H.R. 4267 (112th): Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection Act

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Mar 27, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 4267

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

March 27, 2012

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To designate certain National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Salt Lake County, Utah, as wilderness, to facilitate a land exchange involving certain land in such National Forest, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title and table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Wasatch Wilderness and Watershed Protection 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. Designation of wilderness, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah.

Sec. 3. Special management area, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah.

Sec. 4. Administrative provisions related to wilderness areas.

Sec. 5. Existing water facilities.

Sec. 6. Land exchange, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah.

2.

Designation of wilderness, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah

(a)

Designation

In furtherance of the purposes of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), the following Federal lands within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests in Salt Lake County, Utah, are designated as wilderness and as either a new component of the National Wilderness Preservation System or as an addition to an existing component of the National Wilderness Preservation System:

(1)

Lone Peak Wilderness addition

Certain lands in the vicinity of the Lone Peak Wilderness comprising approximately 4,627 acres, as generally depicted on the map titled Wasatch Mountains Wilderness and Watershed Protection and dated January 29, 2010 (in this subsection referred to as the map), which shall be added to and administered as part of the Lone Peak Wilderness designated by section 2(I) of Public Law 95–237 (92 Stat. 42).

(2)

Mount Olympus Wilderness addition

Certain lands in the vicinity of the Mount Olympus Wilderness comprising approximately 3,155 acres, as generally depicted on the map, which shall be added to and administered as part of the Mount Olympus Wilderness designated by section 102(a)(3) of Public Law 98–428 (98 Stat. 1658).

(3)

Wayne Owens Grandeur Peak/Mount Aire Wilderness

Certain lands comprising approximately 7,759 acres, as generally depicted on the map, which shall be known as the Wayne Owens Grandeur Peak/Mount Aire Wilderness.

(b)

Map and description

(1)

Filing and availability

As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, shall file with the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a map and legal description of each wilderness area designated or expanded by subsection (a). The maps and legal descriptions shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Chief of the Forest Service.

(2)

Force of law

The maps and legal descriptions filed under paragraph (1) 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 maps and legal descriptions.

(c)

Special rule for Lone Peak Wilderness addition

Notwithstanding the wilderness designation made by subsection (a)(1), the White Pine Reservoir, together with the ingress and egress routes thereto in existence as of the date of the enactment of this Act, shall continue to be operated, maintained, and upgraded as necessary, subject to reasonable requirements to protect wilderness values.

3.

Special management area, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah

(a)

Designation

Subject to valid existing rights, the following Federal lands in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests are established as special management areas:

(1)

Mt. Aire Special Management Area

Certain lands comprising approximately 1,275 acres, as generally depicted on a map titled Wasatch Mountains Wilderness Protection and Watershed Protection and dated January 29, 2010 (in this subsection referred to as the map), which shall be known as the Mt. Aire Special Management Area.

(2)

Mt. Olympus Special Management Area

Certain lands comprising approximately 1,957 acres, as generally depicted on the map, which shall be known as the Mt. Olympus Special Management Area.

(3)

Twin Peaks Special Management Area

Certain lands comprising approximately 5,835 acres, as generally depicted on the map, which shall be known as the Twin Peaks Special Management Area.

(4)

Lone Peak Special Management Area

Certain lands comprising approximately 1,413 acres, as generally depicted on the map, which shall be known as the Lone Peak Special Management Area.

(b)

Maps and descriptions

(1)

Filing and availability

As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, shall file with the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a map and legal description of each special management area established by subsection (a). The maps and legal descriptions shall be on file and available for public inspection in the office of the Chief of the Forest Service.

(2)

Force of law

The maps and legal descriptions filed under paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that the Secretary of Agriculture may correct typographical errors in the maps and legal descriptions.

(c)

Management

(1)

In general

The Secretary of Agriculture shall manage the special management area established by subsection (a) to maintain the presently existing wilderness character of the special management area and the potential for inclusion of the area in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

(2)

Prohibitions

(A)

Permanent roads

Permanent roads may not be established in the special management areas.

(B)

Temporary roads and vehicles

Except as necessary to meet the minimum requirements for the administration of the special management areas and to protect public health and safety—

(i)

the use of motorized or mechanized vehicles, except as described in paragraph (3), is prohibited in the special management area; and

(ii)

the establishment of temporary roads is prohibited in the special management areas.

