State Standards for Federal Resource Management Act

Summary

This act creates state standards regarding natural resources and public lands policy to facilitate cohesiveness of state policy and coordination with federal agencies regarding federal resource management. This bill works in conjunction with the “Public Lands Policy Coordination Act.”

Bill Information

This bill was introduced in Wyoming’s 2005 legislative session as HB 11. Similar language is contained in the UtahState code subsections 63-38d-401 (6) and (7).

Model Legislation

                                     Be it enacted by the state of ___________________.

Section 1. {Short Title}

This act shall be known as the State Standard for Federal Resource Management Act.

Section 2. {State Standards for Natural Resource Management}

The state public lands policy coordinator {or governor’s office} shall take into consideration the following findings in the preparation of any policies, plans, programs, or processes relating to federal lands and natural resources on federal lands pursuant to this section:

(A)  the citizens of the state are best served by the application of multiple use and sustained yield principles when making decisions concerning the management and use of the lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service;

(B)   multiple use and sustained-yield management means that federal agencies should develop and implement management plans and make other resource use decisions which facilitate land and natural resource use allocation which would support the specific plans, programs, processes, and policies of state agencies and local governments and which are designed to produce and provide the watersheds, food, fiber, and minerals necessary to meet future economic growth needs, and community expansion, and meet the recreational needs of the citizens of the state without permanent impairment of the productivity of the land;

(C)   the waters of the state are the property of the citizens of the state, subject to appropriation for beneficial use and are essential to the future prosperity of the state and the quality of life within the state;

(D)  the state has the right to develop and use its entitlement to interstate rivers;

(E)   all water rights desired by the federal government must be obtained through the state water appropriations system;

(F)    land management and resource-use decisions which affect federal lands should give priority to and support the purposes of the compact between the state and the United States related to school and institutional trust lands;

(G)  development of the solid, fluid, gaseous mineral resources of the state is an important part of the economy of the state, and of local regions within the state;

(H)  the state has outstanding opportunities for outdoor recreation;

(I)     wildlife constitutes an important resource and provides recreational and economic opportunities for the state’s citizens and proper stewardship of the land and natural resources is necessary to ensure a viable wildlife population within the state;

(J)     forests, rangelands, timber, and other vegetative resources provide forage for livestock, forage and habitat for wildlife, contribute to the state’s economic stability and growth, and are important for a wide variety of recreational pursuits;

(K)  management programs and initiatives which improve watersheds and increase forage for the mutual benefit of the agricultural industry and wildlife species by utilizing proven techniques and tools are vital to the state’s economy and the quality of life in the state; and

(L)   transportation and access routes to and across federal lands, including all rights-of-way vested under R.S. 2477 (subsequently renumbered 43 U.S.C. Section 9323), are vital to the state’s economy and to the quality of life in the state.

Section 3. {State Standards Regarding Specific Federal Policies}

The state public lands policy coordinator {or governor’s office} shall take into consideration the following findings in the preparation of any policies, plans, programs, or processes relating to federal lands and natural resources on federal lands pursuant to this section:

(A)  the state’s support for the addition of a river segment to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, 16 U.S.C. Section 1271 et seq. will be withheld until”

  1. the appropriate federal agency clearly demonstrates that water is present and flowing at all times;
  2. the appropriate federal agency clearly demonstrates that the required water-related value is considered outstandingly remarkable within a region of comparison consisting of one of the three physiographic provinces in the state, and that the rationale and justification for the conclusions are disclosed;
  3. the effects of the addition upon the local and state economies, agricultural and industrial operations and interests, tourism, water rights, water quality, water resource planning, and access to and across river corridors in both upstream and downstream directions from the proposed river segment have been evaluated in detail by the relevant federal agency;
  4. the appropriate federal agency clearly demonstrates that the provisions and terms of the process for review of potential additions have been applied in a consistent manner by all federal agencies; and
  5. the rationale and justification for the proposed addition, including a comparison with protections offered by other management tools, is clearly analyzed within the multiple-use mandate, and the results disclosed;
  6. the conclusions of all studies related to potential additions to the National Wild and Scenic River System, 16 U.S.C. Sec 1271 et seq. are submitted to the state for review and action by the Legislature and governor, and the results in support of or in opposition to, are included in any planning documents or other proposals for addition and are forwarded to the United States Congress;

(B)   the state’s support for designation of an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), as defined in 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1702, within federal land management plans will be withheld until:

  1. the appropriate federal agency clearly demonstrates that the proposed area contains historic, cultural, or scenic values, fish or wildlife resources, or natural processes which are unique or substantially significant on a regional basis, or contain natural hazards which significantly threaten human life or safety;
  2. the regional values, resources, processes, or hazards have been analyzed by the federal agency for impacts resulting from potential actions which are consistent with the multiple use, sustained-yield principles, and that this analysis describes the rationale for any special management attention required to protect, or prevent irreparable damage to the values, resources, processes, or hazards;
  3. the difference between special management attention required for an ACEC and normal multiple-use management has been identified and justified and that any determination of irreparable damage has been analyzed and justified for short and long-term horizons;
  4. the appropriate federal agency clearly demonstrates that the proposed designation is not a substitute for a wilderness suitability recommendation; and
  5. the conclusions of all studies are submitted to the state for review, and the results, in support of or in opposition to, are included in all planning documents;

(C)   the state recognizes the importance of the Endangered Species Act and potential impacts on federal lands management and therefore requires the United States fish and wildlife service to:

  1. clearly demonstrate peer reviewed science is present before any species listing;
  2. consult with the state planning coordinator before any species listing;
  3. consult with the state planning coordinator in all Endangered Species Act of 1973, 16 U.S.C. Section 1535, consultations;
  4. recognize the importance of agricultural operations in providing critical wildlife habitat;
  5. consult with the state planning coordinator in setting population objectives and species habitat requirements early in the planning process to ensure recovery and delisting of any species.

(D)  sufficient federal lands are made available for government-to-government exchanges of school and institutional trust lands and federal lands without regard for a resource-to-resource correspondence between the surface or mineral characteristics of the offered trust lands and offered federal lands;

(E)   federal agencies should support government-to-government of land with the state based on a fair process of valuation which meets the fiduciary obligations of both the state and federal governments toward trust lands management, and which assures that revenue authorized by federal statute to the state from mineral or timber production, present or future, is not diminished in any manner during valuation, negotiation, or implementation processes;

(F)    prime agricultural lands should continue to produce the food and fiber needed by the citizens of the state and the nation, and the rural character and open landscape of rural areas should be preserved through a healthy and active agricultural industry, consistent with private property rights and state fiduciary duties;

(G)  the resources of the forests and rangelands  of the states should be integrated as part of viable, robust, and sustainable state and local economies and available forage should be evaluated for the full complement of herbivores the rangelands can support in a sustainable manner, and forests should contain a diversity of timber species, and disease or insect infestations in forests should be controlled using logging or other best management practices;

(H)  the invasion of noxious weeds into the state should be controlled and their spread prevented;

(I)     management and resource-use decisions by federal land management and regulatory agencies concerning the vegetative resources within the state should reflect serious consideration of the optimization of the yield of water within the watersheds of the state;

(J)     the development of the solid, fluid, and gaseous mineral resources of the state should be encouraged, the waste of fluid and gaseous minerals within developed areas should be prohibited, and requirements to mitigate or reclaim mineral development projects should be based on credible evidence of significant impacts to natural or cultural resources;

(K)  motorized, human, and animal powered outdoor recreation should be integrated into affair and balanced allocation of resources within the historical and cultural framework of multiple uses in rural areas, and outdoor recreation should be supported as part of a balanced plan of state and local economic support and growth;

(L)   off-highway vehicles should be used responsibly and the management of off-highway vehicles should be uniform across all jurisdictions and laws related to the use of off-highway vehicles should be uniformly applied across all jurisdictions;

(M) rights-of-way granted under the provisions of R.S. 2477 should be preserved and acknowledged;

(N)  transportation and access provisions for all other existing routes, roads, and trails across federal, state, and school trust lands within the state should be determined and identified, and agreements executed and implemented, as necessary to fully authorize and determine responsibility for maintenance of all routes, roads, and trails;

(O)  the reasonable development of new routes and trails for motorized, human, and animal-powered recreation should be implemented;

(P)    forests, rangelands, and watersheds, in a healthy condition are necessary and beneficial for wildlife, livestock grazing, and other multiple-uses;

(Q)  that management programs and initiatives which are implemented to increase forage for the mutual benefit of the agricultural industry, livestock operations, and wildlife species should utilize all proven techniques and tools;

(R)   that the continued viability of livestock operations and the livestock industry should be supported on the federal lands within the state by management of the lands and forage resources, by the optimization of animal unit months for livestock, in accordance with the multiple use provisions of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq., the provisions of the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, 43 U.S.C. 315 et seq., and the provisions of the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978m 43 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.;

(S)    that provisions for predator control initiatives or programs under the direction of state and local authorities should be implemented; and

(T)    that resource-use and management decisions by federal land management and regulatory agencies should support state-sponsored initiatives or programs designed to stabilize wildlife population that may be experiencing a scientifically-demonstrated decline in those populations.

Section 4. {Effective Date}

 Section 5. {Repealer Clause}

Keyword Tags: Natural Resources, Public Lands