Code Section Group

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 5. PARKS AND MONUMENTS [5001 - 5873]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )

CHAPTER 1.3. California Wilderness Preservation System [5093.30 - 5093.40]
  ( Chapter 1.3 added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196. )

5093.30.
  

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the California Wilderness Act.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

5093.31.
  

In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas on state-owned lands within California, leaving no areas designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the State of California to secure for present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

5093.32.
  

As used in this chapter:

(a) “Minimum management requirements” means the minimum wilderness management actions that are necessary to administer a wilderness area for the purpose of this chapter.

(b) “Minimum tool” means the least intrusive tool, equipment, device, regulation, action, or practice that will achieve the minimum management requirements.

(c) “Roadless area” means a reasonably compact area of undeveloped land that possesses the general characteristics of a wilderness, as described in subdivision (c) of Section 5093.33, and within which there is no improved road that is suitable for public travel by motorized vehicles intended primarily for highway use.

(d) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Resources Agency.

(e) “System” means the California wilderness preservation system.

(f) “Wilderness areas” means component areas of the system as described in Section 5093.33, 5093.34, or 5093.345.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 689, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2009.)

5093.33.
  

(a) There is hereby established a California wilderness preservation system to be composed of state-owned areas designated by the Legislature as “wilderness areas” and units of the state park system classified as “state wildernesses” by the State Park and Recreation Commission pursuant to Article 1.7 (commencing with Section 5019.50) of Chapter 1, and these shall be administered for the use and enjoyment of the people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness, provide for the protection of such areas, preserve their wilderness character, and provide for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness. No state-owned areas shall be designated as “wilderness areas” except as provided for in this chapter or by subsequent legislative enactment.

(b) Notwithstanding the inclusion of an area within the system, a wilderness area shall continue to be subject to the jurisdiction of the state agency or agencies having jurisdiction thereover immediately prior to its inclusion in the system. The secretary shall adopt guidelines for the management of wilderness areas. Each state agency or agencies having jurisdiction over a wilderness area shall adopt regulations for the management of such areas consistent with the guidelines adopted by the secretary and the objectives of this chapter. Such regulations shall include provisions to protect endangered or rare native plant and animal species.

(c) A wilderness area, in contrast to those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. A wilderness area is further defined to mean an area of relatively undeveloped state-owned land which has retained its primeval character and influence or has been substantially restored to a near natural appearance, without permanent improvements or human habitation, other than semi-improved campgrounds and primitive latrines, and which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions and which:

(1) Appears generally to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature, with the imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable.

(2) Has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.

(3) Has at least 5,000 acres of land, either by itself or in combination with contiguous areas possessing wilderness characteristics, or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition.

(4) May also contain ecological, geological, or other features of scientific, educational, scenic, or historical value.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 676, Sec. 275.)

5093.34.
  

(a) The following areas are hereby designated as components of the system:

(1) Santa Rosa Mountains State Wilderness, consisting of that portion of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County within the area encompassed by Townships 9 and 10 South and Ranges 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 East, San Bernardino Base and Meridian, except that the State Park and Recreation Commission shall establish the precise boundary.

(2) Mount San Jacinto State Wilderness in Mount San Jacinto State Park in Riverside County consisting of approximately 9,800 acres and including all of Sections 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 31, Township 4 South, Range 3 East, and all of Section 6, Township 5 South, Range 3 East, except the SW 1/4 NW 1/4, NW 1/4 SW 1/4, NE 1/4 SW 1/4, SW 1/4 SW 1/4, and SE 1/4 SE 1/4, San Bernardino Base and Meridian.

(3) The land in the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park after the exchanges of land provided for in Section 6 of the act amending this section at the 1979–80 Regular Session of the Legislature, effective upon approval of a general plan for the area by the State Park and Recreation Commission, as required by Section 5002.45.

(b) The following state school lands, currently under the jurisdiction of the State Lands Commission, shall become components of the system on January 1, 1977, unless exchanged with the federal government for other lands pursuant to existing law prior to that date:

(1) Approximately 640 acres in Monterey County within the Ventana Wilderness, consisting of Section 16, Township 19 South, Range 2 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

(2) Approximately 40 acres in Monterey County within the Ventana Wilderness, consisting of the NE 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 36, Township 19 South, Range 3 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

(3) Approximately 80 acres in Monterey County within the Ventana Wilderness, consisting of the SE 1/4 NW 1/4 and the SW 1/4 NE 1/4 of Section 36, Township 19 South, Range 2 East, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

(4) Approximately 40 acres in Santa Barbara County within the San Rafael Wilderness, consisting of the SE 1/4 NW 1/4 of Section 16, Township 7 North, Range 27 West, San Bernardino Base and Meridian.

