H.R.5955 - National Fishery Resource Conservation System Act of 1990101st Congress (1989-1990)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Unsoeld, Jolene [D-WA-3] (Introduced 10/26/1990)|
|Committees:||House - Merchant Marine and Fisheries|
|Latest Action:||House - 10/27/1990 Referred to the Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.5955 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House
HR 5955 IH 101st CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 5955 To establish a National Fishery Conservation System administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain and develop self-sustaining fish populations for the continued benefit of recreational, commercial, and tribal users and the general public, educational, and other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES October 26, 1990 Mrs. UNSOELD introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries A BILL To establish a National Fishery Conservation System administered by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain and develop self-sustaining fish populations for the continued benefit of recreational, commercial, and tribal users and the general public, educational, and other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. This Act may be cited as the `National Fishery Resource Conservation System Act of 1990'. SEC. 2. PURPOSE. The purpose of this Act is to establish the National Fishery Resource Conservation System and create a Fishery Resource Conservation Board as means of protecting, restoring and conserving important fish habitat. SEC. 3. POLICY. It is the policy of the United States that-- (1) fishery resources and their habitat shall be conserved and protected for the continued benefit of recreational, commercial, and tribal users and their essential role in natural ecosystems; (2) adequate habitat essential to the development and maintenance of self-sustaining fish populations shall be protected, restored and managed; (3) protected fish habitat shall be managed to the extent practicable; (4) public recreational fishing, commercial, tribal fisheries, fish observation, and similar activities shall remain a principal use of the Nation's fishery resources and major activities of Americans; (5) compatible recreational or other uses of National Fishery Resources Conservation System units shall not be precluded; (6) access for handicapped persons to fishing opportunities and fishery resources shall be provided whenever practicable; (7) this Act shall be implemented in cooperation with, and with respect for the rights and jurisdiction of, other entities involved in managing fishery resources and fisheries and providing or supporting fishing, boating and environmental education opportunities; and (8) the Secretary shall carry out the purposes and requirements of this Act using professional fisheries expertise and fisheries administrative functions extant in the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act-- (1) the terms `Board' and `Fishery Resource Conservation Board' mean the Fishery Resource Conservation Board established by section 7(a) of this Act. (2) the term `compatible recreational or other uses' means public activities, including facilities, on units of the National Fishery Resource Conservation System, provided they are undertaken in a manner consistent with the purposes and objectives for which each unit is established. (3) the term `fish' means species of freshwater, diadromous, estuarine and marine organisms, including finfish, shellfish, crustaceans and all other aquatic organisms, and their egg, spawn, spat, larval or other juvenile stages, other than marine mammals and birds. (4) the term `fish habitat' means areas necessary for spawning, incubation, nursery, rearing, food supply, migration and other purposes on which fish depend, directly or indirectly, in order to carry out their life processes. Habitat includes areas adjacent to the aqueous environment if such adjacent areas-- (A) contribute elements, such as the input of detrital material or the promotion of planktonic and insect populations providing food, which make fish life possible; (B) protect water sources, quantity and quality; (C) provide access for the use of fishery resources; or (D) serve as a buffer protecting the aquatic environment. (5) the terms `National Fishery Resource Conservation System' or `System' mean areas of fish habitat, organized as discrete units, that are acquired, protected, restored or managed in concert to restore and maintain self-sustaining fish populations and for such other compatible purposes that the Secretary deems appropriate. (6) the term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior acting through the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (7) the term `self-sustaining fish populations' means a natural aggregation of fish that, without direct human intervention such as stocking, reproduces at a rate which will allow recruitment to the population sufficient to sustain harvestable surpluses. SEC. 5. NATIONAL FISHERY RESOURCE CONSERVATION SYSTEM. (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established within the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fishery Resource Conservation System consisting of discrete units of fish habitat that are to be provided protection by appropriate entities. (b) COMPONENTS- The System has the following components-- (1) UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE COMPONENT- Units of fish habitat, or interests in fish habitat, acquired by the Service. (2) OTHER FEDERAL COMPONENT- Units of fish habitat, or interests in fish habitat, owned or acquired by other Federal entities under the authority of this Act and units consisting of overlays established under authority of this Act on fish habitat, or interests in fish habitat, acquired by, or otherwise under the jurisdiction of, other Federal entities under other authorities. (3) NON-FEDERALLY MANAGED COMPONENT- Units of fish habitat, or interests in fish habitat, owned or acquired by non-Federal entities, such as States, Indian Tribes, and conservation organizations, under the authority of this Act and units consisting of overlays established under authority of this Act on fish habitat, or interests in fish habitat, acquired or owned by non-Federal entities for other purposes. (c) ACQUISITION- To carry out the purposes of this Act, the Secretary is authorized to acquire, by purchase, exchange, donation, public land withdrawal, transfer, or other appropriate means, lands and waters, or interests therein, provided that the interest acquired is sufficient to assure protection or management of the fish habitat. