Text: S.1593 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate

 
 
S 1593 IS
101st CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 1593
To establish the National Commission on Natural Resources Disasters,
to provide for increased planning and cooperation with local firefighting
forces in the event of forest fires, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
September 12 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 6), 1989
Mr. SYMMS (for himself, Mr. BAUCUS, Mr. WILSON, Mr. MURKOWSKI, Mr. HATCH,
Mr. BURNS, and Mr. HELMS) introduced the following bill; which was read
twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
A BILL
To establish the National Commission on Natural Resources Disasters,
to provide for increased planning and cooperation with local firefighting
forces in the event of forest fires, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,
TITLE I--NATIONAL COMMISSION ON NATURAL RESOURCES DISASTERS
SEC. 101. FINDINGS AND POLICY.
  (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--
  (1) the natural fire disasters that occurred in 1987 and 1988 in Western
  and Southeastern States burned nearly 7,500,000 acres of Federal, State,
  and private land;
  (2) those fires reduced the ability of Federal Government agencies to
  effectively manage the lands for timber production, fish and wildlife
  habitation, and recreation for future use by the American public; and
  (3) the communities in and surrounding the areas affected by the fires
  have suffered economic and social losses.
  (b) POLICY- It is the policy of the United States to respond to such
  disasters and prepare for potential disasters by reviewing their financial
  and cultural impact on the affected communities and by adopting policies
  necessary to ensure an effective and efficient recovery.
SEC. 102. NATIONAL COMMISSION ON NATURAL RESOURCES DISASTERS.
  (a) ESTABLISHMENT- There is established a National Commission on Natural
  Resources Disasters (referred to as the `Commission'), which shall
  study the effects of fires of the kind described in section 101 and make
  recommendations concerning the steps necessary for a smooth and timely
  transition of recovery from the loss of such natural resources.
  (b) MEMBERS- (1) The Commission shall be composed of 25 members who are
  Federal, State, and local officials, timber industry representatives,
  and community leaders, to be appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture.
  (2) Not fewer than 20 of the members of the Commission shall be appointed
  from nominations submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture by--
  (1) the chairman of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of
  Representatives;
  (2) the ranking minority member of the Committee on Agriculture of the
  House of Representatives;
  (3) the chairman of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
  of the Senate; and
  (4) the ranking minority member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition,
  and Forestry of the Senate,
after consultation with other members of their committees.
  (c) VACANCIES- A vacancy on the Commission shall be filled by the Secretary
  of Agriculture so that the composition of the Commission remains as
  specified in subsection (b).
  (d) CHAIRPERSON- The Commission shall elect a chairperson from among
  the members.
  (e) MEETINGS- The Commission shall meet at the call of the chairperson or
  a majority of the members of the Commission.
  (f) COMPENSATION- (1) Members of the Commission shall service without
  compensation for work on the Commission.
  (2) While away from their homes or regular places of business in the
  performance of duties of the Commission, members of the Commission shall
  be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence,
  as authorized by law for persons serving intermittently in the Government
  service under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code.
SEC. 103. COMMISSION DUTIES.
  (a) STUDY- The Commission shall study the effects of fires on--
  (1) the economic stability of affected communities;
  (2) the availability of sufficient timber supplies to meet future industry
  needs;
  (3) fish and wildlife habitats;
  (4) recreation in affected areas;
  (5) the watershed and water quality protection plans in effect within
  National Forest System lands;
  (6) the ecosystems in affected areas; and
  (7) management plans of the affected National Forest System lands.
  (b) FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS- On the basis of the study made pursuant
  to subsection (a), the Commission shall make findings and develop
  recommendations for consideration by the Secretary of Agriculture with
  respect to the management of National Forest System lands and community
  redevelopment activities and programs.
  (c) REPORT- The Commission shall submit to the Secretary of Agriculture,
  not later than December 1, 1990, a report containing the results of its study
  made pursuant to subsection (a), and recommendations based on such results.
SEC. 104. INFORMATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES.
  The heads of executive agencies, the General Accounting Office, the Office
  of Technology Assessment, and the Congressional Budget Office shall provide
  the Commission such information as may be required to carry out its duties
  and functions.
SEC. 105. PERSONNEL.
