Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                     Calendar No. 719
115th Congress       }                         {              Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session          }                         {              115-427

======================================================================



 
             ORGAN MOUNTAINS-DESERT PEAKS CONSERVATION ACT

                                _______
                                

               December 11, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 441]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 441) to designate the Organ Mountains and 
other public land as components of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System in the State of New Mexico, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment in the nature of a substitute and recommends 
that the bill, as amended, do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks 
Conservation Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Monument.--The term ``Monument'' means the Organ 
        Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument established by 
        Presidential Proclamation 9131 (79 Fed. Reg. 30431).
          (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (3) State.--The term ``State'' means the State of New Mexico.
          (4) Wilderness area.--The term ``wilderness area'' means a 
        wilderness area designated by section 3(a).

SEC. 3. DESIGNATION OF WILDERNESS AREAS.

    (a) In General.--In accordance with the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 
1131 et seq.), the following areas in the State are designated as 
wilderness and as components of the National Wilderness Preservation 
System:
          (1) Aden lava flow wilderness.--Certain land administered by 
        the Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana County 
        comprising approximately 27,673 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated 
        September 27, 2018, which shall be known as the ``Aden Lava 
        Flow Wilderness''.
          (2) Broad canyon wilderness.--Certain land administered by 
        the Bureau of Land Management in Doña County comprising 
        approximately 13,902 acres, as generally depicted on the map 
        entitled ``Desert Peaks Complex'' and dated October 1, 2018, 
        which shall be known as the ``Broad Canyon Wilderness''.
          (3) Cinder cone wilderness.--Certain land administered by the 
        Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana County comprising 
        approximately 16,935 acres, as generally depicted on the map 
        entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated September 27, 
        2018, which shall be known as the ``Cinder Cone Wilderness''.
          (4) East potrillo mountains wilderness.--Certain land 
        administered by the Bureau of Land Management in Doña 
        Ana and Luna counties comprising approximately 12,155 acres, as 
        generally depicted on the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains 
        Complex'' and dated September 27, 2018, which shall be known as 
        the ``East Potrillo Mountains Wilderness''.
          (5) Mount riley wilderness.--Certain land administered by the 
        Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana and Luna counties 
        comprising approximately 8,382 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated 
        September 27, 2018, which shall be known as the ``Mount Riley 
        Wilderness''.
          (6) Organ mountains wilderness.--Certain land administered by 
        the Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana County 
        comprising approximately 19,916 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Organ Mountains Area'' and dated September 
        21, 2016, which shall be known as the ``Organ Mountains 
        Wilderness'', the boundary of which shall be offset 400 feet 
        from the centerline of Dripping Springs Road in T. 23 S., R. 04 
        E., sec. 7, New Mexico Principal Meridian.
          (7) Potrillo mountains wilderness.--Certain land administered 
        by the Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana and Luna 
        counties comprising approximately 105,085 acres, as generally 
        depicted on the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and 
        dated September 27, 2018, which shall be known as the 
        ``Potrillo Mountains Wilderness''.
          (8) Robledo mountains wilderness.--Certain land administered 
        by the Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana County 
        comprising approximately 16,776 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Desert Peaks Complex'' and dated October 1, 
        2018, which shall be known as the ``Robledo Mountains 
        Wilderness''.
          (9) Sierra de las uvas wilderness.--Certain land administered 
        by the Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana County 
        comprising approximately 11,114 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Desert Peaks Complex'' and dated October 1, 
        2018, which shall be known as the ``Sierra de las Uvas 
        Wilderness''.
          (10) Whitethorn wilderness.--Certain land administered by the 
        Bureau of Land Management in Doña Ana and Luna counties 
        comprising approximately 9,616 acres, as generally depicted on 
        the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated 
        September 27, 2018, which shall be known as the ``Whitethorn 
        Wilderness''.
    (b) Maps and Legal Descriptions.--
          (1) In general.--As soon as practicable after the date of 
        enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall file maps and legal 
        descriptions of the wilderness areas with--
                  (A) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of 
                the Senate; and
                  (B) the Committee on Natural Resources of the House 
                of Representatives.
          (2) Force of law.--The maps and legal descriptions filed 
        under paragraph (1) shall have the same force and effect as if 
        included in this Act, except that the Secretary may correct 
        errors in the maps and legal descriptions.
          (3) Public availability.--The maps and legal descriptions 
        filed under paragraph (1) shall be on file and available for 
        public inspection in the appropriate offices of the Bureau of 
        Land Management.
    (c) Management.--Subject to valid existing rights, the wilderness 
areas shall be administered by the Secretary--
          (1) as components of the National Landscape Conservation 
        System; and
          (2) in accordance with--
                  (A) this Act; and
                  (B) the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.), 
                except that--
                          (i) any reference in the Wilderness Act to 
                        the effective date of that Act shall be 
                        considered to be a reference to the date of 
                        enactment of this Act; and
                          (ii) any reference in the Wilderness Act to 
                        the Secretary of Agriculture shall be 
                        considered to be a reference to the Secretary 
                        of the Interior.
    (d) Incorporation of Acquired Land and Interests in Land.--Any land 
or interest in land that is within the boundary of a wilderness area 
that is acquired by the United States shall--
          (1) become part of the wilderness area within the boundaries 
        of which the land is located; and
          (2) be managed in accordance with--
                  (A) the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.);
                  (B) this Act; and
                  (C) any other applicable laws.
    (e) Grazing.--Grazing of livestock in the wilderness areas, where 
established before the date of enactment of this Act, shall be 
administered in accordance with--
          (1) section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 
        1133(d)(4)); and
          (2) the guidelines set forth in Appendix A of the Report of 
        the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs to accompany H.R. 
        2570 of the 101st Congress (H. Rept. 101 405).
    (f) Military Overflights.--Nothing in this section restricts or 
precludes--
          (1) low-level overflights of military aircraft over the 
        wilderness areas, including military overflights that can be 
        seen or heard within the wilderness areas;
          (2) the designation of new units of special airspace over the 
        wilderness areas; or
          (3) the use or establishment of military flight training 
        routes over the wilderness areas.
    (g) Buffer Zones.--
          (1) In general.--Nothing in this section creates a protective 
        perimeter or buffer zone around any wilderness area.
          (2) Activities outside wilderness areas.--The fact that an 
        activity or use on land outside any wilderness area can be seen 
        or heard within the wilderness area shall not preclude the 
        activity or use outside the boundary of the wilderness area.
    (h) Paragliding.--The use of paragliding within areas of the East 
Potrillo Mountains Wilderness designated by subsection (a)(4) in which 
the use has been established before the date of enactment of this Act, 
shall be allowed to continue in accordance with section 4(d)(1) of the 
Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(1)), subject to any terms and 
conditions that the Secretary determines to be necessary.
    (i) Climatologic Data Collection.--Subject to such terms and 
conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, nothing in this Act 
precludes the installation and maintenance of hydrologic, meteorologic, 
or climatologic collection devices in wilderness areas if the 
facilities and access to the facilities are essential to flood warning, 
flood control, or water reservoir operation activities.
    (j) Fish and Wildlife.--Nothing in this Act affects the 
