skip to main content

H.R. 5573 (113th): To establish the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in the State of California, and for other purposes.


The text of the bill below is as of Sep 18, 2014 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


I

113th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5573

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 18, 2014

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

A BILL

To establish the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area in the State of California, and for other purposes.

1.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Management plan

The term management plan means the management plan for the National Scenic Area developed under section 3(a).

(2)

Map

The term Map means the map titled Proposed Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, dated September 8, 2014.

(3)

Motorized vehicles

The term motorized vehicles means motorized or mechanized vehicles and includes, when used by utilities, mechanized equipment, helicopters, and other aerial devices necessary to maintain electrical or communications infrastructure.

(4)

National scenic area

The term National Scenic Area means the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area established by section 2(a).

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

(6)

State

The term State means the State of California.

(7)

Tribe

The term Tribe means the Lone-Pine Paiute Shoshone Tribe.

(8)

Utility facility

The term utility facility means any and all existing and future electric generation facilities, electric storage facilities, overhead and/or underground electrical supply systems and communication systems consisting of electric substations, electric lines, poles and towers made of various materials, H frame structures, guy wires and anchors, crossarms, wires, underground conduits, cables, vaults, manholes, handholes, above-ground enclosures, markers and concrete pads and other fixtures, appliances and communication circuits, and other fixtures, appliances and appurtenances connected therewith necessary or convenient for the construction, operation, regulation, control, grounding and maintenance of electric generation, storage, lines and communication circuits, for the purpose of transmitting intelligence and generating, storing, distributing, regulating and controlling electric energy to be used for light, heat, power, communication, and other purposes.

2.

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area, California

(a)

Establishment

Subject to valid, existing rights, there is established in Inyo County, California, the Alabama Hills National Scenic Area. The National Scenic Area shall be comprised of the approximately 18,610 acres generally depicted on the Map as National Scenic Area.

(b)

Purpose

The purpose of the National Scenic Area is to conserve, protect, and enhance for the benefit, use, and enjoyment of present and future generations the nationally significant scenic, cultural, recreational, geological, educational, biological, historical, cinematographic, and scientific resources of the National Scenic Area managed consistent with the principles of multiple use as defined in the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976.

(c)

Map; legal descriptions

(1)

In general

As soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall file a map and a legal description of the National Scenic Area with—

(A)

the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate; and

(B)

the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.

(2)

Force of law

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

(3)

Public availability

Each map and legal description filed under paragraph (1) shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

(d)

Administration

The Secretary shall manage the National Scenic Area—

(1)

as a component of the National Landscape Conservation System;

(2)

so as not to impact the future continuing operations and maintenance of any activities associated with valid, existing rights, including water rights;

(3)

in a manner that conserves, protects, and enhances the resources and values of the National Scenic Area described in subsection (b); and

(4)

in accordance with—

(A)

the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 ( 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq. );

(B)

this Act; and

(C)

any other applicable laws.

(e)

Management

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall allow only such uses of the National Scenic Area as the Secretary determines would support the purposes of the National Scenic Area as described in subsection (b).

(2)

Recreational activities

Except as otherwise provided in this Act or other applicable law, or as the Secretary determines to be necessary for public health and safety, the Secretary shall allow existing recreational uses of the National Scenic Area to continue, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, sightseeing, horseback riding, hunting, fishing, and appropriate authorized motorized vehicle use.

(3)

Motorized vehicles

Except as specified within this Act and/or in cases in which motorized vehicles are needed for administrative purposes, or to respond to an emergency, the use of motorized vehicles in the National Scenic Area shall be permitted only on—

(A)

roads and trails designated by the Director of the Bureau of Land Management for use of motorized vehicles as part of a management plan promoting a semi-primitive motorized experience; or

(B)

on county-maintained roads in accordance with applicable State and county laws.

(f)

Acquisition of land

(1)

In general

The Secretary may acquire non-Federal land within the boundaries of the National Scenic Area only through exchange, donation, or purchase from a willing seller.

(2)

Management

Land acquired under paragraph (1) shall be—

(A)

considered to be a part of the National Scenic Area; and

(B)

managed in accordance with this Act and any other applicable laws.

(g)

No buffer zones

(1)

In general

Nothing in this Act creates a protective perimeter or buffer zone around the National Scenic Area.

(2)

Activities outside national scenic area

The fact that an activity or use on land outside the National Scenic Area can be seen or heard within the National Scenic Area shall not preclude the activity or use outside the boundaries of the National Scenic Area.

(h)

Access

The Secretary shall continue to provide private landowners adequate access to inholdings in the National Scenic Area.

(i)

Filming

Nothing in this Act prohibits filming (including commercial film production, student filming, and still photography) within the National Scenic Area—

(1)

subject to—

(A)

such reasonable regulations, policies, and practices as the Secretary considers to be necessary; and

(B)

applicable law; and

(2)

in a manner consistent with the purposes described in subsection (b).

(j)

Fish and wildlife

Nothing in this Act affects the jurisdiction or responsibilities of the State with respect to fish and wildlife.

