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113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-595

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



 
          EMIGRANT WILDERNESS HISTORICAL USE PRESERVATION ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 15, 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

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3606]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3606) to permit certain activities to be 
conducted on Federal land within the Emigrant Wilderness of 
Stanislaus National Forest in the State of California at the 
level at which such activities were conducted on such land 
before the wilderness designation, and for other purposes, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with 
amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use 
Preservation Act''.

SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

  The purposes of this Act are to ensure that--
          (1) an increasing population within the vicinity of the 
        Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest in the State 
        of California may continue to enjoy the traditional variety of 
        appropriate wilderness uses and practices, including a 
        wilderness equestrian experience of pack and saddle stock use, 
        consistent with protecting untrammeled and unimpaired 
        wilderness character;
          (2) the Federal land comprising the Emigrant Wilderness 
        retains wilderness character consistent with the time of 
        designation and that changes in use levels and social 
        preferences are not allowed to displace historical and 
        traditional uses, including recreational commercial services 
        provided by pack stock stations, which existed at the time of 
        designation; and
          (3) future generations of Americans continue to have the 
        opportunity to enjoy the variety of traditional wilderness 
        experiences, including a true wilderness equestrian experience, 
        consistent with what existed when the Emigrant Wilderness was 
        designated.

SEC. 3. PRESERVATION OF HISTORICAL EQUESTRIAN ACTIVITIES AND ACCESS TO 
                    CERTAIN FEDERAL LAND.

