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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 30, 2014

Title 43Subtitle BChapter IISubchapter F → Part 6300


Title 43: Public Lands: Interior


PART 6300—MANAGEMENT OF DESIGNATED WILDERNESS AREAS


Contents

Subpart 6301—Introduction

§6301.1   Purpose.
§6301.3   What is a BLM wilderness area?
§6301.5   Definitions.

Subpart 6302—Use of Wilderness Areas, Prohibited Acts, and Penalties

Use of Wilderness Areas

§6302.10   Use of wilderness areas.
§6302.11   How may I use wilderness areas?
§6302.12   When do I need an authorization and to pay a fee to use a wilderness area?
§6302.13   Where do I obtain an authorization to use a wilderness area?
§6302.14   What authorization do I need to climb in BLM wilderness?
§6302.15   When and how may I collect or disturb natural resources such as rocks and plants in wilderness areas?
§6302.16   When and how may I gather scientific information about resources in BLM wilderness?
§6302.17   When may I use a wheelchair in BLM wilderness?
§6302.18   How may American Indians use wilderness areas for traditional religious purposes?
§6302.19   When may BLM close or restrict use of wilderness areas?

Prohibited Acts

§6302.20   What is prohibited in wilderness?

Penalties

§6302.30   What penalties apply if I commit one or more of the prohibited acts?

Subpart 6303—Administrative and Emergency Functions

§6303.1   How does BLM carry out administrative and emergency functions?

Subpart 6304—Uses Addressed in Special Provisions of the Wilderness Act

Mining Under the General Mining Laws

§6304.10   Mining law administration.
§6304.11   What special provisions apply to operations under the mining laws?
§6304.12   How will BLM determine the validity of unpatented mining claims or sites?

Other Uses Specifically Addressed by the Wilderness Act

§6304.20   Other uses addressed in special provisions of the Wilderness Act.
§6304.21   What special provisions cover aircraft and motorboat use?
§6304.22   What special provisions apply to control of fire, insects, and diseases?
§6304.23   What special provisions apply to mineral leasing and material sales?
§6304.24   What special provisions apply to water and power resources?
§6304.25   What special provisions apply to livestock grazing?

Subpart 6305—Access to State and Private Lands Or Valid Occupancies Within Wilderness Areas

Access to Non-Federal Inholdings

§6305.10   How will BLM allow access to State and private land within wilderness areas?
§6305.11   What alternatives to granting access will BLM consider in cases of State and private inholdings?

Access to Other Valid Occupancies

§6305.20   How will BLM allow access to valid mining claims or other valid occupancies within wilderness areas?

Access Procedures for Valid Occupancies

§6305.30   What are the steps BLM must take in issuing an access authorization to valid occupancies?

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.; 43 U.S.C. 1733, 1740, 1782.

Source: 65 FR 78372, Dec. 14, 2000, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart 6301—Introduction

§6301.1   Purpose.

This part governs the management of BLM wilderness areas outside of Alaska. It tells you what wilderness areas are, how BLM manages them, and how you can use them. These regulations also tell you what activities BLM does not allow in wilderness areas, the penalties for performing prohibited acts, and the special provisions for some uses and access that the Wilderness Act explicitly allows.

§6301.3   What is a BLM wilderness area?

A BLM wilderness area is an area of public lands that Congress has designated for BLM to manage as a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System in accordance with the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act provides a detailed definition of wilderness that applies to BLM wilderness areas. See 16 U.S.C. 1131(c) and 43 U.S.C. 1702(i).

§6301.5   Definitions.

Terms used in this part have the following meanings:

Access means the physical ability of property owners and their successors in interest to have ingress to and egress from State or private inholdings, valid mining claims, or other valid occupancies. It does not include rights-of-way or permits under section 501 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1761) (FLPMA) or parts 2800 and 2880 of this chapter.

Inholding means State-owned or privately owned land that is completely surrounded by Congressionally designated wilderness.

Mechanical transport means any vehicle, device, or contrivance for moving people or material in or over land, water, snow, or air that has moving parts. This includes, but is not limited to, sailboats, sailboards, hang gliders, parachutes, bicycles, game carriers, carts, and wagons. The term does not include wheelchairs, nor does it include horses or other pack stock, skis, snowshoes, non-motorized river craft including, but not limited to, drift boats, rafts, and canoes, or sleds, travois, or similar devices without moving parts.

