[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 120, 109th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]

120 STAT. 1777

Public Law 109-337
109th Congress

An Act


 
To establish the Rio Grande Natural Area in the State of Colorado, and
for other purposes. NOTE: Oct. 12, 2006 -  [S. 56]

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, NOTE: Rio Grande
Natural Area Act.

SECTION 1. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr note. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Rio Grande Natural Area Act''.

SEC. 2. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:
(1) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Rio
Grande Natural Area Commission established by section 4(a).
(2) Natural Area.--The term ``Natural Area'' means the Rio
Grande Natural Area established by section 3(a).
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary
of the Interior.

SEC. 3. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-1. ESTABLISHMENT OF RIO GRANDE NATURAL
AREA.

(a) In General.--There is established the Rio Grande Natural Area in
the State of Colorado to conserve, restore, and protect the natural,
historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational
resources of the Natural Area.
(b) Boundaries.--The Natural Area shall include the Rio Grande River
from the southern boundary of the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge to
the New Mexico State border, extending \1/4\ mile on either side of the
bank of the River.
(c) Map and Legal Description.--
(1) In general.--As soon as practicable after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall prepare a map and
legal description of the Natural Area.
(2) Effect.--The map and legal description of the Natural
Area shall have the same force and effect as if included in this
Act, except that the Secretary may correct any minor errors in
the map and legal description.
(3) Public availability.--The map and legal description of
the Natural Area shall be available for public inspection in the
appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land Management.

SEC. 4. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-2. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COMMISSION.

(a) Establishment.--There is established the Rio Grande Natural Area
Commission.
(b) Purpose.--The Commission shall--
(1) advise the Secretary with respect to the Natural Area;
and

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120 STAT. 1778

(2) prepare a management plan relating to non-Federal land
in the Natural Area under section 6(b)(2)(A).

(c) Membership.--The Commission shall be composed of 9 members
appointed by the Secretary, of whom--
(1) 1 member shall represent the Colorado State Director of
the Bureau of Land Management;
(2) 1 member shall be the manager of the Alamosa National
Wildlife Refuge, ex officio;
(3) 3 members shall be appointed based on the recommendation
of the Governor of Colorado, of whom--
(A) 1 member shall represent the Colorado Division
of Wildlife;
(B) 1 member shall represent the Colorado Division
of Water Resources; and
(C) 1 member shall represent the Rio Grande Water
Conservation District; and
(4) 4 members shall--
(A) represent the general public;
(B) be citizens of the local region in which the
Natural Area is established; and
(C) have knowledge and experience in the fields of
interest relating to the preservation, restoration, and
use of the Natural Area.

(d) Terms of Office.--
(1) In general.--Except for the manager of the Alamosa
National Wildlife Refuge, the term of office of a member of the
Commission shall be 5 years.
(2) Reappointment.--A member may be reappointed to the
Commission on completion of the term of office of the member.

(e) Compensation.--A member of the Commission shall serve without
compensation for service on the Commission.
(f) Chairperson.--The Commission shall elect a chairperson of the
Commission.
(g) Meetings.--
(1) In general.--The Commission shall meet at least
quarterly at the call of the chairperson.
(2) Public meetings.--A meeting of the Commission shall be
open to the public.
(3) Notice.--Notice of any meeting of the Commission shall
be published in advance of the meeting.

(h) Technical Assistance.--The Secretary and the heads of other
Federal agencies shall, to the maximum extent practicable, provide any
information and technical services requested by the Commission to assist
in carrying out the duties of the Commission.

SEC. 5. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-3. POWERS OF THE COMMISSION.

(a) Hearings.--The Commission may hold such hearings, meet and act
at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence
as the Commission considers advisable to carry out this Act.
(b) Cooperative Agreements.--
(1) In general.--For purposes of carrying out the management
plan on non-Federal land in the Natural Area, the Commission may
enter into a cooperative agreement with the State of Colorado, a
political subdivision of the State, or any person.

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120 STAT. 1779

(2) Requirements.--A cooperative agreement entered into
under paragraph (1) shall establish procedures for providing
notice to the Commission of any action proposed by the State of
Colorado, a political subdivision of the State, or any person
that may affect the implementation of the management plan on
non-Federal land in the Natural Area.
(3) Effect.--A cooperative agreement entered into under
paragraph (1) shall not enlarge or diminish any right or duty of
a Federal agency under Federal law.

(c) Prohibition of Acquisition of Real Property.--The Commission may
not acquire any real property or interest in real property.
(d) Implementation of Management Plan.--
(1) In general.--The Commission shall assist the Secretary
in implementing the management plan by carrying out the
activities described in paragraph (2) to preserve and interpret
the natural, historic, cultural, scientific, scenic, wildlife,
and recreational resources of the Natural Area.
(2) Authorized activities.--In assisting with the
implementation of the management plan under paragraph (1), the
Commission may--
(A) assist the State of Colorado in preserving State
land and wildlife within the Natural Area;
(B) assist the State of Colorado and political
subdivisions of the State in increasing public awareness
of, and appreciation for, the natural, historic,
scientific, scenic, wildlife, and recreational resources
in the Natural Area;
(C) encourage political subdivisions of the State of
Colorado to adopt and implement land use policies that
are consistent with--
(i) the management of the Natural Area; and
(ii) the management plan; and
(D) encourage and assist private landowners in the
Natural Area in the implementation of the management
plan.

SEC. 6. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-4. MANAGEMENT PLAN.

