< Back to H.R. 195 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993

This bill was introduced on January 5, 1993, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 1993 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 195 IH

103d CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 195

To designate certain lands in the State of Colorado as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 5, 1993

Mr. HEFLEY (for himself, Mr. MCINNIS, Mr. ALLARD, and Mr. SCHAEFER) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources


A BILL

To designate certain lands in the State of Colorado as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993’.

SEC. 2. ADDITIONS TO THE WILDERNESS PRESERVATION SYSTEM.

    (a) ADDITIONS- The following lands in the State of Colorado are hereby designated as wilderness and, therefore, as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System:

      (1) Certain lands in the Gunnison Basin Resource Area administered by the Bureau of Land Management which comprise approximately 1,470 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘American Flats Additions to the Big Blue Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Big Blue Wilderness designated by Public Law 96-560.

      (2) Certain lands in the Gunnison Resource Area administered by the Bureau of Land Management which comprise approximately 140 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Larson Creek Addition to the Big Blue Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Big Blue Wilderness designated by Public Law 96-560.

      (3) Certain lands in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests which comprise approximately 40,150 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Buffalo Peaks Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Buffalo Peaks Wilderness.

      (4) Certain lands in the Gunnison National Forest and in the Bureau of Land Management Powderhorn Primitive Area which comprise approximately 60,100 acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Powderhorn Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Powderhorn Wilderness.

      (5) Certain lands in the Routt National Forest which comprise approximately 17,300 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Davis Peak Additions to the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Mount Zirkel Wilderness designated by Public Law 88-555.

      (6) Certain lands in the San Isabel National Forest which comprise approximately 22,040 acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Greenhorn Mountain Wilderness.

      (7) Certain lands in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests which comprise approximately 32,000 acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Fossil Ridge Wilderness Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Fossil Ridge Wilderness Area.

      (8) Certain lands within the Pike and San Isabel National Forests which comprise approximately 13,830 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Lost Creek Wilderness Proposal’, dated May 1991, which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Lost Creek Wilderness designated by Public Law 96-560: Provided, That the Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the ‘Secretary’) is authorized to acquire, only by donation or exchange, various mineral reservations held by the State of Colorado within the boundaries of the Lost Creek Wilderness additions designated by this Act.

      (9) Certain lands in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests which comprise approximately 5,000 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Oh-Be-Joyful Addition to the Raggeds Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Raggeds Wilderness designated by Public Law 96-560.

      (10) Certain lands in the San Juan National Forest which comprise approximately 56,000 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Piedra Wilderness’, dated July 1991 and which shall be known as the Piedra Wilderness: Provided, That no motorized travel shall be permitted on Forest Service trail number 535, except for snowmobile travel during periods of adequate snow cover.

      (11) Certain lands in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests which comprise approximately 18,000 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Roubideau Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Roubideau Wilderness.

      (12) Certain lands in the Rio Grande National Forest which comprise approximately 207,330 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Sangre de Cristo Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.

      (13) Certain lands in the Routt National Forest which comprise approximately 44,000 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Service Creek Wilderness Proposal’, dated May 1991, which shall be known as the Sarvis Creek Wilderness: Provided, That the Secretary is authorized to acquire by purchase, donation, or exchange, lands or interests therein within the boundaries of the Sarvis Creek Wilderness only with the consent of the owner thereof.

      (14) Certain lands in the San Juan National Forest which comprise approximately 15,920 acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘South San Juan Expansion Wilderness--Proposal’, (V-Rock Trail and Montezuma Peak), dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the South San Juan Wilderness designated by Public Law 96-560.

      (15) Certain lands in the White River National Forest which comprise approximately 8,330 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Spruce Creek Additions to the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness designated by Public Law 95-327: Provided, That no right, or claim of right, to the diversion and use of the waters of Hunter Creek, the Fryingpan or Roaring Fork Rivers, or any tributaries of said creeks or rivers, by the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project, Public Law 87-590, and the reauthorization thereof by Public Law 93-493, as modified as proposed in the September 1959 report of the Bureau of Reclamation entitled ‘Ruedi Dam and Reservoir, Colorado,’ and as further modified and described in the description of the proposal contained in the final environmental statement for said project, dated April 16, 1975, under the laws of the State of Colorado, shall be prejudiced, expanded, diminished, altered, or affected by this Act. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to expand, abate, impair, impede, or interfere with the construction, maintenance, or repair of said Fryingpan-Arkansas Project facilities, nor the operation thereof, pursuant to the Operating Principles, House Document 187, Eighty-third Congress, and pursuant to the water laws of the State of Colorado: And provided further, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to impede, limit, or prevent the use of the Fryingpan-Arkansas Project of its diversion systems to their full extent.

