Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 192
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 1st Session                                                     105-97
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                         EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS

                                _______
                                

                 October 6, 1997.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 588]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 588) to provide for the expansion of the 
Eagles Nest Wilderness within the Arapaho National Forest and 
the White River National Forest, Colorado, to include land 
known as the Slate Creek Addition, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that 
the bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SLATE CREEK ADDITION TO EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS, ARAPAHO AND 
                    WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FORESTS, COLORADO.

    (a) Slate Creek Addition.--If, before December 31, 2000, the United 
States acquires the parcel of land described in subsection (b)--
          (1) on acquisition of the parcel, the parcel shall be 
        included in and managed as part of the Eagles Nest Wilderness 
        designated by Public Law 94-352 (16 U.S.C. 1132 note; 90 Stat. 
        870); and
          (2) the boundary of Eagles Nest Wilderness is adjusted to 
        reflect the inclusion of the parcel.
    (b) Description of Addition.--The parcel referred to in subsection 
(a) is the parcel generally depicted on a map entitled ``Slate Creek 
Addition-Eagles Nest Wilderness'', dated February 1997, comprising 
approximately 160 acres in Summit County, Colorado, adjacent to the 
Eagles Nest Wilderness.

                                purpose

    The purpose of S. 588 is to provide for the expansion of 
the Eagles Nest Wilderness within the Arapaho National Forest 
and the White River National Forest, Colorado, to include land 
known as the Slate Creek Addition.

                  background and need for legislation

    This legislation provides that the 160-acre Slate Creek 
parcel in Summit County, Colorado, will be added to the Eagles 
Nest Wilderness and administered as part of the Wilderness Area 
if the land is acquired by the United States within the next 
four years. The 160-acre parcel is proposed for acquisition by 
the United States in a land exchange. However, the current 
owners of the tract are unwilling to Convey the land unless it 
is added to the Eagles Nest Wilderness and permanently managed 
as wilderness. Currently, Eagles Nest Wilderness surrounds the 
Slate Creek parcel on three sides, but the parcel is outside 
the official wilderness boundary. Therefore, legislation is 
required to add this parcel to the boundaries of the 
legislation. The proposed addition is supported by the Summit 
County Board of County Commissioners, the Summit County Open 
Space Advisory Council, The Wilderness Land Trust and a number 
of environmental organizations.

                          legislative history

    S. 588 was introduced on April 6, 1997, by Senator 
Campbell. On June 18, 1997, the Subcommittee on Forest and 
Public Land Management held a hearing on S. 588. On September 
24, 1997, the Committee met to mark up S. 588. The bill was 
ordered favorably reported by voice vote to the Senate with an 
amendment in the nature of a substitute making some technical 
changes requested by the Administration. A companion bill H.R. 
985, passed the House by voice vote on June 3, 1997.

                      section-by-section analysis

    Section 1(a) provides that, if the United States acquires 
the Slate Creek Parcel before December 31, 2000, the parcel 
shall be included in, and managed as part of, the Eagles Nest 
Wilderness. This section also directs the Secretary of 
Agriculture to adjust the boundaries to reflect addition. 
Section 1(b) describes the proposed addition of land.

            committee recommendation and tabulation of votes

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on September 24, 1997, by a unanimous voice 
vote of the quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
588, if amended as described herein.

                          committee amendment

    During the consideration of S. 588, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute that incorporates 
changes recommended by the Administration and makes technical 
and clarifying modifications.

                   cost and budgetary considerations

    The cost and budgetary considerations prepared by the 
Congressional Budget Office are as follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                Washington, DC, September 26, 1997.
Hon. Frank H. Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 588, a bill to 
provide for the expansion of the Eagles Nest Wilderness within 
the Arapaho National Forest and the White River National 
Forest, Colorado, to include land known as the Slate Creek 
Addition.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Victoria V. 
Heid.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

S. 588--A bill to provide for the expansion of the Eagles Nest 
        Wilderness within the Arapaho National Forest and the White 
        River National Forest, Colorado, to include land known as the 
        Slate Creek Addition

    CBO estimates that enacting this bill would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget. S. 588 would not 
affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply. S. 588 contains no intergovernmental 
or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act of 1995 and would have no significant impact on the 
budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    S. 588 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to adjust 
the boundaries of the Eagles Nest Wilderness within the Arapaho 
and White River National Forests, Colorado, to include about 
160 acres of land depicted on a map entitled ``Slate Creek 
Addition-Eagles Nest Wilderness'' if the United States acquires 
that land on or before December 31, 2000. The U.S. Forest 
Service is currently negotiating to acquire the privately held 
land, which is adjacent to the Eagles Nest Wilderness. 
According to the Forest Service, the land has been appraised at 
a fair market value of approximately $160,000. However, the 
owners want assurance that the land would be designated as 
wilderness, and legislation is required to change the 
boundaries of a wilderness area. Thus, enacting S. 588 would 
make it more likely that the Forest Service would purchase the 
land within the next few years. In any case, outlays for the 
purchase are subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Victoria V. 
Heid. This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      regulatory impact evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 588. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and business.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 588, as ordered reported.