jurisdiction of the State with respect to fish and wildlife located on 
public land in the State, except that the Secretary, after consultation 
with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, may designate zones 
where, and establish periods during which, no hunting or fishing shall 
be permitted for reasons of public safety, administration, or 
compliance with applicable law.
    (k) Withdrawals.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to valid existing rights, the 
        Federal land within the wilderness areas and any land or 
        interest in land that is acquired by the United States in the 
        wilderness areas after the date of enactment of this Act is 
        withdrawn from--
                  (A) entry, appropriation, or disposal under the 
                public land laws;
                  (B) location, entry, and patent under the mining 
                laws; and
                  (C) operation of the mineral leasing, mineral 
                materials, and geothermal leasing laws.
          (2) Parcel b.--The approximately 6,498 acres of land 
        generally depicted as ``Parcel B'' on the map entitled ``Organ 
        Mountains Area'' and dated September 21, 2016, is withdrawn in 
        accordance with paragraph (1), except that the land is not 
        withdrawn for purposes of the issuance of oil and gas pipeline 
        or road rights-of-way.
          (3) Parcel c.--The approximately 1,297 acres of land 
        generally depicted as ``Parcel C'' on the map entitled ``Organ 
        Mountains Area'' and dated September 21, 2016, is withdrawn in 
        accordance with paragraph (1), except that the land is not 
        withdrawn from disposal under the Act of June 14, 1926 
        (commonly known as the ``Recreation and Public Purposes Act'') 
        (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.).
          (4) Parcel d.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary of the Army shall 
                allow for the conduct of certain recreational 
                activities on the approximately 2,035 acres of land 
                generally depicted as ``Parcel D'' on the map entitled 
                ``Organ Mountains Area'' and dated September 21, 2016 
                (referred to in this paragraph as the ``parcel''), 
                which is a portion of the public land withdrawn and 
                reserved for military purposes by Public Land Order 833 
                dated May 21, 1952 (17 Fed. Reg. 4822).
                  (B) Outdoor recreation plan.--
                          (i) In general.--The Secretary of the Army 
                        shall develop a plan for public outdoor 
                        recreation on the parcel that is consistent 
                        with the primary military mission of the 
                        parcel.
                          (ii) Requirement.--In developing the plan 
                        under clause (i), the Secretary of the Army 
                        shall ensure, to the maximum extent 
                        practicable, that outdoor recreation activities 
                        may be conducted on the parcel, including 
                        hunting, hiking, wildlife viewing, and camping.
                  (C) Closures.--The Secretary of the Army may close 
                the parcel or any portion of the parcel to the public 
                as the Secretary of the Army determines to be necessary 
                to protect--
                          (i) public safety; or
                          (ii) the safety of the military members 
                        training on the parcel.
                  (D) Transfer of administrative jurisdiction; 
                withdrawal.--
                          (i) In general.--On a determination by the 
                        Secretary of the Army that military training 
                        capabilities, personnel safety, and 
                        installation security would not be hindered as 
                        a result of the transfer to the Secretary of 
                        administrative jurisdiction over the parcel, 
                        the Secretary of the Army shall transfer to the 
                        Secretary administrative jurisdiction over the 
                        parcel.
                          (ii) Withdrawal.--On transfer of the parcel 
                        under clause (i), the parcel shall be--
                                  (I) under the jurisdiction of the 
                                Director of the Bureau of Land 
                                Management; and
                                  (II) withdrawn from--
                                          (aa) entry, appropriation, or 
                                        disposal under the public land 
                                        laws;
                                          (bb) location, entry, and 
                                        patent under the mining laws; 
                                        and
                                          (cc) operation of the mineral 
                                        leasing, mineral materials, and 
                                        geothermal leasing laws.
                          (iii) Reservation.--On transfer under clause 
                        (i), the parcel shall be reserved for 
                        management of the resources of, and military 
                        training conducted on, the parcel in accordance 
                        with a memorandum of understanding entered into 
                        under subparagraph (E).
          (E) Memorandum of understanding relating to military 
        training.--
                          (i) In general.--If, after the transfer of 
                        the parcel under subparagraph (D)(i), the 
                        Secretary of the Army requests that the 
                        Secretary enter into a memorandum of 
                        understanding, the Secretary shall enter into a 
                        memorandum of understanding with the Secretary 
                        of the Army providing for the conduct of 
                        military training on the parcel.
                          (ii) Requirements.--The memorandum of 
                        understanding entered into under clause (i) 
                        shall--
                                  (I) address the location, frequency, 
                                and type of training activities to be 
                                conducted on the parcel;
                                  (II) provide to the Secretary of the 
                                Army access to the parcel for the 
                                conduct of military training;
                                  (III) authorize the Secretary or the 
                                Secretary of the Army to close the 
                                parcel or a portion of the parcel to 
                                the public as the Secretary or the 
                                Secretary of the Army determines to be 
                                necessary to protect--
                                          (aa) public safety; or
                                          (bb) the safety of the 
                                        military members training; and
                                  (IV) to the maximum extent 
                                practicable, provide for the protection 
                                of natural, historic, and cultural 
                                resources in the area of the parcel.
                  (F) Military overflights.--Nothing in this paragraph 
                restricts or precludes--
                          (i) low-level overflights of military 
                        aircraft over the parcel, including military 
                        overflights that can be seen or heard within 
                        the parcel;
                          (ii) the designation of new units of special 
                        airspace over the parcel; or
                          (iii) the use or establishment of military 
                        flight training routes over the parcel.
    (l) Robledo Mountains.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall manage the Federal land 
        described in paragraph (2) in a manner that preserves the 
        character of the land for the future inclusion of the land in 
        the National Wilderness Preservation System.
          (2) Land description.--The land referred to in paragraph (1) 
        is certain land administered by the Bureau of Land Management, 
        comprising approximately 100 acres as generally depicted as 
        ``Lookout Peak Communication Site'' on the map entitled 
        ``Desert Peaks Complex'' and dated October 1, 2018.
          (3) Uses.--The Secretary shall permit only such uses on the 
        land described in paragraph (2) that were permitted on the date 
        of enactment of this Act.
    (m) Release of Wilderness Study Areas.--Congress finds that, for 
purposes of section 603(c) of the Federal Land Policy and Management 
Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782(c)), the public land in Doña Ana 
County administered by the Bureau of Land Management not designated as 
wilderness by subsection (a) or described in subsection (l)----
          (1) has been adequately studied for wilderness designation;
          (2) is no longer subject to section 603(c) of the Federal 
        Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1782(c)); and
          (3) shall be managed in accordance with--
                  (A) the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 
                1976 (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.);
                  (B) this Act; and
                  (C) any other applicable laws.
    (n) Private Land.--In accordance with section 5 of the Wilderness 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1134), the Secretary shall ensure adequate access to 
non-Federal land located within the boundary of a wilderness area.