      (16) Certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest which comprise approximately 7,630 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘St. Louis Peak Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as Byers Peak Wilderness.

      (17) Certain lands in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests and in the Bureau of Land Management Montrose District which comprise approximately 16,740 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Tabeguache Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Tabeguache Wilderness.

      (18) Certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest which comprise approximately 12,300 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Vasquez Peak Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Vasquez Peak Wilderness.

      (19) Certain lands in the San Juan National Forest which comprise approximately 28,740 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘West Needle Wilderness and Weminuche Wilderness Addition--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which are hereby incorporated in and shall be deemed to be a part of the Weminuche Wilderness designated by Public Law 93-632.

      (20) Certain lands in the Rio Grande National Forest which comprise approximately 23,100 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Wheeler Additions to the La Garita Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be incorporated into and shall be deemed to be a part of the La Garita Wilderness.

      (21) Certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest which comprise approximately 12,100 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Williams Fork Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, and which shall be known as the Farr Wilderness.

      (22) Certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest which comprise approximately 6,400 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Bowen Gulch Additions to Never Summer Wilderness--Proposal’, dated May 1991, which are hereby incorporated into and shall be deemed to be a part of the Never Summer Wilderness.

    (b) MAPS AND DESCRIPTION- As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the appropriate Secretary shall file a map and a legal description of each area designated as wilderness by this Act with the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the United States House of Representatives. Each map and description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary is authorized to correct clerical and typographical errors in such legal descriptions and maps. Such maps and legal descriptions shall be on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and the Office of the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior, as appropriate.

SEC. 3. WATER RIGHTS.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      (1) since virtually all of the lands designated as wilderness by this Act lie at the headwaters of streams and rivers that arise on those lands, the designation of these lands as wilderness poses few, if any, conflicts with existing water users in view of the provisions of this Act, and the land management agencies can protect these wilderness lands and their water-related resources without asserting either implied or express reserved water rights;

      (2) these particular headwaters areas are not appropriate for new water projects;

      (3) while the Piedra Wilderness designated by section 2(a)(10) of this Act is located downstream of numerous State-granted conditional and absolute water rights, the Forest Service can adequately protect the water-related resources of this wilderness area by working in coordination with the Colorado Water Conservation Board through a contractual agreement between the Secretary and the Board (as provided in subsection (e) of this section) to protect and enforce instream flow filings established pursuant to the provisions of section 37-92-102(3) of the Colorado Revised Statutes by the Colorado Water Court for Division 7; and

      (4) the water-related values of the existing Platte River Wilderness will be adequately protected by the terms of the equitable apportionment decree that the United States Supreme Court has issued for allocation of the waters of the North Platte River and its tributaries.

    (b) WATER RIGHTS- (1) Nothing in this Act or any other Act of Congress shall constitute or be construed to constitute either an express or implied reservation of water or water rights arising from--

      (A) wilderness designation for the lands designated as wilderness by this Act;

      (B) the establishment of the Fossil Ridge National Conservation Area pursuant to section 6 of this Act; or

      (C) the establishment of the Bowen Gulch Backcountry Recreation Area pursuant to section 7 of this Act.

    (2) The United States may acquire such water rights as it deems necessary to carry out its responsibilities on any lands designated as wilderness by this Act pursuant to the substantive and procedural requirements of the State of Colorado: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize the use of eminent domain to acquire water rights for such lands.

    (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no officer of the United States shall authorize or issue a permit for the development of a new water resource facility within the wilderness areas designated by this Act: Provided, That nothing in this Act shall affect irrigation, pumping and transmission facilities, and water facilities in existence within the boundaries of such wilderness areas, nor shall anything in this Act be construed to limit operation, maintenance, repair, modification or replacement of existing facilities as provided in paragraph (f) of this section.

    (c) PIEDRA WILDERNESS- The Secretary shall enter into an agreement with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to protect and enforce instream flow filings established pursuant to the provisions of section 37-92-102(3) of the Colorado Revised Statutes by the Water Court of Water Division 7 of the State of Colorado, and neither the United States nor any other person shall assert any rights for water in the Piedra River for wilderness purposes except those established pursuant to the provisions of section 37-92-102(3) of the Colorado Revised Statutes by the Water Court of Water Division 7 of the State of Colorado.

    (d) NORTH PLATTE RIVER- Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act or any prior Acts of Congress to the contrary, neither the United States nor any other person shall assert any rights which may be determined to have been established for waters of the North Platte River for purposes of the Platte River Wilderness established by Public Law 98-550, located on the Colorado-Wyoming State boundary, to the extent such rights would limit the use or development of water within Colorado by present and future holders of valid water rights in the North Platte River and its tributaries, to the full extent allowed under interstate compact or United States Supreme Court equitable decree. Any such rights shall be junior and subordinate to use or development of Colorado’s full entitlement to interstate waters of the North Platte River and its tributaries within Colorado allowed under interstate compact or United States Supreme Court equitable decree.

