H.R. 986 (110th): Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act

110th Congress, 2007–2009. Text as of Jul 10, 2007 (Reported by House Committee).

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IB

Union Calendar No. 136

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 986

[Report No. 110–220]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 12, 2007

(for himself, Mr. Shays, Ms. DeLauro, Mr. Larson of Connecticut, and Mr. Murphy of Connecticut) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

July 10, 2007

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on February 12, 2007

A BILL

To amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Eightmile Wild and Scenic River Act.

2.

Wild and Scenic River designation, Eightmile River, Connecticut

(a)

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The Eightmile River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2001 (Public Law 107–65; 115 Stat. 484) authorized the study of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut from its headwaters downstream to its confluence with the Connecticut River for potential inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

(2)

The segments of the Eightmile River covered by the study are in a free-flowing condition, and the outstanding resource values of the river segments include the cultural landscape, water quality, watershed hydrology, unique species and natural communities, geology, and watershed ecosystem.

(3)

The Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Study Committee has determined that—

(A)

the outstanding resource values of these river segments depend on sustaining the integrity and quality of the Eightmile River watershed;

(B)

these resource values are manifest within the entire watershed; and

(C)

the watershed as a whole, including its protection, is itself intrinsically important to this designation.

(4)

The Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Study Committee took a watershed approach in studying and recommending management options for the river segments and the Eightmile River watershed as a whole.

(5)

During the study, the Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Study Committee, with assistance from the National Park Service, prepared a comprehensive management plan for the Eightmile River watershed, dated December 8, 2005 (in this section referred to as the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan), which establishes objectives, standards, and action programs that will ensure long-term protection of the outstanding values of the river and compatible management of the land and water resources of the Eightmile River and its watershed, without Federal management of affected lands not owned by the United States.

(6)

The Eightmile River Wild and Scenic Study Committee voted in favor of inclusion of the Eightmile River in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and included this recommendation as an integral part of the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan.

(7)

The residents of the towns lying along the Eightmile River and comprising most of its watershed (Salem, East Haddam, and Lyme, Connecticut), as well as the Boards of Selectmen and Land Use Commissions of these towns, voted to endorse the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan and to seek designation of the river as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

(8)

The State of Connecticut General Assembly enacted Public Act 05–18 to endorse the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan and to seek designation of the river as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

(b)

Designation

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 new paragraph:

(_)

Eightmile River, Connecticut

Segments of the main stem and specified tributaries of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut, totaling approximately 25.3 miles, to be administered by the Secretary of the Interior as follows:

(A)

The entire 10.8-mile segment of the main stem, starting at its confluence with Lake Hayward Brook to its confluence with the Connecticut River at the mouth of Hamburg Cove, as a scenic river.

(B)

The 8.0-mile segment of the East Branch of the Eightmile River starting at Witch Meadow Road to its confluence with the main stem of the Eightmile River, as a scenic river.

(C)

The 3.9-mile segment of Harris Brook starting with the confluence of an unnamed stream lying 0.74 miles due east of the intersection of Hartford Road (State Route 85) and Round Hill Road to its confluence with the East Branch of the Eightmile River, as a scenic river.

(D)

The 1.9-mile segment of Beaver Brook starting at its confluence with Cedar Pond Brook to its confluence with the main stem of the Eightmile River, as a scenic river.

(E)

The 0.7-mile segment of Falls Brook from its confluence with Tisdale Brook to its confluence with the main stem of the Eightmile River at Hamburg Cove, as a scenic river.

.

(c)

Management

The segments of the main stem and certain tributaries of the Eightmile River in the State of Connecticut designated as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System by the amendment made by subsection (b) (in this section referred to as the Eightmile River) shall be managed in accordance with the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan and such amendments to the plan as the Secretary of the Interior determines are consistent with this section. The Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan is deemed to satisfy the requirements for a comprehensive management plan required by section 3(d) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(d)).

(d)

Committee

The Secretary of the Interior shall coordinate the management responsibilities of the Secretary with regard to the Eightmile River with the Eightmile River Coordinating Committee, as specified in the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan.

(e)

Cooperative agreements

In order to provide for the long-term protection, preservation, and enhancement of the Eightmile River, the Secretary of the Interior may enter into cooperative agreements pursuant to sections 10(e) and 11(b)(1) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1281(e), 1282(b)(1)) with the State of Connecticut, the towns of Salem, Lyme, and East Haddam, Connecticut, and appropriate local planning and environmental organizations. All cooperative agreements authorized by this subsection shall be consistent with the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan and may include provisions for financial or other assistance from the United States.

(f)

Relation to national park system

Notwithstanding section 10(c) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1281(c)), the Eightmile River shall not be administered as part of the National Park System or be subject to regulations which govern the National Park System.

(g)

Land management

The zoning ordinances adopted by the towns of Salem, East Haddam, and Lyme, Connecticut, in effect as of December 8, 2005, including provisions for conservation of floodplains, wetlands, and watercourses associated with the segments, are deemed to satisfy the standards and requirements of section 6(c) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act (16 U.S.C. 1277 (c)). For the purpose of section 6(c) of that Act, such towns shall be deemed villages and the provisions of that section, which prohibit Federal acquisition of lands by condemnation, shall apply to the segments designated by subsection (a). The authority of the Secretary to acquire lands for the purposes of this Act shall be limited to acquisition by donation or acquisition with the consent of the owner thereof, and shall be subject to the additional criteria set forth in the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan.

(h)

Watershed approach

(1)

In general

In furtherance of the watershed approach to resource preservation and enhancement articulated in the Eightmile River Watershed Management Plan, the tributaries of the Eightmile River watershed specified in paragraph (2) are recognized as integral to the protection and enhancement of the Eightmile River and its watershed.

(2)

Covered tributaries

Paragraph (1) applies with respect to Beaver Brook, Big Brook, Burnhams Brook, Cedar Pond Brook, Cranberry Meadow Brook, Early Brook, Falls Brook, Fraser Brook, Harris Brook, Hedge Brook, Lake Hayward Brook, Malt House Brook, Muddy Brook, Ransom Brook, Rattlesnake Ledge Brook, Shingle Mill Brook, Strongs Brook, Tisdale Brook, Witch Meadow Brook, and all other perennial streams within the Eightmile River watershed.

(i)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section and the amendment made by subsection (b).

July 10, 2007

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed