[Senate Report 113-99]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 177
113th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     113-99

======================================================================



 
                     SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS WILDERNESS

                                _______
                                

               September 10, 2013.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Wyden, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 341]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 341) to designate certain lands in San 
Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties, Colorado, as wilderness, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill, 
as amended, do pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. On page 3, line 9, strike ``8,250'' and insert 
``7,438''.
    2. On page 3, line 13, strike ``December 1, 2010'' and 
insert ``June 11, 2013''.
    3. On page 7, line 12, after ``Special Management Area'' 
insert ``, the Liberty Bell East Special Management Area,''.
    4. On page 10, line 11, strike ``and'' and insert a comma.
    5. On page 10, line 13, after ``January 26, 2010,'' insert 
``and the approximately 774 acres generally depicted on the map 
entitled `Proposed Liberty Bell East Special Management Area' 
and dated June 11, 2013''.
    6. On page 10, between lines 20 and 21, insert the 
following:

    (h) Prohibition on Motorized and Mechanized Travel in the 
Liberty Bell East Special Management Area.--Except as necessary 
to meet the minimum requirements for the administration of the 
covered land and to protect public health and safety, the use 
of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, or mechanical transport 
shall be prohibited in the approximately 774 acres generally 
depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed Liberty Bell East 
Special Management Area'' and dated June 11, 2013.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 341 is to designate certain Federal land 
in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties, Colorado, as 
wilderness, to create a special management area, and to 
withdraw a portion of Naturita Canyon from entry, location, or 
other disposition under the public land and mining laws, and 
operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and 
geothermal laws.

                          Background and Need

    The San Juan and San Miguel Mountains of southwest Colorado 
provide some of the State's most majestic scenery and remote 
wild areas. Some of this area already is protected as 
wilderness, including the 41,200-acre Lizard Head Wilderness 
and the 16,500-acre Mt. Sneffels Wilderness in the Uncompahgre 
and San Juan National Forests, but other wilderness-quality 
lands in the area are not congressionally protected.
    The San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act of 2013 was developed 
through a collaborative process that included wilderness 
advocates, county officials, motorized and mechanized 
recreation advocates, and others to protect more of the 
wilderness resources in the area while seeking to avoid 
potential conflicts with existing uses. S. 341 would protect 
approximately 30,000 acres of Federal land as wilderness, 
approximately 20,000 acres as special management areas, and 
approximately 6,500 acres withdrawn from entry and disposal 
under the public land and mining laws and operation of the 
mineral leasing laws.

                          Legislative History

    S. 341 was introduced by Senators Udall of Colorado and 
Bennet on February 14, 2013. The Subcommittee on Public Lands, 
Forests, and Mining held a hearing on S. 341 on April 25, 2013. 
At its business meeting on June 18, 2013, the Committee ordered 
the bill favorably reported with amendments.
    Similar bills were introduced in the 112th Congress (S. 
1635) and in the 111th Congress (S. 2762). The Subcommittee on 
Public Lands and Forests held a hearing on S. 1635 on March 22, 
2012 (S. Hrg. 112-642), and S. 2762 on April 28, 2010 (S. Hrg. 
111-744).

