H.R.842 - Ancient Forest Protection Act of 1991102nd Congress (1991-1992)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Jontz, Jim [D-IN-5] (Introduced 02/06/1991)|
|Committees:||House - Agriculture; Interior and Insular Affairs|
|Latest Action:||House - 05/07/1992 See H.R.4899. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.842 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)
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HR 842 SC 102d CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 842 To provide for the protection of the remaining ancient forests on the Federal lands of the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, and for other purposes. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 6, 1991 Mr. JONTZ (for himself, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. ATKINS, Mr. BACCHUS, Mr. BARNARD, Mr. BEILENSON, Mr. BENNETT, Mr. BEREUTER, Mr. BERMAN, Mr. BONIOR, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. BROWN, Mr. BUSTAMANTE, Mr. CAMPBELL of California, Mrs. COLLINS of Illinois, Mr. CONYERS, Mr. COOPER, Mr. DARDEN, Mr. DELLUMS, Mr. DURBIN, Mr. EDWARDS of California, Mr. EVANS, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, Mr. FORD of Tennessee, Mr. GORDON, Mr. GOSS, Mr. GUARINI, Mr. HOAGLAND, Mr. HORTON, Mr. HUGHES, Mr. JACOBS, Mr. JOHNSTON of Florida, Mr. KOSTMAYER, Mr. LEVINE of California, Mr. LIPINSKI, Mrs. LOWEY of New York, Mr. GEREN of Texas, Mr. MACHTLEY, Mr. MFUME, Mr. MINETA, Mrs. MORELLA, Mr. NAGLE, Mr. NEAL of Massachusetts, Mr. OWENS of Utah, Mr. PANETTA, Mrs. PATTERSON, Mr. PAYNE of New Jersey, Mr. PEASE, Mr. PENNY, Ms. PELOSI, Mr. PORTER, Mr. PRICE, Mr. RAVENEL, Mr. RINALDO, Mr. ROE, Mr. ROSE, Mr. ROYBAL, Mr. SANGMEISTER, Mrs. SCHROEDER, Mr. SCHEUER, Mr. SCHUMER, Mr. SHAYS, Mr. SIKORSKI, Mr. SKAGGS, Mr. SMITH of Florida, Mr. SOLARZ, Mr. STARK, Mr. TALLON, Mr. TORRES, Mr. WALSH, Mr. WASHINGTON, Mr. WAXMAN, Mr. YATES, and Mr. ZIMMER) introduced the following bill; which was referred jointly to the Committees on Interior and Insular Affairs and Agriculture December 11, 1991 Additional sponsors: Mr. DWYER of New Jersey, Mr. ECKART, Mr. MAVROULES, Mr. FEIGHAN, Mr. NEAL of North Carolina, Mr. ERDREICH, Mr. JEFFERSON, Mr. WOLPE, Mr. HENRY, Mr. DERRICK, Mr. RANGEL, Mrs. KENNELLY, Mr. DYMALLY, Mr. TRAFICANT, Mr. FLAKE, Ms. MOLINARI, Mr. MARKEY, Mr. DIXON, Mr. CARPER, Mr. CARDIN, Mr. JENKINS, Ms. SLAUGHTER of New York, Mr. COX of Illinois, Mr. TORRICELLI, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. BRYANT, Mr. ANDREWS of New Jersey, Mr. VALENTINE, Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA, Mr. HERTEL, Ms. DELAURO, Mr. JONES of Georgia, Mr. KANJORSKI, Mr. LUKEN, Ms. HORN, Mr. OLVER, Mr. LEHMAN of Florida, Mr. MCCLOSKEY, Mr. SANDERS, Ms. WATERS, Mr. ANDREWS of Maine, Mr. GILCHREST, Mr. CLEMENT, Mr. SERRANO, Mr. FISH, Mr. REED, Ms. NORTON, Mr. SYNAR, Mr. DONNELLY, Mr. HUBBARD, Mr. DE LUGO, Ms. COLLINS of Michigan, Mr. ASPIN, Mr. MCMILLEN of Maryland, Mrs. MINK, Mr. BLACKWELL, and Mr. Swett A BILL To provide for the protection of the remaining ancient forests on the Federal lands of the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, and for 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 `Ancient Forest Protection Act of 1991'. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. The Congress finds and declares the following: (1) The ancient forests of the United States, composed of trees of many species and often older than the Nation itself, constitute one of the most important aspects of our national heritage, and should be passed on intact, for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations. (2) The ancient forests of the States of Washington, Oregon, and California, some of which contain individual trees up to 1,000 and more years old, thus are more than a priceless national heritage; constituting the last living links with the Middle Ages, they amount to a spiritual resource unmatched anywhere else on this planet, and thus deserve to be protected for the enjoyment and benefit of the population of the world. (3) The ancient forests of the Nation are remnant homes to endemic, rare, threatened and endangered species of plants, fish, and wildlife, and further diminution of these forests could result in the extirpation or extinction of said species. (4) The ancient forests and their clear streams are currently used by thousands of Native Americans in the practice of their various religions. (5) The ancient forests of the Nation, in their present state, can and do provide outstanding and unique recreational experiences for a growing population. (6) The ancient forests of the Nation provide unique and unparalleled opportunities for scientific study and research, including medical research, and, as such, may contain the secrets to advance medical knowledge and the prevention, cure or treatment of disease. (7) The ancient forests of the Nation, in many places, particularly in mountainous watersheds, retain and release water, thus guaranteeing populations downstream a steady and assured supply of clean, high quality water for agricultural, industrial, municipal, fish, wildlife, and recreational purposes during the dry months. (8) Many ancient forests support streams and rivers where natural wild runs of salmon and steelhead, and resident cold water fish, are wholly dependent on a quality and quantity of water for migration, spawning, rearing, and cover