H. R. 886
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 7, 2007
Mr. Larsen of Washington (for himself, Mr. Inslee, and Mr. Dicks) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To enhance ecosystem protection and the range of outdoor opportunities protected by statute in the Skykomish River valley of the State of Washington by designating certain lower-elevation Federal lands as wilderness, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Wild Sky Wilderness Act of
Additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System
following Federal lands in the State of Washington are hereby designated as
wilderness and, therefore, as components of the National Wilderness
Preservation System: certain lands which comprise approximately 106,000 acres,
as generally depicted on a map entitled
Wild Sky Wilderness
Proposal and dated February 6, 2007, which shall be known as the
Wild Sky Wilderness.
Map and Legal Descriptions
As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall file a map and a legal description for the wilderness area designated under this Act with the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives. The map and description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary of Agriculture may correct clerical and typographical errors in the legal description and map. The map and legal description shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Chief of the Forest Service, Department of Agriculture.
Subject to valid existing rights, lands designated as wilderness by this Act shall be managed by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) and this Act, except that, with respect to any wilderness areas designated 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.
To fulfill the purposes of this Act and the Wilderness Act and to achieve administrative efficiencies, the Secretary of Agriculture may manage the area designated by this Act as a comprehensive part of the larger complex of adjacent and nearby wilderness areas.
The Secretary of Agriculture shall consult with interested parties and shall establish a trail plan for Forest Service lands in order to develop—
a system of hiking and equestrian trails within the wilderness designated by this Act in a manner consistent with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.); and
a system of trails adjacent to or to provide access to the wilderness designated by this Act.
Within two years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall complete a report on the implementation of the trail plan required under this Act. This report shall include the identification of priority trails for development.
Within the Wild Sky Wilderness, the Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to use helicopter access to construct and maintain a joint Forest Service and Snohomish County telecommunications repeater site, in compliance with a Forest Service approved communications site plan, for the purposes of improving communications for safety, health, and emergency services.
Float Plane Access
As provided by section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)), the use of floatplanes on Lake Isabel, where such use has already become established, shall be permitted to continue subject to such reasonable restrictions as the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be desirable.
Evergreen Mountain Lookout
The designation under this Act shall not preclude the operation and maintenance of the existing Evergreen Mountain Lookout in the same manner and degree in which the operation and maintenance of such lookout was occurring as of the date of enactment of this Act.
Authorization for land acquisition
The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to acquire
lands and interests therein, by purchase, donation, or exchange, and shall give
priority consideration to those lands identified as
Lands on the map described in section 2(a). The boundaries of the Mt.
Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the Wild Sky Wilderness shall be adjusted
to encompass any lands acquired pursuant to this section.
Consistent with section 5(a) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1134(a)), the Secretary of Agriculture shall ensure adequate access to private inholdings within the Wild Sky Wilderness.
Valuation of private lands shall be determined without reference to any restrictions on access or use which arise out of designation as a wilderness area as a result of this Act.
The Secretary of
Agriculture shall exchange lands and interests in lands, as generally depicted
on a map entitled
Chelan County Public Utility District Exchange
and dated May 22, 2002, with the Chelan County Public Utility District in
accordance with the following provisions:
If the Chelan County Public Utility District, within ninety days after the date of enactment of this Act, offers to the Secretary of Agriculture approximately 371.8 acres within the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in the State of Washington, the Secretary shall accept such lands.
Upon acceptance of title by the Secretary of Agriculture to such lands and interests therein, the Secretary of Agriculture shall convey to the Chelan County Public Utility District a permanent easement, including helicopter access, consistent with such levels as used as of date of enactment, to maintain an existing telemetry site to monitor snow pack on 1.82 acres on the Wenatchee National Forest in the State of Washington.
The exchange directed by this Act shall be consummated if Chelan County Public Utility District conveys title acceptable to the Secretary and provided there is no hazardous material on the site, which is objectionable to the Secretary.
In the event Chelan County Public Utility District determines there is no longer a need to maintain a telemetry site to monitor the snow pack for calculating expected runoff into the Lake Chelan hydroelectric project and the hydroelectric projects in the Columbia River Basin, the Secretary shall be notified in writing and the easement shall be extinguished and all rights conveyed by this exchange shall revert to the United States.