significant and longstanding water development and use. (7) The availability of water for use in Colorado is governed, in significant part, by the Compact, which obligates the State of Colorado to deliver certain quantities of water to the Colorado-New Mexico State line for the benefit of the States of New Mexico and Texas in accordance with the terms of the Compact. (8) Because of the allocations of water made by the Compact to downstream States, the levels of use and development of water in Colorado, and the unpredictable and seasonal nature of the water supply, the Secretary shall manage the land within the Area to accomplish the purposes of this Act without asserting reserved water rights for instream flows or appropriating or acquiring water rights for that purpose. (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are to conserve, restore, and protect for future generations the natural, ecological, historic, scenic, recreational, wildlife, and environmental resources of the Area. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Area.--The term ``Area'' means the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area established under section 4. (2) Area management plan.--The term ``Area Management Plan'' means the plan developed by the Commission in cooperation with Federal, State, and local agencies and approved by the Secretary. (3) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area Commission as established in this Act. (4) Compact.--The term ``Compact'' means the Rio Grande Compact, consented to by Congress in the Act of May 31, 1939 (53 Stat. 785, chapter 155). (5) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the map entitled ``____'', dated ____, and numbered ____. (6) Public lands.--The term ``public lands'' has the meaning given that term in section 103 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702). (7) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior. (8) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of Colorado. SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF AREA. (a) In General.--There is established the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area. (b) Boundaries.--The Area shall consist of approximately 10,656 acres extending for a distance of 33.3 miles along the Rio Grande River in southern Colorado from the southern boundary of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge to the Colorado-New Mexico State line, encompassing the Rio Grande River and its adjacent riparian areas extending not more than 1,320 feet on either side of the river. (c) Map and Legal Description.-- (1) Legal description.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall file a legal description of the Area in the office of the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, in Washington, District of Columbia, and the Office of the Colorado State Director of the Bureau of Land Management. (2) Force and effect.--The Map and legal description of the Area shall have the same force and effect as if they were included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct clerical and typographical errors in such legal description as they may appear from time to time. (3) Public availability.--The Map and legal description of the Area shall be available for public inspection in the office of the Colorado State Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior in Denver, Colorado. SEC. 5. COMMISSION. (a) Establishment.--There is hereby established the Rio Grande Outstanding Natural Area Commission. (b) Purpose.--The Commission shall assist appropriate Federal, State, and local authorities in the development and implementation of an integrated resource management plan for the Area called the Area Management Plan. (c) Membership.--The Commission shall be composed of 9 members, designated or appointed not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act as follows: (1) 2 officials of Department of the Interior designated by the Secretary, 1 of whom shall represent the Federal agency responsible for the management of the Area and 1 of whom shall be the manager of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. (2) 2 individuals appointed by the Secretary, 1 of whom shall be based on the recommendation of the State Governor, representing the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and 1 representing the Colorado Division of Water Resources responsible for the Rio Grande drainage. (3) 1 representative of the Rio Grande Water Conservation District appointed by the Secretary based on the recommendation of the State Governor, representing the local region in which the Area is established. (4) 4 individuals appointed by the Secretary based on recommendations of the State Governor, representing the general public who are citizens of the State and of the local region in which the Area is established, who have knowledge and experience in the appropriate fields of interest relating to the preservation and restoration and use of the Area. 2 appointees from the local area shall represent nongovernmental agricultural interests and 2 appointees from the local area shall represent nonprofit nongovernmental environmental interests. (d) Terms.--Members shall be appointed for terms of 5 years and may be reappointed. (e) Compensation.--Members of the Commission shall receive no pay on account of their service on the Commission. (f) Chairperson.--The chairperson of the Commission shall be elected by the members of the Commission. (g) Meetings.--The Commission shall hold its first meeting not later than 90 days after the date on which the last of its initial members is appointed, and shall meet at least quarterly at the call of the chairperson. SEC. 6. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION. (a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence, as the Commission considers appropriate. (b) Powers of Members and Agents.--Any member or agent of the Commission, if so authorized by the Commission, may take any action which the Commission is authorized to take by this Act. (c) Acquisition of Real Property.--Except as provided in section 12, the Commission may not acquire any real property or interest in real property. (d) Cooperative Agreements.--For purposes of carrying out the Area Management Plan, the Commission may enter into cooperative agreements with the State, with any political subdivision of the State, or with any person. Any such cooperative agreement shall, at a minimum, establish procedures for providing notice to the Commission of any action proposed by the State, a political subdivision, or a person which may affect the implementation of the Area Management Plan. SEC. 7. DUTIES OF THE COMMISSION. (a) Preparation of Plan.--Not later than 2 years after the Commission conducts its first meeting, it shall submit to the Secretary an Area Management Plan. The Area Management Plan shall be-- (1) based on existing Federal, State, and local plans, but shall coordinate those plans and present a unified preservation, restoration, and conservation plan for the Area; (2) developed in accordance with the provisions of section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712); and (3) consistent, to the extent possible, with the management plans adopted by the Director of the Bureau of Land Management for adjacent properties in Colorado and New Mexico. (b) Contents.--The Area Management Plan shall include the following: (1) An inventory which includes any property in the Area which should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, maintained, or acquired because of its natural, scientific, scenic, or environmental significance. (2) Recommended policies for resource management which consider and detail the application of appropriate land and water management techniques, including the development of intergovernmental cooperative agreements, that will protect the Area's natural, scenic, and wildlife resources and environment. (3) Recommended policies for resource management to provide for protection of the Area for solitude, quiet use, and pristine natural values. (c) Implementation of the Plan.--Upon approval of the Area Management Plan by the Secretary, as provided in section 9, the Commission shall assist the Secretary in implementing the Area Management Plan by taking appropriate steps to preserve and interpret the natural resources of the Area and its surrounding area. These steps may include the following: (1) Assisting the State in preserving the Area. (2) Assisting the State and local governments, and political subdivisions of the State in increasing public awareness of and appreciation for the natural, historical, and wildlife resources in the Area. (3) Encouraging local governments and political subdivisions of the State to adopt land use policies consistent with the management of the Area and the goals of the Area Management Plan, and to take actions to implement those policies. (4) Encouraging and assisting private landowners within the Area in understanding and accepting the provisions of the Area Management Plan and cooperating in its implementation. SEC. 8. TERMINATION OF THE COMMISSION. (a) Termination.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the Commission shall terminate 10 years and 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act. (b) Extensions.--The Commission may be extended for a period of not more than 5 years beginning on the day of termination specified in subsection (a) if, not later than 180 days before that day, the Commission-- (1) determines that such an extension is necessary in order to carry out the purpose of this Act; and (2) submits such proposed extension to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate. SEC. 9. ADMINISTRATION BY SECRETARY. (a) Plan Approval; Publication.--Not later than 60 days after the Secretary receives a proposed management plan from the Commission, the Secretary, with the assistance of the Commission, shall initiate the environmental compliance activities which the Secretary determines to be appropriate in order to allow the review of the proposed plan and any alternatives thereto and to allow public participation in the environmental compliance activities. Thereafter, the Secretary shall approve an Area Management Plan for the Area consistent with the Commission's proposed plan to the extent possible, that reflects the results of the environmental compliance activities undertaken. Not later than 18 months after the Secretary receives the proposed management plan, the Secretary shall publish the Area Management Plan in the Federal Register. (b) Administration.--The Secretary shall administer the lands owned by the United States within the Area in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable to public lands and the Area Management Plan in such a manner as shall provide for the following: (1) The conservation, restoration, and protection of the Area's unique scientific, scenic, educational, recreational, and wildlife values. (2) The continued use of the Area for purposes of education, scientific study, and limited public recreation in a manner that does not substantially impair the purposes for which the Area is established. (3) The protection of the wildlife habitat of the Area. (4) The elimination of opportunities to construct water storage facilities within the Area. (5) The reduction or elimination of roads and motorized vehicles from the public lands to the greatest extent possible within the Area. (6) The elimination of roads and motorized use on the public lands within the area on the western side of the river from Lobatos Bridge south to the State line. (c) No Reservation of Water Rights.--Public lands affected by this Act shall not be subject to reserved water rights for any Federal purpose. (d) Changes in Streamflow Regime.--To the extent that changes to the streamflow regime beneficial to the Area can be accommodated through negotiation with the State of Colorado, the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, and water users within Colorado, such changes should be encouraged, but may not be imposed as a requirement. (e) Private Lands.--Private lands within the Area will be affected by the designation and management of the Area only to the extent that the private landowner agrees in writing to be bound by the Area Management Plan. SEC. 10. MANAGEMENT. (a) Area Management Plan.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary shall implement the Area Management Plan for all of the land within the Area that accomplishes the purposes of and is consistent with the provisions of this Act. (2) Non-federal land.--The Area Management Plan shall apply to all land within the Area owned by the United States and may be made to apply to non-Federal land within the Area only when written acceptance of the Area Management Plan is given by the owners of such land. (b) Coordination With State and Local Governments.