Summary: S.56 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 109-337 (10/12/2006)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The expanded summary of the Senate reported version is repeated here.)

Rio Grande Natural Area Act - (Sec. 3) Establishes the Rio Grande Natural Area in Colorado (which shall include the Rio Grande River from the southern boundary of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge to the New Mexico State border, extending 1/4 mile on either side of the bank of the River) to conserve, restore, and protect the natural, historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources of the Area.

(Sec. 4) Establishes the Rio Grande Natural Area Commission to: (1) advise the Secretary of the Interior with respect to the Area; and (2) prepare a management plan relating to nonfederal land in the Area.

(Sec. 5) Sets forth provisions governing the powers of the Commission, including authorizing the Commission to enter into cooperative agreements for purposes of carrying out such management plan on nonfederal land in the Area. Prohibits the Commission from acquiring any real property or interest in real property.

Directs the Commission to assist the Secretary in implementing such management plan by carrying out authorized activities to preserve and interpret the Area's natural, historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources.

(Sec. 6) Directs the Secretary to prepare a management plan for Federal land in the Area. Requires the Commission to submit its management plan for the management of the nonfederal land in the Area to the Secretary for approval or disapproval.

(Sec. 7) Requires the Secretary to administer the Federal land in the Area in accordance with the laws applicable to public land and the management plan in a manner that provides for: (1) education, scientific study, and limited public recreation; (2) the protection of the wildlife habitat; (3) a prohibition on the construction of water storage facilities; and (4) the reduction in the use or removal of roads in the Area.

Encourages the Secretary to negotiate with the State, the Rio Grande Water Conservation District, and affected water users concerning changes in the streamflow.

Applies the management plan for the nonfederal land to private land in the Area only if the private landowner agrees to be bound by such plan.

Permits the Secretary to acquire land or an interest in land within the Area from willing sellers.

Makes inapplicable Wild and Scenic Rivers Act requirements that Federal agencies consider potential national wild, scenic, and recreational river areas in water and land use planning.

(Sec. 8) Prohibits anything in this Act from: (1) modifying the Rio Grande Compact; (2) regulating private land; (3) imposing any mandatory streamflow requirements; (4) creating an express or implied Federal reserved water right; (5) imposing more restrictive Federal water quality standards; or (6) preventing State acquisition of an instream flow to assist in protecting the natural environment.

(Sec. 9) Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 10) Terminates the Commission ten years after the enactment of this Act.