Mining operations is defined in subpart 3715 of this chapter.

Motor vehicle means any vehicle that is self-propelled.

Motorized equipment means any machine that uses or is activated by a motor, engine, or other power source. This includes, but is not limited to, chainsaws, power drills, aircraft, generators, motorboats, motor vehicles, snowmobiles, tracked snow vehicles, snow blowers or other snow removal equipment, and all other snow machines. The term does not include shavers, wrist watches, clocks, flashlights, cameras, camping stoves, cellular telephones, radio transceivers, radio transponders, radio signal transmitters, ground position satellite receivers, or other similar small hand held or portable equipment.

Primitive and unconfined recreation means non-motorized types of outdoor recreation activities that do not require developed facilities or mechanical transport.

Public lands means any lands and interests in lands owned by the United States and administered by the Secretary of the Interior through BLM without regard to how the United States acquired ownership.

Valid occupancy means an occupancy under a current permit, lease, or other written authorization from BLM to occupy public lands. For a definition of occupancy related to development of locatable minerals, see subpart 3715 of this chapter.

Wheelchair means a device that is designed solely for use by a mobility-impaired person for locomotion, and that is suitable for use in an indoor pedestrian area.

Subpart 6302—Use of Wilderness Areas, Prohibited Acts, and Penalties

Use of Wilderness Areas

§6302.10   Use of wilderness areas.

§6302.11   How may I use wilderness areas?

Unless otherwise provided by BLM, the Wilderness Act, or the Act of Congress designating the area as wilderness, all wilderness areas will be open to uses consistent with the preservation of their wilderness character and their future use and enjoyment as wilderness. In subpart 6304 you will find provisions implementing the special provisions of the Wilderness Act that allow specific uses of wilderness areas. In §6302.20 you will find a list of acts that are explicitly prohibited within wilderness areas.

§6302.12   When do I need an authorization and to pay a fee to use a wilderness area?

(a) In general, you do not need an authorization to use wilderness areas.

(b) BLM may require an authorization and charge fees for some uses of wilderness areas. You must obtain authorization from BLM and pay fees to use a wilderness area when required by:

(1) The regulations in this part (see §6302.15 on collecting natural resource materials, §6302.16 on gathering scientific information, and subpart 6305 on access to inholdings and valid occupancies);

(2) Regulations in this chapter II—Bureau of Land Management, Department of the Interior—governing the specific activities in which you are engaged;

(3) The management plan for the wilderness area; or

(4) A BLM closure or restriction under §6302.19 of this part.

(c) To determine whether you need an authorization under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, you should refer to the applicable BLM regulations for your particular activity.

§6302.13   Where do I obtain an authorization to use a wilderness area?

You may request an authorization to use a wilderness area from the BLM field office with jurisdiction over the wilderness area you want to use.

§6302.14   What authorization do I need to climb in BLM wilderness?

(a) You do not need a permit or other authorization to climb in BLM wilderness.

(b) [Reserved]

(c) You must not use power drills for climbing. See §6302.20(d).

§6302.15   When and how may I collect or disturb natural resources such as rocks and plants in wilderness areas?

(a) You may remove or disturb natural resources for non-commercial purposes in wilderness areas, including prospecting, provided—

(1) You do it in a manner that preserves the wilderness environment, using no more than non-motorized hand tools and causing minimal surface disturbance; and

(2)(i) Your proposed activity conforms to the applicable management plan; or

(ii) You have a BLM authorization if one is required by statute or regulation.

(b) Where BLM allows campfires in a wilderness, you may gather a reasonable amount of wood for use in your campfire.

§6302.16   When and how may I gather scientific information about resources in BLM wilderness?

(a) You may conduct research, including gathering information and collecting natural or cultural resources in wilderness areas, using methods that may cause greater impacts on the wilderness environment than allowed under §6302.15(a), if—

(1) Similar research opportunities are not reasonably available outside wilderness;

(2) You carry out your proposed activity in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment and conforming to the applicable management plan;

(3) Any ground disturbance or removal of material is the minimum necessary for the scientific purposes of the research; and

(4) You have an authorization from BLM.

(b) You must reclaim disturbed areas, and BLM may require you to post a bond.

§6302.17   When may I use a wheelchair in BLM wilderness?

