S. Rept. 111-304 - 111th Congress (2009-2010)
September 27, 2010, As Reported by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee

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Senate Report 111-304 - SKI AREA RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITY ENHANCEMENT ACT




[Senate Report 111-304]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 590
111th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     111-304

======================================================================



 
                   SKI AREA RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITY 
                            ENHANCEMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

               September 27, 2010.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 607]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 607) to amend the National Forest Ski 
Area Permit Act of 1986 to clarify the authority of the 
Secretary of Agriculture regarding additional recreational uses 
of National Forest System land that are subject to ski area 
permits, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment, and an amendment 
to the title and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in 
lieu thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Ski Area Recreational Opportunity 
Enhancement Act of 2010''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

    The purpose of this Act is to amend the National Forest Ski Area 
Permit Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 497b)--
          (1) to enable snow-sports (other than nordic and alpine 
        skiing) to be permitted on National Forest System land, subject 
        to ski area permits issued by the Secretary of Agriculture 
        under section 3 of the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 
        1986 (16 U.S.C. 497b); and
          (2) to clarify the authority of the Secretary of Agriculture 
        to permit appropriate additional seasonal or year-round 
        recreational activities and facilities on National Forest 
        System land, subject to ski area permits issued by the 
        Secretary of Agriculture under section 3 of the National Forest 
        Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 497b).

SEC. 3. SKI AREA PERMITS.

    Section 3 of the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (16 
U.S.C. 497b) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``nordic and alpine ski 
        areas and facilities'' and inserting ``ski areas and associated 
        facilities'';
          (2) in subsection (b), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), 
        by striking ``nordic and alpine skiing operations and 
        purposes'' and inserting ``skiing and other snow sports and 
        recreational uses authorized by this Act'';
          (3) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections 
        (d) and (e), respectively;
          (4) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
    ``(c) Other Recreational Uses.--
          ``(1) Authority of secretary.--Subject to the terms of a ski 
        area permit issued pursuant to subsection (b), the Secretary 
        may authorize a ski area permittee to provide such other 
        seasonal or year-round natural resource-based recreational 
        activities and associated facilities (in addition to skiing and 
        other snow-sports) on. National Forest System land subject to a 
        ski area permit as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
          ``(2) Requirements.--Each activity and facility authorized by 
        the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall--
                  ``(A) encourage outdoor recreation and enjoyment of 
                nature;
                  ``(B) to the extent practicable--
                          ``(i) harmonize with the natural environment 
                        of the National Forest System land on which the 
                        activity or facility is located; and
                          ``(ii) be located within the developed 
                        portions of the ski area;
                  ``(C) be subject to such terms and conditions as the 
                Secretary determines to be appropriate; and
                  ``(D) be authorized in accordance with--
                          ``(i) the applicable land and resource 
                        management plan; and
                          ``(ii) applicable laws (including 
                        regulations).
          ``(3) Inclusions.--Activities and facilities that may, in 
        appropriate circumstances, be authorized under paragraph (1) 
        include--
                  ``(A) zip lines;
                  ``(B) mountain bike terrain parks and trails;
                  ``(C) frisbee golf courses; and
                  ``(D) ropes courses.
          ``(4) Exclusions.--Activities and facilities that are 
        prohibited under paragraph (1) include--
                  ``(A) tennis courts;
                  ``(B) water slides and water parks;
                  ``(C) swimming pools;
                  ``(D) golf courses; and
                  ``(E) amusement parks.
          ``(5) Limitation.--The Secretary may not authorize any 
        activity or facility under paragraph (1) if the Secretary 
        determines that the authorization of the activity or facility 
        would result in the primary recreational purpose of the ski 
        area permit to be a purpose other than skiing and other snow-
        sports.
          ``(6) Boundary determination.--In determining the acreage 
        encompassed by a ski area permit under subsection (b)(3), the 
        Secretary shall not consider the acreage necessary for 
        activities and facilities authorized under paragraph (1).
          ``(7) Effect on existing authorized activities and 
        facilities.--Nothing in this subsection afects any activity or 
        facility authorized by a ski area permit in effect on the date 
        of enactment of this subsection during the term of the 
        permit.'';
          (5) by striking subsection (d) (as redesignated by paragraph 
        (3)), and inserting the following:
    ``(d) Regulations.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall promulgate 
regulations to implement this section.''; and
          (6) in subsection (e) (as redesignated by paragraph (3)), by 
        striking ``the National Environmental Policy Act, or the Forest 
        and Rangelands Renewable Resources Planning Act as amended by 
        the National Forest Management Act'' and inserting ``the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et 
        seq.) and the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning 
        Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et seq.)''.