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary is authorized to participate with other Federal agencies, State agencies, Indian Tribes, and other interested organizations and entities in cooperative efforts to acquire lands and waters, or interests therein, consistent with the purposes of this Act. The Secretary shall review Federal properties subject to disposal procedures; lands and waters thus reviewed and found to contain important fish habitat, or which could be exchanged for important fish habitat, shall be acquired by the Secretary. Lands and waters, and interests therein, acquired under authority of this section shall become units, within the appropriate components, of the National Fishery Conservation System. (d) EXCHANGES- Land and water, or interest therein, acquired under authority of this section shall continue to be a part of the System until otherwise specified by Act of Congress, except by the exchange of lands within any such area pursuant to subsection (c). Exchange of lands and waters, or interests therein, pursuant to subsection (c) shall not occur unless-- (1) the Secretary determines that the lands, or interests therein, are no longer needed for the purposes for which the unit of the System in which they are located was established; and (2) such lands and waters, or interests therein, will be exchanged on an equal value basis as determined by the Secretary as of the date of the exchange or, if they are not of equal value, the values shall be equalized by a payment to the grantor or the Secretary as the circumstances require. (e) OVERLAY UNITS- Essential fish habitat under the jurisdiction of Federal, State, tribal or local agencies or nongovernmental entities may be considered and referred to as units of the National Fishery Resources Conservation System if authorized by the Secretary. With the concurrence of the entity with jurisdiction over the fish habitat involved and an opportunity for public comment, the Secretary may designate such areas as units of the System. If so designated, the areas shall be managed consistent with the purposes and requirements of this Act to the extent allowed by the underlying authority for the area. (f) STATE ACQUISITION- The Secretary shall encourage States to use grants provided under authority of the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act of August 9, 1950, as amended (16 U.S.C. 777-777k), to acquire fish habitat. The State acquiring fish habitat, or interests therein, with such funds may request that such fish habitat be administered as a unit under the Nonfederally Managed Component of the National Fishery Resource Conservation System. If requested and after an opportunity for public comment, the Secretary may designate such areas as units of the System. If so designated, the areas shall be managed consistent with the purposes and requirements of this Act. (g) ADMINISTRATION OF THE SYSTEM- (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall administer the National Fishery Resource Conservation System consistent with the purposes and requirements of this Act. (2) REGULATIONS- Within the 24-month period following the date of enactment of this Act and periodically thereafter as necessary, the Secretary shall promulgate regulations to govern administration of the overall System and each of its components, as well as the management of individual units of the System. (3) OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE- The Secretary shall ensure that all units of the System are adequately funded, staffed, and maintained to ensure they are operated efficiently and effectively fulfill their purposes. (4) USE OF FACILITIES- With their consent, the Secretary may, with or without reimbursement, use the services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of Federal agencies. The Secretary also may cooperate with other public and private entities in the use of services, equipment, personnel, and facilities. The head of each Federal agency shall cooperate with the Secretary in making the services, equipment, personnel, and facilities of the Federal agency available to the Director. The head of any Federal agency is authorized, notwithstanding any other provision of law, to transfer to or to receive from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, without reimbursement, supplies and equipment. (5) CONTROL OF ACCESS- The Secretary is authorized to control access to lands and waters, including the water column, within the exterior boundary of each System unit. (6) PERMITTED USES- (A) By regulation, the Secretary may-- (i) permit the use of any United States Fish and Wildlife Service unit for any purpose, including but not limited to, hunting, fishing, public recreation and accommodations, and access, if the use is determined to be compatible with the purpose for which the United States Fish and Wildlife Service unit was established; and (ii) permit the use of or grant easements, rights-of-way or reservations in, over, across, upon, through, or under any United States Fish and Wildlife Service unit for purposes such as but not limited to power lines, telephone lines, canals, ditches, pipelines, and roads, including the construction, operation, and maintenance thereof, if the use is determined to be compatible with the purpose for which the United States Fish and Wildlife Service unit was established. (B) Regulations in effect on October 1, 1990, that are applicable to United States Fish and Wildlife Service units shall continue in effect until modified or rescinded. (C) Nothing in this subsection may be construed to amend, repeal, or otherwise modify the provisions of the Act of September 28, 1962 (16 U.S.C. 460k et seq.) which authorized the Secretary to administer United States Fish and Wildlife Service units for public recreation. The provisions of this subsection relating to recreation shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of that Act. (D) For purposes of this subsection, the phrase `United States Fish and Wildlife Service