Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Pyramid Lake/Truckee-Carson Water Rights Settlement
Pyramid Lake/Truckee-Carson Water Rights Settlement -- (Title II of P.L.
101-618, the Fallon Paiute Shoshone Tribal Settlement Act, signed into law on
November 9, 1990; 104 Stat. 3289) This Act includes a multitude of provisions
impacting the Service that may be summarized in three general categories --
endangered species, wetlands and wildlife, and studies.
- Required the Secretary to negotiate an Operating Agreement for management
of the Truckee River reservoirs, to provide for (among other provisions): the
enhancement of spawning flows in the lower Truckee River for the Pyramid Lake
fishery, in a manner consistent with the Secretary's responsibilities under
the Endangered Species Act (ESA); the operation of Federal facilities for the
purpose of meeting the Secretary's ESA responsibilities; and if necessary, the
development and implementation of a plan to mitigate for significant adverse
environmental impacts of the Agreement.
- Required the Secretary to comply with National Environmental Policy Act in
negotiating the Agreement, and prohibits him from signing it if it would
result in an ESA section 7 violation.
- Required an expeditious updating and implementing of the recovery plans
for the cui-ui and the Lahontan cutthroat trout.
- Authorized the acquisition of water and water rights for the benefit of
the Pyramid Lake fishery, and required the use of the United States' right to
store water in Stampede and Prosser Reservoirs to be for the benefit of the
Pyramid Lake fishery, with certain conditions.
- Established a "Pyramid Lake Paiute Fisheries Fund" in the Treasury, with
the interest available to the Tribe to implement plans, as approved by the
Service and the Secretary, to benefit of the Pyramid Lake fishery.
- Insulated the Newlands Project OCAP as adopted April 15, 1988, from any
court challenge, and any changes unless the Secretary, at his sole discretion,
determines changes are necessary to meet ESA or other responsibilities.
- Required the closure of the TJ, TJ-1, A and related drains which deliver
contaminated agricultural drainwater into Stillwater WMA.
- Directed the acquisition of water and water rights sufficient to maintain
a long-term average of 25,000 acres of wetlands in the Lahontan Valley, and
required consultation with Nevada and other affected parties for management of
- Transfers 77,520 acres of Bureau of Reclamation land at Stillwater WMA to
the Service for expansion of Stillwater NWR, and establishes purposes for the
- Authorizes transfer of Carson Lake and Pasture, and Indian Lakes areas to
the State of Nevada, subject to certain conditions.
- Established a "Lahontan Valley and Pyramid Lake Fish and Wildlife Fund" in
the Treasury, to receive donations and certain designated receipts, with Fund
balances available for appropriation for the benefit of Lahontan Valley fish
and wildlife programs and restoration of the Pyramid Lake fishery.
- Established fish and wildlife, including listed species, and recreation as
a project purpose of the Newlands Project, and required the Secretary,
consistent with Project irrigation purposes and the OCAP, to manage existing
pre-regulatory reservoirs for fish and wildlife purposes.
- Established that Anahoe Island NWR as part of the Pyramid Lake Indian
Reservation, but placed it under the primary jurisdiction of the Service, to
be managed in accordance with the Refuge System Administration Act, and
authorized the Director to enter into cooperative agreements with the Pyramid
Lake Tribe regarding the refuge.
Studies and Reports
- Required the Secretary to study and report to Congress by November 9,
1993, on the environmental, economic and social impacts of the water rights
purchase program for Lahontan Valley wetlands and the Pyramid Lake fishery; on
the feasibility of improving the efficiency of Newlands Project conveyance
facilities; and in consultation with Nevada, on administrative, operational
and structural measures to benefit recreation on the Lahontan Reservoir and
the Truckee River downstream from Lahontan Dam.
- Required recommendations to Congress by November 26, 1997, on any
revisions of the boundaries of Stillwater NWR to include or exclude adjacent
Service and BOR lands.
- Required the Secretary of the Navy, in consultation with the Secretary, to
initiate a study by November 9, 1991, of management actions at Fallon NAS that
could reduce the need for water delivery to the Station, with water so
conserved to be utilized for fish and wildlife.
- Required the Secretary, in consultation with EPA, Nevada, and other
parties, to study and report to Congress (without a deadline) on the
feasibility of using municipal wastewater to improve or create wetlands.
- Directed the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the Secretary of
the Interior and other parties, to undertake a study of the rehabilitation of
the lower Truckee River for the benefit of the Pyramid Lake fishery.
The relevant documents comprising the legislative history of this title of
the law are: Senate Report 101-555; Senate floor statements as recorded on pages
S17039-60 in the Congressional Record of October 26, 1990; and House floor
statements as recorded on pages H13366-78 in the Congressional Record of October
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