Summary: S.156 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 109-94 (10/26/2005)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on July 26, 2005. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

Ojito Wilderness Act - (Sec. 3) Designates certain public land known as the Ojito Wilderness in New Mexico ( wilderness area) as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

Requires that the wilderness area be managed by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the Wilderness Act. Provides for the addition of specified land in New Mexico and any land within the boundaries of the wilderness area to the wilderness area if such land is acquired by the federal government.

Permits grazing of livestock in the wilderness area where grazing rights were established before the enactment of this Act. Prohibits anything in this Act from: (1) affecting the jurisdiction or responsibilities of New Mexico with respect to fish and wildlife in the state; (2) constituting a reservation by the United States of any water or water rights with respect to the land designated as wilderness by this Act; (3) affecting any water rights in the state existing on the date of enactment of this Act, including any water rights held by the United States; (4) establishing a precedent with regard to any future wilderness designations; or (5) affecting the interpretation of, or any designation made pursuant to, any other Act.

Declares that the Secretary shall follow the procedural and substantive requirements of the laws of the state in order to obtain and hold any water rights not in existence on enactment of this Act respecting the wilderness area.

Prohibits the President, any other U.S. officer, employee, or agent from funding, assisting, authorizing, or issuing a license or permit for the development of any new water resource facility (as defined by this Act) within the wilderness area.

Directs the Secretary to seek an exchange for state land within the boundaries of the wilderness area within three years after enactment.

(Sec. 4) Requires the Secretary to hold in trust certain public lands for the Pueblo of Zia (Pueblo) and include such lands as part of the Pueblo's Reservation. Requires the Pueblo to pay the Secretary the fair market value (determined by an appraisal) of such public lands placed in trust. Authorizes the Secretary to use funds paid by the Pueblo to acquire non-federal lands in New Mexico.

Preserves public access to Pueblo trust lands for recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, paleontological, and conservation uses.

Authorizes a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico to enforce right of public access.

Preserves existing rights-of-way in the trust lands. Requires the Pueblo to grant any reasonable request for rights-of-way for utilities and pipelines in such lands.