S.1593 - 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.101st Congress (1989-1990)
|Sponsor:||Sen. Symms, Steven D. [R-ID] (Introduced 09/12/1989)|
|Committees:||Senate - Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry|
|Latest Action:||Senate - 01/17/1990 Referred to Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry. (All Actions)|
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Text: S.1593 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)
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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.