SEC. 4. EFFECT.

    Nothing in the amendments made by this Act establishes a legal 
preference for the holder of a ski area permit to provide activities 
and associated facilities authorized by section 3(c) of the National 
Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (16 U.S.C. 497b(c)) (as amended by 
section 3).

    2. Amend the title so as to read: ``A bill to amend the 
National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to clarify the 
authority of the Secretary of Agriculture regarding additional 
recreational uses of National Forest System land that is 
subject to ski area permits, and for other purposes.''.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 607 is to amend the National Forest Ski 
Area Permit Act of 1986 to authorize the Secretary of 
Agriculture to permit additional recreational activities and 
associated facilities on National Forest System land through 
ski area permits.

                          Background and Need

    The National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (Public Law 
99-522) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture ``to issue 
permits . . . for the use and occupancy of suitable lands 
within the National Forest System for nordic and alpine skiing 
operations and purposes.'' 16 U.S.C. 497b. The Forest Service's 
regulations implementing that Act define a ``ski area'' as ``a 
site and attendant facilities expressly developed to 
accommodate alpine or nordic skiing and from which the 
preponderance of revenue is generated by the sale of lift 
tickets and fees for ski rentals, for skiing instruction and 
trail passes for the use of permittee-maintained ski trails. A 
ski area may also include ancillary facilities directly related 
to the operation and support of skiing activities.'' 36 C.F.R. 
251.51 (2009).
    The Forest Service has permitted more than 120 ski areas on 
National Forest System land in 13 States. Many of these areas 
provide for uses other than nordic and alpine skiing, such as 
snow-boarding and sledding, and some have been permitted to 
provide for summer activities such as mountain biking, disc-
golf (or ``frisbee golf'') courses, and zip lines. The interest 
in such non-skiing activities by the permit holders and the 
public has grown significantly over the years, and the interest 
in expanding summer uses is expected to grow in the future.
    S. 607 would provide clear authority for the Secretary to 
issue ski area permits that authorize a broader range of winter 
and summer activities on National Forest System land, along 
with direction regarding which activities would be appropriate.

                          Legislative History

    S. 607 was introduced by Senator Udall of Colorado on March 
17, 2009, and is cosponsored by 15 Senators. The Subcommittee 
on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on the bill on 
October 29, 2009 (S. Hrg. 111-223). At its business meeting on 
July 21, 2010, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
ordered the bill favorably reported with an amendment in the 
nature of a substitute and an amendment to the title.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on June 21, 2010, by a voice vote of a quorum 
present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 607, if amended as 
described herein.

                          Committee Amendment

    During the consideration of S. 607, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute and an amendment to 
the title. The substitute amendment removes the findings from 
the bill, adds illustrative lists of seasonal activities that 
could be permitted and a list of activities that could not be 
permitted under the new authority, and makes other technical 
and conforming changes. The amendment is explained in detail in 
the section-by-section analysis below.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 provides the short title for the bill.
    Section 2 provides the purpose for the bill.
    Section 3 of the bill amends section 3 of the National 
Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 (``Ski Area Act'') (16 
U.S.C. 497b).
    Paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 3 of the bill amend 
subsections (a) and (b) of section 3 of the Ski Area Act to 
provide the Secretary of Agriculture with general authority to 
issue permits for ski areas and associated facilities on 
National Forest System land not only for nordic and alpine 
skiing, but also for skiing and other snow sports and 
recreational uses.
    Paragraphs (3) and (4) provide for the addition of a new 
subsection (c) in section 3 of the Ski Area Act. The new 
subsection (c) provides specific authority to the Secretary to 
authorize ski area permittees to provide to the public certain 
seasonal and year-round natural resource-based recreational 
activities and associated facilities on National Forest System 
land. Each activity authorized under the new subsection would 
have to meet specified requirements designed to ensure that the 
new activities are appropriate for National Forest System land, 
that they do not expand the developed footprint of the ski 
area, and that they remain an ancillary use under the permit. 
The amendment includes illustrative lists of activities that 
may--and would not--be permissible. For example, the Secretary 
is precluded from permitting amusement parks, but may, in 
appropriate circumstances that meet the requirements of the 
amendment, permit a collection of features such as zip lines, 
mountain-bike trails, and other recreational activities. The 
new subsection also includes a provision clarifying that it 
does not affect any activities or facilities authorized in a 
current ski area permit during the term of that permit. For 
example, an activity that currently is authorized in a ski area 
permit but that would not be permissible under the proposed 
amendment would not be precluded by the amendment from 
continuing for the remainder of the term of that permit.
    Paragraph (5) amends section 3 of the Ski Area Act to 
direct the Secretary to promulgate regulations for ski area 
permits.
    Paragraph (6) makes conforming changes to a number of 
citations of existing laws in the Ski Area Act.
    Section 4 of the bill clarifies that the new authority 
provided to the Secretary to permit additional recreational 
activities under the new subsection (c) of the Ski Area Act 
does not create a legal preference for the permittee to provide 
those activities to the public on the National Forest System 
land subject to the permit.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 607--Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2010