  (a) Preservation of Historical Equestrian Activities and Level of 
Use.--The Secretary shall take such actions as may be necessary to 
ensure that, within the area designated as the Emigrant Wilderness, all 
pack and saddle stock use, including commercial pack and saddle stock 
services, are recognized as appropriate wilderness activities, along 
with their associated effect on soil, water, and vegetation. Conditions 
of camps, trails, and grazing areas, at the time of designation, should 
be considered an acceptable benchmark level for monitoring the 
preservation of wilderness character. No action shall be taken to limit 
or exclude pack and saddle stock without an appropriate environmental 
analysis with an express finding that it is necessary to limit or 
exclude pack and saddle stock, or modify stock practices, in order to 
preserve the wilderness character of the area to that which existed at 
the time of the designation of the Emigrant Wilderness.
  (b) Types of Activities and Impact.--The historical use and 
activities in the Emigrant Wilderness, including commercial outfitting 
and guiding, camping, pack stock grazing, and associated campsites, 
campfires, tent locations, and social trails, are traditional uses that 
are consistent with and part of an unconfined recreational experience, 
and the signs of use created by these historical uses are to be 
considered substantially unnoticeable and acceptable as long as they do 
not exceed the level present at the time of wilderness designation. The 
Secretary shall take such actions to ensure that these traditional uses 
do not result in impacts that are greater than those experienced at the 
time the Emigrant Wilderness was designated.
  (c) Emigrant Wilderness Plan.--Not later than 3 years after the date 
of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete an updated 
wilderness plan to incorporate management direction for the 
preservation of pack and saddle stock use and all legally acceptable 
recreational uses within the Emigrant Wilderness, including 
establishing the following:
          (1) Desired future conditions that recognize normal and 
        expected pack and saddle stock use impacts as an accepted 
        component of the wilderness character of the area.
          (2) Standards, and guidelines for pack and saddle stock that 
        use ``leave no trace'' or gentle use principles for pack and 
        saddle stock in the future consistent with past historical pack 
        and saddle stock use practices and impacts.
          (3) Indicators, thresholds, and triggers for managing future 
        pack and saddle stock use commensurate with other uses and that 
        recognize the acceptability of historical use and impacts of 
        pack and saddle stock.
          (4) A user capacity for pack and saddle stock use, including 
        commercial pack and saddle stock services, commensurate with 
        minimum levels necessary to ensure continued opportunity for a 
        wilderness equestrian experience while preserving the overall 
        wilderness character of the Emigrant Wilderness. Such user 
        capacity shall recognize the number of stock necessary to 
        support the typical extended family group size that frequent 
        the Emigrant Wilderness, including commercial service support, 
        and shall not limit group sizes to fewer than 15 people and 25 
        head of stock, inclusive of commercial service outfitters and 
        guides.
          (5) A needs assessment that sets as a baseline the level of 
        commercial services that existed at the time of designation.
  (d) Commercial Pack and Saddle Stock Services.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall--
                  (A) continue to authorize commercial pack and saddle 
                stock services within the Emigrant Wilderness 
                consistent with commercial use within that area that 
                existed as of the date of the original designation of 
                the Emigrant Wilderness on January 3, 1975;
                  (B) specify the level of use, allotted user days, and 
                activities by commercial outfitters and guides within 
                that area in the Wilderness Plan; and
                  (C) continue to issue authorizations to provide 
                commercial services for commercial stock operations 
                within the Emigrant Wilderness at historic levels 
                consistent with this Act.
          (2) Levels of use.--Historical levels of commercial use, as 
        established at the time of the designation of the Emigrant 
        Wilderness, are considered within the normal range of 
        acceptability for stock numbers and impacts and are considered 
        the minimum extent necessary for realizing the recreational and 
        other purposes of the area. Pack and saddle stock commercial 
        use may be allowed to increase above current authorized use 
        levels, and at levels consistent with increases in other 
        traditional uses, after a finding in an appropriate 
        environmental analysis that the wilderness character of the 
        area is being protected. Current outfitter and guide special 
        use permits may be reauthorized without environmental analysis 
        to incorporate direction from the wilderness plan developed 
        pursuant to subsection (c).
  (e) Limitations.--Nothing in subsections (a) through (e) shall be 
construed to--
          (1) authorize the Secretary to issue or refuse to issue a 
        permit for a new use of pack and saddle stock animals, 
        including use by a commercial outfitter or guide, without 
        complying with applicable resource management plans and 
        planning processes required under this Act or any other 
        provision of law;
          (2) limit the authority of the Secretary to impose a 
        temporary emergency closure of a trail, route, or area to pack 
        and saddle stock animals or issue special permits; or
          (3) create a preference for one recreational use over another 
        for the Emigrant Wilderness, without consideration of the 
        stated purpose of this area as stated in the Wilderness Act, 
        PL88-577, and specific legislation establishing the Emigrant 
        Wilderness.
  (f) Definitions.--For the purposes of this Act:
          (1) Emigrant wilderness.--The term ``Emigrant Wilderness'' 
        means the Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest in 
        the State of California, as originally designated by section 
        2(b) of Public Law 93-632 (88 Stat. 2154; 16 U.S.C. 1132 note) 
        and expanded by section 101(a)(9) of Public Law 98-425 (98 
        Stat. 1620; 16 U.S.C. 1132 note).
          (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture.

  Amend the title so as to read: A bill to preserve the 
opportunity for pack and saddle stock that are part of the 
history and character of traditional uses, practices and access 
within the Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest in 
the State of California as appropriate within the wilderness 
designation, and for other purposes.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3606, as ordered reported, is to 
preserve the opportunity for pack and saddle stock that are 
part of the history and character of traditional uses, 
practices and access within the Emigrant Wilderness of 
Stanislaus National Forest in the State of California as 
appropriate within the wilderness designation.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 3606 would permit certain equestrian and related 
recreational activities to be conducted on federal land within 
the Emigrant Wilderness of the Stanislaus National Forest in 
the State of California at the level at which such activities 
were conducted when the area received was designated as a 
wilderness. The bill requires the Secretary of Agriculture to 
ensure that within the Emigrant Wilderness the level of use, 
allotted user days, and activities by commercial outfitters and 
guides does not rise above or fall below the use at the time of 
the original wilderness designation on January 3, 1975.
    The act also defines outfitting and guiding, camping, pack 
stock grazing, and campfires as traditional uses that are 
consistent with and part of an unconfined recreational 
experience, and the signs of such uses are to be considered 
substantially unnoticeable and acceptable as long as they do 
not exceed the level at the time of the wilderness designation.
    The historical use of trails, roads, paths, grazing sites, 
campsites, and campfires meadows, and cross-country areas in 
the Emigrant Wilderness by recreational and commercial pack and 
saddle stock would be allowed to continue.
    H.R. 3606 also provides that the use of drift fences that 
are in existence on the date of the enactment of the Act or 
were previously in existence at the time of designation would 
be allowed and maintained.
    An amendment in the nature of a substitute based on changes 
requested by the Forest Service was adopted when the Committee 
marked up H.R. 3606. The amendment provides that the level of 
equestrian and related use that existed at the time of 
wilderness designation would be the benchmark for monitoring 
the preservation of wilderness, and that more restrictive 
limitations could be imposed only pursuant to an express 
finding based on an environmental analysis that further 
restrictions are necessary.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3606 was introduced on November 21, 2013, by 
Congressman Tom McClintock (R-CA). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. On 
March 6, 2014, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On 
May 29, 2014, the Natural Resources Committee met to consider 
the bill. The Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental 
Regulation was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
McClintock offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute 
designated .085; the amendment was adopted by voice vote. No 
further amendments were offered and the bill, as amended, was 
then adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

