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S. 225 (109th): Federal Land Recreational Visitor Protection Act of 2005

The text of the bill below is as of Jul 27, 2005 (Referred to House Committee).

S 225 RFH


1st Session

S. 225


July 27, 2005

Referred to the Committees on Resources, Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Government Reform, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to undertake a program to reduce the risks from and mitigate the effects of avalanches on recreational users of public land.

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


    This Act may be cited as the `Federal Land Recreational Visitor Protection Act of 2005'.


    In this Act:

      (1) PROGRAM- The term `program' means the avalanche protection program established under section 3(a).

      (2) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of Agriculture.


    (a) Establishment- The Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, shall establish a coordinated avalanche protection program--

      (1) to provide early identification of the potential for avalanches that could endanger the safety of recreational users of public land, including skiers, backpackers, snowboarders, and campers and visitors to units of the National Park System; and

      (2) to reduce the risks and mitigate the effects of avalanches on visitors, recreational users, neighboring communities, and transportation corridors.

    (b) Coordination-

      (1) IN GENERAL- In developing and implementing the program, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, and coordinate the program, to ensure adequate levels of protection for recreational users of public land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, including units of the National Park System, National Recreation Areas, wilderness and backcountry areas, components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and other areas that are subject to the potential threat of avalanches.

      (2) RESOURCES- In carrying out this section, the Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior--

        (A) shall, to the maximum extent practicable, use the resources of the National Avalanche Center of the Forest Service; and

        (B) may use such other resources as the Secretary has available in the development and implementation of the program.

    (c) Advisory Committee-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior shall jointly establish an advisory committee to assist in the development and implementation of the program.

      (2) MEMBERSHIP-

        (A) IN GENERAL- The Advisory Committee shall consist of 11 members, appointed by the Secretaries, who represent authorized users of artillery, other military weapons, or weapons alternatives used for avalanche control.

        (B) REPRESENTATIVES- The membership of the Advisory Committee shall include representatives of--

          (i) Federal land management agencies and concessionaires or permittees that are exposed to the threat of avalanches;

          (ii) State departments of transportation that have experience in dealing with the effects of avalanches; and

          (iii) Federal- or State-owned railroads that have experience in dealing with the effects of avalanches.

    (d) Central Depository- The Secretary, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of the Army shall establish a central depository for weapons, ammunition, and parts for avalanche control purposes, including an inventory that can be made available to Federal and non-Federal entities for avalanche control purposes under the program.

    (e) Grants-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary and the Secretary of the Interior may make grants to carry out projects and activities under the program--

        (A) to assist in the prevention, forecasting, detection, and mitigation of avalanches for the safety and protection of persons, property, and at-risk communities;

        (B) to maintain essential transportation and communications affected or potentially affected by avalanches;

        (C) to assist avalanche artillery users to ensure the availability of adequate supplies of artillery and other unique explosives required for avalanche control in or affecting--

          (i) units of the National Park System; and

          (ii) other Federal land used for recreation purposes; and

          (iii) adjacent communities, and essential transportation corridors, that are at risk of avalanches; and

        (D) to assist public or private persons and entities in conducting research and development activities for cost-effective and reliable alternatives to minimize reliance on military weapons for avalanche control.

      (2) PRIORITY- For each fiscal year for which funds are made available under section 4, the Secretary shall give priority to projects and activities carried out in avalanche zones--

        (A) with a high frequency or severity of avalanches; or

        (B) in which deaths or serious injuries to individuals, or loss or damage to public facilities and communities, have occurred or are likely to occur.

    (f) Surplus Ordnance- Section 549(c)(3) of title 40, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in subparagraph (A), by striking `or' after the semicolon at the end;

      (2) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting `; or'; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following:

        `(C) in the case of surplus artillery ordnance that is suitable for avalanche control purposes, to a user of such ordnance.'.


    There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2006 through 2010.

Passed the Senate July 26, 2005.