Friday, January 25, 2008

National Landscape Conservation System Act

By Mr. BINGAMAN (for himself, Mr. Salazar, Ms. Cantwell, and Mr. Sanders):

S. 1139. A bill to establish the National Landscape Conservation System; to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Mr. BINGAMAN. Mr. President, together with Senators Salazar, Cantwell, and SANDERS, I am pleased today to introduce legislation to codify the National Landscape Conservation System, the collection of national monuments, national conservation areas, wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers and other remarkable landscapes on our public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

The National Landscape Conservation System was established administratively by the Department of the Interior in 2000 and consists of all areas the BLM administers for conservation purposes. The concept behind grouping all of these areas into one system was to increase public awareness of the importance of these lands and to highlight the BLM's conservation of these areas and their cultural, historical, scientific, and ecological significance to the Nation.

Within my own State of New Mexico, the National Landscape Conservation System encompasses several nationally significant areas, including the rugged lava flows of El Malpais National Conservation Area, the unique cone-shaped rock formations of the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, the Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro and Old Spanish Trail National Historic Trails, as well as over one million acres of wilderness and wilderness study areas.

However, because the NLCS was established administratively, it does not have the permanence that it would have if enacted legislatively. In addition, legislative enactment of the NLCS will help increase the attention to these important, congressionally protected areas, and hopefully will help ensure that the system remains a high priority within the BLM and the Department of the Interior. The bill does not create any new management authority and does not change the authorities for any of the previously designated areas within the system.

Given the broad public support for these areas, I expect this bill to be non-controversial and it is my hope that it will be able to move quickly through the Congress and enactment into law.

S 1139 IS


1st Session

S. 1139

To establish the National Landscape Conservation System, and for other purposes.


April 18, 2007

Mr. BINGAMAN (for himself, Mr. SALAZAR, Ms. CANTWELL, and Mr. SANDERS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


To establish the National Landscape Conservation System, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `National Landscape Conservation System Act'.


In this Act:

(1) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

(2) SYSTEM- The term `system' means the National Landscape Conservation System established by section 3(a).


(a) Establishment- In order to conserve, protect, and restore nationally significant landscapes that have outstanding cultural, ecological, and scientific values for the benefit of current and future generations, there is established in the Bureau of Land Management the National Landscape Conservation System.

(b) Components- The system shall include each of the following areas administered by the Bureau of Land Management:

(1) Each area that is designated as--

(A) a national monument;

(B) a national conservation area;

(C) an outstanding natural area;

(D) a wilderness study area;

(E) a component of the National Trails System;

(F) a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System; or

(G) a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System.

(2) Any area designated by Congress to be administered for conservation purposes, including--

(A) the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area, as designated under section 101(a) of the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 460nnn-11(a));

(B) the Headwaters Forest Reserve; and

(C) any additional area designated by Congress for inclusion in the system.

(c) Management- The Secretary shall manage the system--

(1) in accordance with any applicable law (including regulations) relating to any component of the system included under subsection (b); and

(2) in a manner that protects the values for which the components of the system were designated.


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


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