skip to main content

H.R. 233 (109th): Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act

The text of the bill below is as of Oct 3, 2006 (Passed Congress).


H.R.233

One Hundred Ninth Congress

of the

United States of America

AT THE SECOND SESSION

Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,

the third day of January, two thousand and six

An Act

To designate certain National Forest System lands in the Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests and certain Bureau of Land Management lands in Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, and Napa Counties in the State of California as wilderness, to designate the Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area, to designate certain segments of the Black Butte River in Mendocino County, California as a wild or scenic river, 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 AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Northern California Coastal Wild Heritage Wilderness Act'.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Definition of Secretary.

      Sec. 3. Designation of wilderness areas.

      Sec. 4. Administration of wilderness areas.

      Sec. 5. Release of wilderness study areas.

      Sec. 6. Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness Area.

      Sec. 7. Wild and scenic river designation.

      Sec. 8. King Range National Conservation Area boundary adjustment.

      Sec. 9. Cow Mountain Recreation Area, Lake and Mendocino Counties, California.

      Sec. 10. Continuation of traditional commercial surf fishing, Redwood National and State Parks.

SEC. 2. DEFINITION OF SECRETARY.

    In this Act, the term `Secretary' means--

      (1) with respect to land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Agriculture; and

      (2) with respect to land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF WILDERNESS AREAS.

    In accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the following areas in the State of California are designated as wilderness areas and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System:

      (1) SNOW MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS ADDITION-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Certain land in the Mendocino National Forest, comprising approximately 23,706 acres, as generally depicted on the maps described in subparagraph (B), is incorporated in and shall considered to be a part of the `Snow Mountain Wilderness', as designated by section 101(a)(31) of the California Wilderness Act of 1984 (16 U.S.C. 1132 note; Public Law 98-425).

        (B) DESCRIPTION OF MAPS- The maps referred to in subparagraph (A) are--

          (i) the map entitled `Skeleton Glade Unit, Snow Mountain Proposed Wilderness Addition, Mendocino National Forest' and dated April 21, 2005; and

          (ii) the map entitled `Bear Creek/Deafy Glade Unit, Snow Mountain Wilderness Addition, Mendocino National Forest' and dated July 21, 2006.

      (2) SANHEDRIN WILDERNESS- Certain land in the Mendocino National Forest, comprising approximately 10,571 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Sanhedrin Proposed Wilderness, Mendocino National Forest' and dated April 21, 2005, which shall be known as the `Sanhedrin Wilderness'.

      (3) YUKI WILDERNESS- Certain land in the Mendocino National Forest and certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Lake and Mendocino Counties, California, together comprising approximately 53,887 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Yuki Proposed Wilderness' and dated May 23, 2005, which shall be known as the `Yuki Wilderness'.

      (4) YOLLA BOLLY-MIDDLE EEL WILDERNESS ADDITION- Certain land in the Mendocino National Forest and certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Mendocino County, California, together comprising approximately 27,036 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Middle Fork Eel, Smokehouse and Big Butte Units, Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Proposed Wilderness Addition' and dated June 7, 2005, is incorporated in and shall considered to be a part of the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness, as designated by section 3 of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1132).

      (5) SISKIYOU WILDERNESS ADDITION-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Certain land in the Six Rivers National Forest, comprising approximately 30,122 acres, as generally depicted on the maps described in subparagraph (B), is incorporated in and shall be considered to be a part of the Siskiyou Wilderness, as designated by section 101(a)(30) of the California Wilderness Act of 1984 (16 U.S.C. 1132 note; Public Law 98-425).

        (B) DESCRIPTION OF MAPS- The maps referred to in subparagraph (A) are--

          (i) the map entitled `Bear Basin Butte Unit, Siskiyou Proposed Wilderness Additions, Six Rivers National Forest' and dated June 28, 2005; and

          (ii) the map entitled `Blue Creek Unit, Siskiyou Proposed Wilderness Addition, Six Rivers National Forest' and dated July 21, 2006;

      (6) MOUNT LASSIC WILDERNESS- Certain land in the Six Rivers National Forest, comprising approximately 7,279 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Mt. Lassic Proposed Wilderness' and dated June 7, 2005, which shall be known as the `Mount Lassic Wilderness'.