(3)

Allowable activities

The Secretary of Agriculture may authorize commercial helicopter-assisted skiing and snowboarding activities (known as heliskiing), as authorized on the Federal lands included within the special management areas as of the date of the enactment of this Act, to continue within the special management area. Except as provided in subsection (d), upon the expiration of an authorization in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act for heliskiing, the Secretary may reissue such authorizations in accord with Forest Service procedures.

(4)

Applicable law

Any uses of the Federal lands included within the special management area, including activities described in paragraph (3), shall be carried out in accordance with applicable law.

(d)

Eventual wilderness designation

(1)

Timeline

Within one year from the time in which all commercial helicopter-assisted skiing and snowboarding activities within any special management area established by subsection (a) are no longer authorized or have otherwise terminated within the special management area, the Secretary of Agriculture shall publish notice to that effect in the Federal Register.

(2)

Designation as wilderness

The Federal lands included within a special management area for which notice has been published under paragraph (1) shall be designated as wilderness and added to the National Wilderness Preservation System, effective on the date of the notice, as follows:

(A)

The lands included in the Mt. Aire Special Management Area shall be added to and administered as part of the Wayne Owens Grandeur Peak/Mount Aire Wilderness established by section 2.

(B)

The lands included in the Mt. Olympus Special Management Area shall be added to and administered as a part of the Mount Olympus Wilderness designated by section 102(a)(3) of Public Law 98–428 (98 Stat. 1658) and expanded by section 2.

(C)

The lands included in the Twin Peaks Special Management Area shall be added to and administered as a part of the Twin Peaks Wilderness designated by section 102(a)(4) of Public Law 98–428 (98 Stat. 1658).

(D)

The lands included in the Lone Peak Special Management Area shall be added to and administered as part of the Lone Peak Wilderness designated by section 2(I) of Public Law 95–237 (92 Stat. 42) and expanded by section 2.

4.

Administrative provisions related to wilderness areas

(a)

Covered land defined

In this section, the term covered land means—

(1)

the wilderness areas designated or expanded by sections 2 and 3; and

(2)

the special management areas designated by section 3.

(b)

Administration generally

Subject to valid rights in existence on the date of the enactment of this Act, land designated as wilderness by section 2 or 3 shall be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture in accordance with—

(1)

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

(2)

this Act.

(c)

Treatment of effective date of wilderness act

(1)

In general

With respect to land designated as wilderness by section 2, any reference in the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) to the effective date of the Wilderness Act shall be deemed to be a reference to the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Special management areas

With respect to the lands designated as wilderness by section 3, 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 the applicable Federal Register notice referred to in section 3(d)(1).

(d)

Fish and wildlife

Nothing in this Act shall affect the jurisdiction or responsibility of the State of Utah with respect to wildlife and fish.

(e)

No Buffer Zones

(1)

In general

Nothing in this Act shall create a protective perimeter or buffer zone around covered land.

(2)

Activities outside wilderness

The fact that a nonwilderness activity or use can be seen or heard from within covered land shall not preclude the conduct of the activity or use outside the boundary of the covered land.

(f)

Withdrawal

Subject to valid rights in existence on the date of the enactment of this Act, covered land is withdrawn from all forms of—

(1)

entry, appropriation, or disposal under public land laws;

(2)

location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and

(3)

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

(g)

Acquired Land

Any land or interest in land located inside the boundaries of covered land that is acquired by the United States after the date of the enactment of this Act shall become part of the relevant wilderness or special management area and shall be managed in accordance with this Act and other applicable law.

(h)

Fire, insects, and disease

In accordance with section 4(d)(1) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)), the Secretary of Agriculture may take such measures in the covered land as the Secretary determines to be necessary for the control of fire, insects, and diseases, including, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, the coordination of those activities with a State or local agency.

5.

Existing water facilities

Nothing in this Act affects the ability to continue to maintain the Mount Haven, Mill D Summer Home, Beartrap, and Cardiff water systems that exist as of the date of the enactment of this Act (as shown on the map titled Wasatch Mountains Wilderness and Watershed Protection and dated January 10, 2010, outside the boundaries of the wilderness additions and special management areas designated by this Act.

6.

Land exchange, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests, Utah

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Federal land

The term Federal land means the approximately 331 acres of National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Salt Lake County, Utah, identified as NFS Land to be Conveyed on the map.

(2)

Map

The term map means the map entitled Wasatch Mountains Wilderness and Watershed Protection and dated August 31, 2010, which map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service.

