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115th Congress   }                                           {    Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session      }                                           {  115-1032

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

 
    TO AMEND THE WILDERNESS ACT TO ENSURE THAT THE USE OF BICYCLES, 
WHEELCHAIRS, STROLLERS, AND GAME CARTS IS NOT PROHIBITED IN WILDERNESS 
                     AREAS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 November 16, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

Mr. Bishop of Utah, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted 
                             the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                    DISSENTING AND ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1349]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 1349) to amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the 
use of bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not 
prohibited in Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes, 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. USE OF CERTAIN WHEELED DEVICES NOT PROHIBITED IN WILDERNESS 
                    AREAS.

  Section 4 of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133) is amended by adding 
at the end of subsection (d) the following:
          ``(8) Allowable uses.--Each agency administering any area 
        designated as wilderness may allow the use of motorized 
        wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized adaptive 
        cycles, non-motorized bicycles, non-motorized strollers, non-
        motorized wheelbarrows, non-motorized survey wheels, non-
        motorized measuring wheels, or non-motorized game carts within 
        any wilderness area. For the purposes of this paragraph, the 
        term `wheelchair' means a device designed solely for use by a 
        mobility-impaired person for locomotion, that is suitable for 
        use in an indoor pedestrian area.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1349 is to amend the Wilderness Act to 
ensure that the use of bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and 
game carts is not prohibited in Wilderness Areas.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Wilderness Act of 1964 (Public Law 88-577, 16 
U.S.C.1131 et seq.) established the National Wilderness 
Preservation System (NWPS) and reserved to Congress the 
authority to designate federal lands as a part of the NWPS. The 
law's enactment initially designated 54 wilderness areas 
encompassing 9.1 million acres of national forest lands. 
Subsequently, Congress has enacted more than 100 laws 
designating new wilderness areas. Today, the NWPS consists of 
roughly 110 million acres across 765 units managed by the U.S. 
Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service, U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\CRS Report R41610, Wilderness: Issues and Legislation, Katie 
Hoover.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Wilderness Act describes wilderness as areas of 
generally undisturbed federal lands and ascribes certain goals 
for the management of wilderness, noting the lands should be 
``administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people 
in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and 
enjoyment as wilderness, and so as to provide for the 
protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness 
character, and for the gathering and dissemination of 
information regarding their use and enjoyment as 
wilderness.''\2\ Generally, the Wilderness Act prohibits 
commercial activities, motorized uses, and the building of 
roads, structures and facilities. However, specific management 
criteria of wilderness lands can differ between land management 
agencies and acreages because of differing statutorily-
prescribed management provisions and administrative land 
management regulations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\16 U.S.C. 1131(a).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For example, although section 508 of the Americans with 
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12207) reaffirms Congress' 
intent that nothing in the Wilderness Act should be ``construed 
as prohibiting the use of a wheelchair in a wilderness area by 
an individual whose disability requires use of a wheelchair,'' 
a study by the National Council on Disability found differences 
across land management agencies in the use of motorized and 
non-motorized wheelchairs, and in one case a lack of policies 
regarding persons with disabilities in the NWPS.\3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\``Wilderness Accessibility for People with Disabilities: A 
Report to the President and the Congress of the United States on 
Section 507(a) of the Americans with Disabilities Act,'' National 
Council on Disability, Dec. 1992. ncd.gov/publications/1992/
December1992#8.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Similarly, although the Wilderness Act allows travel across 
NWPS lands on foot and with the use of horses and pack animals, 
the use of bicycles in NWPS lands has had a varied history. In 
1966, USFS banned the use of ``mechanical transport'' propelled 
by a nonliving power source\4\--a definition that made bicycles 
an allowable form of transportation in wilderness. In 1977, 
USFS issued a new regulation specifically prohibiting the use 
of bicycles (and hang gliders) on NWPS lands.\5\ However, 
although the USFS regulations broadly ban the use of bicycles 
on NWPS lands, the use of bicycles is still allowed in some 
wilderness areas.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\36 CFR 251.75 (1966).
    \5\36 CFR 261.18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In 1980, Congress passed the Rattlesnake National 
Recreation Area and Wilderness Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-476), 
which identified cycling as ``primitive recreation'' and thus 
an allowable use in the Rattlesnake Wilderness of the Lolo 
National Forest. In 1981, USFS issued a third regulation 
declaring bicycles to be permissible on wilderness lands unless 
expressly prohibited.\6\ Finally, in 1986, USFS announced in 
the Federal Register that the regulation, which allows for 
Wilderness travel by living power sources, should be read as 
prohibiting wilderness travel by certain living power sources, 
including bicycles.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\36 CFR 261.57(h).
    \7\51 FR 13835.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Annually 40 million Americans participate in mountain 
biking activities, making it the second most popular trail 
activity in the U.S.\8\ As ordered reported, H.R. 1349 would 
amend section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act to clarify that 
federal land managers may allow the use of motorized 
wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized adaptive 
cycles, non-motorized bicycles, non-motorized strollers, non-
motorized wheelbarrows, non-motorized survey wheels, non-
motorized measuring wheels, or non-motorized game carts on NWPS 
lands.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\``Demographics of Mountain Biking.'' International Mountain 
Bicycling Association, 2005, www.imba.com/resources/research/
demographics-mountain-biking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The legislation is supported by the Sustainable Trails 
Coalition and the Folsom Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1349 was introduced on March 2, 2017, by Congressman 
Tom McClintock (R-CA). The bill was referred to the Committee 
on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Federal Lands. The Subcommittee held a hearing 
on the bill on December 7, 2017. On December 12, 2017, the 
Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman 
Tom McClintock (R-CA) offered an amendment designated #1; it 
was adopted by voice vote. No additional amendments were 
offered. The bill, as amended, was then not ordered favorably 
reported to the House of Representatives on December 13, 2017, 
by a roll call vote of 15 ayes to 19 noes, as follows:


    Later in the same markup, Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) moved 
to reconsider the vote by which H.R. 1349, as amended, was not 
ordered favorably reported; the motion was adopted by a roll 
call vote of 22 to 17. Immediately after this vote, on December 
13, 2017, the bill, as amended, was adopted and ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by a roll 
call vote of 22 ayes to 18 noes, as follows:


            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 and Congressional Budget Act

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) and (3) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
sections 308(a) and 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for the 
bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                  Washington, DC, January 11, 2018.
Hon. Rob Bishop,
Chairman, Committee on Natural Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1349, a bill to 
amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the use of bicycles, 
wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not prohibited in 
Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1349--A bill to amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the use of 
        bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not 
        prohibited in Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes

    H.R. 1349 would clarify that certain nonmotorized vehicles, 
including bicycles, strollers, and game carts can be used in 
wilderness areas administered by the federal government. The 
bill also would clarify that the use of motorized and 
nonmotorized wheelchairs is allowed in those areas. CBO 
estimates that implementing the bill would not affect the 
federal budget.
    Enacting H.R. 1349 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 1349 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 1349 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. 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 ensure that the use of bicycles, 
wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not prohibited in 
Wilderness Areas.

                           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. This bill does not contain any 
directed rule makings.
    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 Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

                             WILDERNESS ACT




           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
                        use of wilderness areas

  Sec. 4. (a) The purposes of this Act are hereby declared to 
be within and supplemental to the purposes for which national 
forest and units of the national park and national wildlife 
refuge systems are established and administered and--
          (1) Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to be in 
        interference with the purpose for which national 
        forests are established as set forth in the Act of June 
        4, 1897 (30 Stat. 11), and the Multiple-Use Sustained-
        Yield Act of June 12, 1960 (74 Stat. 215).
          (2) Nothing in this Act shall modify the restrictions 
        and provisions of the Shipstead-Nolan Act (Public Law 
        539, Seventy-first Congress, July 10, 1930; 46 Stat. 
        1020), the Thye-Blatnik Act (Public Law 733, Eightieth 
        Congress, June 22, 1948; 62 Stat. 568), and the 
        Humphrey-Thye-Blatnik-Andresen Act (Public Law 607, 
        Eighty-fourth Congress, June 22, 1956; 70 Stat. 326), 
        as applying to the Superior National Forest or the 
        regulations of the Secretary of Agriculture.
          (3) Nothing in this Act shall modify the statutory 
        authority under which units of the national park system 
        are created. Further, the designation of any area of 
        any park, monument, or other unit of the national park 
        system as a wilderness area pursuant to this Act shall 
        in no manner lower the standards evolved for the use 
        and preservation of such park, monument, or other unit 
        of the national park system in accordance with section 
        100101(b)(1), chapter 1003, and sections100751(a), 
        100752, 100753, and 102101 of title 54, UnitedStates 
        Code, the statutory authority under which the area was 
        created, or any other Act of Congress which might 
        pertain to or affect such area, including, but not 
        limited to, section 3(2) of the Federal Power Act (16 
        U.S.C. 796(2));and chapters 3201 and 3203 of title 54, 
        United StatesCode.
  (b) Except as otherwise provided in this Act, each agency 
administering any area designated as wilderness shall be 
responsible for preserving the wilderness character of the area 
and shall so administer such area for such other purposes for 
which it may have been established as also to preserve its 
wilderness character. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, 
wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of 
recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, 
and historical use.