      (7) TRINITY ALPS WILDERNESS ADDITION-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Certain land in the Six Rivers National Forest, comprising approximately 22,863 acres, as generally depicted on the maps described in subparagraph (B) and which is incorporated in and shall be considered to be a part of the Trinity Alps Wilderness as designated by section 101(a)(34) of the California Wilderness Act of 1984 (16 U.S.C. 1132 note; Public Law 98-425).

        (B) DESCRIPTION OF MAPS- The maps referred to in subparagraph (A) are--

          (i) the map entitled `East Fork Unit, Trinity Alps Proposed Wilderness Addition, Six Rivers National Forest' and dated September 17, 2004;

          (ii) the map entitled `Horse Linto Unit, Trinity Alps Proposed Wilderness Addition, Six Rivers National Forest' and dated September 17, 2004; and

          (iii) the map entitled `Red Cap Unit, Trinity Alps Proposed Wilderness Addition, Six Rivers National Forest' and dated June 7, 2005.

      (8) CACHE CREEK WILDERNESS- Certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Lake County, California, comprising approximately 27,245 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Cache Creek Wilderness Area' and dated July 22, 2006, which shall be known as the `Cache Creek Wilderness'.

      (9) CEDAR ROUGHS WILDERNESS- Certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Napa County, California, comprising approximately 6,350 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Cedar Roughs Wilderness Area' and dated September 27, 2004, which shall be known as the `Cedar Roughs Wilderness'.

      (10) SOUTH FORK EEL RIVER WILDERNESS- Certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Mendocino County, California, comprising approximately 12,915 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `South Fork Eel River Wilderness Area and Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness' and dated June 16, 2005, which shall be known as the `South Fork Eel River Wilderness'.

      (11) KING RANGE WILDERNESS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties, California, comprising approximately 42,585 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `King Range Wilderness', and dated November 12, 2004, which shall be known as the `King Range Wilderness'.

        (B) APPLICABLE LAW- With respect to the wilderness designated by subparagraph (A), in the case of a conflict between this Act and Public Law 91-476 (16 U.S.C. 460y et seq.), the more restrictive provision shall control.

      (12) ROCKS AND ISLANDS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- All Federally-owned rocks, islets, and islands (whether named or unnamed and surveyed or unsurveyed) that are located--

          (i) not more than 3 geographic miles off the coast of the King Range National Conservation Area; and

          (ii) above mean high tide.

        (B) APPLICABLE LAW- In the case of a conflict between this Act and Proclamation No. 7264 (65 Fed. Reg. 2821), the more restrictive provision shall control.

SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION OF WILDERNESS AREAS.

    (a) Management- Subject to valid existing rights, each area designated as wilderness by section 3 shall be administered by the Secretary in accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), except that--

      (1) any reference in that Act to the effective date shall be considered to be a reference to the date of enactment of this Act; and

      (2) any reference in that Act to the Secretary of Agriculture shall be considered to be a reference to the Secretary that has jurisdiction over the wilderness.

    (b) Map and Description-

      (1) IN GENERAL- As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall file a map and a legal description of each wilderness area designated by section 3 with--

        (A) the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives; and

        (B) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

      (2) FORCE OF LAW- A map and legal description filed under paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct errors in the map and legal description.

      (3) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- Each map and legal description filed under paragraph (1) shall be filed and made available for public inspection in the appropriate office of the Secretary.

    (c) Incorporation of Acquired Land and Interests- Any land within the boundary of a wilderness area designated by this Act that is acquired by the Federal Government shall--

      (1) become part of the wilderness area in which the land is located; and

      (2) be managed in accordance with this Act, the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), and any other applicable law.

    (d) Withdrawal- Subject to valid rights in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal land designated as wilderness by this Act is withdrawn from all forms of--

      (1) entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws;

      (2) location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and

      (3) disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral and geothermal leasing or mineral materials.

