(Enrolled as Agreed to or Passed by Both House and
One Hundred Third Congress
United States of America
AT THE FIRST SESSION
Begun and held at the City of Washington on Tuesday,
the fifth day of January, one thousand nine hundred and ninety-three
To protect Lechuguilla Cave and other resources and values in and
Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
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 `Lechuguilla Cave Protection Act of
SEC. 2. FINDING.
Congress finds that Lechuguilla Cave and adjacent public lands have
internationally significant scientific, environmental, and other
values, and should be retained in public ownership and protected
against adverse effects of mineral exploration and development and
other activities presenting threats to the areas.
SEC. 3. LAND WITHDRAWAL.
(a) WITHDRAWAL- Subject to valid existing rights, all Federal lands
within the boundaries of the cave protection area described in
subsection (b) are hereby withdrawn from all forms of entry,
appropriation, or disposal under the public land laws; from location,
entry, and patent under the United States mining laws; and from
disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral and geothermal
leasing, and all amendments thereto.
(b) LAND DESCRIPTION- The cave protection area referred to in
subsection (a) shall consist of approximately 6,280 acres of lands in
New Mexico as generally depicted on the map entitled `Lechuguilla
Cave Protection Area' numbered 130/80,055 and dated April 1993.
(c) PUBLICATION, FILING, CORRECTION, AND INSPECTION- (1) As soon as
practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of
the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the `Secretary') shall
publish in the Federal Register the legal description of the lands
withdrawn under subsection (a) and shall file such legal description
and a detailed map with the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
of the United States Senate and the Committee on Natural Resources of
the United States House of Representatives.
(2) Such map and legal description shall have the same force and
effect as if included in this Act except that the Secretary may
correct clerical and typographical errors.
(3) Copies of such map and legal description shall be available for
inspection in the appropriate offices of the Bureau of Land
SEC. 4. MANAGEMENT OF EXISTING LEASES.
(a) SUSPENSION- The Secretary shall not permit any new drilling on or
involving any Federal mineral or geothermal lease within the cave
protection area referred to in section 3(a) until the effective date
of the Record of Decision for the Dark Canyon Environmental Impact
Statement, or for 12 months after the date of enactment of this Act,
whichever occurs first.
(b) AUTHORITY TO CANCEL EXISTING MINERAL OR GEOTHERMAL LEASES- Upon
the effective date of the Record of Decision for the Dark Canyon
Environmental Impact Statement and in order to protect Lechuguilla
Cave or other cave resources, the Secretary is authorized to--
(1) cancel any Federal mineral or geothermal lease in the cave
protection area referred to in section 3(a); or
(2) enter into negotiations with the holder of a Federal mineral or
geothermal lease in the cave protection area referred to in section
3(a) to determine appropriate compensation, if any, for the complete
or partial termination of such lease.
SEC. 5. ADDITIONAL PROTECTION AND RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.
(a) IN GENERAL- In order to protect Lechuguilla Cave or Federal lands
within the cave protection area, the Secretary, subject to valid
existing rights, may limit or prohibit access to or across lands
owned by the United States or prohibit the removal from such lands of
any mineral, geological, or cave resources: Provided, That existing
access to private lands within the cave protection area shall not be
affected by this subsection.
(b) NO EFFECT ON PIPELINES- Nothing in this title shall have the
effect of terminating any validly issued right-of-way, or customary
operation, maintenance, repair, and replacement activities in such
right-of-way; prohibiting the upgrading of and construction on
existing facilities in such right-of-way for the purpose of
increasing capacity of the existing pipeline; or prohibiting the
renewal of such right-of-way within the cave protection area referred
to in section 3(a).
(c) RELATION TO OTHER LAWS- Nothing in this Act shall be construed as
increasing or diminishing the ability of any party to seek
compensation pursuant to other applicable law, including but not
limited to the Tucker Act (28 U.S.C. 1491), or as precluding any
defenses or claims otherwise available to the United States in
connection with any action seeking such compensation from the United
SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There is hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be
necessary to carry out this Act: Provided, That no funds shall be
made available except to the extent, or in such amounts as are
provided in advance in appropriation Acts.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Vice President of the United States and
President of the Senate.