(a) In General.--Not NOTE: Deadline. later than 4 years after
the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary and the Commission, in
coordination with appropriate agencies in the State of Colorado,
political subdivisions of the State, and private landowners in the
Natural Area, shall prepare management plans for the Natural Area as
provided in subsection (b).

(b) Duties of Secretary and Commission.--
(1) Secretary.--The Secretary shall prepare a management
plan relating to the management of Federal land in the Natural
Area.
(2) Commission.--
(A) In general.--The Commission shall prepare a
management plan relating to the management of the non-
Federal land in the Natural Area.
(B) Approval or disapproval.--
(i) In general.--The Commission shall submit
to the Secretary the management plan prepared
under subparagraph (A) for approval or
disapproval.

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120 STAT. 1780

(ii) Action following disapproval.--If the
Secretary disapproves the management plan
submitted under clause (i), the Secretary shall--
(I) notify the Commission of the
reasons for the disapproval; and
(II) allow the Commission to submit
to the Secretary revisions to the
management plan submitted under clause
(i).
(3) Cooperation.--The Secretary and the Commission shall
cooperate to ensure that the management plans relating to the
management of Federal land and non-Federal land are consistent.

(c) Requirements.--The management plans shall--
(1) take into consideration Federal, State, and local plans
in existence on the date of enactment of this Act to present a
unified preservation, restoration, and conservation plan for the
Natural Area;
(2) with respect to Federal land in the Natural Area--
(A) be developed in accordance with section 202 of
the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43
U.S.C. 1712);
(B) be consistent, to the maximum extent
practicable, with the management plans adopted by the
Director of the Bureau of Land Management for land
adjacent to the Natural Area; and
(C) be considered to be an amendment to the San Luis
Resource Management Plan of the Bureau of Land
Management; and
(3) include--
(A) an inventory of the resources contained in the
Natural Area (including a list of property in the
Natural Area that should be preserved, restored,
managed, developed, maintained, or acquired to further
the purposes of the Natural Area); and
(B) a recommendation of policies for resource
management, including the use of intergovernmental
cooperative agreements, that--
(i) protect the resources of the Natural Area;
and
(ii) provide for solitude, quiet use, and
pristine natural values of the Natural Area.

(d) Publication.--The Secretary shall publish notice of the
management plans in the Federal Register.

SEC. 7. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-5. ADMINISTRATION OF NATURAL AREA.

(a) In General.--The Secretary shall administer the Federal land in
the Natural Area--
(1) in accordance with--
(A) the laws (including regulations) applicable to
public land; and
(B) the management plan; and
(2) in a manner that provides for--
(A) the conservation, restoration, and protection of
the natural, historic, scientific, scenic, wildlife, and
recreational resources of the Natural Area;
(B) the continued use of the Natural Area for
purposes of education, scientific study, and limited
public recreation

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120 STAT. 1781

in a manner that does not substantially impair the
purposes for which the Natural Area is established;
(C) the protection of the wildlife habitat of the
Natural Area;
(D) a prohibition on the construction of water
storage facilities in the Natural Area; and
(E) the reduction in the use of or removal of roads
in the Natural Area and, to the maximum extent
practicable, the reduction in or prohibition against the
use of motorized vehicles in the Natural Area (including
the removal of roads and a prohibition against motorized
use on Federal land in the area on the western side of
the Rio Grande River from Lobatos Bridge south to the
New Mexico State line).

(b) Changes in Streamflow.--The Secretary is encouraged to negotiate
with the State of Colorado, the Rio Grande Water Conservation District,
and affected water users in the State to determine if changes in the
streamflow that are beneficial to the Natural Area may be accommodated.
(c) Private Land.--The management plan prepared under section
6(b)(2)(A) shall apply to private land in the Natural Area only to the
extent that the private landowner agrees in writing to be bound by the
management plan.
(d) Withdrawal.--Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal land
in the Natural Area 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) disposition under the mineral leasing laws (including
geothermal leasing laws).

(e) Acquisition of Land.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary may acquire from willing
sellers by purchase, exchange, or donation land or an interest
in land in the Natural Area.
(2) Administration.--Any land or interest in land acquired
under paragraph (1) shall be administered in accordance with the
management plan and this Act.

(f) Applicable Law.--Section 5(d)(1) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers
Act (16 U.S.C. 1276(d)(1)) shall not apply to the Natural Area.

SEC. 8. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-6. EFFECT.

Nothing in this Act--
(1) amends, modifies, or is in conflict with the Rio Grande
Compact, consented to by Congress in the Act of May 31, 1939 (53
Stat. 785, ch. 155);
(2) authorizes the regulation of private land in the Natural
Area;
(3) authorizes the imposition of any mandatory streamflow
requirements;
(4) creates an express or implied Federal reserved water
right;
(5) imposes any Federal water quality standard within or
upstream of the Natural Area that is more restrictive than would
be applicable had the Natural Area not been established; or

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120 STAT. 1782

(6) prevents the State of Colorado from acquiring an
instream flow through the Natural Area under the terms,
conditions, and limitations of State law to assist in protecting
the natural environment to the extent and for the purposes
authorized by State law.

SEC. 9. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary
to carry out this Act.

SEC. 10. NOTE: 16 USC 460rrr-8. TERMINATION OF COMMISSION.

The Commission shall terminate on the date that is 10 years after
the date of enactment of this Act.

Approved October 12, 2006.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 56:
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SENATE REPORTS: No. 109-45 (Comm. on Energy and Natural Resources).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
Vol. 151 (2005):
July 26, considered and passed
Senate.
Vol. 152 (2006):
Sept. 27, considered and passed
House.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 42 (2006):
Oct. 13, Presidential statement.