Summary: S.391 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (07/16/1996)

Federal Lands Forest Health Protection and Restoration Act - Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to: (1) identify and designate each year appropriate areas on Federal lands, including the Kenai National Wilderness Refuge, as forest health emergency areas or forest health high risk areas; and (2) select and authorize the proposed forest health management activities to correct such emergencies or risks. Includes under such authority those Federal lands of more than 500 acres on which a wildfire or catastrophic event occurs, requiring such action within 120 days of the termination of the event. Designates conditions under which an area of Federal lands shall be designated as either a forest health emergency or high risk area. Requires the prioritization of such areas by the Secretary concerned. Requires the appropriate forest health management activities to be those which the Secretary concerned determines to most specifically address the specific site conditions of the area using the combination of management practices, treatment, and protection needed to arrest the decline in, and to restore, forest health to a condition capable of supporting and sustaining the uses within the historic ranges of the area.

Requires a statement of necessity by the Secretary concerned whenever the harvest of live trees is expected to occur in a forest health management activity. Provides a petition process under which any interested person may petition either Secretary to designate a specific area of at least 500 acres as a forest health emergency or high risk area.

(Sec. 4) Directs each Secretary to publish in the Federal Register notice of the prospective decision to designate a forest health emergency or high risk area and to select and authorize appropriate forest health management activities for such area. Requires a 30-day period for public comment and a written response to such comments by the Secretary concerned. Requires compliance with certain Federal laws, with exceptions for certain small projects.

Requires the Secretary concerned to consult or confer with the appropriate Federal agency when such Secretary determines that a designation decision under this Act is likely to significantly and adversely affect an endangered or threatened species. Provides for administrative and judicial review of designations made under this Act (prohibiting administrative review of the designation of a forest health emergency area).

(Sec. 5) Excludes certain Federal lands and forest health management activities from any designations or management activities under this Act.

(Sec. 6) Directs each Secretary to submit to specified congressional leaders and committees an annual Forest Health Report, as well as a Comprehensive Forest Health Report, four years after the enactment of this Act, which shall evaluate forest health conditions on Federal lands under each Secretary's jurisdiction.

(Sec. 7) Requires summaries of forest health conditions, activities, and expenditures to be included in annual budget requests from the President to the Congress governing activities of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife Service, or National Forest Service (NFS).

(Sec. 8) Permits funds received from timber sales on Federal lands administered by the BLM or NFS to be used for specified forest health enhancement activities.

(Sec. 10) Authorizes each Secretary to require, as a condition of the sale of timber or other forest products on lands under their jurisdiction, that the purchaser undertake a forest health management activity which: (1) is selected and authorized under this Act; and (2) addresses the effects of such timber sales upon such lands or involves vegetation management within such area. Provides for the financing of such forest health management activity within the timber sale contract. Requires the Secretary concerned to determine the amount of forest health credits to be allocated to each forest health management activity performed by the timber purchaser, allowing the transfer of such credits from one sale to another by the same purchaser. Terminates the authority provided under this section five years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 12) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1997 through 2007.