(5) Approximately 80 acres in Siskiyou County within the Marble Mountain Wilderness, consisting of the E 1/2 and the NW 1/4 of Section 16, Township 41 North, Range 12 West, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

(6) Approximately 640 acres in Tehama County within the Yolla Bolla Middle Eel Wilderness, consisting of Section 36, Township 27 North, Range 10 West, Mount Diablo Base and Meridian.

Nothing herein shall preclude the State Lands Commission from effecting exchanges of any such land described in subdivision (b) with the federal government on or after January 1, 1977, for the purpose of including the exchanged land in the national wilderness preservation system. Upon completion of any such exchange, any such land described in subdivision (b) shall no longer be part of the system.

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 1234, Sec. 4. Effective September 29, 1980.)

5093.345.
  

(a) Limekiln State Wilderness, comprised of approximately 413 acres of Limekiln State Park as generally depicted on a map entitled “Limekiln State Park Wilderness” dated August 29, 2008, and filed with the Secretary of State and transmitted to the secretary, is hereby designated as a component of the system. The department may take measures to control fire, diseases, and insects as provided in subdivision (c) of Section 5093.36.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the California Coastal Trail, as specified in Section 31408, may be located, designed, constructed, or operated within the Limekiln State Wilderness.

(Added by Stats. 2008, Ch. 689, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2009.)

5093.35.
  

(a) The secretary, in cooperation with each department within the Resources Agency, shall review state-owned roadless areas under his or her jurisdiction as of January 1, 1975, including, but not limited to, lands within the state park system, state forests, and fish and game refuges, reserves, sanctuaries, and other areas designated for the protection of wildlife, but not including tide and submerged lands lying below the mean high tide line, and shall report to the Legislature his or her recommendations as to the suitability or nonsuitability of each area for preservation as state wilderness.

(b) The State Lands Commission shall review state-owned roadless areas under its jurisdiction that have been identified as possessing significant environmental values pursuant to Section 6370.2, and shall report to the Legislature its recommendations as to the suitability or nonsuitability of each area for preservation as wilderness.

(c) Additional reviews and reports as to suitability or nonsuitability for preservation as wilderness shall be made by the secretary and the State Lands Commission for the following areas:

(1) State-owned roadless areas under their respective jurisdictions and within or contiguous to federal wilderness areas designated by the Congress after January 1, 1975, within one year after the designation.

(2) State-owned roadless areas under their respective jurisdictions that are acquired after January 1, 1975, within three years of the acquisition.

(d) The secretary and the State Lands Commission, prior to submitting recommendations with respect to the suitability of an area for preservation as a wilderness area, shall:

(1) Give public notice of the proposed action as deemed appropriate, including publication in one or more newspapers of general circulation in each county within which the affected area is located, and mailed to every person who has filed a request for notice of hearing. If the notice of hearing is published in a weekly newspaper, it must appear therein on at least two different days of publication, and, if in a newspaper published more often, there must be at least five days from the first to the last day of publication, both days included. The content of the notice of hearing shall substantially comply with the requirements of Section 11346.5 of the Government Code.

(2) Hold a public hearing or hearings in the City of San Diego, City of Los Angeles, City and County of San Francisco, or City of Sacramento, whichever is closest to the area affected, not less than 30 days, nor more than 60 days, after the last date of publication of the notice. The hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified in Section 11346.8 of the Government Code.

(3) Advise, at least 30 days before the date of a hearing, the board of supervisors of each county where the lands are located, and federal, state, and local agencies concerned, and invite those officials and agencies to submit their views on the proposed action at the hearing or within a specified period thereafter.

(e) A view submitted under the provisions of subdivision (d) with respect to an area shall be included with recommendations to the Legislature with respect to that area.

(f) A modification or adjustment of boundaries of a wilderness area designated by the Legislature shall be recommended to the Legislature by the secretary or the State Lands Commission after public notice of the proposal and public hearing or hearings as provided in subdivision (d).

(g) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed to lessen the present statutory authority of a state agency with respect to the maintenance of roadless areas.

(h) Privately owned areas within or contiguous to state-owned areas shall not preclude the review of the state-owned areas as provided in this section.

(Amended by Stats. 2006, Ch. 68, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)

5093.36.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a state agency with jurisdiction over an area designated as a wilderness area shall be responsible for preserving the wilderness character of the wilderness area and shall administer the area for the purposes for which it has been established and to preserve its wilderness character. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use.