  (a) DIRECTOR AND OTHER COMMISSION EMPLOYEES- To the extent there are
  sufficient funds available to the Commission in advance under section
  107, and subject to such rules as may be adopted by the Commission, the
  Commission, without regard to the provisions of title 5 of the United States
  Code governing appointments in the competitive service and without regard
  to the provisions of chapter 51 and subchapter III of chapter 53 of such
  title relating to the classification and General Schedule pay rates, may--
  (1) appoint and fix the compensation of a director; and
  (2) appoint and fix the compensation of such additional personnel as the
  Commission determines to be necessary to assist it to carry out its duties.
  (b) ASSISTANCE FROM OTHER AGENCIES- (1) On the request of the Commission,
  the heads of executive agencies, the General Accounting Office, and the
  Office of Technology Assessment may furnish the Commission with such
  personnel and support services as the head of the agency, or office,
  and the chairperson of the Commission agree are necessary to assist the
  Commission to carry out its duties.
  (2) The Commission shall not be required to pay or reimburse any agency
  or office for personnel and support services provided under this subsection.
SEC. 106. EXEMPTIONS FROM OTHER LAW.
  The Commission shall be exempt from sections 7(d), 10(e), 10(f), and 14
  of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and sections 4301
  through 4305 of title 5 of the United States Code.
SEC. 107. ACCEPTANCE OF CONTRIBUTIONS.
  (a) IN GENERAL- Following the appointment or designation of the members of
  the National Commission on the Natural Resources Disasters, notwithstanding
  the provisions of section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the Secretary
  of Agriculture may receive on behalf of the Commission, from persons,
  groups, and entities within the United States, contributions of money and
  services to assist the Commission in carrying out its duties and functions.
  (b) AVAILABILITY TO COMMISSION- Contributions accepted by the Secretary
  of Agriculture pursuant to subsection (a) shall be made available to the
  Commission to carry out this Act.
  (c) MAXIMUM CONTRIBUTION- The Secretary may not accept an aggregate amount
  of contributions from any one person, group, or entity exceeding 10 per
  centum of the budget of the Commission.
  (d) FEDERAL CONTRIBUTION- If contributions made under subsection (a) are
  insufficient to carry out this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture may make
  available to the Commission, from available appropriated funds, an amount
  not to exceed $500,000 to carry out this Act.
SEC. 108. TERMINATION.
  The Commission shall cease to exist 90 days after the date on which its
  report is submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to section
  103(c).
TITLE II--FOREST FIREFIGHTING PLANNING AND COOPERATION
SEC. 201. FINDINGS.
  The Congress finds that--
  (1) it is in the best interests of the Nation to take swift action
  to rehabilitate burned forests, and an assessment of the situation is
  necessary to accomplish that; and
  (2) volunteers should be trained to assist where possible.
SEC. 202. ANNUAL REPORT ON REHABILITATION NEEDS RESULTING FROM FOREST
FIRE DAMAGE.
  (a) REPORT- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this
  Act and on or before April 1 of each year thereafter, the Secretary
  of Agriculture shall submit to the Congress a detailed report on the
  rehabilitation needs of each national forest resulting from forest fire
  damage during the previous year.
  (b) CONTENTS- A report made pursuant to subsection (a) shall describe
  specific needs with respect to--
  (1) reforestation;
  (2) vegetation management;
  (3) timber stand improvement;
  (4) fish and wildlife habitat restoration;
  (5) soil conservation; and
  (6) recreation.
SEC. 203. PLANNING FOR FIRE PROTECTION.
  (a) VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS- The Secretary of Agriculture, through the Forest
  Service, shall annually offer training programs to certify volunteers for
  suppressing forest fires on National Forest System lands if the Secretary
  determines that volunteers are needed.
  (b) LOCAL FACILITIES- In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall
  use local educational facilities, including institutions established pursuant
  to the Act entitled `An Act donating public lands to the several States and
  Territories which may provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture and the
  mechanic arts', approved July 2, 1862 (7 U.S.C. 301 et seq., commonly known
  as the `Morrill Act') and the Act of August 30, 1890 (26 Stat. 417, chapter
  841; 7 U.S.C. 321 et seq., commonly known as the `Second Morrill Act').
  (c) COMPENSATION OF VOLUNTEERS- The Secretary of Agriculture may compensate
  certified volunteers in such manner as the Secretary deems appropriate.
  (d) REPORT ON MOBILIZATION OF LOCAL EQUIPMENT- Not later than 1 year after
  the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall
  submit to the Congress a report that documents local mobilization plans
  in cases of fire emergencies for firefighting equipment in each area of
  the National Forest System that is highly prone to forest fires.