Legislation

Official Short: Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2013

Long Title: To provide for the withdrawal and protection of certain Federal land in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes.

Sponsors: Mr. Bennet.

STATUS:

  • March 22, 2013.--Introduced.

S.651

Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2013 (Introduced in Senate - IS)

S 651 IS

113th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 651

To provide for the withdrawal and protection of certain Federal land in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 22, 2013

Mr. BENNET introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To provide for the withdrawal and protection of certain Federal land in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Act of 2013'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings- Congress finds that--
      (1) the Thompson Divide in western Colorado is an area comprised of Federal and non-Federal land that provides important watershed, scenic, recreational, wildlife, and other benefits to the general public and local communities;
      (2) the Thompson Divide provides rural character, a robust agriculture-based economy, and outstanding recreational and sporting opportunities to many surrounding communities; and
      (3) the Thompson Divide provides important spring and summer grazing land for historical ranching operations.
    (b) Purposes- The purposes of this Act are--
      (1) subject to valid existing rights, to withdraw certain Federal land and mineral rights in the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area from--
        (A) disposition under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws of the United States;
        (B) location, patent, and entry under mining laws of the United States; and
        (C) all forms of appropriation or disposal under the public land laws; and
      (2) to allow for the retirement, purchase, donation, voluntary exchange, or other acquisition of mineral and other interests in land from willing sellers within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
      (1) MAP- The term `map' means the map entitled `Thompson Creek Divide Proposed Withdrawal' and dated May 31, 2012.
      (2) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
      (3) THOMPSON DIVIDE WITHDRAWAL AND PROTECTION AREA- The term `Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area' means the Federal land consisting of the approximately 183,000 acres depicted on the map as `Thompson Creek Divide Proposed Withdrawal'.

SEC. 4. THOMPSON DIVIDE WITHDRAWAL AND PROTECTION AREA.

    (a) In General- Subject to valid existing rights, the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area is withdrawn from all forms of--
      (1) entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws;
      (2) location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and
      (3) operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and geothermal leasing laws.
    (b) Surveys- The exact acreage and legal description of the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area shall be determined by surveys approved by the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture.
    (c) Acquisition of Mineral Rights-
      (1) NOTIFICATION-
        (A) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, shall provide written notice to holders of valid existing mineral leases or other mineral interests within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area of the potential opportunity for donation, voluntary exchange, or other relinquishment of those rights for retirement under this Act.
        (B) NOTIFICATION TO SECRETARY- On receipt of the notification under subparagraph (A), a holder of a valid mineral lease or other mineral interest within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area may submit a written notice to the Secretary of the interest of the holder in the retirement or other conveyance of that right for withdrawal and protection purposes.
        (C) LIST OF INTERESTED HOLDERS- The Secretary shall prepare a list of interested holders under subparagraph (A) and make the list available to--
          (i) the Secretary of Agriculture;
          (ii) any non-Federal nonprofit organization described in section 170(h) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
          (iii) any person interested in acquiring a right for retirement under this Act.
      (2) WITHDRAWAL AND RETIREMENT- If any mineral lease or other mineral interest is relinquished, donated to, exchanged, or otherwise acquired by the United States wholly or partially within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area under this Act or under the authority of the Secretary or the Secretary of Agriculture, respectively the land shall, without further action by the Secretary concerned, be automatically withdrawn from all forms of--
        (A) entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws;
        (B) location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and
        (C) operation of the mineral leasing, mineral materials, and geothermal leasing laws.
      (3) PROHIBITION- The Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall not use Federal funds to repurchase any valid Federal mineral lease or other mineral interest within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area.
      (4) APPLICABILITY-
        (A) EXISTING RIGHTS- Nothing in this Act expands, diminishes, impairs, or otherwise affects any valid existing mineral leases, mineral interest, or other private property rights wholly or partially within the Thompson Divide Withdrawal and Protection Area, including access to the leases, rights, or land in accordance with applicable Federal, State, and local laws (including regulations).
          (B) PRIOR LEASE SALES- Nothing in this Act prohibits the Secretary from taking any action necessary to issue, deny, remove the suspension of, or cancel a lease or any sold lease parcel that has not been issued pursuant to any lease sale carried out prior to the date of enactment of this Act, including the completion of any requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).