Summary: H.R.2351 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.2351. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/31/1997)


Title I: Amendments to Endangered Species Act of 1973

Title II: Tax Incentives

Title III: Authorization of Appropriations

Endangered Species Recovery Act of 1997 - Title I: Amendments to Endangered Species Act of 1973 - Amends the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (the Act) to include within the definition of "species" the last remaining distinct population segment in the United States of any plant or invertebrate species. States that "interim habitat" includes habitat necessary to support either current populations of a species or populations necessary to ensure survival, whichever is larger.

(Sec. 102) Revises requirements regarding designation of critical habitat to require the Secretary of the Interior or Commerce, as appropriate, to designate: (1) interim habitat concurrently with making a determination that a species is endangered or threatened; (2) critical habitat concurrently with adoption of a final recovery plan for a species; and (3) interim and critical habitat in the case of a highly migratory marine species.

Requires the Secretary to designate interim habitat based only on biological factors, giving special consideration to habitat currently occupied by the species.

(Sec. 103) Establishes a schedule for publishing species listing determinations.

(Sec. 105) Provides for draft and final recovery plans for the conservation of endangered and threatened species. Expands plan provisions to require: (1) provisions for conservation in the recovery plan area of all endangered or threatened species, candidate species, and species proposed for such listing; (2) descriptions of actions likely to violate taking or jeopardy prohibitions; (3) a list of Federal agencies, States, tribes, and local government entities significantly affected by plan goals or management actions that should complete a recovery implementation plan; and (4) the selection of independent scientists to determine criteria for making determinations to remove a species from the list.

Directs Federal agencies significantly affected by plan goals or management actions to develop and implement recovery implementation plans required to: (1) identify affirmative conservation duties and management responsibilities to contribute to achievement of plan goals; (2) set forth specific actions, timetables, and funding to achieve and monitor progress of goals or responsibilities; and (3) identify lands or waters under agency jurisdiction that may provide suitable habitat for the species and actions needed to acquire additional habitat or contribute to species recovery on agency lands or waters.

(Sec. 106) Includes Indian tribes in the definition of "State" for purposes of provisions regarding cooperative agreements and funding for the conservation of endangered and threatened species.

(Sec. 107) Requires Federal agencies to monitor the status and trends of endangered, threatened, and candidate species that occur on lands or waters under their administration.

Directs Federal agencies, in cases where certain authorized takings of endangered or threatened species of a marine mammal are involved, to: (1) report to the Secretary every two years on the amount of incidental take that has occurred as a direct, indirect, or cumulative impact; and (2) reinitiate consultation with the Secretary if the amount authorized has been exceeded.

Applies provisions regarding interagency cooperation and consultation to species in a foreign country or on the high seas.

Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations to ensure timely conclusion of Federal consultations regarding listing of species.

(Sec. 108) Directs the Secretary to limit the duration of certain permits issued for acts or takings otherwise prohibited as necessary to ensure that changes in circumstances that could occur in the period and that would jeopardize the continued existence of species are reasonably foreseeable.

Expands elements of conservation plans required to be submitted by applicants for permits authorizing takings. Adds to the list of conditions required to be met for permit issuance that the activities authorized by the permit and conservation plan are consistent with species recovery and will result in no net loss of the value to the species of the habitat occupied. Requires annual reports by the permittee on the biological status of the species in the affected area, on permitted action and habitat conservation plan impacts on the species, and on whether the plan's biological goals are being met. Revokes permits for noncompliance with permit conditions or this Act or for exceeding the authorized level of take.

Requires the Secretary, using financial security provided by the permittee and the Habitat Conservation Fund, to undertake to conserve species where a permittee defaults on permit or plan obligations.

Directs the Secretary to implement a streamlined application and approval procedure for incidental take permits and plans determined to be low effect, small scale plans. Lists criteria to be met for consideration as a low effect, small scale plan. Provides for monitoring of such plans and requires the Secretary to pay costs of implementing additional requirements or restrictions to ensure that actions authorized by such plans do not jeopardize the continued existence of any species determined to be endangered or threatened after such a plan was approved.

Sets forth requirements for the deposit of performance bonds and other financial security by incidental take permit (other than low effect, small scale) applicants.

Establishes the Habitat Conservation Plan Fund for: (1) paying the costs of additional conservation measures and restrictions for species recovery not covered by, or occurring as a result of failure of, plans; (2) permitting costs; and (3) restoring natural resources with respect to which damages are deposited.

Requires the Secretary to encourage the development of multiple landowner, multispecies conservation plans, including by streamlining permitting processes across State and local jurisdictions. Sets forth requirements for incidental take certificates issued by such jurisdictions. Provides for public participation in the development of such plans and directs the Secretary to promulgate regulations establishing a development process which ensures an equitable balance of participation among citizens with primary interests in economic development activities that may affect species conservation, and species conservation, respectively. Requires the Secretary, upon request, to invite independent scientists with expertise on species that may be affected by the plan to provide input.

Directs the Secretary to establish a Community Assistance Program to provide timely and accurate information to local governments or property owners. Requires the Secretary, under such Program, to assign to each U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service field office employees whose duties include providing information on impacts of actions under, and assistance on compliance with, the Act and serving as a focal point for questions, requests, complaints, and suggestions from property owners and local governments.

(Sec. 109) Expands the list of violations for which citizen suits may be brought to include violations of any permit, the Secretary's opinion statement regarding the impact of Federal agency actions on species and proposed conservation actions, or any agreement concluded under the Act. Makes certain time frames for bringing actions inapplicable to actions brought for emergencies posing a significant risk to any endangered or threatened species of fish, wildlife, or plant (or those proposed for listing).

(Sec. 110) Makes persons who negligently damage any member or habitat of an endangered or threatened species liable to the United States and a State for the costs incurred in restoring or replacing the member or habitat.

Title II: Tax Incentives - Authorizes the Secretary to enter into endangered species conservation agreements with owners or lessees of real property on which conservation measures for endangered, threatened, or candidate species or species proposed for listing are to be carried out. Requires the Secretary to establish a technical assistance program in cooperation with the States to assist landowners with such agreements.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to require that the value of a taxable estate be determined by deducting from the value of the gross estate an amount equal to the value of real property included in the gross estate which is subject to an endangered species conservation agreement. Provides for recapture in certain cases.

(Sec. 203) Allows an additional tax deduction for State and local real property taxes imposed on real property subject to such agreements.

(Sec. 204) Allows a tax credit for costs incurred in connection with such agreements.

Title III: Authorization of Appropriations - Extends the authorization of appropriations to carry out the Act through FY 2002.