H. R. 4716
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
May 22, 2014
Mr. Gardner (for himself, Mr. Bishop of Utah, Mrs. Lummis, Mr. Stewart, Mr. Chaffetz, Mr. Tipton, Mr. Amodei, and Mr. Daines) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources
To require the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to provide certain Western States assistance in the development of statewide conservation and management plans for the protection and recovery of sage grouse species, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act
Greater sage-grouse protection and conservation measures
In this section:
Covered western State
The term covered western State means each of the States of California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
National Forest System lands
The term National Forest System lands means the Federal lands within the National Forest System, as described in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a)).
The term public lands has the meaning given that term in section 103(e) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 ( 43 U.S.C. 1702(e) ).
Sage Grouse Species
The term sage grouse species means the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) and the Gunnison sage-grouse (Centrocercus minimus).
The term Secretary means—
the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest System lands; and
the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public lands.
statewide plan means a statewide conservation and management plan for the protection and recovery of sage grouse
species within a covered western State.
Secretarial participation in State planning process
Not later than 30 days after receipt of notice from a covered western State that the State is initiating or has initiated development of a statewide conservation and management plan for the protection and recovery of the sage grouse species within the State, the Secretary shall provide to the Governor of that covered western State—
a commitment of the Secretary’s willingness to participate in such development;
a list of designees from the Department of the Interior or Department of Agriculture, as applicable, who shall represent the Secretary as a participant in such development; and
a list of other Federal departments that could be invited by the covered western State to participate.
Access to information
Not later than 60 days after receipt of such notice from the covered western State, the Secretary shall provide to the State all relevant scientific data, research, or information regarding sage grouse species and habitat within the State for use by appropriate State personnel to assist the State in such development.
Availability of Department personnel
The Secretary shall make personnel from Department of the Interior agencies or Department of Agriculture agencies, respectively, available, on at least a monthly basis, to meet with officials of the State to develop or implement such a plan.
Contents of notice
A notice under subsection (b) shall—
be submitted by a Governor of any covered western State; and
an invitation for the Secretary to participate in development of the statewide plan; and
a commitment that, not later than 2 years after the submission of a notice under this section, the State shall present to the Secretary for review a 10-year (or longer) sage grouse species conservation and management plan for the entire State.
Review of State plan
If the Secretary receives such a statewide plan from a covered western State not later than 2 years after receiving such notice from the State, the Secretary shall—
review the statewide plan using the best available science and data to determine if the statewide plan is likely to—
conserve the sage grouse species to the point at which the measures provided pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ( 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. ) are no longer necessary in the State; and
conserve the habitat essential to conserve the sage grouse species within the State; and
approve or endorse, or make comments on, the statewide plan not later than 120 days after it is submitted.
Actions after statewide plan is submitted
Hold on certain actions
Not later than 30 days after receipt of such a statewide conservation and management plan from a covered western State, the Secretary shall—
take necessary steps to place on hold—
all actions with respect to listing any sage grouse species in that State under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 ( 16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq. ), for a period of not less than 10 years;
enforcement of any current listing of sage grouse species within that State under such Act; and
designation of any critical habitat for any sage grouse species within that State under such Act; and
withdraw any land use planning activities related to Federal management of sage grouse on Federal lands within that State and take immediate steps to amend all Federal land use plans to comply with such plan with respect to that State, if—
the State presents to the Secretary its conservation and management plan not later than 2 years after the State submits notice to the Secretary under subsection (b); and
the State is implementing the plan.
Actions pursuant to NEPA
Any proposed action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) that occurs within a covered western State may not be denied or restricted solely on the basis of sage-grouse if such action is consistent with a statewide plan that has been submitted by the State to the Secretary.
Existing State plans
The Secretary shall—
except as provided in paragraph (2), give effect to a statewide conservation and management plan for the protection and recovery of sage grouse species within a covered western State that is submitted by such State and approved or endorsed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Services before the date of the enactment of this Act, in accordance with the terms of approval or endorsement of the plan by the United States Fish and Wildlife Services; and
for purposes of subsections (b)(3) and (e), treat such a plan as a plan referred to in each such subsection.