If you have a disability that requires the use of a wheelchair, you may use a wheelchair in a wilderness. Consistent with the Wilderness Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12207), BLM is not required to facilitate such use by building any facilities or modifying any conditions of lands within a wilderness area.

§6302.18   How may American Indians use wilderness areas for traditional religious purposes?

In accordance with the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (42 U.S.C. 1996), American Indians may use wilderness areas for traditional religious purposes, subject to the provisions of the Wilderness Act, the prohibitions in §6302.20, and other applicable law.

§6302.19   When may BLM close or restrict use of wilderness areas?

When necessary to carry out the provisions of the Wilderness Act and other Federal laws, BLM may close or restrict the use of lands or waters within the boundaries of a BLM wilderness area, using the procedures in §8364.1 of this chapter. BLM will limit any such closure to affect the smallest area necessary for the shortest time necessary.

Prohibited Acts

§6302.20   What is prohibited in wilderness?

Except as specifically provided in the Wilderness Act, the individual statutes designating the particular BLM wilderness area, or the regulations of this part, and subject to valid existing rights, in BLM wilderness areas you must not:

(a) Operate a commercial enterprise;

(b) Build temporary or permanent roads;

(c) Build aircraft landing strips, heliports, or helispots;

(d) Use motorized equipment; or motor vehicles, motorboats, or other forms of mechanical transport;

(e) Land aircraft, or drop or pick up any material, supplies or person by means of aircraft, including a helicopter, hang-glider, hot air balloon, parasail, or parachute;

(f) Build, install, or erect structures or installations, including transmission lines, motels, vacation homes, sheds, stores, resorts, organization camps, hunting and fishing lodges, electronic installations, and similar structures, other than tents, tarpaulins, temporary corrals, and similar devices for overnight camping;

(g) Cut trees;

(h) Enter or use wilderness areas without authorization, where BLM requires authorization under §6302.12;

(i) Engage or participate in competitive use as defined in section 2932.5 of this chapter, including those activities involving physical endurance of a person or animal, foot races, water craft races, survival exercises, war games, or other similar exercises;

(j) [Reserved]; or

(k) Violate any BLM regulation, authorization, or order.

[65 FR 78372, Dec. 14, 2000, as amended at 67 FR 61745, Oct. 1, 2002]

Penalties

§6302.30   What penalties apply if I commit one or more of the prohibited acts?

(a) If you commit a prohibited act listed in §6302.20 in a BLM wilderness area, you are subject to criminal prosecution on each offense. If convicted, you may be fined not more than $100,000 under 18 U.S.C. 3571. In addition, you may be imprisoned for not more than 12 months, as provided for by 43 U.S.C. 1733(a).

(b) At the request of the Secretary of the Interior, the United States Attorney General may institute a civil action in any United States district court for an injunction or other appropriate order to prevent you from using public lands in violation of the regulations of this part.

Subpart 6303—Administrative and Emergency Functions

§6303.1   How does BLM carry out administrative and emergency functions?

As necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the wilderness area, BLM may:

(a) Use, build, or install temporary roads, motor vehicles, motorized equipment, mechanical transport, structures or installations, and land aircraft, in designated wilderness;

(b) Prescribe conditions under which other Federal, State, or local agencies or their agents may use, build, or install such items to meet the minimum requirements for protection and administration of the wilderness area, its resources and users;

(c) Authorize officers, employees, agencies, or agents of the Federal, State, and local governments to occupy and use wilderness areas to carry out the purposes of the Wilderness Act or other Federal statutes; and

(d) Prescribe measures that may be used in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons in the area, including, but not limited to, the conditions for use of motorized equipment, mechanical transport, aircraft, installations, structures, rock drills, and fixed anchors. BLM will require any restoration activities that we find necessary to be undertaken concurrently with the emergency activities or as soon as practicable when the emergency ends.

Subpart 6304—Uses Addressed in Special Provisions of the Wilderness Act

Mining Under the General Mining Laws

§6304.10   Mining law administration.

§6304.11   What special provisions apply to operations under the mining laws?

The general mining laws apply to valid existing mining claims and mill sites within BLM wilderness, except as provided in this section.

(a) After the date on which the general mining laws cease to apply to a specific wilderness area—

(1) You cannot locate a mining claim or establish any right to or interest in any mineral deposits discovered in that wilderness area; and

(2) You cannot locate a mill site in that wilderness area.