    S. 607 would clarify the authority of the Forest Service to 
allow ski concessioners to offer additional recreational 
services on public lands. Based on information provided by the 
agency, CBO estimates that enacting the legislation would have 
no significant effect on the federal budget. The Forest Service 
already has authority to allow its concessioners to provide 
off-season and other recreational services at ski resorts. 
Clarifying that authority could facilitate the agency's 
collection of fees from ski concessioners (currently yielding 
offsetting receipts to the Treasury of about $30 million a 
year).
    Because enacting the legislation could result in additional 
offsetting receipts (a credit against direct spending), pay-as-
you-go procedures apply, but CBO estimates that any increase 
would total less than $500,000 a year.
    The legislation contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On February 1, 2010, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 2476, the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement 
Act of 2010, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Natural Resources on December 16, 2009. On July 8, 2010, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2476 as ordered reported 
by the House Committee on Agriculture on June 30, 2010. S. 607 
and the two versions of H.R. 2476 are similar, as is CBO's 
estimate of their costs.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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. 607.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    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. 607, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 607, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Forest Service at the October 
29, 2009, Subcommittee hearing on S. 607 follows:

Statement of Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief, National Forest System, Forest 
                   Service, Department of Agriculture

    Chairman Wyden and Members of the Subcommittee, thank you 
for inviting the U.S. Department of Agriculture to appear 
before you today to present our views on S. 607, the ``Ski Area 
Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2009.'' The 
Administration supports this legislation with technical 
amendments. We would appreciate the opportunity to work with 
the Committee to refine the bill to provide the appropriate 
natural resource-based experience for visitors to the National 
Forests while ensuring the protection of the natural 
environment.
    The bill would amend the National Forest Ski Area Permit 
Act of 1986 to authorize the Secretary to permit seasonal and 
year-round natural resource-based, outdoor-developed 
recreational activities and associated facilities at ski areas, 
in addition to those that support Nordic and alpine skiing and 
other snow sports that are currently authorized by the Act.
    The Act authorizes issuance of permits for Nordic and 
alpine ski operations and appropriate ancillary facilities (16 
U.S.C. 497b(b)(3)). Congress intended the term ``appropriate 
ancillary facilities to include ``only those facilities 
directly necessary for the operation and support of a winter 
sports facility . . . '' (S. Rep. No. 99-449, 99th Cong., 2d 
Sess. 5 (1986)).
    The additional seasonal and year-round recreational 
activities and associated facilities authorized by the bill 
would encourage outdoor recreation and have to harmonize with 
the natural environment. The bill would make clear that the 
primary purpose of the authorized use and occupancy would 
continue to be skiing and other snow sports.


