Text: H.R.5955 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

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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.