(b) If you hold a valid existing mining claim or mill site within a wilderness area—

(1) You must conduct any mining operations following the applicable standards provided in—

(i) The Wilderness Act;

(ii) The legislation designating the wilderness;

(iii) Your approved plan of operations;

(iv) Subpart 3809 of this chapter; and

(v) Subpart 3715 of this chapter;

(2) You must minimize impairment of wilderness characteristics to the extent BLM determines practicable, consistent with the use of a valid claim or site for mineral activities; and

(3) Your temporary structures used in mining operations are subject to the use and occupancy regulations in subpart 3715 of this chapter.

(4) You must post a financial guarantee under subpart 3809 of this chapter in order to ensure completion of reclamation.

(c) If you hold a valid mining claim, mill site, or tunnel site located in any BLM wilderness area before the general mining laws ceased to apply to that area, you may maintain your mining claim or site, so long as you comply with the general mining laws, the regulations in part 3830 of this chapter, and the Act of Congress designating the wilderness.

(d) As required in your approved plan of operations, when you complete mining operations in a wilderness area—

(1) You must remove all structures, equipment, and other facilities and begin reclamation as soon as feasible after mining operations end. However, you must start reclamation no later than 18 months after mining operations end.

(2) You must restore the surface as near as practicable to the appearance and contour of the surface before mining operations began, following the regulations in subpart 3809 of this chapter.

(e)-(f) [Reserved]

§6304.12   How will BLM determine the validity of unpatented mining claims or sites?

(a) BLM will conduct a mineral examination to determine whether your claim or site was valid as of the date that lands within the wilderness area were withdrawn from appropriation under the mining laws. We also will determine whether your claim or site remains valid at the time of the examination.

(1) If you do not have an approved plan of operations, BLM must complete this validity determination before approving your plan of operations.

(2) If you have a plan of operations that was approved before the wilderness designation, BLM will determine whether operations may begin or continue while we conduct the validity determination.

(b) If BLM concludes that your mining claim lacks a discovery of a valuable mineral deposit or your claim or site is invalid for any other reason, we will disapprove your application for a plan of operations. For an existing approved operation, BLM may issue a notice ordering suspension or cessation of operations. We will begin contest proceedings to determine the validity of your mining claim or site under subpart E of part 4 of this title. However, you may take samples and gather other evidence to confirm or corroborate mineral exposures that were physically disclosed on the claim before the date the wilderness area was withdrawn.

(c) If the Department of the Interior issues a final administrative decision declaring your claim or site null and void, you must cease all operations and complete all reclamation required under subpart 3809 of this chapter and §6304.11(d) of this part.

Other Uses Specifically Addressed by the Wilderness Act

§6304.20   Other uses addressed in special provisions of the Wilderness Act.

§6304.21   What special provisions cover aircraft and motorboat use?

(a) Subject to such restrictions as BLM determines necessary to protect wilderness values, we may authorize you to land aircraft and use motorboats at places within any wilderness area if these uses were established and active at the time Congress designated the area as wilderness.

(b) BLM may also authorize you to maintain, utilizing non-motorized means, aircraft landing strips, heliports or helispots that existed and were in active use when Congress designated the area as wilderness.

§6304.22   What special provisions apply to control of fire, insects, and diseases?

BLM may prescribe measures to control fire, noxious weeds, non-native invasive plants, insects, and diseases. BLM may require restoration concurrent with or as soon as practicable upon completion of such measures.

§6304.23   What special provisions apply to mineral leasing and material sales?

(a) After Congress designates any area of public lands as wilderness, BLM will not issue mineral or geothermal leases, licenses, or permits under the mineral or geothermal leasing laws, or sales contracts or free use permits under the Materials Act (30 U.S.C. 601 et seq.)

(b) You may continue to hold and operate mineral or geothermal leases, licenses, contracts, or permits under their original terms and conditions after Congress designates the affected BLM lands as wilderness.

§6304.24   What special provisions apply to water and power resources?

If the President specifically authorizes you under 16 U.S.C. 1133(d)(4)(1), BLM will permit you to prospect for water resources and establish new reservoirs, water-conservation works, power projects, transmission lines, and other facilities needed in the public interest, and to maintain such facilities.

§6304.25   What special provisions apply to livestock grazing?

