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115th Congress    }                                 {   Rept. 115-1070
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                 {           Part 1

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



 
                SECURING OUR BORDERS AND WILDERNESS ACT

                                _______
                                

 December 10, 2018.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House of 
            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 VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3593]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3593) to amend the Wilderness Act to authorize 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct certain 
activities to secure the international land borders of the 
United States, 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. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Securing Our Borders and Wilderness 
Act''.

SEC. 2. U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION ACCESS TO WILDERNESS AREAS.

  Section 4(d) of the Wilderness Act is amended by adding at the end 
the following:
          ``(8) U.S. customs and border protection access.--
                  ``(A) Permissible activities.--Notwithstanding any 
                other provision of this Act, the Commissioner of U.S. 
                Customs and Border Protection may conduct the following 
                activities within a wilderness area for the purpose of 
                securing the international land borders of the United 
                States:
                          ``(i) Access structures, installations, and 
                        roads.
                          ``(ii) Execute search and rescue operations.
                          ``(iii) Use motor vehicles, motorboats, and 
                        motorized equipment.
                          ``(iv) Conduct patrols on foot and on 
                        horseback.
                          ``(v) Notwithstanding any other law or 
                        regulation relating specifically to use of 
                        aircraft in a wilderness area or in the 
                        airspace above a wilderness area, use aircraft, 
                        including approach, landing, and takeoff.
                          ``(vi) Deploy tactical infrastructure and 
                        technology.
                          ``(vii) Construct and maintain roads and 
                        physical barriers.
                  ``(B) Protection of wilderness character.--Any 
                activity conducted by the Commissioner of U.S. Customs 
                and Border Protection under subparagraph (A) shall be 
                carried out in a manner that, to the greatest extent 
                possible, protects the wilderness character of the 
                area.''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 3593 is to amend the Wilderness Act to 
authorize U.S. Customs and Border Protection to conduct certain 
activities to secure the international land borders of the 
United States.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    Federal- and tribal-owned land represent approximately 693 
miles, or about 35 percent, of the Southern border, the 
overwhelming majority of which is managed by the Department of 
the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).\1\ The 
rugged, isolated character of most federally-owned 
borderland\2\ makes patrolling and the installation and 
maintenance of security infrastructure difficult. Regulatory 
delays and reliance on federal land managers for appropriate 
access to federally-owned borderland further hampers Border 
Patrol's efforts to adequately patrol, as well as build and 
maintain border security infrastructure. The same factors that 
hinder CBP's operations make federally-owned borderland a 
popular, but dangerous, crossing point for cross-border 
violators (CBV), such as illegal immigrants and drug 
traffickers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Memorandum from Carol Hardy Vincent, Specialist in Natural 
Resources Policy, Congressional Research Service, to Staff, Oversight 
and Investigations Subcommittee., H. Comm. on Natural Resources (Nov. 
9, 2017) (on file with H. Comm. on Natural Resources); see also U.S. 
Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-11-38, supra note 1 at 4.
    \2\The borderlands region encompasses the area extending from the 
United States-Mexico border north to 100 miles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The CBP is tasked with gaining ``operational control'' of 
the international borders of the United States. Operational 
control is statutorily defined as ``the prevention of all 
unlawful entries into the United States, including entries by 
terrorists, other unlawful aliens, instruments of terrorism, 
narcotics, and other contraband.''\3\ In the years following 
September 11, 2001, Congress has authorized large increases in 
manpower and equipment for the CBP.\4\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\8 U.S.C. Sec. 1103 note (Section 102(b)(1) and (b)(3)); see also 
Exec. Order No. 13767, 82 Fed. Reg. 8793, 8794 (Jan. 30, 2017) 
available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/executive-
order-border-security-immigration-enforcement-improvements/.
    \4\U.S. Border Patrol Fiscal Year Budget Statistics (FY 1990-2017), 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Dep't of Homeland Security (Dec. 
12, 2017), available at https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/assets/
documents/2017-Dec/BP%20Budget%20History%201990-2017.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The REAL ID Act of 2005 granted the Secretary of Homeland 
Security authority to waive all legal requirements deemed 
necessary to ``ensure expeditious construction of [border] 
barriers and roads'' in areas of high illegal entry.\5\ While 
this waiver authority applies to border barrier construction, 
maintenance of existing infrastructure or roads can become a 
challenge for the CBP. Except for this waiver authority, 
Congress has largely left in place regulatory obstacles that 
can deter obtaining operational control of the border.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \5\8 U.S.C. Sec. 1103 note; see also Defenders of Wildlife v. 
Chertoff, 527 F. Supp. 2d 119, 129-30 (D. D.C. 2007), cert. denied, 554 
U.S. 918 (2008) (finding waiver authority constitutional).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In August 2006, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), 
DOI, and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) entered into a 
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish ``consistent 
goals, principles, and guidance related to border security,'' 
between the three departments.\6\ The MOU ``provides guidance 
