EMIGRANT WILDERNESS PRESERVATION ACT OF 2001
|SEPTEMBER 6, 2001- Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union and ordered to be printed|
|Mr. HANSEN, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following|
|R E P O R T|
|[To accompany H.R. 434]|
|[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]|
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill (H.R. 434) to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for retention, maintenance, and operation, at private expense, of the 18 concrete dams and weirs located within the boundaries of the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, California, and for other purposes, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with amendments and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the following:
The purpose of H.R. 434, as ordered reported, is to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the retention, maintenance, and operation, at private expense, of 12 concrete dams and weirs located within the boundaries of the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, California, and for other purposes.
Between 1931 and 1954, 18 small dams and concrete weirs were constructed throughout the Stainislaus National Forest, California, in order to provide lakes and ponds for enhanced fish and wildlife habitat. These dams were built from native rock so as to blend in naturally with their surroundings. Most of these dams do not exceed two feet in height, and the largest dam is approximately seven feet tall. In 1974, the Emigrant Wilderness Act (P.L. 93-632) was passed, placing these structures within a federally designated wilderness area. Man-made structures and motorized activity are generally prohibited within federally-designated wilderness areas, causing some to call into question the current and future status of these structures.
The House Report for the 1974 Emigrant Wilderness Act stated that these existing structures were to be retained:
Within the area recommended for wilderness designation, there are drift fences (5 miles) which will be maintained, but several cabins and barns will be removed within ten years. Two snow cabins will be retained. The weirs and dams will likewise be retained.
As amended in Committee, this legislation provides specific authority for the Secretary of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service to enter into a cooperative agreement with a non-federal entity for the continued maintenance of 12 of the 18 specifically named structures. The agreement shall require that any maintenance be done under terms and conditions established by the Secretary, at private expense, and without the use of mechanized transport or motorized equipment. The legislation would grant the Secretary of Agriculture discretion to expand the agreement to include the remaining six structures. Similar legislation passed the House in the 105th Congress by a vote of 424 to 2, and again in the 106th Congress by voice vote under suspension of the rules. However, both of these measures failed to be acted upon in the Senate.
H.R 434 was introduced by Congressman John T. Doolittle (R-CA) on February 6, 2001. The bill was referred to the Committee on Resources on February 15, 2001, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health on April 25, 2001. On June 21, 2001, the Subcommittee held a hearing and markup on the bill. Congressman Scott McInnis (R-CO) offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute which reduced the number of dams and weirs named under the original legislation from 18 to 12. The amendment in the nature of a substitute was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was then forwarded to the Full Committee by voice vote. On June 27, 2001, the Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. There were no further amendments offered, and the bill, as amended, was ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice vote.
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
Article I, section 8, and Article IV, section 3, of the Constitution of the United States, grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures.
3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or objective of this bill, as ordered reported, is to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a cooperative agreement to provide for the retention, maintenance, and operation, at private expense, of 12 concrete dams and weirs located within the boundaries of the Emigrant Wilderness in the Stanislaus National Forest, California.
4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
Hon. JAMES V. HANSEN,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: The Congressional Budget Office has prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 434, the Emigrant Wilderness Preservation Act of 2001.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan Carroll.
BARRY B. ANDERSON
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
H.R. 434--Emigrant Wilderness Preservation Act of 2001
CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 434 would have no significant impact on the federal budget. Enacting the bill would not affect direct spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. H.R. 434 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act. State and local governments might incur some costs as a result of the bill's enactment, but these costs would be voluntary.
H.R. 434 would provide for the maintenance and operation of 18 concrete dams and weirs in the Emigrant Wilderness within the Stanislaus National Forest in California. According to the Forest Service, in November 2000 the agency and the California Department of Fish and Game agreed to a joint strategy for future management of the dams, emphasizing the need to maintain eight of the structures. H.R. 434 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to enter into a cooperative agreement with a nonfederal entity to retain, maintain, and operate at private expense 12 of the 18 dams. Under the bill, the Secretary could expand the agreement to include the remaining six structures.
H.R. 434 would authorize the appropriation of $20,000 to cover the costs of environmental reviews. Based on information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates that the total cost to conduct such environmental analyses could exceed the authorized amount. Nevertheless, we estimate that implementing the bill would cost less than $50,000 over the 2002-2006 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or tribal law.
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing law.