            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. 3606--Emigrant Wilderness Historical Use Preservation Act

    H.R. 3606 would require the Secretary of Agriculture to 
authorize the use of horses and pack animals by commercial 
outfitters within the Emigrant Wilderness at a level similar to 
the level that existed in 1975. The bill also would require the 
Forest Service to complete an updated wilderness plan for the 
Emigrant Wilderness. Based on information provided by the 
Forest Service, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would 
have no significant effect on the federal budget. Enacting the 
legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO expects that, under the bill, the authorized level of 
horse and pack animal use by commercial outfitters in the 
Emigrant Wilderness would be similar to the level authorized 
under current law. Based on information provided by the Forest 
Service, CBO estimates that updating the wilderness plan for 
the Emigrant Wilderness would cost less than $20,000, assuming 
the availability of appropriated funds.
    H.R. 3606 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    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. The Congressional 
Budget Office estimates that implementing the bill would have 
no significant effect 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, as ordered reported, is to preserve the 
opportunity for pack and saddle stock that are part of the 
history and character of traditional uses, practices and access 
within the Emigrant Wilderness of Stanislaus National Forest in 
the State of California as appropriate within the wilderness 
designation.

                           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.

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 3606 requires the Forest Service to ensure that levels 
of permitted outfitting and guiding in the Emigrant Wilderness 
do not fall below the levels which existed prior to the 
establishment of the wilderness area. This means that no matter 
what the agency determines, or what conditions on the ground 
dictate, the level of access for commercial horse packing must 
be frozen in time in 1975.
    There are two outfitting operations operating in the 
Emigrant Wilderness Area and all concerned want these 
businesses to continue to thrive. However, it does not appear 
that either operation faces any problem with access. According 
to hearing testimony from one of the owners, the outfitters 
have never had to turn away customers in the Emigrant 
Wilderness due to lack of permits. At the same hearing, the 
Forest Service testified that supply of available outfitter 
permits has never outstripped demand since the Wilderness area 
was created in 1975. H.R. 3606 is simply a solution searching 
for a problem.
    Furthermore, H.R. 3606 sets a terrible precedent for the 
management of wilderness areas by elevating commercial 
activities above all other uses of the area and by having 
Congress micro-manage a specific use in a specific area.
    The bill dictates the levels of commercial outfitting, 
guiding, camping, pack stock grazing, campfires, tent 
locations, and trails, no matter what the conditions on the 
ground or determination of the local land managers might be. 
Congress is telling the Forest Service to manage for wilderness 
conditions and keep the area untrammeled by man as determined 
by the Wilderness Act, but is also dictating the appropriate 
level of commercial use.
    Agencies must have the discretion to make informed, 
resource-based decisions about the management of specific uses 
in specific wilderness areas. When Congress takes away that 
authority, we run into conflicts that could end up damaging the 
wilderness values the area was designated to protect.

                                   Peter DeFazio.
                                   Raul Grijalva.