< Back to H.R. 5236 (103rd Congress, 1993–1994)

Text of the Opal Creek Forest Preserve Act of 1994

This bill was introduced on October 7, 1994, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 7, 1994 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

HR 5236 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5236

To provide for the establishment and management of the Opal Creek Forest Preserve in the State of Oregon.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 7 (legislative day, OCTOBER 6), 1994

Mr. KOPETSKI introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Natural Resources and Agriculture


A BILL

To provide for the establishment and management of the Opal Creek Forest Preserve in the State of Oregon.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Opal Creek Forest Preserve Act of 1994’.

    (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Findings and purpose.

      Sec. 3. Definitions.

      Sec. 4. Opal Creek Forest Preserve.

      Sec. 5. Administration of the Preserve.

      Sec. 6. Prohibitions regarding the management of the Preserve.

      Sec. 7. Access to and acquisition of non-Federal land.

      Sec. 8. Authority of the Secretary and responsible parties to conduct environmental response actions or pursue liability.

      Sec. 9. Grandfather clause.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) FINDINGS- The Congress finds the following:

      (1) Old-growth forests are unique ecosystems that serve as critical habitat for hundreds of vertebrate and invertebrate animals, plants, and fungi.

      (2) Old-growth forests provide clean and plentiful water and support streams and rivers containing runs of anadromous and resident cold water fish, which are wholly dependent on high quantity and quality water for migration, spawning, rearing, and cover.

      (3) The high quantity and quality of water in streams and rivers in old-growth forests can only be maintained by protecting the watersheds of these streams and rivers.

      (4) Old-growth forests provide unique and outstanding opportunities for educational study, scientific research, and recreation.

      (5) The establishment of a watershed and forest preserve to protect areas of old-growth forests and surface waters can contribute significantly to the quality of life for the residents of the State of Oregon through education, recreation, and a protected water supply.

      (6) The area known as the Opal Creek Forest, located on the upper Little North Fork of the Santiam River in the State of Oregon, contains one of the largest remaining intact old-growth forest ecosystems in the Western Oregon Cascades. Although the landscape mosaic in the Opal Creek Forest may reflect some past logging, young stands of trees in the area mainly owe their existence to natural disturbances, chiefly wildfire.

      (7) The Opal Creek Forest contains outstanding geological and botanical features and contains attributes of historic and prehistoric importance.

      (8) The recreational use of the Opal Creek Forest, typically in the form of hiking, sightseeing, and the general enjoyment of the outdoor environment, is significant and likely to increase.

      (9) It is desirable to limit the human-related disturbances and development of the Opal Creek Forest in order to protect fully the special features of the forest and maintain the full potential of its watershed for scientific, educational, and research purposes.

      (10) Preservation of the Opal Creek Forest provides outstanding opportunities for scientists to conduct research regarding old-growth forests and for educators to provide scientifically credible information to the public.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to protect and preserve the forests and watersheds contained in the Opal Creek Forest Preserve;

      (2) consistent with paragraph (1), to promote and conduct--

        (A) research in the Preserve regarding old-growth forests in a manner that does not include the harvesting of timber or otherwise damage the ecosystem; and

        (B) educational programs in the Preserve on old-growth forests and cultural and historic resources in the Preserve; and

      (3) consistent with paragraphs (1) and (2), to permit and regulate recreation in the Preserve.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this Act:

      (1) PRESERVE- The term ‘Preserve’ means the Opal Creek Forest Preserve established in section 4(a).

      (2) MANAGEMENT PLAN- The term ‘management plan’ means the management plan for the Preserve developed pursuant to section 5(b).

      (3) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Agriculture.

SEC. 4. OPAL CREEK FOREST PRESERVE.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF PRESERVE- There is hereby established the Opal Creek Forest Preserve in order to protect and preserve the forests and watersheds in the Preserve and to promote the research, educational, and recreational purposes of this Act.

    (b) DESCRIPTION OF PRESERVE- The Preserve shall consist of those Federal lands located in the Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests in the State of Oregon that are generally depicted on the map dated August 1994, and entitled the ‘Opal Creek Preserve Area’. The Preserve shall also include such lands as may be added under section 7 of this Act. The map referred to in this subsection shall be kept on file and made available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture.

SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATION OF THE PRESERVE.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall administer the Preserve in accordance with this Act and with the laws, rules, and regulations applicable to National Forest System lands in a manner that will further the purposes of this Act.

