The National Wildlife Refuge Review act of 2013 (H.R. 638) was reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources and placed on the Union Calendar for a possible House vote. The report became available on Saturday, Sept. 21. You can read it at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/cpquery/T?&report=hr218&dbname=113&.
The law would become effective immediately. No similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, though.
Current law allows FWS to establish refuges without consent of Congress or local communities. All other recreation and conservation areas, including national parks, national forests, etc., require congressional approval. FWS started 19 refuges in the last decade “which will ultimately cost billions of dollars and add millions of acres of private property to the federal land inventory,” according to the report.
“Since the Congress must decide whether to appropriate money to complete the land acquisition process for these new refuges, Congress should review the merits of each project before FWS commits the taxpayers of this nation to these future expenditures,” the report says.
For background on the legislation, see the stories linked to below.