Appropriations for Land Acquisitions
Looks like an addendum to HR-488 and the Wildlands Project to
[Clarice Ryan] Note acquisition of large wildland areas, closing
all grazing, mineral rights not owned by U.S., road closures, etc.
as part of first round of Forest Service land and resource
management plan. 2/16/03
National Forest Ecosystem Protection Act of 2002 (Introduced in House)
(a) DECLARATION OF POLICY- In order to assure that the American people
have large areas of land in healthy natural condition throughout the
country, which lands maximize wildland recreational opportunities for
people, maximize habitat protection for native wildlife and natural plant
communities, and contribute to a preservation of water for use by
downstream metropolitan communities and other users, it is hereby declared
to be the policy of Congress to secure for present and future generations
of Americans the enduring resource of protected large wild lands.
(c) ESTABLISHMENT- To help achieve the policy declared in subsection (a),
there is hereby established a National Forest Ecosystem Protection Program
to be composed of lands within existing units of the National Forest
System that contain one or more large existing wilderness areas as a core
area and a primitive area extending outward therefrom, both of which will
be designated as Ecosystem Protection Areas by this Act or a subsequent
Act of Congress.
SEC. 3. SPECIAL MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS.
(a) WILDERNESS AREA MANAGEMENT- Within the Ecosystem Protection Areas, the
Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Forest Service (in this Act
referred to as the `Secretary'), shall manage the wilderness areas as
provided by the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) and other
applicable laws, except that commercial grazing shall be eliminated
(b) PRIMITIVE AREA MANAGEMENT- Within the Ecosystem Protection Areas, the
Secretary shall manage the primitive areas so that primitive recreation
and habitat for wildlife will be the paramount considerations and that all
other multiple use activities will only be used to reinforce the paramount
considerations. Commercial grazing shall be eliminated therein.
(c) PROTECTION AND RESTORATION- The Secretary, in consultation with State
wildlife officials and through the use of a public participation process,
shall promote the reestablishment or protection of as many animal and
plant species native to the designated Ecosystem Protection Areas as
SEC. 4. LAND ACQUISITION.
(a) LAND ACQUISITION AUTHORITY- The Secretary shall strive to acquire all
private lands, all mineral rights not owned by the United States, and all
other interests in lands not owned by the United States, on a
willing-seller/willing-buyer basis, located within any wilderness area
named in this Act and within the primitive areas delineated pursuant to
(b) EFFECT OF ACQUISITION- For each acre of land acquired by the Secretary
under this section, a payment in lieu of taxes shall be made to the county
in which the property is located equal to $1.50 per acre per year, plus an
increase every year based on the percentage change in the Consumer Price
Index. For these newly acquired acres, no other payment shall be made to
the county based on any other Federal law.
SEC. 5. PERMANENT PHASE OUT OF COMMERCIAL GRAZING.
(a) GRAZING PHASE OUT TIMETABLE- The Secretary shall provide for the
elimination of commercial grazing on all allotments located wholly or
partially in wilderness areas or primitive areas within the Ecosystem
Protection Areas. Within allotments located wholly within the core
wilderness areas, grazing shall be eliminated in 10 years. Within
allotments having more than 50 percent, but less than 100 percent, of
their area in core wilderness areas, grazing shall be eliminated in 12
years. Within allotments having 50 percent or less of their area in core
wilderness areas, including those allotments located wholly in a primitive
area east of the 104th meridian, grazing shall be eliminated in 14 years.
(b) PUBLIC NOTIFICATION- In the case of Ecosystem Protection Areas located
west of the 104th meridian, the Secretary shall notify every allottee and
allotment manager whose allotment is wholly or partially within a core
wilderness area that the allotment will become grazing-free within the
number of years provided in subsection (a). The notification shall include
the options available to the person under this section. The names and
areas of the allotments shall be printed in the local newspapers. Each of
these steps shall be completed within one year after the date of the
enactment of this Act.
(c) ASSISTANCE- In designated Ecosystem Protection Areas, the Secretary--
(1) shall make an economic transition payment to an allotee when grazing
is phased out;
(2) shall make an additional early-out payment to a willing allotee for
the early permanent retirement of the remaining years of grazing
privileges before the applicable date specified in subsection (a);
(3) shall purchase the base property, if so requested by the owner, of any
such allotment from a willing seller, if it is located within the
boundaries of a unit of the National Forest System;
(4) shall make funds available to the Bureau of Land Management as an
economic transition payment for the permanent phase out of grazing on any
Bureau of Land Management winter allotment affected by a summer allotment
impacted by this Act, if so requested by the allotee;
(5) may grant a one year extension for extenuating circumstances to the
number of years indicated in subsection (a) for the allotment to become
grazing free, if the allotee applies for the extension from one year to 6
months before the date otherwise applicable under subsection (a);
(6) may allocate any agency funds for these purposes; and
(7) may attempt to acquire any property authorized for purchase by this
Act, including the above described base properties and any mineral rights,
and to retire the grazing privileges early, in cooperation with land
trusts or other private parties dedicated to the preservation of open
(d) GRAZING PHASE OUT ON WINTER ALLOTMENTS- The Bureau of Land Management
shall permanently phase out grazing on any winter allotment covered by
(e) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to
affect the Government's authority to otherwise modify or terminate grazing
(f) NO PROPERTY RIGHT CREATED- Payments distributed according to this
section shall not create a property right in grazing permit holders.