in the development of individual agreements, where appropriate, 
between [CBP] and the land management agencies.''\7\ While the 
MOU allows for CBP to conduct motorized pursuits in exigent or 
emergency situations within wilderness or wilderness study 
areas, the CBP must file a report with the federal land manager 
after each instance.\8\ Otherwise, CPB agents can generally 
patrol by foot or by horseback without prior authorization from 
the federal land manager.\9\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \6\Memorandum of Understanding Among U. S. Department of Homeland 
Security and U. S. Department of the Interior and U. S. Department of 
Agriculture Regarding Cooperative National Security and 
Counterterrorism Efforts on Federal Lands along the United States' 
Borders 1 (Mar. 2006) (on file with author).
    \7\Id. at 2.
    \8\Id. at 6.
    \9\Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Any additional CBP access to federal lands is ``subject to 
such terms and conditions that are mutually developed'' by the 
CBP and federal land managers.\10\ In practice, this gives 
federal land managers a veto over CBP activities. For instance, 
CBP must receive permission to patrol areas not designated for 
off-road use and to install tactical security infrastructure, 
such as roads, motion sensors, cameras, and vehicle barriers.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Id. at 6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Under the MOU, after receiving CBP's written request, 
federal land managers have 90 days to execute a local 
agreement.\11\ Negotiating a mutually acceptable agreement, 
however, can cause delays, which would ultimately disadvantage 
the CBP from successfully executing their mission. The power 
disparity between CBP and federal land management agencies is 
further exemplified through the numerous instances where DHS 
has agreed to fund environmental mitigation projects on land 
managed by USDA and DOI.\12\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Id. at 5.
    \12\U.S. Gov't Accountability Office, GAO-11-38, supra note 1 at 
56; see also Press Release, National Park Service, Dep't of the 
Interior, DHS and DOI Sign Agreement for Mitigation of Border Security 
Impact on the Environment, (Jan. 15, 2009) (last edited Apr. 4, 2016), 
available at https://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/
2009_01_15_releaseB.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    CBP agents are oftentimes most constrained in federally-
designated wilderness areas. In general, the Wilderness Act\13\ 
prohibits using motor vehicles, motorized equipment, landing of 
aircraft, and any form of mechanical transport in designated 
wilderness areas.\14\ Therefore, even when the CBP is 
authorized by the National Park Service to patrol or erect 
infrastructure in wilderness areas, transportation, equipment, 
and tools can be limited to non-motorized or non-mechanical 
devices.\15\ Undoubtedly, as professional drug or human 
smugglers, CBVs, do not observe such Wilderness Act 
restrictions to leave such areas unimpaired for the future use 
and enjoyment of others or preserve and protect natural 
conditions.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \13\16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.
    \14\16 U.S.C. 1133(c).
    \15\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Therefore, the MOU robs the CBP agents of the operational 
flexibility essential to their mission of securing our borders. 
CBP agents have expressed frustration due to delayed approvals 
from federal land managers to remediate drug trafficking 
tunnels, repair existing roads, and install tactical security 
infrastructure.\16\ At times, CBP agents working with land 
management agencies can experience lengthy delays in approval 
of tactical infrastructure road maintenance and repair 
projects.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \16\Discussions with various Border Patrol agents, Congressional 
Delegation Bishop in Tucson Sector, Arizona. (Feb. 2018).
    \17\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    H.R. 3595 addresses these restrictions created by the 
Wilderness Act that are adversely impacting border security 
efforts. This legislation amends the Wilderness Act to empower 
the CBP to conduct necessary border security activities in 
designated wilderness areas. These border security activities 
are specifically listed in this legislation and include 
granting access to existing structures, permitting the use of 
motor vehicles and aircraft, and allowing for the deployment of 
temporary infrastructure in emergency situations. The bill 
requires the CPB to carry out these actions in a way that 
preserves wilderness areas to the best of CBP's ability, as 
circumstances permit.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 3593 was introduced on July 28, 2017, by Congressman 
Mike Johnson (R-LA). The bill was referred primarily to the 
Committee on Natural Resources and additionally to the 
Committee on Homeland Security. Within the Committee on Natural 
Resources, the bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Federal 
Lands. On November 15, 2018, the Natural Resources Committee 
met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by 
unanimous consent. Congressman Mike Johnson offered an 
amendment designated #1; it was adopted by voice vote. No 
additional amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, 
was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by a roll call vote of 19 yeas and 12 nays 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, November 19, 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. 3593, the Securing 
Our Borders and Wilderness Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Janani 
Shankaran.
            Sincerely,
                                                Keith Hall,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3593--Securing Our Borders and Wilderness Act

    H.R. 3593 would authorize Customs and Border Protection to 
conduct certain activities in designated wilderness areas along 
the international land border that are managed by the 
Department of the Interior and the Forest Service. Under 
current law, the three agencies coordinate such activities 
through a memorandum of understanding. The bill might change 
the timing of CBP activities in those areas, but CBO does not 
expect it would significantly change CBP's operations. 
Accordingly, we estimate that implementing the bill would have 
no significant costs.
    Enacting H.R. 3593 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3593 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 3593 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed 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 authorize U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection to conduct certain activities to secure the 
international land borders of the United States.