    (e) Fire, Insect, and Disease Management Activities-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may take such measures in the wilderness areas designated by this Act as are necessary for the control and prevention of fire, insects, and diseases, in accordance with--

        (A) section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)); and

        (B) House Report No. 98-40 of the 98th Congress.

      (2) REVIEW- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall review existing policies applicable to the wilderness areas designated by this Act to ensure that authorized approval procedures for any fire management measures allow a timely and efficient response to fire emergencies in the wilderness areas.

    (f) Access to Private Property-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall provide any owner of private property within the boundary of a wilderness area designated by this Act adequate access to such property to ensure the reasonable use and enjoyment of the property by the owner.

      (2) KING RANGE WILDERNESS-

        (A) IN GENERAL- Subject to subparagraph (B), within the wilderness designated by section 3(11), the access route depicted on the map for private landowners shall also be available for persons invited by the private landowners.

        (B) LIMITATION- Nothing in subparagraph (A) requires the Secretary to provide any access to the landowners or persons invited by the landowners beyond the access that would be available if the wilderness had not been designated.

    (g) Snow Sensors and Stream Gauges- If the Secretary determines that hydrologic, meteorologic, or climatological instrumentation is appropriate to further the scientific, educational, and conservation purposes of the wilderness areas designated by this Act, nothing in this Act prevents the installation and maintenance of the instrumentation within the wilderness areas.

    (h) Military Activities- Nothing in this Act precludes low-level overflights of military aircraft, the designation of new units of special airspace, or the use or establishment of military flight training routes over wilderness areas designated by this Act.

    (i) Livestock- Grazing of livestock and the maintenance of existing facilities related to grazing in wilderness areas designated by this Act, where established before the date of enactment of this Act, shall be permitted to continue in accordance with--

      (1) section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)); and

      (2) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (H. Rept. 101-405).

    (j) Fish and Wildlife Management-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the Secretary may carry out management activities to maintain or restore fish and wildlife populations and fish and wildlife habitats in wilderness areas designated by this Act if such activities are--

        (A) consistent with applicable wilderness management plans; and

        (B) carried out in accordance with applicable guidelines and policies.

      (2) STATE JURISDICTION- Nothing in this Act affects the jurisdiction of the State of California with respect to fish and wildlife on the public land located in the State.

    (k) Use by Members of Indian Tribes-

      (1) ACCESS- In recognition of the past use of wilderness areas designated by this Act by members of Indian tribes for traditional cultural and religious purposes, the Secretary shall ensure that Indian tribes have access to the wilderness areas for traditional cultural and religious purposes.

      (2) TEMPORARY CLOSURES-

        (A) IN GENERAL- In carrying out this section, the Secretary, on request of an Indian tribe, may temporarily close to the general public 1 or more specific portions of a wilderness area to protect the privacy of the members of the Indian tribe in the conduct of the traditional cultural and religious activities in the wilderness area.

        (B) REQUIREMENT- Any closure under subparagraph (A) shall be made in such a manner as to affect the smallest practicable area for the minimum period of time necessary for the activity to be carried out.

      (3) APPLICABLE LAW- Access to the wilderness areas under this subsection shall be in accordance with--

        (A) Public Law 95-341 (commonly known as the `American Indian Religious Freedom Act') (42 U.S.C. 1996 et seq.); and

        (B) the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.).

    (l) Adjacent Management-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Nothing in section 3 creates protective perimeters or buffer zones around any wilderness area designated by section 3.

      (2) NONWILDERNESS ACTIVITIES- The fact that nonwilderness activities or uses can be seen or heard from areas within a wilderness area designated by section 3 shall not preclude the conduct of those activities or uses outside the boundary of the wilderness area.

    (m) Cherry-Stemmed Roads-

      (1) DEFINITION- In this subsection, the term `cherry-stemmed road' means a road that is excluded from the wilderness areas designated by section 3 by a non-wilderness corridor having designated wilderness on both sides, as generally depicted on the maps described in such section.

      (2) CLOSURES AND RESTRICTIONS- The Secretary shall not--

        (A) close any cherry-stemmed road that is open to the public as of the date of the enactment of this Act;

        (B) prohibit motorized access on a cherry-stemmed road that is open to the public for motorized access as of the date of the enactment of this Act; or

        (C) prohibit mechanized access on a cherry-stemmed road that is open to the public for mechanized access as of the date of the enactment of this Act.

