[Senate Report 112-119]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


                                                       Calendar No. 281
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     112-119

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  DESIGNATION OF SEGMENT OF ILLABOT CREEK IN SKAGIT COUNTY, WASHINGTON

                                _______
                                

                January 13, 2012.--Ordered to be printed

 Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of December 17, 2011

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Bingaman, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 888]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 888) to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act to designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, 
Washington, as a component of the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 888 is to amend the Wild and Scenic 
Rivers Act to designate a 14.3-mile segment of Illabot Creek in 
Skagit County, Washington, as a component of the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System.

                          Background and Need

    The 14.3-mile segment of Illabot Creek to be designated by 
S. 888 is a tributary of the Skagit River, which was added to 
the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1978. It is 
located on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, 
approximately 100 miles northeast of Seattle, and flows from 
the glaciers of the North Cascades into the upper Skagit River, 
the largest tributary to the Puget Sound.
    Illabot Creek provides an important spawning and rearing 
habitat for several species of salmon and trout, including 
Puget Sound chinook salmon, sockeye salmon, coho salmon, and 
native steelhead, and supports the highest density of chum 
salmon, pink salmon, and bull trout in the Skagit River 
watershed. Several of these species are listed as endangered or 
threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Illabot Creek also 
provides important winter habitat for one of the largest 
concentrations of bald eagles in the continental United States.
    Designation of the 14.3-mile segment of Illabot Creek under 
the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act will help protect the free-
flowing condition and clean water that Illabot Creek provides 
for multiple fish species, and will complement salmon recovery 
efforts in the Skagit basin.

                          Legislative History

    S. 888 was introduced by Senators Murray and Cantwell on 
May 5, 2011. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing 
on S. 888 on July 28, 2011. At its business meeting on November 
10, 2011, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered 
S. 888 favorably reported.
    S. 888 is identical to legislation considered by the 
Committee during the 111th Congress, H.R. 1593, passed by the 
House of Representatives on October 13, 2009, by a voice vote 
and was favorably reported by the Committee at its business 
meeting on December 16, 2009 (S. Rept. 111-151).

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on November 10, 2011, by a voice vote of a 
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 888.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 amends section 3(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers 
Act (16 U.S.C. 1274(a)) to designate a 14.3-mile segment of 
Illabot Creek as a component of the National Wild and Scenic 
Rivers System. The Secretary of Agriculture is directed to 
administer a 4.3-mile segment as a wild river and a 10-mile 
segment as a recreational river.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 888--A bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a 
        segment of the Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Washington, as a 
        component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System

    S. 888 would designate an additional 14.3 miles of the 
Illabot Creek in Washington State as part of the National Wild 
and Scenic Rivers System. Based on information provided by the 
Forest Service and assuming the availability of appropriated 
funds, CBO estimates that the agency would spend less than 
$20,000 a year to maintain, protect, and enhance the creek. 
Enacting S. 888 would not affect direct spending or revenues; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    S. 888 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    On October 31, 2011, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 1740, a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to 
designate a segment of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, 
Washington, as a component of the National Wild and Scenic 
River System, as ordered reported by the House Committee on 
Natural Resources on October 5, 2011. The two bills are 
similar, and their estimated costs are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. The 
estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, 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. 888.
    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. 888, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 888, 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 Forest Service at the July 28, 
2011, hearing on S. 888 follows.

Statement of Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief National Forest System, Forest 
                   Service, Department of Agriculture

    The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, Public Law 90-542 (16 
U.S.C. 1271-1287, as amended) protects the free-flowing 
condition, water quality, and outstandingly remarkable natural, 
cultural, and recreational values of some of our most precious 
rivers. It also provides an opportunity to build partnerships 
among landowners, river users, tribal nations, and all levels 
of government.
    S. 888 amends Sec. 3(a) of the Act to designate a segment 
of Illabot Creek in Skagit County, Washington, as a component 
of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. It adds 14.3 
miles in two segments: 4.3 miles from the headwaters to the 
Glacier Peak Wilderness boundary classified as wild, and 10 
miles from the Glacier Peak Wilderness boundary to 
approximately 1,000 feet south of the Rockport-Cascade road 
classified as recreational.
    We strongly support the legislation.
    The segment to be designated by S. 888 is a tributary of 
the Skagit River, which was added to the National Wild and 
Scenic Rivers System in 1978. It is located on the Mt. Baker-
Snoqualmie National Forest, approximately 100 miles northeast 
of Seattle, Washington, and flows from the glaciers of the 
North Cascades into the upper Skagit River, the largest 
tributary to Puget Sound.
    Illabot Creek provides exceptional spawning and rearing 
habitat for summer and fall Chinook, coho, chum and pink 
salmon; native steelhead; and, one of the largest populations 
of bull trout in the Skagit River watershed. Puget Sound 
Chinook, steelhead and bull trout are listed under the 
Endangered Species Act. Illabot Creek also supports the highest 
density of chum and pink salmon in the Skagit River watershed 
and provides habitat for wintering bald eagles. Eagles using 
the Illabot roost are a part of one of the largest 
concentration of wintering bald eagles in the continental 
United States.
    Mr. Chairman, we recommend the Subcommittee consider 
designating all of Illabot Creek, from its headwaters to its 
confluence with the Skagit River (16.3 miles) as recommended in 
the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Plan (June 1990). This 
includes the lower 2 miles, classified as a recreational river, 
of which approximately 1.4 miles is in the Skagit Wild and 
Scenic River Corridor. With the designation of Illabot Creek as 
proposed in H.R. 1740, only 0.6 mile is not included in either 
Illabot Creek Wild and Scenic River or the existing Skagit Wild 
and Scenic River corridor. The lower 2 miles includes some of 
the most important fish spawning habitat and an important 
foraging and roosting area for wintering bald eagles. Much of 
this area is in the Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area and 
dedicated to resource protection.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 888 as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

                       WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT


              (Public Law 90-542; Approved March 30, 1968)


                        [16 U.S.C 1271 et seq.]


  AN ACT To provide a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for 
                             other purposes

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled, That (a) 
this Act be cited as the ``Wild and Scenic Rivers Act''.

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SEC. 3 (A) THE FOLLOWING RIVERS AND THE LAND ADJACENT THERETO ARE 
                    HEREBY DESIGNATED AS COMPONENTS OF THE NATIONAL 
                    WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM:

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          (208) Illabot Creek, Washington.--
                  (A) The 14.3 mile segment from the headwaters 
                of Illabot Creek to the northern terminus as 
                generally depicted on the map titled ``Illabot 
                Creek Proposed WSR--Northern Terminus'', dated 
                September 15, 2009, to be administered by the 
                Secretary of Agriculture as follows:
                          (i) The 4.3 mile segment from the 
                        headwaters of Illabot Creek to the 
                        boundary of Glacier Peak Wilderness 
                        Area as a wild river.
                          (ii) The 10 mile segment from the 
                        boundary of Glacier Peak Wilderness to 
                        the northern terminus as generally 
                        depicted on the map titled ``Illabot 
                        Creek Proposed WSR--Northern 
                        Terminus'', dated September 15, 2009, 
                        as a recreational river.
                  (B) Action required to be taken under 
                subsection (d)(1) for the river segments 
                designated under this paragraph shall be 
                completed through revision of the Skagit Wild 
                and Scenic River comprehensive management plan.

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