SEC. 4. BORDER SECURITY.

    (a) In General.--Nothing in this Act--
          (1) prevents the Secretary of Homeland Security from 
        undertaking law enforcement and border security activities, in 
        accordance with section 4(c) of the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 
        1133(c)), within the wilderness areas, including the ability to 
        use motorized access within a wilderness area while in pursuit 
        of a suspect;
          (2) affects the 2006 Memorandum of Understanding among the 
        Department of Homeland Security, the Department of the 
        Interior, and the Department of Agriculture regarding 
        cooperative national security and counterterrorism efforts on 
        Federal land along the borders of the United States; or
          (3) prevents the Secretary of Homeland Security from 
        conducting any low-level overflights over the wilderness areas 
        that may be necessary for law enforcement and border security 
        purposes.
    (b) Withdrawal and Administration of Certain Area.--
          (1) Withdrawal.--The area identified as ``Parcel A'' on the 
        map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated September 
        27, 2018, is withdrawn in accordance with section 3(k)(1).
          (2) Administration.--Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and 
        (4), the Secretary shall administer the area described in 
        paragraph (1) in a manner that, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, protects the wilderness character of the area.
          (3) Use of motor vehicles.--The use of motor vehicles, 
        motorized equipment, and mechanical transport shall be 
        prohibited in the area described in paragraph (1) except as 
        necessary for--
                  (A) the administration of the area (including the 
                conduct of law enforcement and border security 
                activities in the area); or
                  (B) grazing uses by authorized permittees.
          (4) Effect of subsection.--Nothing in this subsection 
        precludes the Secretary from allowing within the area described 
        in paragraph (1) the installation and maintenance of 
        communication or surveillance infrastructure necessary for law 
        enforcement or border security activities.
    (c) Restricted Route.--The route excluded from the Potrillo 
Mountains Wilderness identified as ``Restricted--Administrative 
Access'' on the map entitled ``Potrillo Mountains Complex'' and dated 
September 27, 2018, shall be--
          (1) closed to public access; but
          (2) available for administrative and law enforcement uses, 
        including border security activities.

SEC. 5. ORGAN MOUNTAINS-DESERT PEAKS NATIONAL MONUMENT.

