Summary: S.409 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (03/02/2010)

Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act of 2009 - (Sec. 3) Directs the Secretary of Agriculture (the Secretary), if Resolution Copper Mining, LLC offers to convey specified parcels of non-federal land in Gila, Yavapi, Maricopa, Coconino, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona, and if the public interest would be well served, to convey certain federal land in Pinal County, Arizona to Resolution Copper.

Requires preparation of an environmental review document to be used as the basis for all decisions under federal law related to the land exchange and connected agency decisions related to the proposed mine on the federal land. Prohibits anything from precluding the use of separate environmental review documents prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 or other applicable laws for exploration or other activities not involving: (1) such land exchange; or (2) the extraction of minerals in commercial quantities by Resolution Copper on or under the federal land.

Instructs the Secretary, prior to making the public interest determination described above, to engage in government-to-government consultation with affected Indian tribes on issues related to the land exchange.

Sets forth requirements for appraisals of the federal and non-federal land. Makes the appraisals of the land to be exchanged available for public review.

Requires the appraiser to prepare an income capitalization approach analysis of the market value of the federal land, even if such analysis is not the appraisal approach relied on.

Requires the values of the land to be exchanged under this Act to be equal or equalized, as specified.

Allows the Secretary, notwithstanding any withdrawal of the Oak Flat Withdrawal Area from mining, mineral leasing, or public land laws, to authorize Resolution Copper to carry out mineral exploration activities: (1) under the Oak Flat Withdrawal Area, as long as they would not disturb the surface of the area; and (2) on the Withdrawal Area (with the exception of within the Oak Flat Campground) so long as they are conducted from a single exploratory drill pad. Terminates such authorization to undertake such activities in the Withdrawal Area on the earlier of the date: (1) the land is conveyed to Resolution Copper; or (2) that is three years after the issuance of a special use permit for undertaking those activities.

Requires Resolution Copper to agree to pay, without compensation, costs that are associated with the land exchange and agreed to by the Secretary.

Expresses the intent of Congress that: (1) the Secretary complete necessary environmental reviews and public interest determination on the land exchange within three years after Resolution Copper submits a mining plan of operation; and (2) if the Secretary determines that the public interest would be well served by making the exchange, the Secretary should seek to enter into an exchange agreement within 90 days of such determination.

(Sec. 4) Requires Resolution Copper, upon receipt of title to the federal land, to convey to the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior the non-federal land that was determined to be acceptable to them.

Makes lands acquired by the Secretary under this Act part of the National Forest within which the land is located.

Adds certain of the non-federal land in Pinal County and land that is adjacent to the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area acquired by the Secretary of the Interior to such Conservation Area. Requires updating of the Conservation Area's management plan to reflect the management requirements of the acquired land.

Requires certain of the non-federal land in Gila and Pinal Counties acquired by the Secretary of the Interior (Dripping Springs) to be managed according to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and applicable land use plans.

Adds certain of the non-federal land in Santa Cruz County acquired by the Secretary of the Interior to the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

Instructs Resolution Copper to surrender, without compensation and as a condition of the land exchange, the rights held by it under mining and other U.S. laws to commercially extract minerals under Apache Leap and certain of the non-federal land in Pinal County (the Pond).

(Sec. 5) Requires Resolution Copper to make a specified payment for improving access and facilities for dispersed recreation and other outdoor recreational activities through the construction or improvement of road access, turnouts, trails, parking areas, or facilities. Instructs that such funds be used on national forest land in the areas north of Arizona State Highway 60 or along Arizona State Highway 177. Bars consideration of amounts paid by Resolution Copper in determining the values of the federal and non-federal land.

(Sec. 6) Directs Resolution Copper to file annually with the Secretary of the Interior a report that indicates the quantity of valuable locatable minerals produced in commercial quantities from the federal land. Requires Resolution Copper to make value adjustment payments to the United States based upon locatable minerals produced from such land.

Prohibits anything in this section from modifying, expanding, diminishing, amending, or otherwise affecting state law relating to the imposition, application, timing, or collection of state excise or severance taxes.

Requires that funds paid to the United States under this section be deposited into the fund established under the Sisk Act and made available for the acquisition of land for addition to the National Forest System in Arizona.

(Sec. 7) Withdraws Apache Leap and land acquired by the United States under this Act from: (1) entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws; (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and (3) disposition under the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and geothermal leasing laws.

(Sec. 8) Directs the Secretary to manage Apache Leap so as to preserve its natural character and to protect the archaeological and cultural resources located on it.

Authorizes the Secretary to issue to Resolution Copper special use permits that allow it to carry out underground activities (other than the commercial extraction of minerals) under the surface of Apache Leap that would not disturb the surface. Permits the use of the surface of Apache Leap for the installation of fences, signs, or other measures necessary for the protection of public health and safety, for the protection of resources located on it, or to ensure that such activities do not affect the surface.

Requires preparation of a management plan for Apache Leap, with consideration given as to whether additional measures are necessary to protect its cultural, archaeological or historical resources and to provide access for recreation.

(Sec. 9) Directs the Secretary, upon request by the town of Superior, Arizona, to convey specified lands in Pinal County to the town.

Requires the town to pay the fair market value for each acquired parcel of land or interest, as determined by appraisals conducted in accordance with section 3 of this Act.

Reduces, if the final appraised value of the non-federal lands exceeds the value of the federal land, the: (1) obligation of the town to pay the United States by an amount not exceeding the excess value of the conveyed non-federal land; and (2) amount donated by Resolution Copper to the United States accordingly.

Requires any payment received by the Secretary from the town to be deposited in the fund established under the Sisk Act and made available for the acquisition of land for addition to the National Forest System in Arizona.