      (3) EXCEPTIONS- Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as precluding the Secretary from closing or restricting access to a cherry-stemmed road for purposes of significant resource protection or public safety.

SEC. 5. RELEASE OF WILDERNESS STUDY AREAS.

    (a) Finding- Congress finds that, for the purposes of section 603 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782), any portion of a wilderness study area described in subsection (b) that is not designated as wilderness by section 3 or any previous Act has been adequately studied for wilderness.

    (b) Description of Study Areas- The study areas referred to in subsection (a) are--

      (1) the King Range Wilderness Study Area;

      (2) the Chemise Mountain Instant Study Area;

      (3) the Red Mountain Wilderness Study Area;

      (4) the Cedar Roughs Wilderness Study Area; and

      (5) those portions of the Rocky Creek/Cache Creek Wilderness Study Area in Lake County, California which are not in R. 5 W., T. 12 N., sec. 22, Mount Diablo Meridian.

    (c) Release- Any portion of a wilderness study area described in subsection (b) that is not designated as wilderness by section 3 or any other Act enacted before the date of enactment of this Act shall not be subject to section 603(c) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782(c)).

SEC. 6. ELKHORN RIDGE POTENTIAL WILDERNESS AREA.

    (a) Designation- In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), certain public land in the State administered by the Bureau of Land Management, compromising approximately 11,271 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled `South Fork Eel River Wilderness Area and Elkhorn Ridge Potential Wilderness' and dated June 16, 2005, is designated as a potential wilderness area.

    (b) Management- Except as provided in subsection (c) and subject to valid existing rights, the Secretary shall manage the potential wilderness area as wilderness until the potential wilderness area is designated as wilderness under subsection (d).

    (c) Ecological Restoration-

      (1) IN GENERAL- For purposes of ecological restoration (including the elimination of non-native species, removal of illegal, unused, or decommissioned roads, repair of skid tracks, and any other activities necessary to restore the natural ecosystems in the potential wilderness area), the Secretary may use motorized equipment and mechanized transport in the potential wilderness area until the potential wilderness area is designated as wilderness under subsection (d).

      (2) LIMITATION- To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall use the minimum tool or administrative practice necessary to accomplish ecological restoration with the least amount of adverse impact on wilderness character and resources.

    (d) Eventual Wilderness Designation- The potential wilderness area shall be designated as wilderness and as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System on the earlier of--

      (1) the date on which the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register notice that the conditions in the potential wilderness area that are incompatible with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) have been removed; or

      (2) the date that is 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (e) Administration as Wilderness- On its designation as wilderness under subsection (d), the potential wilderness area shall be--

      (1) known as the `Elkhorn Ridge Wilderness'; and

      (2) administered in accordance with section 4 and the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.).

SEC. 7. WILD AND SCENIC RIVER DESIGNATION.

    (a) Designation of Black Butte River, California- Section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(XX) Black Butte River, California- The following segments of the Black Butte River in the State of California, to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture:

      `(A) The 16 miles of Black Butte River, from the Mendocino County Line to its confluence with Jumpoff Creek, as a wild river.

      `(B) The 3.5 miles of Black Butte River from its confluence with Jumpoff Creek to its confluence with Middle Eel River, as a scenic river.

      `(C) The 1.5 miles of Cold Creek from the Mendocino County Line to its confluence with Black Butte River, as a wild river.'.

    (b) Plan; Report-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to Congress--

        (A) a fire management plan for the Black Butte River segments designated by the amendment made by subsection (a); and

        (B) a report on the cultural and historic resources within those segments.

      (2) TRANSMITTAL TO COUNTY- The Secretary of Agriculture shall transmit to the Board of Supervisors of Mendocino County, California, a copy of the plan and report submitted under paragraph (1).

SEC. 8. KING RANGE NATIONAL CONSERVATION AREA BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.