    (a) Management Plan.--In preparing and implementing the management 
plan for the Monument, the Secretary shall include a watershed health 
assessment to identify opportunities for watershed restoration.
    (b) Incorporation of Acquired State Trust Land and Interests in 
State Trust Land.--
          (1) In general.--Any land or interest in land that is within 
        the State trust land described in paragraph (2) that is 
        acquired by the United States shall--
                  (A) become part of the Monument; and
                  (B) be managed in accordance with
                          (i) Presidential Proclamation 9131 (79 Fed. 
                        Reg. 30431);
                          (ii) this Act; and
                          (iii) any other applicable laws.
          (2) Description of state trust land.--The State trust land 
        referred to in paragraph (1) is the State trust land in T. 22 
        S., R 01 W., New Mexico Principal Meridian and T. 22 S., R. 02 
        W., New Mexico Principal Meridian.
    (c) Land Exchanges.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraphs (3) through (6), the 
        Secretary shall attempt to enter into an agreement to initiate 
        an exchange under section 2201.1 of title 43, Code of Federal 
        Regulations (or successor regulations), with the Commissioner 
        of Public Lands of New Mexico, by the date that is 18 months 
        after the date of enactment of this Act, to provide for a 
        conveyance to the State of all right, title, and interest of 
        the United States in and to Bureau of Land Management land in 
        the State identified under paragraph (2) in exchange for the 
        conveyance by the State to the Secretary of all right, title, 
        and interest of the State in and to parcels of State trust land 
        within the boundary of the Monument identified under that 
        paragraph or described in subsection (b)(2).
          (2) Identification of land for exchange.--The Secretary and 
        the Commissioner of Public Lands of New Mexico shall jointly 
        identify the Bureau of Land Management land and State trust 
        land eligible for exchange under this subsection, the exact 
        acreage and legal description of which shall be determined by 
        surveys approved by the Secretary and the New Mexico State Land 
        Office.
          (3) Applicable law.--A land exchange under paragraph (1) 
        shall be carried out in accordance with section 206 of the 
        Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 
        1716).
          (4) Conditions.--A land exchange under paragraph (1) shall be 
        subject to--
                  (A) valid existing rights; and
                  (B) such terms as the Secretary and the State shall 
                establish.
          (5) Valuation, appraisals, and equalization.--
                  (A) In general.--The value of the Bureau of Land 
                Management land and the State trust land to be conveyed 
                in a land exchange under this subsection--
                          (i) shall be equal, as determined by 
                        appraisals conducted in accordance with 
                        subparagraph (B); or
                          (ii) if not equal, shall be equalized in 
                        accordance with subparagraph (C).
                  (B) Appraisals.--
                          (i) In general.--The Bureau of Land 
                        Management land and State trust land to be 
                        exchanged under this subsection shall be 
                        appraised by an independent, qualified 
                        appraiser that is agreed to by the Secretary 
                        and the State.
                          (ii) Requirements.--An appraisal under clause 
                        (i) shall be conducted in accordance with--
                                  (I) the Uniform Appraisal Standards 
                                for Federal Land Acquisitions; and
                                  (II) the Uniform Standards of 
                                Professional Appraisal Practice.
                  (C) Equalization.--
                          (i) In general.--If the value of the Bureau 
                        of Land Management land and the State trust 
                        land to be conveyed in a land exchange under 
                        this subsection is not equal, the value may be 
                        equalized by--
                                  (I) making a cash equalization 
                                payment to the Secretary or to the 
                                State, as appropriate, in accordance 
                                with section 206(b) of the Federal Land 
                                Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
                                U.S.C. 1716(b)); or
                                  (II) reducing the acreage of the 
                                Bureau of Land Management land or State 
                                trust land to be exchanged, as 
                                appropriate.
                          (ii) Cash equalization payments.--Any cash 
                        equalization payments received by the Secretary 
                        under clause (i)(I) shall be--
                                  (I) deposited in the Federal Land 
                                Disposal Account established by section 
                                206(a) of the Federal Land Transaction 
                                Facilitation Act (43 U.S.C. 2305(a)); 
                                and
                                  (II) used in accordance with that 
                                Act.
          (6) Limitation.--No exchange of land shall be conducted under 
        this subsection unless mutually agreed to by the Secretary and 
        the State.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 441 is to designate the Organ Mountains 
and other public land as components of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System in the State of New Mexico.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    In May 2014, President Obama designated the Organ Mountain-
Desert Peaks National Monument (Monument), which is managed by 
the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Dona Ana County in 
southern New Mexico. S. 441 would designate approximately 
241,554 acres of public land within the Monument as wilderness. 
The wilderness would provide protection for large expanses of 
the Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem, including mountain ranges and 
grasslands, mesas and canyons, and lava flows and ancient 
volcanic cinder cones. The majority of the proposed wilderness 
areas are currently managed by the BLM as Wilderness Study 
Areas (WSAs), and the majority of the Monument is currently 
managed as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern.
    S. 441 would also require the Secretary to manage 
approximately 100 acres in the Robledo Mountains for its 
wilderness characteristics and release any WSAs administered by 
the BLM in Dona Ana County to multiple-use. The bill also 
provides for equal value land exchanges with the State of New 
Mexico and the Secretary of the Interior so that State Trust 
lands within the boundary of the Monument can be acquired by 
the Secretary and the State can receive lands it can use to 
generate revenue for the school trust.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 441 was introduced by Senators Udall and Heinrich on 
February 17, 2017. The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests, 
and Mining, held a hearing to consider the bill on February 7, 
2018.
    In the 114th Congress, a similar bill, S. 3049, was 
introduced by Senators Udall and Heinrich on June 16, 2016. A 
hearing was held on S. 3049 on September 22, 2016. In the House 
of Representatives, Rep. Pearce introduced companion 
legislation, H.R. 2467, on May 20, 2015.
    In the 113th Congress, Senators Bingaman and Udall of New 
Mexico introduced similar legislation, S. 1805, on December 12, 
2013.
    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, and ordered S. 441 
favorably reported as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
441 if amended as described herein. Senators Barrasso, Risch, 
and Lee asked to be recorded as voting no.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During its consideration of S. 441, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute.
    The substitute amendment separates the Potrillo Mountains 
Wilderness, as described in S. 441 as introduced, into three 
separate wilderness areas: the East Potrillo Mountains 
Wilderness, the Mount Riley Wilderness, and the Potrillo 
Mountains Wilderness; and decreases the total wilderness area 
designation by approximately 232 acres of land.
    The substitute amendment makes clear that the authorization 
to continue paragliding applies to the East Potrillo Mountains 
Wilderness, not the Potrillo Mountains Wilderness.
    The substitute amendment strikes the designation of the 
approximately 100 acres of land at the Lookout Peak 
Communication Site as potential wilderness, and instead 
requires the Secretary to manage the land in a manner that 
preserves its wilderness characteristics. The substitute 
amendment also strikes the clause authorizing the Secretary to 
designate that land as wilderness, subject to providing public 
notice through the Federal Register.
    The substitute amendment adds a new section 3(n), which 
makes clear that private land owners who have inholdings within 
the new wilderness areas, shall be provided adequate access to 
their land.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides a short title for the bill.