    (b) MANAGEMENT PLAN- The Secretary shall prepare a comprehensive management plan for the Preserve to achieve the purposes of this Act. The management plan shall be considered to be a nonsignificant amendment to the Willamette and Mt. Hood Forest Land and Resource Management Plans. The management plan shall be prepared with public involvement which shall include consultation with interested individuals and organizations. The Secretary may enter into memoranda of understanding with interested parties to accomplish the purposes of this Act. The management plan shall include analysis and direction on the use of campfires within the Preserve.

    (c) PROTECTION OF CULTURAL AND HISTORIC RESOURCES- Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall review and revise the inventory of the cultural and historic resources in the area covered by the Preserve, which was originally developed pursuant to the Oregon Wilderness Act of 1984 (Public Law 98-328; 16 U.S.C. 1131 note). The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress describing the results of the review of such inventory.

    (d) APPLICABILITY OF MINING, MINERAL LEASING, AND DISPOSAL LAWS-

      (1) RESTRICTION- After the date of the enactment of this Act--

        (A) lands within the Preserve shall not be open to the location of mining claims and mill and tunnel sites under the general mining laws of the United States;

        (B) the Secretary shall not issue any lease under the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 and following) or the Geothermal Steam Act of 1970 (30 U.S.C. 100 and following) for lands within the Preserve; and

        (C) lands within the Preserve shall not be available for disposal of mineral materials under the Act of July 31, 1947, commonly known as the Materials Act of 1947 (30 U.S.C. 601 and following).

      (2) ACQUIRED LANDS- The restriction provided by paragraph (1) shall also apply to any Federal lands added to the Preserve after the date of the enactment of this Act, except that the restriction shall apply to such lands only upon addition to the Preserve.

    (e) PRIVATE INHOLDINGS- The Secretary may cooperate with, and provide technical assistance to, private landowners, organizations, and other entities holding private lands within the boundaries of the Preserve to promote the use and management of such lands in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Act.

SEC. 6. PROHIBITIONS REGARDING THE MANAGEMENT OF THE PRESERVE.

    (a) PROHIBITION ON LOGGING OR OTHER TIMBER HARVESTING-

      (1) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in paragraph (2), the cutting of trees in the Preserve is prohibited.

      (2) EXCEPTIONS- The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) shall not apply to the extent that the Secretary determines that the cutting of specific trees in the Preserve is necessary--

        (A) for public safety, such as to control the spread of a forest fire in the Preserve or on lands adjacent to the Preserve; or

        (B) for administrative use related to activities permitted in the Preserve.

      (3) LIMITATION ON EXCEPTION- The cutting of trees authorized under paragraph (2) may not include salvage sales or harvests of commercial quantities of timber in the Preserve.

      (4) COLLECTION OF DOWNED WOOD- The collection of downed wood for firewood by permit may be allowed in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Act.

    (b) PROHIBITION ON OFF ROAD MOTORIZED TRAVEL-

      (1) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subject to valid existing rights, the use of motor vehicles off or outside of the established roadbed of roads in the Preserve is prohibited.

      (2) EXCEPTION- The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) shall not apply to the extent that the Secretary determines that the use of a motor vehicle off or outside of the established roadbed of a road in the Preserve is necessary for administrative purposes or to respond to an emergency.

    (c) PROHIBITION ON USE OF CERTAIN ROADS-

      (1) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subject to valid existing rights, the use of motor vehicles is prohibited on the following roads located in the Preserve:

        (A) Forest road 2209 from the gate in existence on the date of the enactment of this Act eastward to the intersection of the road with the wilderness boundary.

        (B) Forest roads 290 and 330, which are spur roads to the road described in subparagraph (A).

      (2) EXCEPTIONS- The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) shall not apply to the extent that the Secretary determines that the use of the roads described in such paragraph is necessary for administrative purposes or to respond to an emergency.

      (3) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit inholders and claim holders of valid mining claims from using the roads described in paragraph (1) for ingress and egress to their inholdings or valid mining claims, subject to such reasonable terms and conditions, consistent with the purposes of this Act, as the Secretary may prescribe. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit motor vehicle traffic on other roads established in the Preserve, in particular those forest roads providing access for claim holders of valid mining claims for the use of lands in the Preserve or within the Cedar Creek watershed within two miles outside of the boundaries of the Preserve.

    (d) PROHIBITION ON ROAD CONSTRUCTION-

      (1) PROHIBITION- Except as provided in paragraph (2) and subsection (e), and subject to valid existing rights, the construction of new roads is prohibited in the Preserve.