                          Committee Amendments

    At its business meeting on June 18, 2013, the Committee 
adopted six amendments to S. 341. The amendments reduce the 
acreage in the Mount Sneffels Wilderness additions, update a 
map reference, authorize continuation of a competitive running 
race in the Liberty Bell East Special Management Area, add the 
Liberty Bell East Special Management Area to the withdrawal, 
and prohibit motorized and mechanized travel in the Liberty 
Bell East Special Management Area.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on June 18, 2013, by a voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 341, if 
amended described herein. Senators Barrasso, Risch, Lee, Flake, 
Scott, Portman, and Hoeven asked to be recorded as voting no.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 defines the short title of the bill, the ``San 
Juan Mountains Wilderness Act''.
    Section 2 defines the key terms used in the bill.
    Section 3 amends the Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993 to add 
approximately 32,388 acres to wilderness areas in the Grand 
Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests to the 
National Wilderness Preservation System.
    Section 4 designates 21,620 acres of Federal land in the 
Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison and San Juan National 
Forests as the ``Sheep Mountain Special Management Area''.
    Subsection (b) clarifies that the purpose of the Special 
Management Area is to conserve and protect the area for future 
generations.
    Subsection (c)(1) requires the Secretary to manage the area 
in a way that conserves, protects, and enhances the resources 
and value of the Special Management Area in accordance with the 
National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 1600 et 
seq.). Paragraph (2) bans permanent roads, except for 
administrative and public health and safety purposes. Paragraph 
(3) authorizes the Secretary to allow previously permitted 
activities to continue, subject to such terms and conditions as 
the Secretary may require.
    Subsection (d) states that that all water and water rights 
in the Special Management Area are subject to section 8 of the 
Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993 (Public Law 103-77; 107 Stat. 
762), and specifies a number of terms in that section that are 
to be considered as a reference to the ``Special Management 
Area''.
    Section 5(a) authorizes the Secretary to continue the 
competitive running event in the vicinity of the Special 
Management Area. Subsection (b) provides that nothing in the 
Act infringes on the State's right to manage fish and wildlife 
jurisdiction, and subsection (c) provides that nothing in the 
Act creates a protective buffer zone, or prevents nonwilderness 
activity outside of the wilderness.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to provide map and 
legal descriptions for the wilderness.
    Subsection (e) allows the Secretary to acquire land or 
interest in land within the boundaries of the Special 
Management Area, which will be incorporated and administered as 
a part of the Special Management Area.
    Subsection (f) ensures that grazing activity established 
before the enactment of the Act will be allowed to continue.
    Subsection (g) withdraws approximately 6,600 acres depicted 
on the map entitled ``Proposed Naturita Canyon Mineral 
Withdrawal Area'' and dated January 26, 2010, and the 
approximately 774 acres depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed 
Liberty Bell East Special Management Area'' and dated June 11, 
2013 from entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public 
land laws; location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and 
operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and 
geothermal leasing laws.
    Subsection (h) prohibits motorized and mechanized travel in 
the Liberty Bell East Special Management Area except for the 
administration of the area, and for public health and safety 
purposes.
    Section 6 includes technical corrections to Public Law 111-
11 and Congressional findings.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 341--San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act

    S. 341 would designate about 32,000 acres of federal land 
in Colorado as components of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System. The bill also would designate more than 
21,000 acres of National Forest System land as a Special 
Management Area. Finally, under the bill, those areas, 
including the Naturita Canyon Area (approximately 6,600 acres), 
would be unavailable for development under mining and other 
resource development laws.
    Based on information provided by the Forest Service and the 
Bureau of Land Management, CBO estimates that implementing S. 
341 would have no significant impact on the federal budget. 
Enacting the legislation would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    Because the affected acreage is already protected for 
conservation and wilderness values, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would have no significant effect on 
administrative costs. Additionally, because the affected lands 
currently produce no income and are not expected to do so in 
the future, we estimate that enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    S. 341 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Maggie 
Morrissey and Jeff LaFave. The estimate was approved by Theresa 
Gullo, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 341.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 341, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 341, as reported, does not contain any congressionally 
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited 
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules 
of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Bureau of Land Management and 
the Forest Service at the April 25, 2013, Subcommittee on 
Public Lands, Forests, and Mining hearing on S. 341 follows:

  Statement of Jamie Connell, Acting Deputy Director, Bureau of Land 
                 Management, Department of the Interior

    Thank you for the invitation to testify on S. 341, the San 
Juan Mountains Wilderness Act. The Department of the Interior 
supports the wilderness designation of the McKenna Peak area on 
lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 
Additional protection for the McKenna Peak area was highlighted 
in Secretary Salazar's November 2011 Preliminary Report to 
Congress on BLM Lands Deserving Protection as National 
Conservation Areas, Wilderness or Other Conservation 
Designations. We urge swift Congressional action to protect 
this special area. We defer to the Department of Agriculture 
regarding designations on lands managed by the U.S. Forest 
Service (FS).


                               background


    The McKenna Peak Wilderness Study Area (WSA) covers nearly 
20,000 acres of BLM-managed lands in San Miguel and Dolores 
Counties in southwestern Colorado. This WSA is currently 
managed by the BLM to protect its wilderness characteristics 
while awaiting Congressional action.
    This area is rich in wildlife, including mule deer, elk, 
mountain lions, black bear, and a variety of raptors. The 
McKenna Peak area is also home to the Spring Creek wild horse 
herd. Geologically, the area is quite diverse and includes 100 
million year-old remnants of inland seas (now black Mancos 
shale rich in invertebrate marine fossils). This area offers a 
wide variety of recreational opportunities, including hunting, 
hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country 
skiing, all of which are compatible with this wilderness 
designation.