Sec. 2. Definitions

    Section 2 provides key definitions.

Sec. 3. Designation of wilderness areas

    Subsection (a) designates 27,673 acres of BLM land as the 
Aden Lava Flow Wilderness; 13,902 acres of BLM land as the 
Broad Canyon Wilderness; 16,935 acres of BLM land as the Cinder 
Cone Wilderness; 12,155 acres of BLM land as the East Potrillo 
Mountains Wilderness; 8,382 acres of BLM land as the Mount 
Riley Wilderness; 19,916 acres of BLM land as the Organ 
Mountains Wilderness; 105,085 acres of BLM land as the Potrillo 
Mountains Wilderness; 16,776 acres of BLM land as the Robledo 
Mountains Wilderness; 11,114 acres of BLM land as the Sierra de 
las Uvas Wilderness; and 9,616 acres of BLM land as the 
Whitethorn Wilderness.
    Subsection (b) requires the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) to submit maps of the new wilderness areas to the 
Committees of jurisdiction and to make them publically 
available.
    Subsection (c) requires the land to be administered in 
accordance with the Wilderness Act and as components of the 
National Landscape Conservation System, subject to valid 
existing rights.
    Subsection (d) makes clear that any land that is acquired 
by the Federal government within the boundaries of the new 
wilderness areas, will be added to the wilderness areas.
    Subsection (e) makes clear that any grazing that exists 
prior to enactment of this legislation, can continue subject to 
section 4(d)(4) of the Wilderness Act and Appendix A of H. 
Rept. 101-405.
    Subsection (f) makes clear that military flights over the 
airspace of the wilderness can continue.
    Subsection (g) makes clear that buffer zones cannot be 
established around the boundaries of the new wilderness areas.
    Subsection (h) authorizes paragliding that existed prior to 
enactment of this legislation, to continue.
    Subsection (i) authorizes the installation and maintenance 
of hydrologic, meteorologic, and climatologic monitoring 
systems.
    Subsection (j) makes clear that nothing in this legislation 
impacts the jurisdiction of the State of New Mexico to manage 
fish and wildlife located on public land in the State.
    Subsection (k) withdraws the new wilderness areas from 
entry, appropriation, and disposal under public land laws; 
location, entry, and patent under mining laws; and mineral and 
geothermal leasing laws. Subsection (k) clarifies that 6,498 
acres in the Organ Mountains Wilderness is not withdrawn for 
purposes of the issuance of oil and gas pipeline or road 
rights-of-way; and that 1,297 acres of land in the Organ 
Mountains Wilderness is not withdrawn from disposal under the 
Recreation and Public Purposes Act (43 U.S.C. 869 et seq.). It 
further requires the Secretary of the Army to develop a 
management plan to authorize recreational access and uses on 
2,035 acres of land in the Organ Mountains Wilderness, but 
authorizes the Secretary of the Army to close any piece of the 
land if necessary for public safety or military exercises. Once 
the Secretary of the Army determines that the land is no longer 
needed for military purposes, the Secretary of the Army is 
required to transfer jurisdiction of the land to the Secretary 
of the Interior. It directs the Secretaries to enter into a 
memorandum of understanding to allow for military training and 
exercises on the land.
    Subsection (l) directs the Secretary to manage 100 acres of 
land at the Lookout Peak Communication Site in the Robledo 
Mountains in a manner that preserves its wilderness 
characteristics and authorizes uses that were in existence 
prior to enactment of this legislation.
    Subsection (m) finds that Federal land in Dona County that 
was not designated as wilderness in subsection (a), has been 
adequately studied and releases it from being a WSA.
    Subsection (n) requires the Secretary to provide adequate 
access to any privately owned inholdings within the boundaries 
of the new wilderness areas.