(3)

Non-Federal land

The term non-Federal land means the parcels of private land identified as Land to be acquired by USFS on the map, including—

(A)

the approximately 116 acres of private land identified as White Pine parcel on the map, which will be incorporated into the Lone Peak Wilderness as provided in subsection (h)(1);

(B)

the approximately 266 acres of private land identified as Superior parcels on the map, which will be administered as a special management area as provided in subsection (h)(2);

(C)

the approximately 160 acres of private land identified as High Uintas parcel on the map, which will be incorporated into the High Uintas Wilderness as provided in subsection (h)(3); and

(D)

such other lands owned by Snowbird that are acceptable to the Secretary as components of the land exchange authorized and directed by this section, except that such lands may not replace any of the lands identified in a preceding subparagraph.

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(5)

Snowbird

The term Snowbird means Snowbird Ltd., a Utah Limited Partnership.

(b)

Land exchange

(1)

Authorized and directed

If Snowbird offers to the Secretary the land described in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall—

(A)

accept the land for management as provided in subsection (h); and

(B)

convey and quitclaim to Snowbird all right, title, and interest of the United States in and to the Federal land.

(2)

Snowbird offered lands

The private land offered by Snowbird in the land exchange shall include, in priority order, all right, title, and interest of Snowbird in the parcels identified in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of subsection (a)(3) and such other lands agreed upon as part of the exchange to be conveyed to the United States under subparagraph (D) of such subsection.

(3)

Existing rights

The conveyance of the Federal land under this section shall be subject to valid existing rights.

(4)

Title

As a condition on the consummation of the land exchange, title to the non-Federal land must be acceptable to the Secretary, which shall be determined in conformity with the title standards of the Attorney General.

(5)

Compliance with existing law

Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Secretary shall carry out the land exchange under this section in accordance with section 206 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716).

(c)

Land descriptions

(1)

Survey requirement

The exact acreage and legal description of the Federal land and non-Federal land to be exchanged under this section shall be determined by surveys approved by the Secretary.

(2)

Reconfiguration of lands

By mutual agreement, the Secretary and Snowbird may reconfigure the land to be exchanged under this section to facilitate management of the land or eliminate fragmented parcels whose management is uneconomical. The use of such reconfiguration authority shall be minimized and involve the smallest quantity of acreage practicable to achieve the objectives of improving management of the exchanged land or eliminating fragmented parcels.

(d)

Valuation

(1)

In general

The value of the Federal land and the non-Federal land to be exchanged under this section—

(A)

shall be equal, as determined by appraisals conducted in accordance with subsection (e); or

(B)

if not equal, shall be equalized in the manner provided in section 206(b) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(b)), except that the Secretary may accept cash equalization payments in excess of 25 percent to facilitate the land exchange.

(2)

Deposit and use of cash equalization payments

Any cash equalization payments received by the Secretary under paragraph (1) shall be deposited into the account established by Public Law 90–171 (commonly known as the Sisk Act; 16 U.S.C. 484a). The amounts deposited shall be available, in such amounts as may be provided in advance in appropriation Acts, until expended for the acquisition of lands and interests in lands for the National Forest System.

(e)

Appraisals

Section 206(d) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716(d)) shall apply to the appraisal of the Federal land and non-Federal land, including the conservation easement described in subsection (g), to be exchanged under this section, except that the Secretary and Snowbird shall consult with the proposed recipient of the conservation easement in the selection of the appraiser.

(f)

Administrative costs

Snowbird shall cover the costs of survey, appraisal, and any other administrative expenses related to the land exchange under this section.

(g)

Conservation easement

(1)

Contingency

The obligation of the Secretary to consummate the land exchange under this section is contingent upon the execution of a binding agreement to convey a conservation easement, consistent with the terms of this subsection, for the approximately 298 acres of private land identified as Flagstaff parcel on the map from Snowbird to—

(A)

Utah Open Lands (a non-profit land trust incorporated in the State of Utah); or

(B)

another land trust or the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities if Utah Open Lands is unwilling to accept conveyance of the conservation easement.

(2)

Required terms

Except as determined to be necessary by the holder of the conservation easement described in paragraph (1) to meet the minimum requirements for the administration of the easement area in its undeveloped state or to protect public health and safety, the conservation easement shall contain the following prohibitions:

(A)

No subdivision.