--The Area Management Plan shall be developed and adopted in coordination with the appropriate State agencies and local governments in Colorado. (c) Cooperation by Private Landowners.--In implementing the Area Management Plan, the Secretary shall encourage full public participation and seek the cooperation of all private landowners within the Area, regardless of whether the landowners are directly or indirectly affected by the Area Management Plan. If accepted by private landowners, in writing, the provisions of the Area Management Plan may be applied to the individual parcels of private land. (d) New Impoundments.--In managing the Area, neither the Secretary nor any other Federal agency or officer may approve or issue any permit for, or provide any assistance for, the construction of any new dam, reservoir, or impoundment on any segment of the Rio Grande River or its tributaries within the exterior boundaries of the Area. SEC. 11. RESTORATION TO PUBLIC LANDS STATUS. (a) Existing Reservations.--All reservations of public lands within the Area for Federal purposes that have been made by an Act of Congress or Executive order prior to the date of enactment of this Act are revoked. (b) Public Lands.--Subject to subsection (c), public lands within the Area that were subject to a reservation described in subsection (a)-- (1) are restored to the status of public lands; and (2) shall be administered in accordance with the Area Management Plan. (c) Withdrawal.--All public lands within the Area are withdrawn from settlement, sale, location, entry, or disposal under the laws applicable to public lands, including the following: (1) Sections 910, 2318 through 2340, and 2343 through 2346 of the Revised Statutes (commonly known as the ``General Mining Law of 1872'') (30 U.S.C. 21, 22, 23, 24, 26 through 30, 33 through 43, 46 through 48, 50 through 53). (2) The Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 21a). (3) The Act of April 26, 1882 (22 Stat. 49, chapter 106; 30 U.S.C. 25, 31). (4) Public Law 85-876 (30 U.S.C. 28-1, 28-2). (5) The Act of June 21, 1949 (63 Stat. 214, chapter 232; 30 U.S.C. 28b through 28e, 54). (6) The Act of March 3, 1991 (21 Stat. 505, chapter 140; 30 U.S.C. 32). (7) The Act of May 5, 1876 (19 Stat. 52, chapter 91; 30 U.S.C. 49). (8) Sections 15, 16, and 26 of the Act of June 6, 1990 (31 Stat. 327, 328, 329, chapter 786; 30 U.S.C. 49a, 49c, 49d). (9) Section 2 of the Act of May 4, 1934 (48 Stat. 1243, chapter 2559; 30 U.S.C. 49e, 49f). (10) The Act entitled ``An Act to promote the mining of coal, phosphate, oil, oil shale, gas, and sodium on the public domain'', approved February 25, 1920 (commonly known as the ``Mineral Lands Leasing Act of 1920''; 30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.). (11) The Act entitled ``An Act to provide for the disposal of materials on public lands of the United States'', approved July 31, 1947 (commonly known as the ``Materials Act of 1947''; 30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). (d) Wild and Scenic Rivers.--No land or water within the Area shall be designated as a wild, scenic, or recreational river under section 2 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1273). SEC. 12. ACQUISITION OF NONFEDERAL LANDS. (a) Acquisition of Lands not Currently in Federal Ownership.--The Secretary, with the cooperation and assistance of the Commission, may acquire by purchase, exchange, or donation all or any part of the land and interests in land, including conservation easements, within the Area from willing sellers only. (b) Administration.--Any lands and interests in lands acquired under this section-- (1) shall be administered in accordance with the Area Management Plan; (2) shall not be subject to reserved water rights for any Federal purpose, nor shall the acquisition of the land authorize the Secretary or any Federal agency to acquire instream flows in the Rio Grande River at any place within the Area; (3) shall become public lands; and (4) shall upon acquisition be immediately withdrawn as provided in section 11. SEC. 13. STATE INSTREAM FLOW PROTECTION AUTHORIZED. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to prevent the State from acquiring an instream flow through the Area pursuant to the terms, conditions, and limitations of Colorado law to assist in protecting the natural environment to the extent and for the purposes authorized by Colorado law. SEC. 14. RULE OF CONSTRUCTION. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to-- (1) authorize, expressly or by implication, the appropriation or reservation of water by any Federal agency, or any other entity or individual other than the State of Colorado, for any instream flow purpose associated with the Area; (2) affect the rights or jurisdiction of the United States, a State, or any other entity over waters of any river or stream or over any ground water resource; (3) alter, amend, repeal, interpret, modify, or be in conflict with the Compact; (4) alter or establish the respective rights of any State, the United States, or any person with respect to any water or water-related right; (5) impede the maintenance of the free-flowing nature of the waters in the Area so as to protect-- (A) the ability of the State of Colorado to fulfill its obligations under the Compact; or (B) the riparian habitat within the Area; (6) allow the conditioning of Federal permits, permissions, licenses, or approvals to require the bypass or release of waters appropriated pursuant to State law to protect, enhance, or alter the water flows through the Area; (7) affect the continuing use and operation, repair, rehabilitation, expansion, or new construction of water supply facilities, water and wastewater treatment facilities, stormwater facilities, public utilities, and common carriers along the Rio Grande River and its tributaries upstream of the Area; (8) impose any Federal or State water use designation or water quality standard upon uses of, or discharges to, waters of the State or waters of the United States, within or upstream of the Area, that is more restrictive than those that would be applicable had the Area not been established; or (9) modify, alter, or amend title I of the Reclamation Project Authorizing Act of 1972, as amended (Public Law 92-514, 86 Stat. 964; Public Law 96-375, 94 Stat. 1507; Public Law 98- 570, 98 Stat. 2941; and Public Law 100-516, 100 Stat. 257), or to authorize the Secretary to acquire water from other sources for delivery to the Rio Grande River pursuant to section 102(c) of such title. <all>