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H.B. 160

             1     

UTAH WILDERNESS ACT

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Stephen G. Handy

             5     
Senate Sponsor: Ralph Okerlund

             6     
             7      LONG TITLE
             8      General Description:
             9          This bill enacts the Utah Wilderness Act.
             10      Highlighted Provisions:
             11          This bill:
             12          .    recognizes the importance of securing the benefits of protected wilderness areas;
             13          .    defines terms;
             14          .    establishes the process for mapping and evaluating potential wilderness areas;
             15          .    establishes the process for designating a protected wilderness area;
             16          .    describes the acceptable uses of a protected wilderness area; and
             17          .    requires the director of the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office to make annual
             18      reports to the:
             19              .    governor, for transmission to the Legislature; and
             20              .    Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee by
             21      November 30 of each year.
             22      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             23          None
             24      Other Special Clauses:
             25          None
             26      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             27      ENACTS:


             28           63L-7-101 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             29           63L-7-102 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             30           63L-7-103 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             31           63L-7-104 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             32           63L-7-105 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             33           63L-7-106 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             34           63L-7-107 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             35           63L-7-108 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             36           63L-7-109 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             37     
             38      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             39          Section 1. Section 63L-7-101 is enacted to read:
             40     
CHAPTER 7. UTAH WILDERNESS ACT

             41          63L-7-101. Title.
             42          This chapter is known as the "Utah Wilderness Act."
             43          Section 2. Section 63L-7-102 is enacted to read:
             44          63L-7-102. Purpose.
             45          (1) The purpose of this chapter is to:
             46          (a) secure for the people of Utah, present and future generations, as well as for visitors
             47      to Utah, the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness on designated state-owned lands;
             48          (b) recognize and protect in perpetuity areas where the earth and its community of life
             49      are untrammeled by humans and where humans are visitors that do not remain;
             50          (c) provide a window into the natural world, into which our pioneer forebears ventured
             51      and formed our collective story and character;
             52          (d) recognize that the preservation of wilderness shall be part of a balanced pattern of
             53      multiple land uses;
             54          (e) demonstrate the proper stewardship of certain primitive lands by providing the
             55      protection to allow natural forces to operate; and
             56          (f) create a Utah wilderness preservation system.
             57          (2) No state-owned lands may be designated as a protected wilderness area except as
             58      provided in this chapter.


             59          (3) This chapter does not apply to lands owned or acquired by the School and
             60      Institutional Trust Lands Administration.
             61          Section 3. Section 63L-7-103 is enacted to read:
             62          63L-7-103. Definitions.
             63          As used in this chapter:
             64          (1) "Acquisition date" means the day on which the state received title to land.
             65          (2) "Conservation area" means an area that potentially has wilderness characteristics.
             66          (3) "DNR" means the Department of Natural Resources.
             67          (4) "PLPCO" means the Public Lands Policy Coordination Office.
             68          (5) "Protected wilderness area" means an area of wilderness that has been designated
             69      under this chapter as part of the Utah wilderness preservation system.
             70          (6) "Road" means a road classified as either a class B road, as described in Section
             71      72-3-103 , or a class D road, as described in Section 72-3-105 .
             72          (7) "Roadless area" means an area without a road, as defined in Subsection (6).
             73          (8) "Wilderness" means a roadless area of undeveloped state-owned land, other than
             74      land owned by the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration, that:
             75          (a) is acquired by the state from the federal government through purchase, exchange,
             76      grant, or any other means of conveyance of title after May 13, 2014;
             77          (b) retains its primeval character and influence, without permanent improvements or
             78      human habitation;
             79          (c) generally appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with
             80      minimal human impact;
             81          (d) is an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by humans,
             82      where humans are visitors who do not remain, and where the imprint of human work is
             83      substantially unnoticeable;
             84          (e) has at least 5,000 contiguous acres of land, or is of sufficient size as to make
             85      practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition;
             86          (f) has outstanding opportunities for solitude, or a primitive and unconfined type of
             87      recreation; and
             88          (g) may contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational,
             89      scenic, or historical value.


             90          Section 4. Section 63L-7-104 is enacted to read:
             91          63L-7-104. Identification of a potential wilderness area.
             92          (1) (a) Subject to Subsection (1)(b), the director of PLPCO, within one year of the
             93      acquisition date, shall identify within a parcel of acquired land any conservation areas.
             94          (b) Before identifying a parcel of land as a conservation area, the director of PLPCO
             95      shall:
             96          (i) inform the board of trustees of the School and Institutional Trust Lands
             97      Administration that a parcel is being considered for designation as a conservation area; and
             98          (ii) provide the board of trustees of the School and Institutional Trust Lands
             99      Administration with the opportunity to trade out land owned by the School and Institutional
             100      Trust Lands Administration for the parcel in question.
             101          (2) The director of PLPCO shall:
             102          (a) file a map and legal description of each identified conservation area with the
             103      governor, the Senate, and the House of Representatives;
             104          (b) maintain, and make available to the public, records pertaining to identified
             105      conservation areas, including:
             106          (i) maps;
             107          (ii) legal descriptions;
             108          (iii) copies of proposed regulations governing the conservation area; and
             109          (iv) copies of public notices of, and reports submitted to the Legislature, regarding
             110      pending additions, eliminations, or modifications to a conservation area; and
             111          (c) within five years of the date of acquisition:
             112          (i) review each identified conservation area for its suitability to be classified as a
             113      protected wilderness area; and
             114          (ii) report the findings under Subsection (2)(c)(i) to the governor.
             115          (3) The records described in Subsection (2)(b) shall be available for inspection at:
             116          (a) the PLPCO office;
             117          (b) the main office of DNR;
             118          (c) a regional office of the Division of Forestry, Fire, and State Lands for any record
             119      that deals with an identified conservation area in that region; and
             120          (d) the Division of Parks and Recreation.