    Section 9 of Public Law 91-476 (16 U.S.C. 460y-8) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(d) In addition to the land described in subsections (a) and (c), the land identified as the King Range National Conservation Area Additions on the map entitled `King Range Wilderness' and dated November 12, 2004, is included in the Area.'.

SEC. 9. COW MOUNTAIN RECREATION AREA, LAKE AND MENDOCINO COUNTIES, CALIFORNIA.

    (a) Establishment- In order to enhance the recreational and scenic values of the Cow Mountain area in Lake and Mendocino Counties, California, while conserving the wildlife and other natural resource values of the area, there is hereby established the Cow Mountain Recreation Area (in this section referred to as the `recreation area') consisting of approximately 51,513 acres of land in such counties, as generally depicted on the map entitled `Cow Mountain Recreation Area' and dated July 22, 2006, including the following:

      (1) The `South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area', as generally depicted on the map.

      (2) The `North Cow Mountain Recreation Area', as generally depicted on the map.

    (b) Legal Descriptions; Correction of Errors-

      (1) PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION- As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare a map and legal descriptions of the boundaries of the recreation area. The Secretary shall submit the map and legal descriptions to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.

      (2) LEGAL EFFECT- The map and legal descriptions of the recreation area 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. The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land Management.

    (c) Administration-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior shall administer the recreation area in accordance with this section and the laws and regulations generally applicable to the public lands, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.).

      (2) EXISTING RIGHTS- The establishment of the recreation area shall be subject to all valid existing rights.

    (d) Recreational Activities-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary of the Interior shall continue to authorize, maintain, and enhance the recreational use of the land included in the recreation area, including motorized recreation, hiking, camping, mountain biking, sightseeing, and horseback riding, as long as such recreational use is consistent with this section and other applicable law.

      (2) OFF-ROAD AND MOTORIZED RECREATION- Motorized recreation shall be a prescribed use within the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area, occurring only on roads and trails designated by the Secretary for such use, except as needed for administrative purposes or to respond to an emergency. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as precluding the Secretary from closing any trail or route from use for purposes of resource protection or public safety.

      (3) MOUNTAIN BIKING- Mountain biking shall be a prescribed use within the recreation area, occurring only on roads and trails designated by the Secretary for such use. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed as precluding the Secretary from closing any trail or route from use for purposes of resource protection or public safety.

    (e) Access to Private Property- The Secretary of the Interior shall provide any owner of private property within the boundaries of the recreation area adequate access to the property to ensure the reasonable use and enjoyment of the property by the owner.

    (f) Land Acquisition-

      (1) ACQUISITION FROM WILLING PERSONS ONLY- The Secretary of the Interior may acquire lands or interests in lands in the recreation area only by--

        (A) donation;

        (B) exchange with a willing party, as expressed in a written agreement between the Secretary and the party; or

        (C) purchase from a willing seller, as expressed in a written agreement between the Secretary and the seller.

      (2) ADMINISTRATION OF ACQUIRED LANDS- Lands or interests in lands within or adjacent to the boundaries of the recreation area that are acquired by the Bureau of Land Management, and title or possession of which is vested in the United States after the date of the enactment of this Act, shall be managed by the Secretary as part of the recreation area.

    (g) Adjacent Management- Nothing in this section creates protective perimeters or buffer zones around the recreation area.

SEC. 10. CONTINUATION OF TRADITIONAL COMMERCIAL SURF FISHING, REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS.

    (a) Availability of Limited Number of Permits- For the sole purpose of continuing traditional commercial surf fishing, the Secretary of the Interior shall permit the right of entry for authorized vehicle access onto the wave slope area at that area known as Gold Bluffs Beach, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, and that portion of the beach north and south of Redwood Creek in Redwood National and State Parks. The number of permits issued under the authority of this section shall be limited to the number of valid permits that were held on the date of enactment of this Act. The permits so issued shall be perpetual and subject to the same conditions as the permits held on the date of the enactment of this Act.

    (b) Wave Slope Area Defined- In this section, the term `wave slope area' refers to the area that has been wet by the wave action of the previous high tide, but does not include any vegetated areas.

Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Vice President of the United States and

President of the Senate.