units' means any unit, installation, center or area, other than areas administered as part of the National Wildlife Refuge System under authority of the National Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd-668ee), that is under the jurisdiction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. (7) MANAGEMENT OF OVERLAY UNITS- System units established pursuant to subsection (e) shall, to the greatest extent feasible, be managed consistent with the purposes and requirements of this Act. Overlay units may be managed by the entity with jurisdiction over the affected land and water, involved States, the Secretary, or other appropriate entities as agreed by such involved entities. Within 6 months of the establishment of each overlay unit, the Secretary will conclude a Memorandum of Agreement with the entity with jurisdiction over the land and water affected, involved States, and other entities to be involved in the management of that unit. The Memorandum of Agreement shall specify the management purposes for that unit and how it will be managed, including the responsibilities and roles of each entity involved in its management. (8) ENFORCEMENT- Any person authorized by the Secretary to enforce the provisions of this Act, or any regulations issued thereunder, may-- (A) without a warrant, arrest any person violating this Act or regulations issued thereunder in the presence or view of that person; (B) execute any warrant or other process issued by an officer or court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this Act or regulations issued thereunder; and (C) with or without a search warrant, search for and seize any property, plant, fish, bird, mammal, or other animal, including parts, nests, or eggs thereof, taken or possessed in violation of this Act or regulations issued thereunder. Any property, plant, fish, bird, mammal, or other animals, including parts, nests, or eggs thereof, seized with or without a search warrant shall be held by such person or by a United States marshal and, upon conviction, shall be forfeited to the United States and disposed of by the Secretary, in accordance with the law. (9) PENALTIES- Any person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Act, or any regulations issued thereunder, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and may be adjudged to pay all costs of the proceedings. SEC. 6. FISHERY RESOURCE CONSERVATION BOARD. (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a Fishery Resource Conservation Board. (b) FUNCTIONS- The Board shall-- (1) advise the Secretary regarding the identification, and priorities for inclusion, of essential fish habitat in the National Fishery Resource Conservation System and on policies for the development and operation of the National Fishery Resource Conservation System. (2) coordinate its activities with Federal, State, Tribal, local, nongovernmental, and other organizations and individuals involved or interested in protecting, restoring, and managing fish habitat for the purpose of restoring and maintaining self-sustaining fish populations. (c) MEMBERSHIP AND APPOINTMENTS- The Fishery Resource Conservation Board shall be composed of 14 members with demonstrated interest in the protection, restoration, and enhancement of the Nation's fishery resources. Eight members of the Board shall be appointed by the Secretary to reflect a broad range of perspectives about fishery resources. At least three of the members to be appointed by the Secretary shall be Directors of State fishery agencies, at least one shall be a representative of an Indian Tribe, and at least three shall be Directors of private, nonprofit conservation organizations. Four members of the Board shall be Members of Congress. The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint a Member from the majority and a Member from the minority to represent the House of Representatives on the Board. The Majority Leader of the United States Senate shall appoint a Senator from the majority and a Senator from the minority to represent the United States Senate on the Board. The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Executive Director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation shall, by virtue of their positions, be members. The head of the State fishery agency, or a representative, shall be an ex-officio member of the Board for purposes of considering and voting on all questions related to units located in that State brought before the Board under the provisions of this Act. One-half or more of the members of the Board shall have a background in fishery resource protection or management by virtue of experience or education. (d) TERMS- Board members shall serve 3-year terms. Of the initial appointments to the Board, one-third shall be for 3 years, one-third for 2 years, and one-third for 1 year. The terms of the initial appointees shall be determined by drawing lots. (e) TRANSACTION OF BUSINESS- (1) ORGANIZATION- The Board shall determine its organization, including the officers to be elected from among its members, and prescribe the practices and procedures for discharging its functions. Committees or work groups of Board members or their technical representatives may be established to advise the Board on specific matters. (2) MEETINGS- The Board shall meet periodically, but at least twice annually, at the call of the Chairperson or upon the request of a majority of its members. (3) TECHNICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT- The Secretary shall provide the Board with administrative and technical support and information needed to carry out its functions. (4) TRAVEL EXPENSES- While away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of service for the Board, Board members and their technical representatives shall be allowed travel expenses, including a per diem allowance in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in Government service are allowed travel expenses under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code. Any Board member or technical representative who is an employee of an agency or governmental unit of the United States, or a State or Indian Tribe, and is eligible for travel expenses from that agency or unit for performing services for the Board shall not be eligible for travel expenses under this subsection. (f) ASSESSMENT OF ESSENTIAL