H.R.170 - Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area Act
To establish the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area.
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SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.
(1) certain areas located in Mesa, Montrose, and Delta Counties, Colorado, should be protected and enhanced for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to establish the Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area in the State, to be administered as part of the National Landscape Conservation System to conserve and protect for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) the unique and nationally important values of certain public land in the Mesa, Montrose, and Delta Counties, Colorado (including the geological, cultural, archaeological, paleontological, natural, scientific, recreational, environmental, biological, wilderness, wildlife, riparian, historical, educational, and scenic resources of the public land); andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
SEC. 4. DOMINGUEZ-ESCALANTE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA.
(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall allow only such uses of the Conservation Area as the Secretary determines would further the purposes for which the Conservation Area is established.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(I) before the effective date of the management plan, only on roads and trails designated for use of motor vehicles in the management plan that applies on the date of the enactment of this Act to the public land in the Conservation Area; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) ADMINISTRATIVE AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE USE- Clause (i) shall not limit the use of motor vehicles in the Conservation Area for administrative purposes or to respond to an emergency.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 5. DOMINGUEZ CANYON WILDERNESS AREA.
(a) In General- Approximately 66,280 acres of public land in Mesa, Montrose, and Delta Counties, Colorado, as generally depicted on the Map, are designated as wilderness and as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to be known as the ‘Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(b) Administration of Wilderness- Subject to valid existing rights, land designated as wilderness by this Act shall be managed by the Secretary in accordance with the Wilderness Act (
SEC. 6. MAPS AND LEGAL DESCRIPTIONS.
(b) Force and Effect- The Map and legal descriptions submitted under subsection (a) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct clerical and typographical errors in the Map and legal descriptions.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(c) Public Availability- The Map and legal description of the Conservation Area shall be available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land Management.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 7. MANAGEMENT OF CONSERVATION AREA AND WILDERNESS.
(a) Withdrawals- Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal land within the Conservation Area and the Wilderness and all land and interests in land acquired by the United States for the Conservation Area or the Wilderness after the date of enactment of this Act is withdrawn from--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue and administer any grazing leases or permits in the Conservation Area in accordance with the laws (including regulations) and Executive orders applicable to the issuance and administration of leases and permits on other land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) GRAZING IN WILDERNESS- The grazing of livestock in areas of the Wilderness that are administered by the Bureau of Land Management and in which grazing is established as of the date of enactment of this Act shall be allowed to continue--CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(2) ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE CONSERVATION AREA- The fact that an activity or use on land outside the Conservation Area can be seen or heard within the Conservation Area shall not preclude the activity or use outside the boundary of the Conservation Area.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may acquire non-Federal land within the boundaries of the Conservation Area or the Wilderness only through purchase from a willing seller, exchange, or donation.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- In order to protect and consolidate Federal land within the boundary of the Conservation Area and subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary may enter into an agreement with any owner of private land within the boundaries of the Conservation Area to exchange the private land for Federal land in the Conservation Area, if the Secretary determines that the exchange would enhance the values for which the Conservation Area is established.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(e) Fire, Insect, Invasive Species, and Disease Management Activities- The Secretary may undertake such measures in the Conservation Area and Wilderness as are necessary to control and prevent fire, insects, invasive species, and diseases, in accordance with section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in cooperation with any other public or private entities as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, may establish minimal interpretive facilities or sites in or near the Conservation Area.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) affects any vested absolute or decreed conditional water right in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, including any water right held by the United States;CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(F) shall be considered to be a relinquishment or reduction of any water rights reserved or appropriated by the United States in the State on or before the date of the enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(3) EFFECT ON WATER QUALITY DESIGNATIONS- The designation of the Conservation Area and Wilderness by this Act shall not impose or cause to be imposed on any stream in, or upstream of, the Conservation Area or Wilderness any water quality designation that is more stringent than the water quality designation applicable to the stream in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall ensure that any water rights within the Wilderness required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness are secured in accordance with subparagraphs (B) through (G).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS- Any water rights for which the Secretary pursues adjudication shall be appropriated, adjudicated, changed, and administered in accordance with the procedural requirements and priority system of State law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(I) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subclause (II), the purposes and other substantive characteristics of the water rights pursued under this paragraph shall be established in accordance with State law.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(II) EXCEPTION- Notwithstanding subclause (I) and in accordance with this Act, the Secretary may appropriate and seek adjudication of water rights to maintain surface water levels and stream flows on and across the Wilderness to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(D) REQUIRED DETERMINATION- The Secretary shall not pursue adjudication for any instream flow water rights unless the Secretary makes a determination pursuant to subparagraph (E)(ii) or (F).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(I) the Secretary determines, upon adjudication of the water rights by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, that the Board holds water rights sufficient in priority, amount, and timing to fulfill the purposes of this Act; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(II) the Secretary has entered into a perpetual agreement with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to ensure full exercise, protection, and enforcement of the State water rights within the Wilderness to reliably fulfill the purposes of this Act.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(ii) ADJUDICATION- If the Secretary determines that the provisions of clause (i) have not been met, the Secretary shall adjudicate and exercise any Federal water rights required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness in accordance with this paragraph.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(F) INSUFFICIENT WATER RIGHTS- If the Colorado Water Conservation Board modifies the instream flow water rights obtained under subparagraph (E) to such a degree that the Secretary determines that water rights held by the State are insufficient to fulfill the purposes of this Act, the Secretary shall adjudicate and exercise Federal water rights required to fulfill the purposes of this Act in accordance with subparagraph (B).CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(A) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to subparagraph (B), beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, neither the President nor any other officer, employee, or agent of the United States shall fund, assist, authorize, or issue a license or permit for development of any new irrigation and pumping facility, reservoir, water conservation work, aqueduct, canal, ditch, pipeline, well, hydropower project, transmission, other ancillary facility, or other water, diversion, storage, or carriage structure in the Wilderness.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) would result in no impairment to the characteristics, values, and purposes of the Wilderness greater than that described in the Final Wilderness Environmental Impact Statement for the Grand Junction Resource Area dated November 1989; andCommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(B) prevents the State from appropriating or acquiring, or requires the State to appropriate or acquire, an instream flow water right on the mainstem of the Gunnison River.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
(i) Hunting, Trapping, and Fishing- Nothing in this Act diminishes the jurisdiction of the State with respect to fish and wildlife management, including regulation of hunting and fishing, on public land within the Conservation Area.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 8. MANAGEMENT PLAN.
(a) In General- Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall develop a comprehensive management plan for the long-range protection and management of the Conservation Area.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink
SEC. 9. ADVISORY COUNCIL.
(a) Establishment- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall establish an advisory council, to be known as the ‘Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area Advisory Council’.CommentsClose CommentsPermalink