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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-370

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



 
              NORTH FORK WATERSHED PROTECTION ACT OF 2014

                                _______
                                

 February 28, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2259]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 2259) to withdraw certain Federal land and 
interests in that land from location, entry, and patent under 
the mining laws and disposition under the mineral and 
geothermal leasing laws and to preserve existing uses, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 
2014''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Eligible federal land.--The term ``eligible Federal 
        land'' means--
                  (A) any federally owned land or interest in land 
                depicted on the Map as within the North Fork Federal 
                Lands Withdrawal Area; or
                  (B) any land or interest in land located within the 
                North Fork Federal Lands Withdrawal Area that is 
                acquired by the Federal Government after the date of 
                enactment of this Act.
          (2) Map.--The term ``Map'' means the Bureau of Land 
        Management map entitled ``North Fork Federal Lands Withdrawal 
        Area'' and dated June 9, 2010.

SEC. 3. WITHDRAWAL.

  (a) Withdrawal.--Subject to valid existing rights, the eligible 
Federal land is withdrawn from--
          (1) all forms of location, entry, and patent under the mining 
        laws; and
          (2) disposition under all laws relating to mineral leasing 
        and geothermal leasing.
  (b) Availability of Map.--Not later than 30 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Map shall be made available to the public at 
each appropriate office of the Bureau of Land Management.
  (c) Effect of Section.--Nothing in this section violates the rights 
of existing leaseholders or prohibits the Secretary of the Interior 
from taking any action necessary to complete any requirement under the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) or 
the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) required 
for permitting surface-disturbing activity to occur on any lease issued 
before the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. EXISTING USES NOT AFFECTED.

  Except with respect to the withdrawal under section 3, nothing in 
this Act restricts recreational uses, livestock management activities, 
or forest management activities allowed on the date of the enactment of 
this Act on the eligible Federal land in accordance with applicable 
law.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2259 is to withdraw certain Federal 
land and interests in that land from location, entry, and 
patent under the mining laws and disposition under the mineral 
and geothermal leasing laws and to preserve existing uses.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The North Fork of the Flathead River extends approximately 
90 miles from its headwaters in southern British Columbia south 
into Montana, where it forms the western boundary of Glacier 
National Park. While the North Fork itself is protected under 
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the Canadian portion of the 
river and the river's watershed are not protected. Several 
mining or oil and gas development projects throughout the years 
have raised concerns about the potential impact on the river's 
water quality.
    In February 2010, the Province of British Columbia and 
Montana signed a Memorandum of Understanding to preclude 
mining, oil and gas development, and coalbed methane extraction 
in the Flathead River Basin. Under the agreement, mining, oil 
and gas, coalbed methane and coal development would be 
prohibited within the basin. However, much of the North Fork's 
watershed in Montana is federal land.
    In 1982, the Department of the Interior issued several oil 
and gas leases on national forest lands within the North Fork 
watershed. Those leases were later suspended in 1988 when the 
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Department had 
failed to comply with applicable environmental laws prior to 
issuing the leases. The federal agencies were enjoined from 
allowing any activity on the issued leases. Since that 
decision, no action has been taken on these leases, and there 
is currently no oil and gas development on federal land within 
the area proposed to be withdrawn by H.R. 2259. Several lease 
holders have voluntarily relinquished oil and gas leases within 
the area withdrawn under H.R. 2259, although a number of 
outstanding leases remain.
    Since there is no development taking place in this area, 
and the Ninth Circuit Court has enjoined federal agencies from 
allowing activity on this land, H.R 2259 would withdraw 
approximately 362,000 acres of the Flathead and Kootenai 
National Forest from all forms of location, entry, and patent 
under the mining laws, as well as disposition under all laws 
relating to mineral leasing and geothermal leasing. H.R. 2259 
does specify that existing uses, including recreational use, 
livestock management, and forest management, are not restricted 
as a result of this bill.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2259 was introduced on June 5, 2013, by Congressman 
Steve Daines (R-MT). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittees on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation and 
Energy and Mineral Resources. On October 3, 2013, the 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation held 
a hearing on the bill. On January 28, 2014, the Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittees 
on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation and Energy and 
Mineral Resources were discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congressman Daines offered an amendment designated .024 to the 
bill; the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The bill 
as amended was then adopted and ordered favorably reported to 
the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 2259--North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2014

    H.R. 2259 would withdraw 430,000 acres of federal lands in 
Montana from programs to develop geothermal and mineral 
resources. The affected lands, which lie adjacent to Glacier 
National Park, are already protected for wilderness values, and 
the proposed designation would not significantly affect the way 
they are managed. Based on information provided by the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM), CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would have no significant impact on the federal 
budget. Enacting H.R. 2259 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    The bill would not affect valid, existing rights on the 
affected lands, including the rights of private entities to 39 
oil and gas leases that have been suspended since 1985 because 
of litigation. BLM has not offered any new oil and gas leases 
on the affected lands since that litigation, and CBO does not 
expect any such leases to be offered in the next 10 years. In 
addition, based on information provided by BLM, CBO expects 
that no income would be derived from other activities on the 
affected lands over that period; therefore, we estimate that 
enacting H.R. 2259 would not affect direct spending.
    H.R. 2259 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 June 26, 2013, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S. 
255, the North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2013, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources on June 18, 2013. The two bills are similar, and the 
CBO cost estimates are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. Based on the 
information provided by the Bureau of Land Management, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would have no 
significant impact on the federal budget.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to withdraw certain federal land and 
interests in that land from location, entry, and patent under 
the mining laws and disposition under the mineral and 
geothermal leasing laws and to preserve existing uses.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.