(g) TREATMENT OF GRAZING REVENUES- For each grazing allotment affected by
this section, the average annual revenues from grazing shall be computed
for the three full fiscal years before the date of the enactment of this
Act. The number so computed shall be utilized for every year hereafter as
a component for any Federal program that provides for payments in lieu of
taxes to units of local government, based on revenues received by the
Secretary, irrespective of the absence of revenues from that allotment
once grazing is phased out.
SEC. 6. FOREST PLAN REVISION ASSESSMENTS.
(a) ASSESSMENTS REQUIRED- In any Ecosystem Protection Area located east of
the 104th meridian in the contiguous 48 States, the Secretary shall
include the following assessments as part of the first round of Forest
Service land and resource management plan revisions for each of these
areas made after the date of the enactment of this Act:
(1) An assessment of expanding the designated wilderness area or creating
new wilderness areas in all the primitive areas created by this Act.
(2) An assessment of the ecological benefit to be derived from closing any
unimproved roads bisecting any such areas within encircling improved roads
and from closing any improved roads cherry stemmed into those areas.
(3) An assessment of the appropriate management practices most likely to
improve habitat for key species in any of the above described areas, if
those areas are not to be proposed to Congress as new wilderness areas.
(b) PUBLIC PARTICIPATION- Each assessment required by this section shall
utilize all the procedures designed to provide public input into the
Forest Service planning process.
SEC. 7. ORIGINAL ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION AREAS.
(a) IN GENERAL- The original Ecosystem Protection Areas include one or
more of the largest existing Forest Service wilderness areas in the
following States, including any adjacent wilderness areas or wilderness
areas separated by no more than a road corridor, and surrounding primitive
areas delineated as provided in section 8 or 9.
(b) DESIGNATION- The Ecosystem Protection Areas, and the wilderness area
forming the their core, are as follows:
(A) Misty Fiords.
(B) Blue Range (also in New Mexico), including the Blue Range Primitive
(A) Hurricane Creek.
(B) Upper Kiamichi (also in Oklahoma).
(A) High Sierra, including John Muir, Ansel Adams, Golden Trout, Monarch,
Dinkey Lakes, South Sierra, Dome Land, Hoover and Emigrant.
(B) Trinity Alps.
(B) West Elk.
(C) South San Juan.
(A) Big Gum Swamp.
(B) Bradwell Bay.
(A) Cohutta (also in Tennessee).
(B) Southern Nantahala (also in North Carolina).
(A) Central Idaho Massif, including Frank Church-River of No Return,
Selway-Bitterroot (also in Montana), and Gospel Hump.
(B) Hells Canyon (also in Oregon).
(A) Charles C. Deam.
(A) Caribou-Speckled Mountain.
(A) Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
(A) Montana Rockies, including Bob Marshal, Great Bear, and Scapegoat.
(B) Central Idaho Massif, including Selway-Bitterroot (also in Idaho).
(C) Yellowstone, including Lee Metcalf and Absaroka-Beartooth (also in
(A) Arc Dome.
(18) New Hampshire:
(B) Presidential Range-Dry River.
(C) Sandwich Range.
(19) New Mexico:
(A) Gila including Gila and Aldo Leopold.
(B) Blue Range (also in Arizona).
(20) North Carolina:
(A) Citico Creek (also in Tennessee), including Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock.
(B) Southern Nantahala (also in Georgia).
(A) Upper Kiamichi (also in Arkansas).
(A) Hells Canyon, including Hells Canyon (also in Idaho) and Eagle Cap.
(A) Hickory Creek.
(24) South Dakota:
(A) Black Elk.
(A) Cohutta including Big Frog (also in Georgia).
(B) Citico Creek including Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock (also in North
(A) Upland Island.
(B) Indian Mounds.
(A) High Uintas.
(B) Lyle Brook.
(A) Mountain Lake (also in West Virginia).
(A) North Cascades including Glacier Peak, Pasayten, Lake Chelan-Sawtooth,
Mt. Baker, and Noisy Diobsud.
(31) West Virginia:
(B) Mountain Lake (also in Virginia).
(A) Yellowstone including Washakie, Teton, North Absaroka, Winegar Hole,
Jeddiah Smith, Absaroka-Beartooth (also in Montana) and Lee Metcalf
(wholly in Montana).
