Summary: S.841 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (12/10/2014)

Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act of 2014 - (Sec. 3) Designates 70,650 acres of federal lands in San Juan National Forest in Colorado as the Hermosa Creek Special Management Area.

Requires the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conserve, protect, and manage the resources of the Special Management Area in accordance with the National Forest Management Act of 1976. Permits motorized or mechanized vehicles in the Area only on road and trails designated for use by those vehicles. Directs the USDA to authorize the use of vehicles that go over snow within the Area when there is adequate snow coverage. Authorizes the USDA to permit grazing within the Area if the grazing is established before this Act's enactment.

Prohibits certain road construction or renovation as well as certain commercial timber harvesting activities in the East Hermosa Area located within the Special Management Area.

Provides that this Act does not affect the potential for development, operation, or maintenance of a water storage reservoir at a certain site in the Special Management Area.

Requires USDA to develop within three years a management plan for the long-term protection and management of the Special Management Area that provides for recreational opportunities, including skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, snowmobiling, motorcycle riding, off-highway vehicle use, snowshoeing, and camping.

(Sec. 4) Designates 37,236 acres of land within the Protection Area as the Hermosa Creek Wilderness.

(Sec. 5) Withdraws specified federal land and mineral interests in the area surrounding Durango, Colorado. Authorizes the Department of the Interior to convey any portion of the withdrawn land that is administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Durango, La Plata County, or Colorado pursuant to the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.

(Sec. 6) Directs Interior, upon the expiration of a specified permit, to convey to La Plata County, Colorado, 82 acres of land managed by the BLM in the Tres Rios District in Colorado. Authorizes the land to be used for any public purpose in accordance with the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.

(Sec. 7) Designates approximately 461 acres of land in San Juan County, Colorado, as the Molas Pass Recreation Area. Provides for the use of snowmobiles in the area. Allows USDA to authorize other recreational uses in the Area.

Designates certain land as the Molas Pass Wilderness Study Area. Transfers the administration of the land from the BLM to the Forest Service.

Releases the West Needles Contiguous Wilderness Study Area in San Juan County, Colorado, from further study for designation as wilderness.

(Sec. 8) Provides that nothing in this Act establishes a buffer zone around Hermosa Creek Special Management Area or the Hermosa Creek Wilderness.