(B)

No roads, other than temporary roads constructed and used for cleanup of mining areas.

(C)

No commercial enterprises.

(D)

No permanent structures, except structures associated with avalanche control that serve to mitigate avalanche hazards to the Town of Alta, Utah, and Little Cottonwood Canyon Road.

(3)

Occupancy and use of easement area

The conservation easement shall grant the easement holder sole authority to regulate the occupancy and use of the easement area including—

(A)

the prohibition or restriction of motorized vehicles and equipment; and

(B)

the conduct of avalanche control activities.

(4)

Restoration and remediation

The conservation easement shall reserve, in the fee owner of the land encumbered by the easement, the right to conduct restoration and remediation of hazardous substances from past mining and related construction activities on the land.

(5)

Effect of failure to convey easement

If an entity described in paragraph (1) is unwilling to accept conveyance of the conservation easement subject to the terms provided in this subsection, the Secretary is relieved of any obligation to consummate the land exchange under this section.

(h)

Management of land acquired by the Secretary

(1)

White pine parcel

On acquisition by the Secretary, the parcel identified as White Pine parcel on the map shall be—

(A)

incorporated into the Lone Peak Wilderness established by section 2(i) of Public Law 95–237 (92 Stat. 42; 16 U.S.C. 1132 note) and expanded by section 2; and

(B)

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

(2)

Superior parcel

On acquisition by the Secretary, the parcel identified as Superior parcel on the map shall be—

(A)

added to the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forests as a special management area; and

(B)

administered in accordance with subsection (c) of section 3, except paragraph (3) of such subsection shall not apply to the parcel and the Secretary may allow avalanche control devices within the parcel for the sole purpose of protecting public health and safety.

(3)

High uintas parcel

On acquisition by the Secretary, the parcel identified as High Uintas parcel on the map shall be—

(A)

incorporated into the High Uintas Wilderness designated by section 102(a)(5) of Public Law 98–428 (98 Stat. 1658); and

(B)

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

(4)

Other lands

On acquisition by the Secretary of any non-Federal land included in the land exchange pursuant to subsection (a)(3)(D), the acquired land shall be added to and administered as part of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, subject to the laws and regulations applicable to the National Forest System.

(i)

Withdrawal

Subject to valid existing rights, the land acquired by the Secretary in the land exchange under this section is withdrawn from—

(1)

all forms of entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws;

(2)

location, entry, and patent under the mining laws; and

(3)

disposition under all laws relating to mineral and energy leasing.

(j)

Environmental liabilities

(1)

Effect of existence of contamination

If any of the non-Federal land is determined to be contaminated, including contamination resulting from solid wastes, hazardous wastes or substances, pollutants or contaminants, or other regulated substances, or that the non-Federal land is in a condition that would constitute a violation of any applicable Federal, State, or local laws or regulations related to health, safety, or the environment, and that such contamination or violation existed before the date of the enactment of this Act—

(A)

the Secretary may require that such land, or the contaminated portion of the land, be removed from the exchange before consummation of the land exchange; or

(B)

the Secretary may retain such land in the land exchange, subject to the condition that Snowbird agree to indemnify the United States or Salt Lake City, as appropriate, and pay all costs to restore or remediate any damages caused by the past release, spill, or disposal of hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants necessary to bring the land into compliance with all applicable health, safety, and environmental laws, and furthermore, for any discharges or draining from any man-made features on the non-Federal lands which the Secretary retains, Snowbird will obtain, and maintain, in perpetuity, any Federal or State permits that may be or become necessary to comply with applicable health, safety, or environmental laws.

(2)

Conservation easement

Acceptance by Utah Open Lands, or another land trust or the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, of the conservation easement described in subsection (g) shall not make the holder of the conservation easement either an owner or operator with respect to the land encumbered by the easement under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 9601 et seq.), nor shall the conveyance of the easement absolve the fee owner of the land of any liability under such Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), or any other Federal, State, or local environmental law or regulation.

(3)

Hold harmless

Snowbird shall hold the United States harmless for any liability for the condition of the Federal land received by Snowbird in the land exchange under this section, whether the condition on the Federal land was caused by the negligence of the United States, or the result of any approval by the United States of an authorized activity on the Federal land.

(4)

Exception of federal land from certain covenants

Clauses (ii) and (iii) of section 120(h)(3)(A) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (42 U.S.C. 6920(h)(3)(A)) shall not apply to the conveyance of the Federal land under this section.