             121          (4) A conservation area may be designated as a protected wilderness area as described
             122      in Section 63L-7-105 .
             123          (5) A conservation area identified under Subsection (1) shall be managed by DNR, in
             124      coordination with the county government having jurisdiction over the area, without the
             125      conservation area being designated as a protected wilderness area unless otherwise provided by
             126      the Legislature.
             127          Section 5. Section 63L-7-105 is enacted to read:
             128          63L-7-105. Report to the governor -- Governor's report to the Legislature --
             129      Designation of a protected wilderness area -- Modification of a protected wilderness area
             130      -- Rulemaking authority.
             131          (1) Within five years of the acquisition date of a parcel of land, the director of PLPCO
             132      shall:
             133          (a) review all areas identified as conservation areas under Section 63L-7-104 ; and
             134          (b) subject to Subsection (3), submit a report and recommendation to the governor on
             135      the suitability of a conservation area for designation as a protected wilderness area.
             136          (2) Before making a recommendation, the director of PLPCO shall:
             137          (a) give notice of the proposed recommendation in a newspaper having general
             138      circulation in the vicinity of the affected land;
             139          (b) hold a public hearing at a location convenient to citizens who live in the affected
             140      area; and
             141          (c) at least 30 days before the date of the hearing described in Subsection (2)(b), invite
             142      local authorities to submit their opinions on the proposed action:
             143          (i) at the hearing; or
             144          (ii) to the director of PLPCO, in writing, no later than 30 days after the day on which
             145      the hearing is held.
             146          (3) Any opinions submitted to the director of PLPCO shall be included with any
             147      recommendations to the governor under Subsection (2) and the Legislature under Subsection
             148      (5).
             149          (4) The governor shall, after receiving the reports described in Subsection (1)(b):
             150          (a) formulate a recommendation on which conservation areas to designate as protected
             151      wilderness areas; and


             152          (b) advise the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president of the Senate
             153      of the governor's recommendation.
             154          (5) An area shall be designated as a protected wilderness area upon a concurrent
             155      resolution of the Legislature, the governor concurring therein, including:
             156          (a) the legal description of the proposed protected wilderness area; and
             157          (b) any special conditions that shall be placed upon the protected wilderness area.
             158          (6) Any modification or adjustment to the boundaries of a protected wilderness area
             159      shall be:
             160          (a) recommended by the director of PLPCO after public notice of, and hearing on, the
             161      proposal, as described in Subsections (1) and (2); and
             162          (b) made official as described in Subsections (4) and (5).
             163          (7) DNR shall make rules governing the protection of a protected wilderness area.
             164          Section 6. Section 63L-7-106 is enacted to read:
             165          63L-7-106. Use of protected wilderness areas.
             166          (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, each agency administering any area
             167      designated as a protected wilderness area shall be responsible for preserving the wilderness
             168      character of the area and shall administer such area for the purposes for which it may have been
             169      established to preserve its wilderness character.
             170          (2) Except as specifically provided in this chapter, and subject to valid existing rights,
             171      there shall be:
             172          (a) no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any protected wilderness
             173      area designated by this chapter; and
             174          (b) no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats,
             175      no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation
             176      with any such area except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration
             177      of the area for the purpose of this chapter, including measures required in emergencies
             178      involving the health and safety of persons within the area.
             179          (3) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a protected wilderness area shall be
             180      devoted to the public purposes of:
             181          (a) recreation, including hunting, trapping, and fishing;
             182          (b) conservation; and


