16 U.S. Code § 460zzz–4 - Management of Conservation Area and Wilderness

(a) Withdrawal
Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal land within the Conservation Area and the Wilderness and all land and interests in land acquired by the United States within the Conservation Area or the Wilderness is withdrawn from—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) operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and geothermal leasing laws.
(b) Grazing
(1) Grazing in Conservation Area
Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Secretary shall issue and administer any grazing leases or permits in the Conservation Area in accordance with the laws (including regulations) applicable to the issuance and administration of such leases and permits on other land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management.
(2) Grazing in Wilderness
The grazing of livestock in the Wilderness, if established as of March 30, 2009, shall be permitted to continue—
(A) subject to any reasonable regulations, policies, and practices that the Secretary determines to be necessary; and
(B) in accordance with—
(i) section 1133 (d)(4) of this title; and
(ii) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (H. Rept. 101–405).
(c) No buffer zones
(1) In general
Nothing in this subchapter creates a protective perimeter or buffer zone around the Conservation Area.
(2) Activities outside Conservation Area
The fact that an activity or use on land outside the Conservation Area can be seen or heard within the Conservation Area shall not preclude the activity or use outside the boundary of the Conservation Area.
(d) Acquisition of land
(1) In general
The Secretary may acquire non-Federal land within the boundaries of the Conservation Area or the Wilderness only through exchange, donation, or purchase from a willing seller.
(2) Management
Land acquired under paragraph (1) shall—
(A) become part of the Conservation Area and, if applicable, the Wilderness; and
(B) be managed in accordance with this subchapter and any other applicable laws.
(e) Fire, insects, and diseases
Subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be desirable and appropriate, the Secretary may undertake such measures as are necessary to control fire, insects, and diseases—
(1) in the Wilderness, in accordance with section 1133 (d)(1) of this title; and
(2) except as provided in paragraph (1), in the Conservation Area in accordance with this subchapter and any other applicable laws.
(f) Access
The Secretary shall continue to provide private landowners adequate access to inholdings in the Conservation Area.
(g) Invasive species and noxious weeds
In accordance with any applicable laws and subject to such terms and conditions as the Secretary determines to be desirable and appropriate, the Secretary may prescribe measures to control nonnative invasive plants and noxious weeds within the Conservation Area.
(h) Water rights
(1) Effect
Nothing in this subchapter—
(A) affects the use or allocation, in existence on March 30, 2009, of any water, water right, or interest in water;
(B) affects any vested absolute or decreed conditional water right in existence on March 30, 2009, including any water right held by the United States;
(C) affects any interstate water compact in existence on March 30, 2009;
(D) authorizes or imposes any new reserved Federal water rights; or
(E) shall be considered to be a relinquishment or reduction of any water rights reserved or appropriated by the United States in the State on or before March 30, 2009.
(2) Wilderness water rights
(A) In general
The Secretary shall ensure that any water rights within the Wilderness required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness are secured in accordance with subparagraphs (B) through (G).
(B) State law
(i) Procedural requirements Any water rights within the Wilderness for which the Secretary pursues adjudication shall be adjudicated, changed, and administered in accordance with the procedural requirements and priority system of State law.
(ii) Establishment of water rights
(I) In general Except as provided in subclause (II), the purposes and other substantive characteristics of the water rights pursued under this paragraph shall be established in accordance with State law.
(II) Exception Notwithstanding subclause (I) and in accordance with this subchapter, the Secretary may appropriate and seek adjudication of water rights to maintain surface water levels and stream flows on and across the Wilderness to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness.
(C) Deadline
The Secretary shall promptly, but not earlier than January 2009, appropriate the water rights required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness.
(D) Required determination
The Secretary shall not pursue adjudication for any instream flow water rights unless the Secretary makes a determination pursuant to subparagraph (E)(ii) or (F).
(E) Cooperative enforcement
(i) In general The Secretary shall not pursue adjudication of any Federal instream flow water rights established under this paragraph if—
(I) the Secretary determines, upon adjudication of the water rights by the Colorado Water Conservation Board, that the Board holds water rights sufficient in priority, amount, and timing to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness; and
(II) the Secretary has entered into a perpetual agreement with the Colorado Water Conservation Board to ensure the full exercise, protection, and enforcement of the State water rights within the Wilderness to reliably fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness.
(ii) Adjudication If the Secretary determines that the provisions of clause (i) have not been met, the Secretary shall adjudicate and exercise any Federal water rights required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness in accordance with this paragraph.
(F) Insufficient water rights
If the Colorado Water Conservation Board modifies the instream flow water rights obtained under subparagraph (E) to such a degree that the Secretary determines that water rights held by the State are insufficient to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness, the Secretary shall adjudicate and exercise Federal water rights required to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness in accordance with subparagraph (B).
(G) Failure to comply
The Secretary shall promptly act to exercise and enforce the water rights described in subparagraph (E) if the Secretary determines that—
(i) the State is not exercising its water rights consistent with subparagraph (E)(i)(I); or
(ii) the agreement described in subparagraph (E)(i)(II) is not fulfilled or complied with sufficiently to fulfill the purposes of the Wilderness.
(3) Water resource facility
(A) In general
Notwithstanding any other provision of law and subject to subparagraph (B), beginning on March 30, 2009, neither the President nor any other officer, employee, or agent of the United States shall fund, assist, authorize, or issue a license or permit for the development of any new irrigation and pumping facility, reservoir, water conservation work, aqueduct, canal, ditch, pipeline, well, hydropower project, transmission, other ancillary facility, or other water, diversion, storage, or carriage structure in the Wilderness.
(B) Exception
Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), the Secretary may allow construction of new livestock watering facilities within the Wilderness in accordance with—
(i) section 1133 (d)(4) of this title; and
(ii) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the report of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the House of Representatives accompanying H.R. 2570 of the 101st Congress (H. Rept. 101–405).
(4) Conservation area water rights
With respect to water within the Conservation Area, nothing in this subchapter—
(A) authorizes any Federal agency to appropriate or otherwise acquire any water right on the mainstem of the Gunnison River; or
(B) prevents the State from appropriating or acquiring, or requires the State to appropriate or acquire, an instream flow water right on the mainstem of the Gunnison River.
(5) Wilderness boundaries along Gunnison River
(A) In general
In areas in which the Gunnison River is used as a reference for defining the boundary of the Wilderness, the boundary shall—
(i) be located at the edge of the river; and
(ii) change according to the river level.
(B) Exclusion from Wilderness
Regardless of the level of the Gunnison River, no portion of the Gunnison River is included in the Wilderness.
(i) Effect
Nothing in this subchapter—
(1) diminishes the jurisdiction of the State with respect to fish and wildlife in the State; or
(2) imposes any Federal water quality standard upstream of the Conservation Area or within the mainstem of the Gunnison River that is more restrictive than would be applicable had the Conservation Area not been established.
(j) Valid existing rights
The designation of the Conservation Area and Wilderness is subject to valid rights in existence on March 30, 2009.

Source

(Pub. L. 111–11, title II, § 2405,Mar. 30, 2009, 123 Stat. 1104.)

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16 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large

 

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