Sec. 4. Border security

    Subsection (a) makes clear that nothing in this legislation 
impacts or diminishes the authority of the Secretary of 
Homeland Security to undertake law enforcement and border 
security activities, nor does it impact cooperative agreements 
between the Secretaries of the Interior and Homeland Security 
regarding national security and counterterrorism activities.
    Subsection (b) withdraws the areas identified as ``Parcel 
A'' in the Potrillo Mountains subject to Section 3(k)(1); 
directs the Secretary to administer that land to preserve its 
wilderness characteristics; prohibits the use of motorized 
vehicles, except for border security; and makes clear that this 
legislation does not prevent the Secretary from authorizing the 
installation and maintenance of communication or surveillance 
infrastructure.
    Subsection (c) closes the route identified as 
``Restricted--Administrative Access'' on the ``Potrillo 
Mountains Complex'' map to public access, except for 
administrative and law enforcement uses.

Sec. 5. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument

    Subsection (a) requires the Secretary to conduct a 
watershed health assessment during the preparation and 
implementation of the land management plan for the Organ 
Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
    Subsection (b) requires that any land acquired by the 
Federal government from State trust land that is within the 
boundaries of the Monument, be incorporated into the Monument.
    Subsection (c) requires the Secretary to attempt to enter 
into an agreement with the Commissioner of Public Lands for the 
State of New Mexico to initiate a land exchange; requires the 
Secretary and Commissioner to jointly identify land for 
exchange; requires the exchange to be carried out in accordance 
with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 
1716); makes clear that the exchange is subject to valid 
existing rights; requires an independent appraisal of the land 
and that there be an equal value exchange; authorizes the 
Secretary and the State to use cash equalization if the land to 
be conveyed is determined not to be equal values; and requires 
that the land exchange be mutually agreeable to the Secretary 
and the State.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimates of the costs for this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 441 would designate roughly 240,000 acres of federal 
land in New Mexico as part of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System. Because the affected land is already 
managed by the federal government, CBO expects that there would 
be no significant costs associated with those designations. The 
bill also would require the Secretary of the Army to develop a 
recreation plan for a tract of federal land located in the 
state. Based on the costs of similar tasks, CBO estimates that 
developing the plan would cost less than $500,000; such 
spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds.
    The bill would authorize a land exchange between the Bureau 
of Land Management (BLM) and the state of New Mexico. Under the 
bill, the state and BLM would jointly identify the federal and 
nonfederal parcels of land to be exchanged. CBO has no 
information on which parcels would be exchanged, or whether the 
federal land generates any offsetting receipts (which are 
recorded in the budget as reductions in direct spending) from 
mineral production, grazing, or other activities. If the land 
that would be exchanged does generate receipts, the bill would 
reduce those receipts, relative to current law.
    In addition, if the parcels are not of equal value, the 
values would be equalized through an adjustment in acreage or a 
cash equalization payment. If the federal parcel to be 
exchanged is more valuable, any cash equalization payment to 
BLM (which would be recorded in the budget as an offsetting 
receipt) would be available to spend without further 
appropriation, the net effect on direct spending would be 
negligible. If the federal parcel to be exchanged is less 
valuable, any cash equalization payment to the state would 
increase direct spending. On net, CBO expects that enacting S. 
441 would increase direct spending by an insignificant amount.
    Because enacting S. 441 could affect direct spending, pay-
as-you-go procedures apply. The bill would not affect revenues.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 441 would not significantly 
increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of 
the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 441 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 441. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 441, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 441, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the February 7, 2018, hearing on S. 441 follows:

Statement of Brian Steed, Deputy Director for Policy & Programs, Bureau 
          of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior


         s. 441, organ mountains-desert peaks conservation act


    Thank you for inviting the Department of the Interior 
(Department) to testify on S. 441, the Organ Mountains-Desert 
Peaks Conservation Act. The bill designates eight new 
wilderness areas and includes direction for future management 
on additional public lands managed by the Bureau of Land 
Management (BLM) in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. Secretary 
Zinke, through Secretarial Order 3347, has pledged to expand 
access to America's public lands and increase hunting, fishing, 
and recreational opportunities nationwide. In addition, 
Secretary Zinke is focused on restoring full collaboration and 
coordination with local communities and making the Department a 
better neighbor. The Department supports the goals of S. 441 
that are consistent with the Secretary's priorities and would 
like to work with Congress to make sure the Secretary's 
priorities are appropriately considered.
    In addition, the Department supports Congressional action 
to resolve issues of wilderness designation and release of 
wilderness study areas (WSAs) on public lands across the West, 
and we welcome opportunities to further those efforts. However, 
we want to ensure that designating public lands outside of 
existing WSAs as wilderness is the most appropriate management 
tool and that it does not unnecessarily impede public access or 
limit outdoor recreational opportunities. Furthermore, the 
Department is concerned that the sponsor's language regarding 
our Nation's security needs along the southern border with 
Mexico does not adequately address the Administration's 
priority of making America safe through effective management of 
the borderlands. We recommend a number of important 
modifications to the bill to address these critical issues.
Background
    Dona Ana County, New Mexico, covers just over 3,800 square 
miles and is home to Las Cruces, one of the fastest-growing 
cities in the country. BLM-managed public lands in this part of 
New Mexico provide significant opportunities for economic 
development and jobs, outdoor recreation, traditional uses, and 
conservation. The Organ Mountains, east of the city of Las 
Cruces, dominate the landscape. Characterized by steep, 
angular, barren rock outcroppings, the Organ Mountains rise to 
nearly 9,000 feet in elevation and extend for 20 miles, running 
generally north and south. The Organ Mountains feature mixed 
desert shrubs and grasslands in the lowlands transitioning to 
pinyon and juniper woodlands, and finally to ponderosa pines at 
the highest elevations. These lands are an important recreation 
area, with multiple hiking trails, a popular campground, and 
opportunities for hunting, mountain biking, and other dispersed 
recreation.
    On the west side of Las Cruces are the mountain ranges and 
peaks of the Robledo Mountains and Sierra de las Uvas, which 
make up the Desert Peaks area. These desert landscapes feature 
numerous mesas and buttes interspersed with deep canyons and 
arroyos and serve as habitat for mule deer, mountain lions, 
golden eagles, and other raptors. This area also provides 
varied dispersed recreational opportunities.
    To the southwest of Las Cruces, near the Mexican border, is 
the Potrillo Mountains Complex, which is characterized by 
cinder cones, volcanic craters, basalt lava flows, and talus 
slopes. These lands are noted for their abundant wildlife and 
fossil resources. A well-preserved giant ground sloth skeleton, 
now housed at Yale University, was discovered in this area. The 
Potrillo Mountains offer excellent opportunities for hiking, 
hunting, photography, and other forms of outdoor recreation.
S. 441
    S. 441 designates eight wilderness areas in Dona Ana 
County. The bill provides for the management and future 
transfer of land from the Department of the Defense (DOD) to 
the BLM, withdraws certain additional lands from disposal, 
mining, and mineral leasing, and includes provisions related to 
border security, the management plan for the Organ Mountains-
Desert Peaks National Monument (Monument), and acquisition of 
specified State trust land adjacent to the Desert Peaks area of 
the Monument.
Wilderness
    Section 3 of S. 441 designates eight wilderness areas 
totaling approximately 242,000 acres. Of these lands, 
approximately 197,000 acres are within existing WSAs and 
approximately 45,000 acres have not previously been identified 
as suitable for wilderness by the BLM. This section also 
releases approximately 30,200 acres from WSA status. The 
Department notes that the lands proposed for wilderness 
designation by S. 441 generally serve as habitat for a 
diversity of plant and animal life and provide important 
opportunities for hiking, hunting, rock climbing, horseback 
riding, and other forms of outdoor recreation in the New Mexico 
desert near Las Cruces.
    Only Congress can determine whether to designate WSAs as 
wilderness or to release them for other multiple uses. The WSAs 
included in the proposed wilderness designations have been 
pending final resolution by Congress since 1991. The 
Department, therefore, supports Congress settling the status of 
these lands, which would provide certainty to public land users 
in this part of Dona Ana County.
    Pursuant to the priorities outlined by Secretary Zinke, we 
would like the opportunity to work with the sponsors and the 
Subcommittee to ensure that wilderness designation on public 
lands outside of existing WSAs is the most appropriate 
mechanism to adequately protect these areas. Alternative 
management approaches could conserve sensitive resources while 
still accommodating the full range of uses and activities 
permitted on other BLM-managed lands within the Monument.
    In addition, we would like to work with the sponsors on 
minor and technical amendments to this section, including 
boundary modifications for enhanced manageability and to 
provide access to public trails and private inholdings. In 
addition, as currently drafted, we do not believe that the bill 
provision authorizing paragliding to continue in this area 
after wilderness designation would achieve what we understand 
to be the sponsors' intended objective. As a result, we would 
like to work with the sponsors and Subcommittee on amendments 
to the paragliding management language that aid implementation 
and ensure consistency with the Wilderness Act.
    Within the proposed Robledo Mountains Wilderness, a small 
corridor of approximately 100 acres has been designated as 
``potential wilderness'' by section 3(l) of S. 441. The lands 
included in this potential wilderness contain a communications 
right-of-way. It is our understanding that it is the intention 
of the sponsors to allow the continued use of this site, which 
is important to the Elephant Butte Irrigation District, U.S. 
Border Patrol, New Mexico State Police, and others. However, in 
the event that the communications right-of-way were 
relinquished and the lands were reclaimed in the future, they 
would become part of the wilderness area. The Department does 
not necessarily object to this provision, but we believe there 
are alternative approaches that would preserve this important 
use.
Fillmore Canyon
    Section 3(k)(4) of the bill authorizes hunting, hiking, 
wildlife viewing, camping, and other outdoor recreational 
activities on approximately 2,035 acres of land. This land is 
currently part of the Army's Fort Bliss and includes the scenic 