      (2) EXCEPTIONS- The prohibition contained in paragraph (1) shall not apply to the extent that the Secretary determines that the construction of new roads, or the improvement of existing roads, in the Preserve is necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act or to provide access to inholdings or for claim holders of valid mining claims for the use of lands in the Preserve or within the Cedar Creek watershed within two miles outside of the boundaries of the Preserve. The Secretary may maintain or improve roads in the Preserve to the extent the Secretary determines that such maintenance or improvements are necessary to accomplish the purposes of this Act, to provide for the protection of the natural resources of the Preserve, to provide for public safety, or to ensure access for inholders and claims holders of valid mining claims for the use of lands in the Preserve or within the Cedar Creek watershed within two miles outside of the boundaries of the Preserve.

      (3) LIMITATION ON EXCEPTION- The construction or improvement of roads in the Preserve pursuant to paragraph (2) or subsection (e) may not include paving or any work beyond 50 feet on either side of the centerline of the road bed.

    (e) UTILITIES AND ACCOMPANYING ROAD- In compliance with applicable laws and the Willamette National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, the Secretary may allow the installation and maintenance of power lines and water lines (and an accompanying service road) through the Preserve to serve authorized activities conducted on land within the Cedar Creek watershed within two miles outside of the boundaries of the Preserve.

SEC. 7. ACCESS TO AND ACQUISITION OF NON-FEDERAL LAND.

    (a) INVENTORY AND ACQUISITION OF NON-FEDERAL LANDS- The Secretary shall conduct an inventory of all non-Federal lands and interests in lands within the boundaries of the Preserve. The Secretary may acquire such inventoried lands (or interests in such lands) for inclusion in the Preserve. The Secretary may not acquire, for inclusion in the Preserve, any lands or interests in lands within the boundaries of the Preserve without the consent of the owner, unless the Secretary determines that the land is being developed or managed (or is proposed to be developed or managed) in a manner inconsistent with the purposes of this Act. Nothing in this Act may be construed to prevent the Secretary from increasing the size of the Preserve.

    (b) SPECIAL RULE FOR SANTIAM NO. 1 LODE MINING CLAIM- Notwithstanding subsection (a), the parcel of real property located within the boundaries of the Preserve that is known as the Santiam No. 1 lode mining claim and identified in section 8140 of the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 1992 (Public Law 102-172; 105 Stat. 1213), may be acquired by the Secretary only--

      (1) by purchase for an amount equal to not more than the sum of--

        (A) the amount that the original patentee of the parcel paid for the parcel; and

        (B) the cost of any improvements made to the parcel by the patentee; or

      (2) by donation.

    (c) RIGHTS-OF-WAY- Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the authority of the Secretary to acquire road and trail rights-of-way on lands in the Preserve under existing authorities.

    (d) ACCESS AND UTILITIES TO INHOLDINGS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In the case of private inholdings located within the boundaries of the Preserve, the Secretary shall authorize the use of Federal land in the Preserve by the holder of the inholding to assure adequate access to the inholding under applicable law.

      (2) JAWBONE FLATS- With respect to the inholding known as the Jawbone Flats area, the Secretary shall authorize the use of Federal land in the Preserve by the owners of the inholding to provide for access and utilities for a facility in the inholding if the Secretary determines that the facility (and use of the facility) is consistent with the purposes of this Act.

      (3) TERMS AND CONDITIONS- The use of Federal land in the Preserve under this subsection shall be subject to such reasonable terms and conditions, consistent with the purposes of this Act, as the Secretary may prescribe.

SEC. 8. AUTHORITY OF THE SECRETARY AND RESPONSIBLE PARTIES TO CONDUCT ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE ACTIONS OR PURSUE LIABILITY.

    (a) REMEDIATION ACTIVITIES- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary or a responsible party to conduct environmental remediation activities in the Preserve in connection with the release, threatened release, or clean up of any hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant, including response actions conducted pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.).

    (b) LIABILITY- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit the authority of the Secretary or a responsible party to address questions of liability related to the release, threatened release, or clean up of any hazardous substance or pollutant or contaminant in the Preserve.

SEC. 9. GRANDFATHER CLAUSE.

    Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect the operation of any timber sale contract entered into, or interfere with any activity for which a special use permit has been issued (and not revoked), before the date of the enactment of this Act, subject to the terms of the contract or permit.