                      PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN USES

  (c) Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and 
subject to existing private rights, there shall be no 
commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any 
wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary 
to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area 
for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in 
emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within 
the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor 
vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of 
aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no 
structure or installation within any such area.

                           SPECIAL PROVISIONS

  (d) The following special provisions are hereby made:
  (1) Within wilderness areas designated by this Act the use of 
aircraft or motorboats, where these uses have already become 
established, may be permitted to continue subject to such 
restrictions as the Secretary of Agriculture deems desirable. 
In addition, such measures may be taken as may be necessary in 
the control of fire, insects, and diseases, subject to such 
conditions as the Secretary deems desirable.
  (2) Nothing in this Act shall prevent within national forest 
wilderness areas any activity, including prospecting, for the 
purpose of gathering information about mineral or other 
resources, if such activity is carried on in a manner 
compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment. 
Furthermore, in accordance with such program as the Secretary 
of the Interior shall develop and conduct in consultation with 
the Secretary of Agriculture, such areas shall be surveyed on a 
planned, recurring basis consistent with the concept of 
wilderness preservation by the Geological Survey and the Bureau 
of Mines to determine the mineral values, if any, that may be 
present; and the results of such surveys shall be made 
available to the public and submitted to the President and 
Congress.
  (3) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, until 
midnight December 31, 1983, the United States mining laws and 
all laws pertaining to mineral leasing shall, to the same 
extent as applicable prior to the effective date of this Act, 
extend to those national forest lands designated by this Act as 
``wilderness areas''; subject, however, to such reasonable 
regulations governing ingress and egress as may be prescribed 
by the Secretary of Agriculture consistent with the use of the 
land for mineral location and development and exploration, 
drilling, and production, and use of land for transmission 
lines, waterlines, telephone lines, or facilities necessary in 
exploring, drilling, producing, mining, and processing 
operations, including where essential the use of mechanized 
ground or air equipment and restoration as near as practicable 
of the surface of the land disturbed in performing prospecting, 
location, and, in oil and gas leasing, discovery work, 
exploration, drilling and production, as soon as they have 
served their purpose. Mining locations lying within the 
boundaries of said wilderness areas shall be held and used 
solely for mining or processing operations and uses reasonably 
incident thereto; and hereafter, subject to valid existing 
rights, all patents issued under the mining laws of the United 
States affecting national forest lands designated by this Act 
as wilderness areas shall convey title to the mineral deposits 
within the claim, together with the right to cut and use so 
much of the mature timber therefrom as may be needed in the 
extraction, removal, and beneficiation of the mineral deposits, 
if needed timber is not otherwise reasonably available, and if 
the timber is cut under sound principles of forest management 
as defined by the national forest rules and regulations, but 
each such patent shall reserve to the United States all title 
in or to the surface of the lands and products thereof, and no 
use of the surface of the claim or the resources therefrom not 
reasonably required for carrying on mining or prospecting shall 
be allowed except as otherwise expressly provided in this Act: 
Provided, That, unless hereafter specifically authorized, no 
patent within wilderness areas designated by this Act shall 
issue after December 31, 1983, except for the valid claims 
existing on or before December 31, 1983. Mining claims located 
after the effective date of this Act within the boundaries of 
wilderness areas designated by this Act shall create no rights 
in excess of those rights which may be patented under the 
provisions of this subsection. Mineral leases, permits, and 
licenses covering lands within national forest wilderness areas 
designated by this Act shall contain such reasonable 
stipulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of 
Agriculture for the protection of the wilderness character of 
the land consistent with the use of the land for the purposes 
for which they are leased, permitted, or licensed. Subject to 
valid rights then existing, effective January 1, 1984, the 
minerals in lands designated by this Act as wilderness areas 
are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining 
laws and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral 
leasing and all amendments thereto.
  (4) Within wilderness areas in the national forest designated 
by this Act, (1) the President may, within a specific area and 
in accordance with such regulations as he may deem desirable, 
authorize prospecting for water resources, the establishment 
and maintenance of reservoirs, water-conservation works, power 
projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in 
the public interest, including the road construction and 
maintenance essential to development and use thereof, upon his 
determination that such use or uses in the specific area will 
better serve the interest of the United States and the people 