(B) Wind River including Bridger, Fitzpatrick and Popo Agie.
SEC. 8. DELINEATION OF PRIMITIVE AREAS ON EASTERN NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM
(a) DELINEATION REQUIRED; TIMETABLE- In the case of units of the National
Forest System located east of the 104th meridian in the contiguous 48
States, the Secretary shall delineate primitive areas around core
wilderness areas as soon as practicable, but in no case more than three
years after the date of the enactment of this Act, as an amendment to the
applicable land and resource management plan.
(b) CONTENT- The primitive areas delineated under this section shall
include all areas from the wilderness boundary out to the nearest improved
roads on all sides of the wilderness area and enough additional acreage to
result in an Ecosystem Protection Area that is at least 50,000 acres and
twice as large as the core wilderness area. In all cases, the primitive
area shall be as compact as possible and designed to include as many
natural communities as possible, including mountains, valleys, and other
(c) SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS- In delineating the primitive areas, the
Secretary shall exclude as many residential areas as possible. Along
national or State designated trails, such as the Appalachian Trail, or
natural biological corridors, the Secretary shall extend the primitive
areas further in each direction from the core wilderness area.
(d) ROADS- The Secretary shall begin closing unmapped roads, temporary
roads, and unimproved cherry-stemmed roads in a primitive area as soon as
practicable after the primitive area has been delineated, unless such
roads provide access to private property.
(e) GRAZING- Any commercial grazing permitted, as of the date of the
enactment of this Act, in the primitive areas delineated under this
section shall be phased out as provided in section 5.
SEC. 9. DELINEATION OF PRIMITIVE AREAS ON WESTERN NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM
In the case of an Ecosystem Protection Areas located west of the 104th
meridian, the Secretary shall identify every grazing allotment that is
partially within a core wilderness area, and the portions of those
allotments located outside of the core wilderness area shall be the
primitive areas for that Ecosystem Protection Area.
SEC. 10. COMPATIBLE MANAGEMENT OF ADJACENT DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Federal lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior that are
adjacent to the Ecosystem Protection Areas shall be managed in a manner
compatible with the management of the Ecosystem Protection Areas.
SEC. 11. DEVELOPMENT OF STATE ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION AREAS.
The Secretary shall provide technical and financial assistance to enable
States to acquire an Ecosystem Protection Area on State-owned lands of a
similar character and size to the Ecosystem Protection Areas designated by
this Act. Such State Ecosystem Protection Areas shall be based on one of
the largest State-owned Natural Areas, Wilderness Areas, State Parks,
State Forests, State Watershed Management Areas, or State Wildlife
Management Areas in any State without a National Forest or Grassland of
50,000 or more acres.
SEC. 12. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
(a) INFORMATION ON ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION AREAS- As part of the annual
report to Congress prepared by the Secretary on the status of the National
Wilderness Preservation System, the Secretary shall include appropriate
information concerning the Ecosystem Protection Areas and the
administration of this Act.
(b) SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIFTH REPORT- The annual report described in
subsection (a) to be submitted to Congress in the fifth year after the
date of the enactment of this Act shall contain the following:
(1) An assessment and evaluation of all steps taken during the four
preceding years pursuant to this Act.
(2) Recommendations regarding the designation of additional or the
expansion of existing Ecosystem Management Areas.
(3) An evaluation of the effectiveness of the procedures for creating
grazing free areas and the environmental advantages created in those
(4) Recommendations regarding whether the procedures evaluated under
paragraph (3) should be extended to all Forest Service wilderness areas.
SEC. 13. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) LAND ACQUISITION IN EASTERN UNITED STATES- There is authorized to be
appropriated to the Secretary for each of the fiscal years 2004 through
2017 $100,000,000 for the purchase of private lands and other lands not
owned by the United States located in primitive areas delineated east of
the 104th meridian in the contiguous 48 States. Pending the delineation of
primitive areas under section 8, the Secretary shall purchase lands in
areas that the Secretary anticipates including in the Ecosystem Protection
(b) LAND ACQUISITION IN WESTERN WILDERNESS AREAS- There is authorized to
be appropriated to the Secretary for each of the fiscal years 2004 through
2017 $5,000,000 for the purchase of private lands and other lands not
owned by the United States in the Wilderness Areas located west of the
104th meridian in the contiguous 48 States.
(c) ELIMINATION OF GRAZING- There is authorized to be appropriated to the
Secretary for each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2017 $1,000,000 for
the purpose of carrying out section 5, including providing economic
transition payments, early-out payments, and qualifying base property
purchase payments and covering Forest Service expenses in finding an
allotee a new allotment, when requested by the allotee.
(d) SUPPORT FOR STATES WITHOUT ECOSYSTEM PROTECTION AREAS- There is
authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for each of the fiscal
years 2004 through 2017 $33,000,000 to assist States in the purchase of
private lands in a State