FISH HABITATS- (1) Within 12 months following the date of enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, the Board will submit to the Secretary its recommendations regarding individual areas of fish habitat that should be protected under the authority of this Act. Those recommendations shall be based on explicit criteria and processes developed by the Board with full public input and comment. They shall include priorities for adding individual tracts or units to the appropriate components of the System, identify the purposes and objectives of each unit recommended, the desired level of protection and management authority for each unit, the most effective means of achieving that desired level of protection and management authority, and who should be responsible for managing and protecting each unit. (2) After review of the Board's recommendations and consultation with the States, Tribes and other interested entities, the Secretary shall develop an acquisition priority list for properties which contain, or with restoration would contain, essential fish habitat. (3) The latest acquisition priority list shall be submitted to the Congress each year with the President's budget request, beginning in January 1992. SEC. 7. ANNUAL REPORT. Within 6 months after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit an Annual Report to the Congress containing all recommendations of the Board to the Secretary, together with all related correspondence, during that fiscal year and any other information used to develop the priority acquisition list submitted with the President's budget. The Annual Report shall also summarize changes in the System during the fiscal year, identify problems encountered and recommendations for resolving them, describe major activities and accomplishments of the Board, and provide such other information the Secretary deems noteworthy. SEC. 8. RELATION TO EXISTING LAWS AND JURISDICTION. (a) This Act shall not be construed as affecting the authority or responsibility of the States or Indian Tribes to manage, control, or regulate fish and wildlife under their jurisdiction. (b) Nothing in this Act shall constitute an express or implied claim or denial on the part of the Federal Government as to an exemption from State water laws. (c) Units of the System shall be managed in concert with applicable Federal and State regulations regarding protection of water quality and quantity as well as the mitigation of adverse affects to fish and wildlife. (d) The Secretary's comments related to units of the System, or areas of essential fish habitat identified by the Board, made in the exercise of commenting on or intervening in license, relicense or permit application processes shall be given great weight. Whenever the agency acting on such license, relicense of permit application believes that any recommendation from the Secretary is unachievable or inconsistent with the purposes and requirements of applicable law, that agency shall attempt to resolve any such inconsistency, giving due weight to the recommendation, expertise, and statutory responsibilities of the Secretary. If, after such attempt, the agency does not adopt a recommendation of the Secretary, the agency shall publish, together with a statement of the basis therefor, for one or both of the following findings: (1) a finding that adoption of such recommendation is inconsistent with the purposes and requirements of this Act or with other applicable provisions of law; (2) a finding that conditions imposed adequately and equitably protect, mitigate damages to, and enhance, fish habitat affected by the development, operation and management of the project. SEC. 9. FISHERY RESOURCES ARTWORK. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is authorized to have designed and printed and to offer for sale an annual series of artwork, such as original paintings, drawings, prints or an annual conservation stamp, which is of sufficient artistic merit to invite collection by the public. The purpose for the development and sale of such artwork should be to encourage the conservation of fishery resources and the habitats upon which they depend. A fish conservation stamp is not to be used as either a license or fee for the use of Federal facilities, as a requirement for fishing, or as a tax. Purchase of any fish conservation stamp created pursuant to this section shall be a voluntary option. Funds collected from the sale of such artwork or related activities shall be held in a separate account by the Foundation and shall be used to fulfill the purposes of this Act. SEC. 10. COOPERATIVE EFFORTS. The Secretary shall take such steps as necessary to encourage cooperative and volunteer efforts by individuals, nongovernmental organizations, State, other Federal, Tribal and local governmental entities, and any other appropriate entities in the acquisition, development, operation and maintenance of the System to foster the recognition, protection, restoration and management of essential fish habitats. SEC. 11. APPROPRIATIONS. (a) ACQUISITION- There are authorized to be appropriated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund such sums as may be necessary to acquire lands and waters, and interests therein, in fulfillment of the purposes of this Act. (b) DEVELOPMENT, OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF THE SYSTEM- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the development, operation, and maintenance of United States Fish and Wildlife Service units of the National Fishery Resource Conservation System. (c) NATURAL RESOURCE DAMAGE ASSESSMENTS- Monetary judgments, settlements, and fines paid to the United States as a result of damages to fish and fish habitats shall be made available as hereafter provided for in appropriations Acts, to the Secretary for acquisition of properties under the authority of this Act. (d) CONTRIBUTIONS- The Service or the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation may, at their discretion, receive donations of money, services, and real or personal property for the management, protection, restoration or acquisition of fish habitat. Such funds may be expended to fulfill the purposes for this Act, or for the specific function or unit for which the contribution was made provided that function is compatible with the purposes of the system or the unit.