Fillmore Canyon, as well as the western slopes of Organ Peak 
and Ice Canyon. This section requires the DOD to develop an 
outdoor recreation plan for the area that is consistent with 
its primary military mission and permits the DOD to close all 
or a portion of the area to protect public or military member 
safety. In the event that the DOD determines that military 
training capabilities, personal safety, and installation 
security would not be hindered, the DOD would be required to 
transfer administrative jurisdiction of the area to the BLM. 
After such a transfer of jurisdiction, the bill immediately 
withdraws the area from the public land, mining, and mineral 
leasing laws. At the DOD's request, the BLM would be required 
to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) providing for 
the conduct of military training within the area and, to the 
maximum extent practicable, for the protection of natural, 
historic, and cultural resources. The Department supports this 
section as it would improve access to an area popular with the 
public. We would, however, like to work with the sponsors and 
the Department of the Army on language that we believe would 
enhance implementation.
Additional Withdrawals
    Section 3(k) of the legislation provides for the withdrawal 
of two parcels of BLM-managed lands from the public land, 
mining, and mineral leasing laws. The parcel designated as 
``Parcel C'' is approximately 1,300 acres of BLM-managed lands 
on the eastern outskirts of Las Cruces. This parcel is a 
popular hiking and mountain biking site and provides easy 
access to the peak of the Tortugas Mountains. The larger 6,500-
acre parcel, designated as ``Parcel B,'' lies on the southern 
end of the Organ Mountains area of the Monument and provides a 
number of current uses, including oil and gas pipelines (mainly 
natural gas), fiber optic lines for telecommunications, and 
transportation (State Route 404). The Department also notes 
that the Sierra Vista National Recreation Trail traverses 
Parcel B and connects to the Franklin Mountains in Texas. We 
would like the opportunity to work with the sponsors and the 
Subcommittee to ensure that withdrawal is the best mechanism 
for ensuring that these important uses continue. Alternative 
management approaches could protect recreational opportunities 
and conserve resources while still accommodating the full range 
of uses and activities permitted on other BLM-managed lands. 
Under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), for 
example, the BLM currently manages public lands within the 
Monument for a variety of uses, such as conservation, watershed 
protection, hunting, fishing, and other forms of recreation, 
and livestock grazing. If Congress chooses to proceed with the 
proposed withdrawal, the Department would like to work with the 
sponsors on language accommodating potential maintenance of and 
improvements to State Route 404.
Border Security
    The Department is strongly committed to securing our 
Nation's borders and promoting a safe and secure environment 
for the public, employees, and users of lands managed by the 
BLM, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and 
Bureau of Indian Affairs. The BLM and other Department bureaus 
regularly coordinate and collaborate with local, State, Tribal, 
and Federal partner agencies on border safety, security, and 
environmental protection, including protecting public land 
resources from the impacts of crimes such as smuggling.
    S. 441 includes a number of provisions regarding border 
security to provide flexibility to the Department of Homeland 
Security (DHS) and other law enforcement agencies. First, the 
legislation releases approximately 30,200 acres from WSA status 
along the southern boundary of the proposed Potrillo Mountains 
Wilderness. Within an approximately 16,500-acre area along that 
southern border, designated as ``Parcel A'', the bill charges 
the Secretary with protecting the wilderness character, to the 
extent practicable, while at the same time allowing for the 
installation of communications and surveillance facilities that 
may be necessary for law enforcement and border security 
purposes. Finally, the bill keeps open for administrative and 
law enforcement uses an east-west route bisecting the proposed 
Potrillo Mountains Wilderness.
    While the Department is encouraged to see the WSA release 
along the southern boundary of the Potrillo Mountains, we 
believe it is not the appropriate time to permanently encumber 
Federal borderlands with restrictive designations. The 
Department recommends that the entire Potrillo Mountains area 
be removed from WSA until such time as DHS has achieved 
operational control. Furthermore, the Department will 
coordinate with DHS and the Subcommittee to develop language 
that ensures access for the U.S. Border Patrol to conduct 
routine patrols, perform road maintenance, and position 
equipment to proactively deter illegal border crossings. The 
limitation to enter wilderness only during pursuit as described 
in the legislation, but already permitted by law, puts our 
Border Agents at a disadvantage in completing their statutory 
mission.
Monument Management Plan & Land Exchange
    Section 5(a) of the bill requires that the Monument 
management plan include a watershed health assessment to 
identify opportunities for watershed restoration. The BLM, 
along with many partners, has undertaken restoration efforts on 
nearly two million acres in New Mexico, with the goal of 
restoring grasslands, woodlands, and riparian areas to their 
original healthy conditions. The BLM will continue to implement 
appropriate land restoration activities that will benefit 
watershed and wildlife health.
    Section 5(c) of S. 441 requires the Secretary, within 18 
months, to ``attempt to enter into an agreement'' with the 
Commissioner of Public Lands of New Mexico to exchange 
approximately 11,000 acres of State trust land within the 
Desert Peaks area of the Monument to the BLM and an unspecified 
acreage of BLM-managed public lands to the State. The BLM-
managed lands to be exchanged to the State would be jointly 
identified by the Secretary and Commissioner of Public Lands of 
New Mexico. While the Department appreciates the use of 
standard appraisal and equalization of values language, we 
believe that this section as currently drafted could 
inadvertently affect land exchanges elsewhere in New Mexico 
where significant biological, cultural, and recreational values 
are present. The Department would like the opportunity to work 
with the sponsors and Subcommittee on time frames and language 
ensuring that the BLM retains the flexibility to accomplish 
other important land exchanges.
Conclusion
    The Department supports the goals of S. 441 that are 
consistent with the Secretary's priorities and would like to 
work with Congress to make sure the Secretary's goal of 
enhancing recreational opportunities on Federal lands is 
appropriately considered. The Department also supports 
Congressional action to resolve wilderness designation and WSA 
release issues, but would like to ensure that designating 
public lands outside of existing WSAs as wilderness is the most 
appropriate management tool. We recommend a number of important 
modifications to the bill to address these critical issues.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by S. 441 as ordered reported.

                                  [all]