Text: H.R.2955 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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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>