                                 s. 341


    S. 341 is the result of a collaborative process, which has 
included the Colorado Congressional delegation, county 
commissioners, adjacent landowners, ranchers, conservationists, 
recreationists, and other interested parties. The results are 
the proposed wilderness designations on both BLM- and FS-
managed lands in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties.
    Section 3 of the bill designates 8,600 acres of the 
existing BLM-managed McKenna Peak WSA as wilderness. The BLM 
supports this designation. The legislation covers only those 
areas of the WSA in San Miguel County. The remaining almost 
11,000 acres of the WSA, which include the eponymous McKenna 
Peak, are south of the proposed wilderness in Dolores County 
and are not addressed in the legislation. These acres will 
remain in WSA status, pending Congressional action. The BLM and 
the Department support future designation of this area in order 
to improve the manageability of the area. The BLM is currently 
completing a careful review of the boundaries of the proposed 
wilderness area to ensure manageability and would welcome the 
opportunity to work with the sponsor on possible minor 
modifications.
    Section 6 of S. 341 provides for the release from WSA 
status of those portions of the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness 
Study Area that were not designated as Wilderness under Title 
II, Subtitle E of Public Law 111-11, the Omnibus Public Land 
Management Act of 2009. Section 2403 of that Act designated the 
Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area. However, small portions of 
the underlying WSA totaling approximately 3,035 acres were 
neither designated wilderness nor released from WSA status, 
which would allow the consideration of a range of multiple 
uses. This release would benefit the BLM's ongoing management 
by removing narrow strips and scattered tracts of remaining 
WSA. These areas remain within the Dominguez-Escalante National 
Conservation Area (NCA), also designated by Public Law 111-11 
and will be managed consistent with the rest of the NCA.


                               conclusion


    Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of S. 
341. We look forward to its swift passage and to welcoming the 
covered area into the BLM's National Landscape Conservation 
System.
                              ----------                              


  Statement of James M. Pena, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest 
           System, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture

    Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Barrasso, and members of the 
Committee, thank you for inviting me here today to testify 
regarding S. 341, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act.
    The Department supports S. 341 and would like to offer 
minor modifications to the bill that would enhance wilderness 
values, clarify the special management area designation, and 
improve our ability to manage resources in the area. We thank 
Senator Udall for his collaborative approach and appreciate the 
local involvement that has contributed to the wide support in 
Colorado for this bill.
    The Department defers to the Department of the Interior in 
regard to the proposal to designate approximately 8,600 acres 
of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands as the McKenna Peak 
Wilderness.
    S. 341 would designate nine parcels of the Grand Mesa, 
Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests as wilderness under 
the National Wilderness Preservation System. These areas, 
totaling approximately 24,400 acres, encompass some of 
Colorado's most majestic, remote landscapes with many abundant 
wildlife species including elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bears and 
a variety of birds. Several world-class trout streams are also 
found in the areas. These areas also provide opportunities to 
experience solitude and primitive recreation use for members of 
the public seeking areas to connect with nature.
    These parcels would be additions to two existing 
wildernesses: Lizard Head and Mount Sneffels. In addition, S. 
341 would designate the Sheep Mountain area as a Special 
Management Area to be managed to maintain the area's existing 
wilderness character and potential for inclusion in the 
National Wilderness Preservation System. Also, S. 341 would 
provide for a mineral withdrawal within a portion of Naturita 
Canyon.


                    lizard head wilderness additions


    The Lizard Head Wilderness lies astride the spectacular San 
Miguel Mountains, 10 miles southwest of Telluride, Colorado on 
the Uncompahgre and San Juan National Forests. Elevations in 
the area range from 9,500 to over 14,000 feet. The wilderness 
is evenly split between the two national forests and is 41,200 
acres in size.
    The proposed wilderness additions include five parcels, 
encompassing approximately 3,150 acres of National Forest 
System lands adjacent to the existing wilderness. Though 
neither of the Forest Plans recommends these areas for 
wilderness designation, wilderness designation would be 
consistent with current management of the area. No summer 
motorized recreation is currently allowed and effects to winter 
motorized recreation will be minimal as there is very little 
snowmobile use of the area.


                  mount sneffels wilderness additions


    The Mount Sneffels Wilderness comprises more than 16,500 
acres on the Uncompahgre National Forest between the 
communities of Telluride and Ouray, Colorado. Elevations range 
from 9,600 to 14,150 feet at the top of Mount Sneffels.
    The proposed wilderness additions include four parcels that 
encompass approximately 21,250 acres of National Forest System 
land adjacent to the existing wilderness. As with the Lizard 
Head Additions, even though this area was not recommended as 
wilderness in the Forest Plan, designation is generally aligned 
with forest plan direction and will have minimal effects on 
summer and winter recreation.
    We would like to work with the subcommittee to address some 
technical aspects of the bill. We recommend changing the 
wilderness boundary near Telluride to provide for a more 
definitive boundary by following a cliff formation, following a 
more recognizable topographic feature for the wilderness 
boundary.