that can only be maintained by preserving ancient forest watersheds. (9) The ancient forests of the Nation hold their highest values as intact, natural ecosystems that have developed over thousands of years, and such ecosystems are not renewable after logging for many centuries. (10) The ancient forests of Washington, Oregon, and California contain vast nontimber economic values that are critical to economic stability and economic diversification of the Nation and the Pacific Northwest. (11) For the last two centuries, the policy of both government and private interests has been to liquidate through logging all accessible stands of ancient forests as quickly as possible, with the result that at the present time less than 2 percent of the Nation's entire forested area can be properly said to constitute ancient forest stands. (12) The policy of the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, in particular, has been to encourage the establishment of a wood products industry in areas adjacent to the national forests or Bureau of Land Management lands, for the purpose of logging the ancient forest resource. (13) At the present rate of logging of the ancient forests remaining under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, it is anticipated that nearly all of the ecologically significant forests will be destroyed within the next decade. (14) Many predictions are that the rate of timber cutting in the Northwest States must be reduced substantially if timber cutting is to be practiced on a nondeclining, even flow, sustained yield basis while preserving and protecting biological diversity, ancient forest, and wildlife habitat. (15) The continued logging of ancient and old growth forests and their conversion to younger tree plantations has over the past century added tremendous quantities of carbon to the world's atmosphere, with adverse consequences for the global climate, including the process known as `global warming'. (16) It is not appropriate for the Government of the United States to urge other countries, particularly those with tropical forest areas, not to cut too quickly or liquidate their own forests, while at the same time pursuing a policy of maximum liquidation of its own ancient forests. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply: (1) ANCIENT FOREST- The term `ancient forest' means any significant tract of Federal forest land which-- (A) is referred to as `Old-Growth Timber' on pages 3-40 through 3-42 of the document of the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service entitled `Regional Guide for the Pacific Northwest Region', dated May 1984; (B) contains that species known as `Coast Redwood', as defined in the document entitled `Potential Natural Vegetation of the United States', authored by A.W. Kuchler ( ), and known as `Type K-6'; (C) contains any of the forest types defined as `suitable spotted owl habitat, Wenatchee, Gifford Pinchot, and Siskiyou National Forests' in the Final Spotted Owl Environmental Impact Statement, United States Forest Service; or (D) is comprised of any naturally occurring forest association which-- (i) meets the definition of old-growth red fir, mixed conifer, eastside pine, or ponderosa pine forest in those documents of the United States Department of Agriculture entitled `Interim Definitions for Old Growth Douglas Fir and Mixed Conifer Forests in the Pacific Northwest and California', `Old Growth Definitions for Eastside Pine Stands', `Old Growth Definitions for Mixed Conifer and Ponderosa Pine Cover Types', or `Draft Guidelines Defining Old Growth Red Fir Forests in the Central and Southern Sierra of California', or (ii) meets the definition of a `late seral, undisturbed, self-reproducing' forest community as described in the document of the United States Department of Agriculture entitled `Ecological Types for the Westside Mixed Conifer Ecosystem, Plumas, Lassen and Tahoe National Forests', the document entitled `Plant Communities: A Handbook of Plant Synecology' (New York, Harper & Row, 1968), or the document entitled `Forest Ecology' (New York, MacMillan, 1987). (2) ASSOCIATED FOREST- The term `associated forest' means those lands adjacent to, proximate to, or contiguous with any tract of ancient forest which are sufficient in size, extent, location, or configuration to-- (A) assist in the maintenance, protection, or perpetuation of the natural ecological elements, structure, and function of ancient forests or protection of ancient forests from edge effect, windthrow, fire, flood, landslide, or other natural or manmade events; (B) permit species of plants, fish, or wildlife which are associated with, or wholly or in part dependent upon, the survival of ancient forests for food, water, cover, or other nutritional and other physiological requirements, or for migrating, reproducing, rearing offspring, dispersing, or seeking protection from predators and the elements; or (C) to the extent possible, interconnect on a forest by forest or district by district basis ancient forests into an ecologically diverse and sustainable network. (3) FEDERAL FOREST LAND- The term `Federal Forest land' means any lands in Federal ownership and managed-- (A) by the Forest Service within the exterior boundaries of a national forest in the State of Washington or Oregon or in one of the following national forests or portions thereof in the State of California: Rogue River National Forest, Siskiyou National