thereof than will its denial; and (2) the grazing of livestock, 
where established prior to the effective date of this Act, 
shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable 
regulations as are deemed necessary by the Secretary of 
Agriculture.
  (5) Commercial services may be performed within the 
wilderness areas designated by this Act to the extent necessary 
for activities which are proper for realizing the recreational 
or other wilderness purposes of the areas.
  (6) Nothing in this Act shall constitute an express or 
implied claim or denial on the part of the Federal Government 
as to exemption from State water laws.
  (7) Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the 
jurisdiction or responsibilities of the several States with 
respect to wildlife and fish in the national forests.
          (8) Allowable uses.--Each agency administering any 
        area designated as wilderness may allow the use of 
        motorized wheelchairs, non-motorized wheelchairs, non-
        motorized adaptive cycles, non-motorized bicycles, non-
        motorized strollers, non-motorized wheelbarrows, non-
        motorized survey wheels, non-motorized measuring 
        wheels, or non-motorized game carts within any 
        wilderness area. For the purposes of this paragraph, 
        the term `wheelchair' means a device designed solely 
        for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, 
        that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 1349 is a short bill with a huge impact that cuts 
right at the heart of the Wilderness Act, one of our most 
unique and successful conservation laws. This bill authorizes 
the use of bicycles and other forms of mechanical transport in 
wilderness areas--an amendment to the statute that is far from 
a simple technical fix.
    For over 50 years, the Wilderness Act has helped protect 
our most pristine wild places, something that is increasingly 
important as open space and intact natural areas continue to 
disappear across the country. But the promise of wilderness 
goes beyond conservation and land protection--wilderness 
provides opportunities for ``quiet recreation'' in areas 
``untrammeled by man.'' Bikes are not--and never have been--
part of the wilderness experience.
    Unfortunately, proponents of this bill are intent on 
spreading misinformation designed to undermine the 
congressional intent and history of the Wilderness Act. It is 
true that the Forest Service made a mistake and allowed bikes 
for a short period of time, but that error was corrected 
decades ago and the legislative history clearly supports the 
prohibition of bikes.
    Congress debated the Wilderness Act for eight years before 
it finally became law in 1964. In the Act's legislative 
history, there is no mention of exempting bicycles from the 
law's prohibition on mechanical transportation. In fact, the 
statute is quite clear that ``no form of mechanical transport'' 
is allowed in designated wilderness areas.
    The one clear exemption from this prohibition is for 
wheelchairs, which Congress expressly authorized to access 
wilderness areas when it passed the Americans with Disabilities 
Act of 1990. Federal land management agency protocols and 
guidelines for managing wilderness areas do not place 
restrictions on the legitimate use of wheelchairs. In fact, the 
definition of mechanical transportation in the Forest Service 
manual for Recreation, Wilderness, and Related Resource 
Management clearly states that it does not include 
``wheelchairs when used as necessary medical appliances''.\1\ 
Wheelchair access in wilderness is a non-issue and its 
inclusion in H.R. 1349 is a red herring meant to distract from 
the true purpose of the bill.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\US Forest Service. Forest Service Manual 2300--Recreation, 
Wilderness, and Related Resource Management: Amendment No: 2300-2007-1. 
Approved by Frederick Norbury, Associate Deputy Chief, NFS, Washington 
DC: US Forest Service, December 26, 2006.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Our opposition to this bill is not about blocking access to 
wilderness or any other public lands. Everyone has a right to 
experience wilderness. However, this bill is meant to undermine 
the history and legacy of the Wilderness Act merely to prove a 
political point. There are plenty of opportunities for biking 
on federal lands and we should be looking at positive ways to 
enhance that access, not rip apart the National Wilderness 
Preservation System.
    We are not creating wilderness where none exists. Instead, 
we are finding the last remaining wilderness areas and trying 
to protect them. H.R. 1349 threatens that mission and should be 
rejected.

                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                   Alan Lowenthal.
                                   Colleen Hanabusa.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Niki Tsongas.
                                   Jared Huffman.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    I wish to clarify my roll call vote on the motion to report 
H.R. 1349, as amended, favorably to the House.
    Because I do not postpone votes in committee during 
markups, at the time of the first motion to report H.R. 1349, 
it was clear that many of our colleagues who supported the bill 
were not present. Therefore, I changed my vote from ``aye'' to 
``no'' so that I could later move to reconsider the vote by 
which H.R. 1349, as amended, was ordered reported.
    This was a procedural action only, and was not meant to 
indicate that my backing of this common-sense measure had 
changed. My final vote for the motion to favorably report the 
bill to the House of Representatives reflects my strong support 
for this measure, which I look forward to having considered by 
the House during the 115th Congress.
                                   Rob Bishop.