(b) Except as specifically provided in this chapter, and subject to private rights existing as of January 1, 1975, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area. There shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, or motorboats, no landing or hovering of aircraft, no flying of aircraft lower than 2,000 feet above the ground, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any wilderness area, except under either of the following circumstances:

(1) It is necessary in an emergency involving the health and safety of persons within the wilderness area.

(2) It is the minimum tool necessary to meet the minimum management requirements.

(c) The following special provisions are hereby made:

(1) Within a wilderness area, measures may be taken as may be necessary for the control of fire, insects, and diseases, subject to conditions that the state agency with jurisdiction over the wilderness area may deem desirable.

(2) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent any activity by any public agency within a wilderness area, including prospecting, for the purpose of gathering information about mineral or other resources that the state agency with jurisdiction over the wilderness area has determined will be carried on in a manner compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment.

(3) A state agency with jurisdiction over a wilderness area may authorize the collection of hydrometeorological data and the conduct of weather modification activities, including both atmospheric and surface activities and environmental research, which are within, over, or may affect wilderness areas and for those purposes may permit access, installation, and use of equipment which is specifically justified and unobtrusively located. Maximum practical application of miniaturization, telemetry, and camouflage shall be employed in conducting weather modification activities. In granting permission for the conduct of data collection and weather modification activities, the appropriate state agency may prescribe operating and monitoring conditions that it deems necessary to minimize or avoid long-term and intensive local impact on the wilderness character of the wilderness areas affected.

(4) Within a wilderness area, the grazing of livestock, where established prior to January 1, 1975, may be permitted to be continued by the present lessee or permittee subject to limitation by the terms and regulations that are deemed necessary by the state agency with jurisdiction over the wilderness areas.

(5) This chapter does not apply to the aerial stocking of fish or to the conduct of aerial surveys of wildlife species.

(6) A state agency with jurisdiction over a wilderness area may authorize measures that address environmental damage or degradation affecting wilderness character and resources if those measures are consistent with the minimum management requirements and only the minimum tools are used.

(7) Guidelines for the determination of the minimum management requirements and the minimum tool shall be adopted by regulation.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 689, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2009.)

5093.37.
  

(a) In any case where privately owned land is completely surrounded by wilderness areas, the private owner may acquire from the state a reasonable means of ingress and egress across wilderness areas from highways and roads to such land and from such land to highways and roads.

(b) Application from such a private owner for ingress and egress shall be made to the administering state agency. When application for ingress and egress is received, the administering state agency shall determine whether any reasonable access exists outside the boundaries of the wilderness area or could be economically constructed.

(c) Where reasonable access does not exist or cannot be economically constructed outside the boundaries of the wilderness area, the administering state agency shall grant a permit for right-of-way across the wilderness area over such route, and subject to such conditions and construction and maintenance specifications, as the administering state agency may determine will cause minimum alteration to the physical features of the wilderness area and minimum interference with the use of the wilderness area by the public.

(d) The permittee shall, at his own expense, construct and maintain the means of ingress and egress in accordance with the terms and conditions set forth in the permit, noncompliance with which in any part shall be due cause for revocation of the permit.

(e) The administering state agency may require a permittee to allow the use of such means of ingress and egress by other applicants whose lands are similarly situated. The administering state agency shall grant a permit for such use under terms and conditions imposed upon existing users, upon payment of a reasonable compensation for construction and maintenance of the road, by the applicant to the existing permittee.

(f) Subject to the appropriation of funds by the Legislature, the state agency or agencies having jurisdiction over such wilderness areas may acquire privately owned land within the perimeter of any area designated by this chapter as a wilderness area.

(g) The state agency or agencies having jurisdiction over such wilderness areas may accept gifts or bequests of land within or contiguous to wilderness areas. Regulations with regard to any such land may be in accordance with such agreements, consistent with the policy of this chapter, as are made at the time of such gift, or such conditions, consistent with such policy, as may be included in, and accepted with, such bequest.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

5093.38.
  

Nothing in this chapter shall affect the jurisdiction or responsibility of the state with regard to fish and wildlife. Hunting and fishing may be permitted on lands and waters administered as parts of the system under applicable state or federal laws and regulations.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

5093.39.
  

The secretary shall, no later than December 1, 1975, and on or before December 1st of each year thereafter, report to the Governor and to the Legislature on the status of the system, including a list and descriptions of the wilderness areas within the system, guidelines and regulations in effect, and recommendations for additions to the system.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

5093.40.
  

If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the chapter which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this chapter are severable.

(Added by Stats. 1974, Ch. 1196.)

PRCPublic Resources Code - PRC