                 sheep mountain special management area


    S. 341 would also designate an area of about 21,600 acres 
of NFS land that lies south of the town of Ophir, Colorado as a 
special management area. About 10,850 acres are within the 
Uncompahgre National Forest and about 10,750 acres are within 
the San Juan National Forest. This area contains some lands 
purchased recently with funds provided by Congress as part of 
the Ophir Valley Land and Water Conservation Fund project.
    Elevations in the area range from 10,200 to almost 13,900 
feet at the top of Vermillion Peak. The area is dense with 
spruce and fir trees at the lower elevations. Above timberline 
are high alpine valleys with numerous lakes, tarns and 
waterfalls beneath dramatic 13,000-foot peaks and serrated 
ridges. The Forest Plans identify half of the area to be 
managed for semi-primitive non-motorized recreation and the 
other half for other recreation purposes.
    The Department recognizes the desire of the bill sponsors 
to preserve the characteristics of Sheep Mountain as a Special 
Management Area for potential designation as wilderness. With 
respect to water rights and water development, Section 4(d)(3) 
would prohibit new water development projects in the special 
management area. This provision is more restrictive than 
section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act under which the President 
of the United States may exercise discretion to authorize such 
facilities within designated wilderness areas if they are 
determined to be in the public interest. We support amending 
this provision so that it is consistent with the discretion 
authorized by the Wilderness Act.


                       naturita canyon withdrawal


    S. 341 would also provide for a withdrawal on approximately 
6,600 acres of National Forest System lands within Naturita 
Canyon on the Uncompahgre National Forest. This is an area 
important to local residents and is about five miles south of 
the community of Norwood, Colorado. Naturita Canyon is a 
relatively low-elevation river drainage (7,000 feet) with steep 
canyon walls that tower 1,000 feet. There are no current leases 
within the area proposed for withdrawal. Impacts on available 
oil and gas resources for this withdrawal are unknown. Further 
exploration information would be needed for a conclusive 
assessment.
    This concludes my testimony and I would be happy to answer 
any questions that you may have.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 341, as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

                    COLORADO WILDERNESS ACT OF 1993


                           Public Law 103-77


     AN ACT To designate certain lands in the State of Colorado as 
  components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for 
other purposes.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2. ADDITIONS TO THE WILDERNESS PRESERVATION SYSTEM.

    (a) Additions.--The following lands in the State of 
Colorado are hereby designated as wilderness and, therefore, as 
components of the National Wilderness Preservation System:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (19) Certain lands in the Arapaho National Forest 
        which comprise approximately 6,990 acres, as generally 
        depicted on a map entitled ``Bowen Gulch Additions to 
        Never Summer Wilderness Proposal'', dated January, 
        1993, an which are hereby incorporated in and shall be 
        deemed to be a part of the Never Summer Wilderness 
        designated by Public Law 96-560.
          (20) Lizard head wilderness addition.--Certain 
        Federal land in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and 
        Gunnison National Forests comprising approximately 
        3,350 acres, as generally depicted on the map entitled 
        ``Proposed Wilson, Sunshine, Black Face and San 
        Bernardo Additions to the Lizard Head Wilderness'' and 
        dated December 1, 2010, which is incorporated in, and 
        shall be administered as part of, the Lizard Head 
        Wilderness.
          (21) Mount sneffels wilderness additions.--
                  (A) Liberty bell and last dollar additions.--
                Certain Federal land in the Grand Mesa, 
                Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests 
                comprising approximately 7,438 acres, as 
                generally depicted on the map entitled 
                ``Proposed Liberty Bell and Last Dollar 
                Additions to the Mt. Sneffels Wilderness'' and 
                dated December 1, 2010, which is incorporated 
                in, and shall be administered as part of, the 
                Mount Sneffels Wilderness.
                  (B) Whitehouse Additions.--Certain Federal 
                land in the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and 
                Gunnison National Forests comprising 
                approximately 13,000 acres, as generally 
                depicted on the map entitled ``Proposed 
                Whitehouse Additions to the Mt. Sneffels 
                Wilderness'' and dated December 1, 2010, which 
                is incorporated in, and shall be administered 
                as part of, the Mount Sneffels Wilderness.
          (22) Mckenna peak wilderness.--Certain Federal land 
        in the State of Colorado comprising approximately 8,600 
        acres of Bureau of Land Management land, as generally 
        depicted on the map entitled ``McKenna Peak 
        Wilderness'' and dated November 10, 2010, to be known 
        as the ``McKenna Peak Wilderness''.