43 USC 1781 - California Desert Conservation Area
Sec. 1781. California Desert Conservation Area(a)
The Congress finds that—
(1) the California desert contains historical, scenic, archeological, environmental, biological, cultural, scientific, educational, recreational, and economic resources that are uniquely located adjacent to an area of large population;
(2) the California desert environment is a total ecosystem that is extremely fragile, easily scarred, and slowly healed;
(3) the California desert environment and its resources, including certain rare and endangered species of wildlife, plants, and fishes, and numerous archeological and historic sites, are seriously threatened by air pollution, inadequate Federal management authority, and pressures of increased use, particularly recreational use, which are certain to intensify because of the rapidly growing population of southern California;
(4) the use of all California desert resources can and should be provided for in a multiple use and sustained yield management plant to conserve these resources for future generations, and to provide present and future use and enjoyment, particularly outdoor recreation uses, including the use, where appropriate, of off-road recreational vehicles;
(5) the Secretary has initiated a comprehensive planning process and established an interim management program for the public lands in the California desert; and
(6) to insure further study of the relationship of man and the California desert environment, preserve the unique and irreplaceable resources, including archeological values, and conserve the use of the economic resources of the California desert, the public must be provided more opportunity to participate in such planning and management, and additional management authority must be provided to the Secretary to facilitate effective implementation of such planning and management.
Statement of purpose
It is the purpose of this section to provide for the immediate and future protection and administration of the public lands in the California desert within the framework of a program of multiple use and sustained yield, and the maintenance of environmental quality.
Description of Area
(1) For the purpose of this section, the term "California desert" means the area generally depicted on a map entitled "California Desert Conservation Area—Proposed" dated April 1974, and described as provided in subsection (c)(2) of this section.
(2) As soon as practicable after October 21, 1976, the Secretary shall file a revised map and a legal description of the California Desert Conservation Area with the Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives, and such map and description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act. Correction of clerical and typographical errors in such legal description and a map may be made by the Secretary. To the extent practicable, the Secretary shall make such legal description and map available to the public promptly upon request.
Preparation and implementation of comprehensive long-range plan for management, use, etc.
The Secretary, in accordance with section 1712 of this title, shall prepare and implement a comprehensive, long-range plan for the management, use, development, and protection of the public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area. Such plan shall take into account the principles of multiple use and sustained yield in providing for resource use and development, including, but not limited to, maintenance of environmental quality, rights-of-way, and mineral development. Such plan shall be completed and implementation thereof initiated on or before September 30, 1980.
Interim program for management, use, etc.
During the period beginning on October 21, 1976, and ending on the effective date of implementation of the comprehensive, long-range plan, the Secretary shall execute an interim program to manage, use, and protect the public lands, and their resources now in danger of destruction, in the California Desert Conservation Area, to provide for the public use of such lands in an orderly and reasonable manner such as through the development of campgrounds and visitor centers, and to provide for a uniformed desert ranger force.
Applicability of mining laws
Subject to valid existing rights, nothing in this Act shall affect the applicability of the United States mining laws on the public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area, except that all mining claims located on public lands within the California Desert Conservation Area shall be subject to such reasonable regulations as the Secretary may prescribe to effectuate the purposes of this section. Any patent issued on any such mining claim shall recite this limitation and continue to be subject to such regulations. Such regulations shall provide for such measures as may be reasonable to protect the scenic, scientific, and environmental values of the public lands of the California Desert Conservation Area against undue impairment, and to assure against pollution of the streams and waters within the California Desert Conservation Area.
Advisory Committee; establishment; functions
(1) The Secretary, within sixty days after October 21, 1976, shall establish a California Desert Conservation Area Advisory Committee (hereinafter referred to as "advisory committee") in accordance with the provisions of section 1739 of this title.
(2) It shall be the function of the advisory committee to advise the Secretary with respect to the preparation and implementation of the comprehensive, long-range plan required under subsection (d) of this section.
Management of lands under jurisdiction of Secretary of Agriculture and Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Defense shall manage lands within their respective jurisdictions located in or adjacent to the California Desert Conservation Area, in accordance with the laws relating to such lands and wherever practicable, in a manner consonant with the purpose of this section. The Secretary, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of Defense are authorized and directed to consult among themselves and take cooperative actions to carry out the provisions of this subsection, including a program of law enforcement in accordance with applicable authorities to protect the archeological and other values of the California Desert Conservation Area and adjacent lands.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated for fiscal years 1977 through 1981 not to exceed $40,000,000 for the purpose of this section, such amount to remain available until expended.
Last modified: July 21, 2011