                  background and need for legislation


    Current law does not authorize activities other than Nordic 
and alpine skiing, snow sports, and their ancillary facilities 
at ski areas. Ski areas serve as portals to national forest 
recreation. There are 121 ski areas operating under permit on 
national forests. These ski areas occupy a fraction of 1 
percent of the total National Forest System land base. 
Nevertheless, about one-fifth of all recreation on national 
forests occurs at these ski areas. For many Americans, ski 
areas are gateways to our national forests and a means to 
greater appreciation of the natural world. Further, these 
recreational opportunities provide a great avenue for visitors 
to reconnect to the land, a core tenet of Secretary Vilsack's 
vision for forests.
    We have become concerned about trends showing a decline in 
appreciation and understanding of the natural environment among 
our youth. However, we still see strong visitation by youth and 
families at ski areas. The Forest Service has developed strong 
partnerships with many ski area operators that enhance 
visitors' understanding and appreciation of the environment 
through interpretive signing, programs, and exhibits. Expanding 
opportunities for year-round use will encourage more of the 
public to experience and appreciate the national forests. Ski 
areas introduce the national forests to our increasingly urban 
population.
    Ski areas are some of the most developed sites on the 
national forests. Focusing more of the developed outdoor 
recreational activities in these areas could reduce negative 
impacts in other areas of the national forests. One example of 
a popular developed outdoor recreational activity is freestyle 
mountain biking. By focusing this activity at ski areas, ski 
area operators would be able to increase utilization of 
existing infrastructure, and the impacts on surrounding 
National Forest System lands caused by freestyle biking may be 
minimized.
    Across the country we have received numerous proposals by 
ski areas to add off-season recreational activities. Some we 
have approved, perhaps without fully understanding the current 
limitations of the 1986 Ski Area Permit Act, while others we 
have denied, or not acted upon. We're aware that summer 
activities at a number of ski areas that operate summer 
facilities on non-National Forest Service land are very 
popular. Whistler-Blackcomb Ski Area in British Columbia has 
become a very popular destination for biking. In the Northeast, 
Bretton Woods Ski area offers an array of summer activities 
which reportedly ``sell out'' at times. We believe we'd see the 
most interest for summer uses at ski areas that are either 
located near large population centers or are near communities 
with large hotel capacities that tend to be underutilized in 
the summer.
    Because of longer summers and higher temperatures due to 
climate change, it is possible that ski areas in some locations 
may see somewhat shorter winter operating seasons. Increasing 
the scope of activities and facilities that may be authorized 
under a ski area permit, where appropriate and in conformance 
with environmental law, could help ski areas remain 
economically viable by more fully utilizing their significant 
investment in infrastructure, such as ski lifts, in the off-
season or year-round.


                     recommended changes to s. 607


    We would like to work with the committee to develop 
amendments in two areas:
        
 While we support allowing additional 
        activities and infrastructure for year-round 
        activities, activities should be appropriate to the 
        natural resource setting and should contrast with an 
        urban environment. Excluding facilities such as 
        amusement and water parks, golf courses, tennis courts, 
        and skateboard parks is consistent with Forest Service 
        policy.
        
 Ski area boundaries should continue to 
        encompass only the acreage the Secretary deems 
        sufficient and appropriate to accommodate the permit 
        holder's needs for snow sports and appropriate 
        ancillary facilities for winter operations. Permit 
        boundaries should not be expanded to accommodate 
        recreational activities and facilities that are not 
        related to skiing and snow sports, which are the 
        primary purpose of these resorts.
    In addition, consistent with the discretion afforded the 
Secretary in the bill, we would develop directives that would 
establish criteria for implementing the expanded authority, 
based on case-specific review of proposals from ski areas in 
accordance with applicable regulations and environmental law. 
The criteria would likely include (1) availability and 
suitability of private lands as alternative sites for the 
activities; (2) the proposed location within the permitted 
area, including proximity to existing areas of concentrated 
development; (3) consistency with the applicable land 
management plan and applicable federal, state, and local law; 
(4) impacts on soil, water, wildlife, aesthetics, and other 
national forest resources; (5) effects on the primary purpose 
of the resort for alpine and Nordic skiing; (6) tribal 
interests; and (7) visitor safety.
    If the bill is enacted, we would envision that more highly 
developed summer facilities would be focused in areas which 
already support extensive resort infrastructure, while lesser 
developed parts of ski areas would primarily be for hiking, 
mountain biking, and other activities that require more limited 
facilities.
    The legislation does not provide a blanket approval for any 
particular summer facility or use. Proposals would be subject 
to the Agency's requirements for site-specific environmental 
review and public involvement. In those environmental reviews 
we would look very carefully at the sometimes sensitive nature 
of high elevation ecologic conditions before approving a 
proposal. While we might approve an activity or facility at one 
location at a given ski area, we might not at a different 
location at another ski area or even at a different location 
within the same ski area.
    In summary, this legislation would concentrate highly 
developed recreation in those areas that are currently the most 
developed sites on the national forests and enhance the long 
term viability of these ski areas and the adjoining rural 
economies. For these reasons, the legislation is a positive 
step and one which the Administration supports, with the 
suggested clarifications.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 607 as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

              NATIONAL FOREST SKI AREA PERMIT ACT OF 1986


             (Public Law 99-522; Approved October 22, 1986)


                            [16 U.S.C. 497b]

AN ACT to establish a ski area permit system on national forest lands, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Forest Ski Area 
Permit Act of 1986''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 3. SKI AREA PERMITS.