Forest, Six Rivers National Forest, Klamath National Forest, Shasta-Trinity National Forest, Mendocino National Forest, Modoc National Forest, Lassen National Forest, Stanislaus National Forest, Eldorado National Forest, Plumas National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Sierra National Forest, and Sequoia National Forest; or (B) by the Bureau of Land Management in the State of Washington or Oregon or in the following districts of the Bureau of Land Management in the State of California: Susansville, Ukiah, and Bakersfield. (4) SYSTEM- The term `system' means the National Ancient Forest Reserve System established by section 4. SEC. 4. NATIONAL ANCIENT FOREST RESERVE SYSTEM. (a) ESTABLISHMENT- In order that future generations of Americans may continue to enjoy the benefits of an enduring ancient forest resource, there is hereby established the National Ancient Forest Reserve System. The system shall consist of those units designated as components by section 5. (b) MANAGEMENT AND PROTECTION- (1) The units of the system that are located either within the exterior boundaries of a national forest or within the exterior boundaries of a district of the Bureau of Land Management shall be managed by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior, as appropriate, in accordance with this Act and with the laws generally applicable to the area within which any such unit is located. (2)(A) The respective Secretary shall manage the units of the system in such a manner as to perpetuate, protect, and conserve the ancient forest structure, natural ecological elements and functions, and successional processes within them. (B) Within any unit of the system, the respective Secretary may not (i) build roads, (ii) prepare, advertise, offer, award, or operate timber sales, or (iii) cut or remove trees, alive or dead, for any purpose, except where necessary to clear fallen trees in order to permit reasonable travel on trails or existing roads located within any unit. (C) Because the periodic occurrence of fire is a natural mechanism of the ancient forest ecosystem, the respective Secretary may not undertake any fire suppression activity within a unit of the system except where necessary to protect human life or property within any such unit or immediately adjacent to it. (c) MINING AND LAND DISPOSAL- Subject to valid existing rights, the Federal lands within each unit of the system are withdrawn from all forms of entry, appropriation, and disposal under the public land laws and from location, entry, and patent or lease under the mining laws, mineral leasing laws, and geothermal leasing laws of the United States. (d) SUPPRESSION AND CONTROL PROGRAMS- (1) The respective Secretary may not conduct suppression or control programs for native insects, plants, or diseases within any unit of the system. (2) The respective Secretary may conduct suppression and eradication programs for non-native insects, plants, and diseases within a unit of the system only after making a determination of the feasibility of success and need for such actions in a process that complies with all requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and all other applicable statutes and treaties. SEC. 5. DESIGNATION OF UNITS OF NATIONAL ANCIENT FOREST RESERVE SYSTEM AND OTHER PROTECTED AREAS. (a) DESIGNATION- The following areas are hereby designated as components of the National Ancient Forest Reserve System: (1) Certain lands in the State of California in the National Forest which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (2) Certain lands in the State of California in the district of the Bureau of Land Management which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (3) Certain lands in the State of Oregon in the National Forest which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (4) Certain lands in the State of Oregon in the district of the Bureau of Land Management which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (5) Certain lands in the State of Washington in the National Forest which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (6) Certain lands in the State of Washington in the district of the Bureau of Land Management which comprise approximately acres as generally depicted on a map entitled ` Ancient Forest--Proposed' dated , 199 , which shall be known as the Ancient Forest. (b) MAPS AND LEGAL DESCRIPTION- As soon as practicable after the designation of a component of the system by subsection (a), the Secretary shall file a map and a legal description of that component with the appropriate committees of Congress. Such map and description shall have the same force and effect as if included in this Act, except that correction of clerical and typographical errors in such legal description and map may be made. Such map and legal description shall be on file and available for public inspection in the offices of the administering agency. SEC. 6. INTERIM PROTECTION OF ANCIENT FOREST AND ASSOCIATED FOREST. (a) IN GENERAL- Until otherwise provided by law enacted after the date of enactment of this Act, all Federal forest lands in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California which qualify as ancient forest or associated forest but are not designated as a component of the system by section 5 shall be managed in accordance with section 4(b). (b) DESIGNATION- Not later than 45 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior with respect to