(k)

Livestock

The grazing of livestock in the National Scenic Area, including grazing under the Alabama Hills allotment and the George Creek allotment, as established before the date of enactment of this Act, shall be permitted to continue—

(1)

subject to—

(A)

such reasonable regulations, policies, and practices as the Secretary considers to be necessary; and

(B)

applicable law; and

(2)

in a manner consistent with the purposes described in subsection (b).

(l)

Overflights

Nothing in this Act restricts or precludes flights over the National Scenic Area or overflights that can be seen or heard within the National Scenic Area, including—

(1)

transportation, sightseeing and filming flights, general aviation planes, helicopters, hang-gliders, and balloonists, for commercial or recreational purposes;

(2)

low-level overflights of military aircraft;

(3)

flight testing and evaluation; or

(4)

the designation or creation of new units of special use airspace, or the establishment of military flight training routes, over the National Scenic Area.

(m)

Withdrawal

Subject to this Act’s provisions and valid rights in existence on the date of enactment of this Act, including rights established by prior withdrawals, the Federal land within the National Scenic Area is withdrawn from all forms of—

(1)

entry, appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws;

(2)

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

(3)

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

(n)

Wildland fire operations

Nothing in this Act prohibits the Secretary, in cooperation with other Federal, State, and local agencies, as appropriate, from conducting wildland fire operations in the National Scenic Area, consistent with the purposes described in subsection (b).

(o)

Grants; cooperative agreements

The Secretary may make grants to, or enter into cooperative agreements with, State, tribal, and local governmental entities and private entities to conduct research, interpretation, or public education or to carry out any other initiative relating to the restoration, conservation, or management of the National Scenic Area.

(p)

Air and water quality

Nothing in this Act modifies any standard governing air or water quality outside of the boundaries of the National Scenic Area.

(q)

Utility facilities and rights of way

(1)

Nothing in this Act shall—

(A)

affect the existence, use, operation, maintenance (including but not limited to vegetation control), repair, construction, reconfiguration, expansion, inspection, renewal, reconstruction, alteration, addition, relocation, improvement, funding, removal, or replacement of utility facilities or appurtenant rights of way within or adjacent to the National Scenic Area;

(B)

affect necessary or efficient access to utility facilities or rights of way within or adjacent to the National Scenic Area;

(C)

preclude the establishment of new utility facilities or rights of way (including instream sites, routes, and areas) within the National Scenic Area if such facilities are necessary for public health and safety, electricity supply, telecommunications, or other utility services; and/or

(D)

preclude the use of motorized vehicles on and off roads and trails designated for use by motorized vehicles, including but not limited to the use of mechanized equipment, helicopters, and/or other aerial vehicles or devices, as necessary or efficient for the performance of activities related to the operation, maintenance, expansion, and/or construction of any utility facilities, including lines, and/or rights of way.

(2)

Management Plan

Consistent with this Act’s provisions, the Management Plan shall establish plans for maintenance of public utility and other rights of way within the National Scenic Area.

3.

Management plan

(a)

In general

Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, in accordance with subsection (b), the Secretary shall develop a comprehensive plan for the long-term management of the National Scenic Area.

(b)

Consultation

In developing the management plan, the Secretary shall consult with—

(1)

appropriate State, tribal, and local governmental entities, including Inyo County, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, and the Tribe;

(2)

investor-owned utilities, including Southern California Edison Company; and

(3)

members of the public.

(c)

Incorporation of management plan

In developing the management plan, in accordance with this section, the Secretary

(1)

may incorporate any provision of the relevant resource management plan in existence as of the date of enactment of this Act; and

(2)

shall allow, in perpetuity, recreational mining limited to the use of hand tools, metal detectors, hand-fed dry washers, vacuum cleaners, gold pans, small sluices, and similar items.

(d)

Interim management

Pending completion of the management plan, the Secretary shall manage the National Scenic Area in accordance with—

(1)

section 2; and

(2)

the applicable management plan of the Bureau of Land Management in existence on the date of enactment of this Act.

4.

Land taken into trust for Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation

(a)

Trust land

As soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall take the approximately 132 acres of Federal land depicted on the Map as Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation Addition into trust for the benefit of the Tribe, subject to the following:

(1)

Conditions

The land shall be subject to all easements, covenants, conditions, restrictions, withdrawals, and other matters of record on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)

Exclusion

The Federal lands over which the right-of-way for the Los Angeles Aqueduct is located, generally described as the 250-foot-wide right-of-way granted to the City of Los Angeles pursuant to the Act of June 30, 1906 (Chap. 3926), shall not be taken into trust for the Tribe.

(b)

Reservation land

The land taken into trust pursuant to subsection (a) shall be considered part of the reservation of the Tribe.

(c)

Gaming prohibition

Gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ( 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq. ) shall not be allowed on the land taken into trust pursuant to subsection (a).

5.

Transfer of administrative jurisdiction

Administrative jurisdiction of the approximately 40 acres of Federal land depicted on the Map as USFS Transfer to BLM is hereby transferred from the Forest Service under the Secretary of Agriculture to the Bureau of Land Management under the Secretary.