    (e) INTERSTATE COMPACTS- Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to alter, modify, or amend any interstate compact or equitable apportionment decree affecting the allocation of water between or among the State of Colorado and other States nor the full use and development of such waters, and nothing in this title shall affect or limit the use or development by holders of valid water rights of Colorado’s full apportionment of such waters.

    (f) ACCESS- Reasonable access shall be allowed to existing water diversion, carriage, storage and ancillary facilities within the wilderness areas designated by this Act, including motorized access where necessary and customarily employed on existing routes. The present diversion, carriage and storage capacity of existing water facilities, and the present condition of existing access routes, may be operated, maintained, repaired and replaced as necessary to maintain serviceable conditions: Provided, That, unless authorized by applicable statute: (i) the original function and impact of an existing facility or access route on wilderness values shall not be increased as a result of changes in operation; (ii) existing facilities and access routes shall be maintained and repaired when necessary to prevent increased impacts on wilderness values; and (iii) the original function and impact of existing facilities and access routes on wilderness values shall not be increased subsequent to maintenance, repair, or replacement.

    (g) PRECEDENTS- Nothing in this section shall be construed as establishing a precedent with regard to any future wilderness designations, nor shall it constitute an interpretation of any other Act or any wilderness designation made pursuant thereto.

SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION OF THE WILDERNESS AREAS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- (1) Subject to valid existing rights, each wilderness area designation by this Act shall be administered by the Secretary or the Secretary of the Interior, as appropriate, in accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) and this Act, except that, with respect to any wilderness areas designated by this Act, any reference in the Wilderness Act to the effective date of the Wilderness Act shall be deemed to be a reference to the date of enactment of this Act.

    (2) Administrative jurisdiction over those lands designated as wilderness pursuant to paragraphs (1), (2), and (12) of section 2(a) of this Act, and which, as of the date of enactment of this Act, are administered by the Bureau of Land Management, is hereby transferred to the Forest Service.

    (b) GRAZING- (1) Grazing of livestock in wilderness areas designated by this Act shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)), as further interpreted by section 108 of Public Law 96-560.

    (2) REVIEW- The Secretary of the Interior is directed to review all policies, practices, and regulations of the Bureau of Land Management-administered wilderness areas in Colorado to ensure that such policies, practices, and regulations full conform with and implement the intent of Congress regarding grazing in such areas as such intent is expressed in this Act.

    (c) STATE JURISDICTION- As provided in section 4(d)(7) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(7)), nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction or responsibilities of the State of Colorado with respect to wildlife and fish in Colorado.

    (d) REPEAL OF WILDERNESS STUDY AND FURTHER PLANNING AREAS STATUS- (1) Public Law 96-560 is amended by striking sections 105(c) and 106(b).

    (2) Section 2(e) of the Endangered American Wilderness Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 41) is amended by striking ‘Subject to’ and all that follows through ‘System’.

    (e) BUFFER ZONES- Congress does not intend that the designation by this Act of wilderness area areas in the State of Colorado creates or implies the creation of protective perimeters or buffer zones around any wilderness area. The fact that non-wilderness activities or uses can be seen or heard from within a wilderness areas shall not, of itself, preclude such activities or uses up to the boundary of the wilderness area.

SEC. 5. WILDERNESS REVIEW CONCERNS.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds that--

      (1) the Department of Agriculture has adequately met the wilderness study requirements of Public Law 96-560, Public Law 95-237, and section 12(g) of Public Law 98-141;

      (2) the initial Land and Resource Management Plans and associated environmental impact statements (hereinafter referred to as ‘land and resource management plans’) for the National Forests in the State of Colorado have been completed as required by section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1976;

      (3) the Department of Agriculture, with substantial public input, has reviewed the wilderness potential of these and other areas; and

      (4) the Congress has made its own examination of National Forest System roadless areas in the State of Colorado and of the environmental impacts associated with alternative allocations of such areas.