lands under their jurisdictions shall issue findings and publish maps designating those Federal forest lands in the States of Washington, Oregon, and California that are subject to subsection (a). (c) COMMERCIAL TIMBER- The Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior with respect to lands under their jurisdictions shall issue all necessary administrative orders or regulations-- (1) removing the volume of any commercial timber within any area designated for interim protection under this section from any determination of timber available for commercial harvest; and (2) requiring the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to reduce their annual timber sale offerings by an amount equal to the volume of commercially harvestable timber determined before the date of enactment of this Act to have been otherwise available within the designated units. (d) AGENCY MANAGEMENT ACTIVITY; FINDINGS- Before undertaking any action that may result in the cutting or removal of any vegetation or any other alteration of any other characteristic of or within any lands designated for interim protection under this section, the respective Secretary shall make a finding that the proposed action does not violate this Act. Each such finding shall be accompanied by reasonable supporting scientific evidence and shall be published in the Federal Register. The Secretary shall allow an adequate period for public comment before the action is undertaken. No such action may be commenced before the end of the 60-day period beginning on the day that public notice regarding such action is issued. (e) RELEASE- Upon the enactment of a law by the Congress which designates, on a forest by forest or district by district basis, detailed boundaries of tracts of ancient forest or associated ancient forest in the same manner as the tracts permanently designated under section 5 of this Act, this section shall no longer apply to any lands of that forest or district not so designated. Those lands not so designated as units of the system thereafter shall be managed in accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, the National Forest Management Act of 1976, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, and all other applicable laws and treaties. SEC. 7. PERPETUATION OF ANCIENT FOREST SYSTEM; STUDY. (a) NEED FOR STUDY- The Congress finds that the ancient forest, and its associated wildlife and plant life, depends greatly for its survival upon surrounding or connecting forest for the purpose of providing corridors for dispersal, migration, mixing of populations to ensure retention of genetic diversity, reproduction, cover, water quality, and survival of fish and wildlife species. Such surrounding or connecting forest must be sufficient in size, location, and configuration to protect or restore the ancient forest from the effects of logging, windthrow, fire, or other manmade or natural event. (b) POLICY- The Congress, therefore, declares that, it being the goal of this Act to assure the existence and survival of an enduring resource of ancient forest in perpetuity for the benefit of the American people, it is the policy of the United States to develop and utilize the best scientific information and knowledge for the purposes of further study and identification of the biological and ecological requirements of ancient forest ecosystems. (c) INITIAL INVESTIGATION- The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, in cooperation with appropriate agencies and interested parties, shall convene a panel of experts from universities and government and private research and scientific organizations for the purpose of initiating, overseeing, and publishing a study to determine the biological and physical requirements for the survival and perpetual existence of ancient forest ecosystems. (d) REPORT- Not later than January 31, 1992, the Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality shall submit to the appropriate committees of the Congress a report regarding such study, complete with recommendations and maps as appropriate. Such recommendations shall include (but not be limited to) the exact extent and location of additional corridors, buffer zones, restoration areas, and other aspects of associated forest, as necessary, to carry out the purposes of this Act. SEC. 8. OVERSIGHT AND REVIEW. (a) BURDEN OF PROOF- In any action relating to interim protection under section 6, the burden of proof shall be on the United States to establish by clear and convincing evidence that the decisions and actions of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior are consistent with this Act. (b) INTERIM PROTECTION PENDING APPEAL- (1) If an appeal of a decision is made to an agency to enforce the interim protection requirements of section 6 with respect to an area, the Secretary concerned shall provide interim protection to that area in accordance with section 6 until the issuance of a final decision by the agency regarding that appeal. (2) In the case of any such final decision by an agency upholding the decisions or actions of the Secretary concerned, the Secretary shall provide interim protection to the area concerned in accordance with section 6 until after the nonprevailing parties have had an opportunity for a hearing before the appropriate Federal district court, and thereafter until such time as an appellant has had an opportunity for appellate review of that district court decision.