43 U.S. Code § 1785 - Fossil Forest Research Natural Area
To conserve and protect natural values and to provide scientific knowledge, education, and interpretation for the benefit of future generations, there is established the Fossil Forest Research Natural Area (referred to in this section as the “Area”), consisting of the approximately 2,770 acres in the Farmington District of the Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico, as generally depicted on a map entitled “Fossil Forest”, dated June 1983.
As soon as practicable after November 12, 1996, the Secretary of the Interior shall file a map and legal description of the Area with the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives.
The map and legal description described in paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act.
The Secretary of the Interior may correct clerical, typographical, and cartographical errors in the map and legal description subsequent to filing the map pursuant to paragraph (1).
Subject to valid existing rights, the lands within the Area are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral leasing, geothermal leasing, and mineral material sales.
The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to issue coal leases in New Mexico in exchange for any preference right coal lease application within the Area. Such exchanges shall be made in accordance with applicable existing laws and regulations relating to coal leases after a determination has been made by the Secretary that the applicant is entitled to a preference right lease and that the exchange is in the public interest.
Operations on oil and gas leases issued prior to November 12, 1996, shall be subject to the applicable provisions of Group 3100 of title 43, Code of Federal Regulations (including section 3162.5–1), and such other terms, stipulations, and conditions as the Secretary of the Interior considers necessary to avoid significant disturbance of the land surface or impairment of the natural, educational, and scientific research values of the Area in existence on November 12, 1996.
Not later than 3 full fiscal years after November 12, 1996, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, shall develop a baseline inventory of all categories of fossil resources within the Area. After the inventory is developed, the Secretary shall conduct monitoring surveys at intervals specified in the management plan developed for the Area in accordance with subsection (e) of this section.
Not later than 5 years after November 12, 1996, the Secretary of the Interior shall develop and submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives a management plan that describes the appropriate use of the Area consistent with this subsection.
This Act, referred to in subsecs. (b)(2) and (c)(1)(B), is Pub. L. 98–603, Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 3155, as amended, known as the San Juan Basin Wilderness Protection Act of 1984. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Tables.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, as amended, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(B), is Pub. L. 94–579, Oct. 21, 1976, 90 Stat. 2743, as amended, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1701 of this title and Tables.
November 12, 1996, referred to in subsec. (e)(1), was in the original “the date of enactment of this Act”, which was translated as meaning the date of enactment of Pub. L. 104–333, which amended this section generally, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Section was enacted as part of the San Juan Basin Wilderness Protection Act of 1984, and not as part of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 which comprises this chapter.
2000—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 106–176, § 124(1), substituted “Committee on Resources” for “Committee on Natural Resources”.
Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 106–176, § 124(2), which directed amendment of par. (1) by substituting “this subsection” for “this Act”, was executed by making the substitution following “consistent with”, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Pub. L. 106–176, § 124(1), substituted ‘Committee on Resources” for “Committee on Natural Resources”.
1996—Pub. L. 104–333 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section read as follows:
“(a) In recognition of its paramount aesthetic, natural, scientific, educational, and paleontological values, the approximately two thousand seven hundred and twenty acre area in the Albuquerque District of the Bureau of Land Management, New Mexico, known as the ‘Fossil Forest’, as generally depicted on a map entitled ‘Fossil Forest’, dated June 1983, is hereby withdrawn, subject to valid existing rights, from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral leasing and geothermal leasing and all amendments thereto. The Secretary of the Interior shall administer the area in accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and shall take such measures as are necessary to ensure that no activities are permitted within the area which would significantly disturb the land surface or impair the area’s existing natural, educational, and scientific research values, including paleontological study, excavation, and interpretation.
“(b) Within one year of October 30, 1984, the Secretary of the Interior shall promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of the Fossil Forest area referred to in subsection (a) of this section in accordance with the provisions of this Act and shall file a copy of such rules and regulations with the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate.
“(c) The Bureau of Land Management is hereby directed to conduct a long-range study of the Fossil Forest to determine how best to manage the area’s resource values identified in subsection (a) of this section. Within eight years of October 30, 1984, the Secretary shall forward the study results and management plan for the area to Congress. During the study period and until Congress determines otherwise, the Fossil Forest area shall be managed under the provisions of this Act.”
Committee on Resources of House of Representatives changed to Committee on Natural Resources of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 6, One Hundred Tenth Congress, Jan. 5, 2007.