             183          (c) scenic, scientific, educational, and historical use.
             184          (4) Commercial services may be performed within a protected wilderness area to the
             185      extent necessary to support the activities described in Subsection (3).
             186          (5) Within an area designated as a protected wilderness area by this chapter:
             187          (a) subject to the rules established by DNR, the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or
             188      motorboat is authorized where:
             189          (i) the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is already established;
             190          (ii) the motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is used by the Division of Wildlife
             191      Resources in furtherance of its wildlife management responsibilities, as described in Title 23,
             192      Wildlife Resources Code of Utah; or
             193          (iii) the use of a motor vehicle, aircraft, or motorboat is necessary for emergency
             194      services or law enforcement purposes; and
             195          (b) measures may be taken, under the direction of the director of the Division of
             196      Forestry, Fire, and State Lands, as necessary to suppress and maintain fire, insects, and
             197      diseases.
             198          (6) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent, within a designated protected wilderness area,
             199      any activity, including prospecting, if the activity is conducted in a manner compatible with the
             200      preservation of the wilderness environment, subject to such conditions as the executive director
             201      of DNR considers desirable.
             202          (7) The executive director of DNR shall develop and conduct surveys of wilderness
             203      areas:
             204          (a) on a planned, recurring basis;
             205          (b) in a manner consistent with wildlife management and preservation principles;
             206          (c) in order to determine the mineral values, if any, that may be present in wilderness
             207      areas; and
             208          (d) make a completed survey available to the public, the governor, and the Legislature.
             209          (8) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, until midnight December 31,
             210      2034:
             211          (a) state laws pertaining to mining and mineral leasing shall, to the extent applicable
             212      before May 13, 2014, extend to wilderness areas designated under this chapter, subject to
             213      reasonable regulation governing ingress and egress as may be prescribed by the executive


             214      director of DNR, consistent with the use of the land for:
             215          (i) mineral location and development;
             216          (ii) exploration, drilling, and production; and
             217          (iii) use of land for transmission lines, waterlines, telephone lines, or facilities
             218      necessary in exploring, drilling, producing, mining, and processing operations, including the
             219      use of mechanized ground or air equipment when necessary, if restoration of the disturbed land
             220      is practicable and performed as soon as the land has served its purpose; and
             221          (b) mining locations lying within the boundaries of a protected wilderness area that
             222      existed as of the date of acquisition shall be held and used solely for mining or processing
             223      operations, and uses that are reasonably related to an underlying mining or processing
             224      operation.
             225          (9) Any newly issued mineral lease, permit, or license for land within a wilderness area
             226      shall contain stipulations, as may be determined by the executive director of DNR in
             227      consultation with the director of the Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining, for the protection of the
             228      wilderness character of the land, consistent with the use of the land for the purpose for which it
             229      is leased, permitted, or licensed.
             230          (10) Subject to valid rights then existing, effective January 1, 2015, the minerals in all
             231      lands designated by this chapter as wilderness areas are withdrawn from disposition under all
             232      laws pertaining to mineral leasing.
             233          (11) Mineral leases shall not be permitted within protected wilderness areas.
             234          (12) The governor may, within protected wilderness areas, authorize:
             235          (a) prospecting for water resources;
             236          (b) the establishment and maintenance of reservoirs, water-conservation works, power
             237      projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in developing water resources,
             238      including road construction and essential maintenance; and
             239          (c) subject to Subsection (13), the grazing of livestock, if the practice of grazing
             240      livestock was established as of the effective date of this chapter.
             241          (13) The commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food may make
             242      regulations as necessary to govern the grazing of livestock on a protected wilderness area.
             243          Section 7. Section 63L-7-107 is enacted to read:
             244          63L-7-107. Private lands within wilderness areas.


             245          (1) In any case where privately owned land is completely surrounded by lands within
             246      areas designated by this chapter as protected wilderness:
             247          (a) the private landowner shall be given rights as may be necessary to ensure adequate
             248      access to the privately owned land by the private owner and any successors in interest; or
             249          (b) the privately owned land shall be exchanged for state-owned land of approximately
             250      equal value.
             251          (2) If a valid mining claim or other valid occupancy is located wholly within a
             252      protected wilderness area, the executive director of DNR shall, by reasonable regulations
             253      consistent with the preservation of the area as wilderness, permit ingress and egress to such
             254      surrounded areas by means which have been, or are being, customarily enjoyed with respect to
             255      other similarly situated areas.
             256          (3) Subject to available funds, PLPCO is authorized to acquire land, or interest in land,
             257      through purchase from a private landowner.
             258          Section 8. Section 63L-7-108 is enacted to read:
             259          63L-7-108. Gifts, bequests, and contributions.
             260          (1) The executive director of DNR may accept gifts or bequests of land:
             261          (a) within protected wilderness areas designated pursuant to this chapter for
             262      preservation as wilderness; and
             263          (b) adjacent to designated protected wilderness areas, if the executive director of DNR
             264      gives 60 days advance notice to the governor.
             265          (2) Land accepted by the executive director of DNR under this section:
             266          (a) shall become part of the protected wilderness area involved; and
             267          (b) is subject to:
             268          (i) the same regulations made under this chapter; and
             269          (ii) any conditions that were made at the time the gift or bequest was made that are
             270      consistent with the regulations made under this chapter.
             271          Section 9. Section 63L-7-109 is enacted to read:
             272          63L-7-109. Annual reports.
             273          (1) The director of PLPCO shall report to the governor, for transmission to the
             274      Legislature, on:
             275          (a) the status of the Utah wilderness preservation system;


             276          (b) regulations in effect; and
             277          (c) other pertinent information.
             278          (2) The director of PLPCO shall report any recommendations for future action to the
             279      Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee by November 30 of each
             280      year.




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