    (a) Law Applicable to Permits.--The provisions of the Act 
of March 4, 1915 (16 U.S.C. 497) notwithstanding, the term and 
acreage of permits for the operation of [nordic and alpine ski 
areas and facilities] ski areas and associated facilities on 
National Forest System lands shall henceforth be governed by 
this Act and other applicable law.
    (b) Authority.--The Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter 
referred to as ``the Secretary'') is authorized to issue 
permits (hereinafter referred to as ``ski area permits'') for 
the use and occupancy of suitable lands within the National 
Forest System for [nordic and alpine skiing operations and 
purposes] skiing and other snow sports and recreational uses 
authorized by this Act. A ski area permit--
          (1) may be issued for a term not to exceed 40 years;
          (2) shall ordinarily be issued for a term of 40 years 
        (unless the Secretary determines that the facilities or 
        operations are of a scale or nature as are not likely 
        to require long-term financing or operation), or that 
        there are public policy reasons specific to a 
        particular permit for a shorter term;
          (3) shall encompass such acreage as the Secretary 
        determines sufficient and appropriate to accommodate 
        the permittee's needs for ski operations and 
        appropriate ancillary facilities;
          (4) may be renewed at the discretion of the 
        Secretary;
          (5) may be cancelled by the Secretary in whole or in 
        part for any violation of the permit terms or 
        conditions, for nonpayment of permit fees, or upon the 
        determination by the Secretary in his planning for the 
        uses of the national forests that the permitted area is 
        needed for higher public purposes;
          (6) may be modified from time to time by the 
        Secretary to accommodate changes in plans or operations 
        in accordance with the provisions of applicable law;
          (7) shall be subject to such reasonable terms and 
        conditions as the Secretary deems appropriate; and
          (8) shall be subject to a permit fee based on fair 
        market value in accordance with applicable law.
    (c) Other Recreational Uses.--
          (1) Authority of secretary.--Subject to the terms of 
        a ski area permit issued pursuant to subsection (b), 
        the Secretary may authorize a ski area permittee to 
        provide such other seasonal or year-round natural 
        resource-based recreational activities and associated 
        facilities (in addition to skiing and other snow-
        sports) on National Forest System land subject to a ski 
        area permit as the Secretary determines to be 
        appropriate.
          (2) Requirements.--Each activity and facility 
        authorized by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall--
                  (A) encourage outdoor recreation and 
                enjoyment of nature;
                  (B) to the extent practicable--
                          (i) harmonize with the natural 
                        environment of the National Forest 
                        System land on which the activity or 
                        facility is located; and
                          (ii) be located within the developed 
                        portions of the ski area;
                  (C) be subject to such terms and conditions 
                as the Secretary determines to be appropriate; 
                and
                  (D) be authorized in accordance with--
                          (i) the applicable land and resource 
                        management plan; and
                          (ii) applicable laws (including 
                        regulations).
          (3) Inclusions.--Activities and facilities that may, 
        in appropriate circumstances, be authorized under 
        paragraph (1) include--
                  (A) zip lines;
                  (B) mountain bike terrain parks and trails;
                  (C) frisbee golf courses; and
                  (D) ropes courses.
          (4) Exclusions.--Activities and facilities that are 
        prohibited under paragraph (1) include--
                  (A) tennis courts;
                  (B) water slides and water parks;
                  (C) swimming pools;
                  (D) golf courses; and
                  (E) amusement parks.
          (5) Limitation.--The Secretary may not authorize any 
        activity or facility under paragraph (1) if the 
        Secretary determines that the authorization of the 
        activity or facility would result in the primary 
        recreational purpose of the ski area permit to be a 
        purpose other than skiing and other snow-sports.
          (6) Boundary determination.--In determining the 
        acreage encompassed by a ski area permit under 
        subsection (b)(3), the Secretary shall not consider the 
        acreage necessary for activities and facilities 
        authorized under paragraph (1).
          (7) Effect on existing authorized activities and 
        facilities.--Nothing in this subsection affects any 
        activity or facility authorized by a ski area permit in 
        effect on the date of enactment of this subsection 
        during the term of the permit.
    [(c) Rules and Regulations. Within one year after the date 
of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall promulgate rules 
and regulations to implement the provisions of this Act, and 
shall, to the extent practicable and with the consent of 
existing permit holders, convert all existing ski area permits 
or leases on National Forest System lands into ski area permits 
which conform to the provisions of this Act within 3 years of 
the date of enactment of this Act.] (d) Regulations.--Not later 
than 2 years after the date of enactment of this subsection, 
the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to implement this 
section.
    [(d)] (e) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to amend, 
modify or otherwise affect the Secretary's duties under [the 
National Environmental Policy Act, or the Forest and Rangelands 
Renewable Resources Planning Act as amended by the National 
Forest Management Act] the National Environmental Policy Act of 
1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the Forest and Rangeland 
Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et 
seq.), including his duties to involve the public in his 
decisionmaking and planning for the national forests.