(a) If you hold a BLM grazing permit or grazing lease for land within a wilderness area, you may continue to graze your livestock provided that you or your predecessors began such use under a permit or lease before Congress established the wilderness area.

(b) Your grazing activities within wilderness areas, including the construction, use, and maintenance of livestock management improvements, must comply with the livestock grazing regulations in part 4100 of this chapter.

(c) If the management plan for the area allows, you may maintain or reconstruct grazing support facilities that existed before designation of the wilderness area. BLM will not authorize new support facilities for the purpose of increasing your number of livestock. The construction of new livestock management facilities must be for the purposes of protection and improved management of wilderness resources.

(d) BLM may authorize an increase in livestock numbers only if you demonstrate that the additional use will not have an adverse impact on wilderness values.

Subpart 6305—Access to State and Private Lands Or Valid Occupancies Within Wilderness Areas

Access to Non-Federal Inholdings

§6305.10   How will BLM allow access to State and private land within wilderness areas?

(a) If you own land completely surrounded by wilderness, BLM will only approve that combination of routes and modes of travel to your land that—

(1) BLM finds existed on the date Congress designated the area surrounding the inholding as wilderness, and

(2) BLM determines will serve the reasonable purposes for which the non-Federal lands are held or used and cause the least impact on wilderness character.

(b) If you own land completely surrounded by wilderness, and no routes or modes of travel to your land existed on the date Congress designated the area surrounding the inholding as wilderness, BLM will only approve that combination of routes and non-motorized modes of travel to non-Federal inholdings that BLM determines will serve the reasonable purposes for which the non-Federal lands are held or used and cause the least impact on wilderness character.

(c) If BLM approves your access route under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, we will authorize it under part 2920 of this chapter.

(d) BLM will not allow construction of new access routes to State and private inholdings in wilderness.

(e) BLM will not allow improvement of access routes to a condition more highly developed than that which existed on the date Congress designated the area as wilderness, except such improvements BLM determines are necessary to protect wilderness resources from degradation.

(f) If you own land completely surrounded by wilderness and you have a valid existing right of access which is greater than the access described in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, BLM may manage such access to protect wilderness resources while ensuring your reasonable use and enjoyment of the inholding.

§6305.11   What alternatives to granting access will BLM consider in cases of State and private inholdings?

To reduce or eliminate the need to use wilderness areas for access to State and private land, BLM may—

(a) Accept donation of the inholding, or

(b) Acquire the inholding from the owner by an exchange for federally owned land in the same State of approximately equal value or, if the owner concurs, by purchase.

Access to Other Valid Occupancies

§6305.20   How will BLM allow access to valid mining claims or other valid occupancies within wilderness areas?

If you hold a valid mining claim or other valid occupancy wholly within a wilderness area, BLM will allow you access by means that are consistent with the preservation of the area as wilderness and that have been or are being customarily enjoyed with respect to other mining claims or similar occupancies surrounded by wilderness.

(a) BLM approves plans of operation under subpart 3809 of this chapter. The plan of operation will prescribe the routes of travel that you may use for access to claims or sites surrounded by wilderness. These plans will also identify the mode of travel, and other conditions reasonably necessary to preserve the wilderness area.

(b) BLM issues written authorizations under part 2920 of this chapter. Your authorization will prescribe the routes of travel that you may use for access to occupancies surrounded by wilderness. The authorizations will also identify the mode of travel and other conditions reasonably necessary to minimize adverse impacts on the natural resource values of the wilderness area.

Access Procedures for Valid Occupancies

§6305.30   What are the steps BLM must take in issuing an access authorization to valid occupancies?

(a) Before issuing an access authorization to mining claims or other valid occupancies wholly surrounded by wilderness, BLM will make certain that:

(1) You have demonstrated a lack of any existing access rights or alternate routes of access available by deed or under applicable State or common law and that access by non-federally owned routes is not reasonably obtainable;

(2) Your combination of routes and modes of travel, including non-motorized modes, will cause the least impact on the wilderness but, at the same time, will permit the reasonable use of the non-Federal land, valid mining claim, or other valid occupancy; and

(3) The location, construction, maintenance, and use of the access route that BLM approves will be as consistent as possible with the management of the wilderness area.

(b) After issuing an access authorization, BLM will make certain that you situate and build the route that BLM approves to minimize adverse impacts on the natural resource values of the wilderness area.



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