    (b) On the basis of such review, the Congress hereby determines and directs that--

      (1) with respect to the National Forest System lands in the State of Colorado that were reviewed by the Department of Agriculture in wilderness studies conducted pursuant to Public Law 95-237, Public Law 96-560, and section 12(g) of Public Law 98-141, and the initial land and resource management plans, such reviews shall be deemed for the purposes of the initial land and resource management plans required for such lands by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, to be an adequate consideration of the suitability of such lands for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Department of Agriculture shall not be required to review the wilderness option prior to the revision of the plans but shall review the wilderness option when the plans are revised, which revisions will ordinarily occur on a 10-year cycle, or at least every 15 years, unless prior to such time the Secretary finds that conditions in a unit have significantly changed;

      (2) except as may be specifically provided in sections 6 and 7 of this Act, those areas in the State of Colorado referred to in subparagraph (1) of this subsection which were not designated as wilderness shall be managed for multiple use in accordance with land and resource management plans pursuant to section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976: Provided, That such areas need not be managed for the purpose of protecting their suitability for wilderness designation prior to or during revision of the initial land and resource management plans;

      (3) in the event that revised land and resource management plans in the State of Colorado are implemented pursuant to section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and other applicable laws, areas not recommended for wilderness designation need not be managed for the purpose of protecting their suitability for wilderness designation prior to or during revision of such plans, and areas recommended for wilderness designation shall be managed for the purpose of protecting their suitability for wilderness designation as may be required by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, and other applicable law; and

      (4) unless expressly authorized by Congress, the Department of Agriculture shall not conduct any further statewide roadless area review and evaluation of National Forest System lands in the State of Colorado for the purpose of determining their suitability for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

    (c) REVISIONS- As used in this section, and as provided in section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, as amended by the National Forest Management Act of 1976, the term ‘revision’ shall not include an amendment to a plan.

    (d) APPLICATION OF SECTION- The provisions of this section shall also apply to those National Forest System roadless lands in the State of Colorado that are less than 5,000 acres in size.

SEC. 6. FOSSIL RIDGE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- (1) In order to conserve, protect, and enhance the scenic, wildlife, recreational, and other natural resource values of the Fossil Ridge area, there is hereby established the Fossil Ridge National Conservation Area (hereinafter referred to as the ‘conservation area’).

    (2) The conservation area shall consist of certain lands in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests, Colorado, which comprise approximately 43,900 acres as generally depicted as ‘Area A’ on a map entitled ‘Fossil Ridge Wilderness Proposal’, dated May 1991.

    (b) ADMINISTRATION- The Secretary shall administer the conservation area in accordance with this section and the laws and regulations generally applicable to the National Forest System.

    (c) WITHDRAWAL- Subject to valid existing rights, all lands within the conservation area are hereby withdrawn from all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws, including all amendments thereto.

    (d) TIMBER HARVESTING- No timber harvesting shall be allowed within the conservation area except for the minimum necessary to protect the forest from insects and disease, and for public safety.

    (e) LIVESTOCK GRAZING- The designation of the conservation area shall not be construed to prohibit, or change the administration of, the grazing of livestock within the conservation area.

    (f) DEVELOPMENT- No developed campgrounds shall be constructed within the conservation area. After the date of enactment of this Act, no new roads or trails may be constructed within the conservation area.

    (g) OFF-ROAD RECREATION- Motorized travel shall be permitted within the conservation area only on those designated trails and routes existing as of July 1, 1991.

SEC. 7. BOWEN GULCH BACKCOUNTRY RECREATION AREA.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT- (1) There is hereby established in the Arapaho National Forest, Colorado, the Bowen Gulch backcountry recreation area (hereinafter referred to as the ‘backcountry recreation area’).

    (2) The backcountry recreation area shall consist of certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest, Colorado, which comprise approximately 6,800 acres as generally depicted as ‘Area A’ on a map entitled ‘Bowen Gulch Additions to Never Summer Wilderness Proposal’, dated May, 1991.

    (b) ADMINISTRATION- The Secretary shall administer the backcountry recreation area in accordance with this section and the laws and regulations generally applicable to the National Forest System.

    (c) WITHDRAWAL- Subject to valid existing rights, all lands within the backcountry recreation area are hereby withdrawn from all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws, from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws, and from disposition under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws, including all amendments thereto.

    (d) DEVELOPMENT- No developed campgrounds shall be constructed within the backcountry recreation area. After the date of enactment of this Act, no new roads or trails may be constructed within the backcountry recreation area.

    (e) TIMBER HARVESTING- No timber harvesting shall be allowed within the backcountry recreation area except for the minimum necessary to protect the forest from insects and disease, and for public safety.

    (f) MOTORIZED TRAVEL- Motorized travel shall be permitted within the backcountry recreation area only on those designated trails and routes existing as of July 1, 1991 and only during periods of adequate snow cover. At all other times, mechanized, nonmotorized travel shall be permitted within the backcountry recreation area.

    (g) MANAGEMENT PLAN- During the preparation of the revision of the Land and Resource Management Plan for the Arapaho National Forest, the Forest Service shall develop a management plan for the backcountry recreation area, after providing for public consultation.