                        executive communications

    The Administration testified in favor of the legislation at 
a June 18, 1997 hearing held by the Subcommittee on Forests and 
Public Land Management. Legislative reports from the Department 
of Agriculture, and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 588 were 
unavailable when the report was filed. When these reports 
become available, the Chairman will request that they be 
printed in the Congressional Record for the advice of the 
Senate.
    The Administration testimony is attached.


statement of robert joslin, deputy chief, forest service, department of 
                              agriculture


    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, I am Bob 
Joslin, the new Deputy Chief of the Forest Service for National 
Forest System. I am pleased to be here to share the 
Administration's views on S. 588.
S. 588, Expansion of the Eagles Nest Wilderness within Arapaho and 
        White Rivers National Forests, Colorado
    The Administration supports enactment of S. 588, if amended 
as recommended in the attached Supplemental Statement.
    S. 588 is designed to change the Eagles Nest Wilderness 
boundary to include a 160 acre parcel of private property, 
known as Slate Creek, upon its conveyance to the Federal 
Government. Representatives of the current owners of the Slate 
Creek parcel, Howard and Jeanette Moser, and the Forest Service 
have entered into an agreement to begin negotiations on an 
exchange. The Mosers want to exchange their property and have 
it become wilderness. Because the property is outside of the 
existing wilderness boundary, yet surrounded on three sides by 
wilderness, it is necessary to provide for its inclusion in the 
wilderness upon conveyance to the United States.
    In 1976 Congress passed Public Law 94-352, creating the 
Eagles Nest Wilderness. When the Forest Service signed the 
official legal description of the wilderness boundary a 
``cherry stem'' was created to exclude the privately held Slate 
Creek parcel from wilderness designation. The property has 
wilderness characteristics and, had it been held in the public 
trust, would have been included in the Eagles Nest Wilderness.
    The bill, as currently written, directs the Secretary of 
Agriculture to adjust the boundary upon conveyance of the 
parcel. In order to eliminate additional administrative steps, 
we recommend the bill be amended to legislate the boundary 
adjustment upon conveyance. Our recommended amendments are 
contained in the attached Supplemental Statement.
    The amended bill would assure that negotiations can 
continue in good faith and facilitates the exchange and 
adjustment of the wilderness boundary.


         supplemental statement--u.s. department of agriculture


    The italic language reflects proposed Administration 
technical additions, and bracketed language, deletions to the 
legislative language.

  S. 588, To provide for the expansion of the Eagles Nest Wilderness 
       within Arapaho and White River National Forests, Colorado

SECTION 1. SLATE CREEK ADDITION TO EAGLES NEST WILDERNESS, ARAPAHO AND 
                    WHITE RIVER NATIONAL FORESTS, COLORADO

    (a) Slate Creek Addition.--If[, before December 31, 2000; 
the United States acquires the parcel of land described in 
subsection (b), then upon the acquisition of the parcel by the 
United States, the] the parcel of land identified in subsection 
(b) is conveyed to the United States on or before December 31, 
2000, such parcel shall be included in, and managed as part of, 
the Eagles Nest Wilderness designated by Public Law 94-352 (90 
Stat. 870; 16 U.S.C. 1132 note). [The Secretary of Agriculture 
shall adjust the boundaries of the Eagles Nest Wilderness to 
reflect the inclusion of the parcel] Upon conveyance of such 
parcel, the boundary of the Eagles Nest Wilderness is hereby 
adjusted accordingly to include the parcel.
    (b) Description of Addition.--The parcel referred to in 
subsection (a) is generally depicted on a map entitled ``Slate 
Creek Addition-Eagles Nest Wilderness'', dated February 1997, 
and shall be available for public inspection in the office of 
the Forest Supervisor of the White River National Forest. The 
parcel [and] comprises approximately 160 acres in Summit 
County, Colorado, adjacent to the Eagles Nest Wilderness.


         supplemental statement--u.s. department of agriculture


    The italic language reflects proposed Administration 
technical additions, and bracketed language, deletions to the 
legislative language.