                           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 (new matter is 
printed in italic 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) U.S. customs and border protection access.--
                  (A) Permissible activities.--Notwithstanding 
                any other provision of this Act, the 
                Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border 
                Protection may conduct the following activities 
                within a wilderness area for the purpose of 
                securing the international land borders of the 
                United States:
                          (i) Access structures, installations, 
                        and roads.
                          (ii) Execute search and rescue 
                        operations.
                          (iii) Use motor vehicles, motorboats, 
                        and motorized equipment.
                          (iv) Conduct patrols on foot and on 
                        horseback.
                          (v) Notwithstanding any other law or 
                        regulation relating specifically to use 
                        of aircraft in a wilderness area or in 
                        the airspace above a wilderness area, 
                        use aircraft, including approach, 
                        landing, and takeoff.
                          (vi) Deploy tactical infrastructure 
                        and technology.
                          (vii) Construct and maintain roads 
                        and physical barriers.
                  (B) Protection of wilderness character.--Any 
                activity conducted by the Commissioner of U.S. 
                Customs and Border Protection under 
                subparagraph (A) shall be carried out in a 
                manner that, to the greatest extent possible, 
                protects the wilderness character of the area.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    H.R. 3593 is another attempt by House Republicans to 
promote toxic and misleading rhetoric on immigration and border 
security. The bill amends the Wilderness Act to authorize broad 
access for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB). This is 
unnecessary and potentially problematic.
    There are 15 designated wilderness areas within 20 miles of 
the Mexican border, and 5 wilderness areas abutting the border 
(for a total of approximately 96 linear miles). While 
proponents of this legislation claim that wilderness 
designation impedes CBP access, the Wilderness Act authorizes 
motorized access for emergencies. Beyond that, the authorizing 
legislation for most border adjacent wilderness includes 
specific language authorizing access for law enforcement and 
border patrol.
    In addition to the exemptions authorized by the Wilderness 
Act itself and the specific exemptions in wilderness 
authorizing language, the Department of Homeland Security, the 
Department of the Interior, and the US Department of 
Agriculture signed a nationwide Memorandum of Understanding 
(MOU) for cooperative management related to border security 
within federal lands. The purpose of the MOU was to ensure 
interagency coordination of operations and provide guidance to 
CBP to prevent damage to natural and cultural resources on 
federal lands.
    In a statement submitted for the record for a 2016 hearing 
with this committee, CBP highlighted the MOU as an effective 
tool for ensuring the simultaneous and effective pursuit of the 
three agencies' unique missions:

          Perhaps the most significant example of our 
        commitment to interagency collaboration on federal 
        lands is the March 2006 MOU that describes cooperative 
        national security and counterterrorism efforts on 
        federal lands along U.S. borders . . . This 
        collaboration is based on mutual respect for each 
        other's missions and it continues in many forms. 
        Specific initiatives have been developed to address 
        collaboration on enforcement, as well as on 
        environmental and cultural stewardship.

    During that same hearing, DOI's Interagency Borderlands 
Coordinator testified about the effectiveness of the MOU:\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\Statement of Jon Andrews, Interagency Borderlands Coordmator, 
Department of the Interior before the House Subcommittee on Oversight 
and Investigations, Committee on Natural Resources. Apr 28, 2016. 
https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/testimony_andrew.pdf.

          Our goal is to provide flexibility and realistic 
        options for patrol and infrastructure access to 
        Interior lands by CBP while continuing to maintain an 
        emphasis on protection of federal trust resources such 
        as endangered species, cultural resources, tribal 
        interests, national wildlife refuges, national parks, 
        public lands, and designated wilderness. We believe the 
        guidelines contained in the MOU have been effective in 
        providing both Interior and CBP with the necessary 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
        framework to strike this important balance.

    Furthermore, in 2010, the Government Accountability Office 
found that most border patrol officials do not view wilderness 
and other laws that apply to federal land management as an 
impediment to securing the border. This report found that 22 of 
26 CBP agents-in-charge did not believe their jurisdiction was 
affected by land management laws so much as the ruggedness and 
remoteness of the terrain they guard. Even the people on the 
front lines of border protection agree that, unsurprisingly, 
foundational conservation laws DO NOT limit our Country's 
safety.
    Despite the abundant evidence that amending the Wilderness 
Act is not necessary, Republicans are pushing this vast 
overreach of already extensive authorities simply to undermine 
the Wilderness Act. H.R. 3593 is a solution in search of a 
problem that uses immigration and border security as an excuse 
to gut the Wilderness Act, one of our most iconic and 
successful conservation laws.

                                   Raul M. Grijalva,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                   Grace F. Napolitano.
                                   Alan Lowenthal.
                                   Jared Huffman.
                                   Darren Soto.


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