< Back to H.R. 4850 (105th Congress, 1997–1998)

Text of the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Act of 1998

This bill was introduced on October 16, 1998, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Oct 16, 1998 (Introduced).

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HR 4850 IH

105th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4850

To designate as wilderness certain lands within Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 16, 1998

Mr. SKAGGS introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources


A BILL

To designate as wilderness certain lands within Rocky Mountain National Park, in Colorado.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND PURPOSE.

    (a) SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the ‘Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness Act of 1998’.

    (b) PURPOSE- The purpose of this Act is to include certain lands within Rocky Mountain National Park in the National Wilderness Preservation System in order to protect their enduring scenic and historic wilderness character and unique wildlife values as well as their scientific, educational, inspirational, and recreational resources, values, and opportunities.

SEC. 2. WILDERNESS DESIGNATION AND MAP.

    (a) DESIGNATION- (1) In furtherance of the purpose of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), certain lands within Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, which comprise approximately 249,562 acres, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness--Proposed’ and dated June, 1998, are hereby designated as wilderness and, therefore, as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System and shall be known as the Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness.

    (b) MAP AND DESCRIPTION- As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall file a map and a boundary description of the lands designated as wilderness by this section with the Committee on Resources of the United States House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate. Such 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 map and description. Such map and description shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Director of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

SEC. 3. ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.

    (a)(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to valid existing rights, lands designated as wilderness by this Act shall be managed by the Secretary of the Interior in accordance with the Wilderness Act and this Act, except that, with respect to the lands designated as wilderness 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) POTENTIAL WILDERNESS-

      (A) DEFINITION- As used in this paragraph, the term ‘potential wilderness lands’ means:

        (i) lands within the boundaries of the areas designated as wilderness by this Act that are identified as ‘potential wilderness’ on the map referred to in section 2(a); and

        (ii) lands and interests therein acquired by the United States on or after the date of enactment of this Act that are located within the boundaries of Rocky Mountain National Park and contiguous with lands designated as wilderness by this Act.

      (B) MANAGEMENT- Potential wilderness lands shall be managed as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System upon publication in the Federal Register of a notice by the Secretary of the Interior that all uses thereon inconsistent with the Wilderness Act have ceased.

    (b) WATER RIGHTS- (1) The Congress finds that, according to decisions of courts of the State of Colorado, the United States has existing rights to substantial quantities of water within Rocky Mountain National Park, and that consequently there is no need for this Act to effect a reservation by the United States of any additional water rights to fulfill the purposes for which the wilderness designations made by this Act are made.

    (2) Nothing in this Act or any action taken pursuant thereto shall constitute either an express or implied reservation of water or water rights for any purpose.

    (c) COLORADO-BIG THOMPSON PROJECT-

      (1) EXISTING ACTIVITIES- Activities on, under, or affecting the lands designated as wilderness by this Act relating to the monitoring, operation, maintenance, repair, replacement, or use of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and its facilities which were allowed as of June 1, 1998, shall be allowed to continue, and shall not be affected by the designation of such lands as wilderness.

      (2) NEW ACTIVITIES- In addition to the activities described in paragraph (1), any other activities on, under, or affecting the lands designated as wilderness by this Act that are necessary to respond to catastrophic events or emergencies and that affect the continued operation, maintenance, repair, replacement or use of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and its facilities shall be allowed, subject to reasonable restrictions established by the Secretary of the Interior in order to protect the wilderness values of such lands; Provided, however, That any such restrictions shall not permanently reduce the water supply capability of the Colorado-Big Thompson Project or the Windy Gap Project.

      (3) OTHER PROJECTS- Nothing in section 1 of the Act of January 26, 1915 (16 U.S.C. 191; 38 State. 798) shall be construed to permit development within the lands designated as wilderness by this Act of any reclamation project not in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.

    (d) EXCLUSIONS- (1) Boundaries for the wilderness and potential wilderness areas designated by this Act specifically exclude--

      (A) the Grand Ditch (including both the main canal of the Grand Ditch and a branch thereof known as the Specimen Ditch) and its right-of-way as well as associated appurtenances, structures, buildings, camps, and work sites in existence as of June 1, 1998; and

      (B) lands owned by the St. Vrain & Left Hand Water Conservancy District, including Copeland Reservoir and the inlet ditch to such reservoir from the North St. Vrain Creek, amounting to approximately 35.38 acres.

    (2) Nothing in this Act shall affect management or use of any lands not included within the boundaries of the areas designated as wilderness or potential wilderness by this Act.

    (e) NO BUFFER ZONES- Congress does not intend that the designation by this Act of wilderness areas in the State of Colorado creates or implies the creation of protective perimeters or buffer zones around any wilderness area. The fact that nonwilderness activities or uses can be seen or heard from within a wilderness area shall not, of itself, preclude such activities or uses up to the boundary of the wilderness area.