   S. 750, To consolidate certain mineral interests in the National 
 Grasslands in Billings County, North Dakota, through the exchange of 
   Federal and private mineral interests to enhance land management 
 capabilities and environmental and wildlife protection, and for other 
                                purposes

SECTION 1. EXCHANGE OF CERTAIN MINERAL INTERESTS IN BILLINGS COUNTY, 
                    NORTH DAKOTA

    (a) Purpose.--The purpose of this section is to consolidate 
certain mineral interests in the Little Missouri National 
Grasslands in Billings County, North Dakota, through the 
exchange of Federal and private mineral interests in order to 
enhance land management capability and environmental and 
wildlife protection.
    (b) Exchange.--[Notwithstanding any other provision of 
law--] Subject to existing applicable laws--
          (1) if, [not later than 45 days after the date of 
        enactment of this Act,] Burlington Resources Oil & Gas 
        Company (referred to in this section as ``Burlington'' 
        and formerly known as Meridian Oil Inc.), conveys title 
        acceptable to the Secretary of Agriculture (referred to 
        in this section as the ``Secretary'') to all Burlington 
        oil and gas mineral rights and interests on all lands 
        identified for exchange on the map entitled ``Billings 
        County, North Dakota, Consolidated Mineral Exchange--
        November 1995'' by quitclaim deed acceptable to the 
        Secretary, the Secretary shall convey to Burlington, 
        subject to valid existing rights, by quitclaim deed, 
        all Federal oil and gas mineral rights and interests on 
        all lands identified for exchange on that map; and
          (2) if Burlington makes the conveyance under 
        paragraph (1) and, [not later than 180 days after the 
        date of enactment of this Act,] the owners of the 
        remaining non-oil and gas mineral interests identified 
        on that map convey title acceptable to the Secretary to 
        all rights, title, and interests in the interests held 
        by them, by quitclaim deed acceptable to the Secretary, 
        the Secretary shall convey to those owners, subject to 
        valid existing rights, by exchange deed, all Federal 
        rights, title, and interests in National Forest System 
        lands and National Grasslands in the State of North 
        Dakota as are agreed to by the Secretary and the owners 
        of those interests.
    (c) Leasehold Interests.--As a condition precedent to the 
conveyance of interests by the Secretary to Burlington under 
this section, all leasehold and contractual interests in the 
oil and gas interests to be conveyed by Burlington to the 
United States under this section shall be released, to the 
satisfaction of the Secretary.
    (d) Approximate Equal Value of Exchanges With Other 
Interest Owners.--The values of the interests to be exchanged 
under subsection (b)(2) shall be approximately equal, as 
determined by the Secretary.
    (e) Land Use.--
          (1) Exploration and Development.--The Secretary shall 
        grant to Burlington, and its successors and assigns, 
        the use of Federally-owned surface lands to explore for 
        and develop interests conveyed to Burlington under this 
        Act, subject to applicable Federal and State laws.
          (2) Surface Occupancy and Use.--Rights to surface 
        occupancy and use that Burlington would have absent the 
        exchange under this Act on its interests conveyed under 
        this Act shall apply to the same extent on the 
        federally owned surface estate overlying oil and gas 
        rights conveyed to Burlington under this Act.
    (f) Environmental Protection for Environmentally Sensitive 
Lands.--All activities of Burlington, and its successors and 
assigns, relating to exploration and development on 
environmentally sensitive National Forest System lands, as 
described in the ``Memorandum of Understanding Concerning 
Certain Severed Mineral Estates, Billings County, North 
Dakota'', executed by the Forest Service and Burlington and 
dated November 2, 1995, shall be subject to the terms of the 
memorandum.
    (g) Map.--The map referred to in subsection (b) shall be 
provided to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of 
the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives, kept on file in the office of the Chief of the 
Forest Service, and made available for public inspection in the 
office of the Forest Supervisor of the Custer National Forest 
within 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act.
    [(h) Other Laws.--The exchange under subsection (b)(1) 
shall be deemed to meet the requirements of all other Federal 
laws, including all land exchange laws, environmental laws, and 
cultural laws (such as the National Historic Preservation Act 
(16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.)), and no further compliance with any 
other law shall be required in order to implement the 
exchanges.]
    (i) Continuation of Multiple Use.--Nothing in this Act 
shall limit, restrict, or otherwise effect the application of 
the principle of multiple use (including outdoor recreation, 
range, timber, watershed, and fish and wildlife purposes) in 
any area of the Little Missouri National Grasslands. Federal 
grazing permits or privileges in areas designated on the map 
entitled ``Billings County, North Dakota, Consolidated Mineral 
Exchange--November 1995'' or those lands described in the 
``Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Certain Severed 
Mineral Estates, Billings County, North Dakota'', shall not be 
curtailed or otherwise limited as a result of the exchange 
authorized by this Act.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the Act S. 588, as ordered 
reported.