H. R. 199
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 4, 2007
Mr. Renzi introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To designate segments of Fossil Creek, a tributary to the Verde River in the State of Arizona, as wild and scenic rivers.
This Act may be cited as the
Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River Act of 2007.
Congress finds that—
the restoration of stream flow to Fossil Creek resulting from the decommissioning of the Childs-Irving Hydroelectric Project by the Arizona Public Service Company is a demonstration of remarkable corporate stewardship resulting in the rebirth of a river;
the spring-fed waters of Fossil Creek are exceptional for central Arizona and the travertine geological formations are rarely found anywhere in the United States;
the restoration of stream flow to Fossil Creek will provide riparian habitat for native fish, birds, plants, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles;
the Yavapai-Apache Nation considers Fossil Creek to be a sacred place, with significant spiritual and cultural values;
the Verde River, into which Fossil Creek flows, has previously been added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System;
the Northern Arizona University has invested significant resources in studying the restoration of Fossil Creek and the unique geological, hydrological, and biological characteristics of Fossil Creek;
State and Federal land and resource management agencies have invested significant resources in restoring the native fish populations of Fossil Creek through barrier construction and stream renovation activities;
the Fossil Creek watershed will continue to provide opportunities for hiking, swimming, camping, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hunting, and livestock grazing;
the Forest Service has determined that Fossil Creek is eligible for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System based on the free-flowing condition and outstandingly remarkable geology, ecology, fish, wildlife, cultural, and scenic values of the creek; and
this reborn river deserves long-term protection secured by a sustainable management plan that recognizes and maintains the remarkable values of the Fossil Creek area.
Designation of wild and scenic rivers
Section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)) is amended—
by redesignating the last 3 paragraphs as paragraphs (167) through (169), respectively; and
by adding at the end the following:
Fossil Creek, Arizona
Upper Fossil Creek
From the source at Fossil Springs below Sand Rock and Calf Pen Canyons to where the water leaves the Fossil Spring Wilderness Area, as a wild river.
Middle Fossil Creek
From the border of the Fossil Spring Wilderness Area to the Mazatzal Wilderness Boundary, as a scenic river.
The 6.6 miles from the Mazatzal Wilderness Boundary down to the confluence with the Verde River, as a wild river.
Management of river segments
The Secretary of Agriculture shall—
manage the river segments designated in section 3; and
submit a river management plan for the designated segments to Congress not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act.
Allowance for restoration activities
Arizona Public Service Company
Without further consultation under section 7 of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1278), Arizona Public Service Company, the former licensee for the Childs-Irving Hydroelectric Project (FERC project number 2069), may conduct project decommissioning and restoration activities agreed to in the surrender application and relevant docketed filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Federal and State agencies
Any Federal or State agency may conduct stream restoration and barrier maintenance activities in accordance with the environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the Fossil Creek Native Fish Restoration Project dated 2004.
Notwithstanding the amendment made by section 3, the United States Geological Survey or any permittee of the Forest Service may undertake any necessary activities, including access by any existing road, to install, operate, maintain, or otherwise manage 1 or more stream flow gauges on Fossil Creek in cooperation with the Forest Service for the purpose of monitoring and collecting stream flow and other water resource information.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary for each fiscal year—
to prepare management plans for all river segments designated as wild or scenic rivers under section 3 not later than 2 years after the date of designation, in accordance with section 3(d)(1) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(d)(1));
to fund a river ranger to oversee Fossil Creek; and
to otherwise carry out this Act.