Summary: H.R.919 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.919. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/04/1997)


Title I: General Provisions

Title II: Revenue from Mining Claims

Title III: Use or Disposal of Federal Natural Resources

Title IV: National Park Concessions

Public Resources Deficit Reduction Act of 1997 - Title I: General Provisions - Prohibits the disposal of federally-owned natural resources at less than fair market value (including forage, timber, minerals, water and hydroelectric energy generated at a Federal facility). Authorizes a presidential waiver of this proscription whenever the President determines it is in the national interest.

(Sec. 102) Authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and of Agriculture to impose user fees upon program beneficiaries.

(Sec. 103) Requires the President's budget message to include a separate statement, asset by asset and aggregated by major functional category, identifying: (1) projected revenues from the anticipated sale, lease, or transfer of any physical asset; and (2) the estimated price at which it would be sold in an arms length transaction in the private sector.

Title II: Revenue from Mining Claims - Requires the payment of a royalty to the Federal government of five percent of the net smelter return from the production of locatable minerals or mineral concentrates produced from any mining claim located under the general mining laws. Establishes the Abandoned Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund, into which all such royalty receipts shall be deposited for the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past minerals activities (other than coal and fluid minerals activities). Identifies the kinds of land and waters eligible for reclamation expenditures. Authorizes appropriations for the Fund.

Restricts the issuance of any patents for mining or mill site claims to those for which applications were filed, and certain statutory requirements governing vein or lode claims, placer claims, and mill site claims were complied with, before September 30, 1994.

Sets forth annual claim maintenance fee requirements (which shall not apply to oil shale claims subject to claim maintenance fees under the Energy Policy Act of 1992).

Title III: Use or Disposal of Federal Natural Resources - Amends the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest lands in the 16 contiguous Western States, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public domain lands, where domestic livestock grazing is permitted under applicable law, to establish and implement an annual domestic livestock grazing fee equal to fair market value, based on a specified formula.

Abolishes grazing advisory boards. Dedicates the U.S. share of grazing fee receipts to: (1) fish and wildlife habitat restoration and enhancement; (2) restoration and improved management of riparian areas; and (3) enforcement of applicable land management plans, allotment plans, and regulations.

(Sec. 302) Amends the National Forest Management Act of 1976 to prohibit below-cost timber sales from National Forest System Lands. Requires sale revenues to exceed costs.

(Sec. 303) Amends the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of Agriculture in revising land management plans to take into account the economic suitability of lands for timber production.

(Sec. 304) Amends the Reclamation Project Act of 1939 to require that irrigation water from the Bureau of Reclamation used to produce crops on production flexibility contract acreage be paid for at the full cost for delivery.

(Sec. 305) Amends the Food Security Act of 1995 and the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 to provide for the reduction of payment limitations for persons who receive Federal irrigation water for agricultural purposes.

(Sec. 308) Amends the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 to repeal the livestock feed assistance program.

(Sec. 309) Requires that right-of-way permits for the use and occupation of public lands or National Forests be established at fair market value.

(Sec. 310) Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to require that oil and gas rental prices for leases on public lands be established at fair market value.

(Sec. 311) Amends the Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996 to identify circumstances under which the Secretary of the Interior may make an assessment of 20 percent of the amount of underreported royalties from any lease for any production month.

Title IV: National Park Concessions - Repeals the Concessions Policy Act of 1965.

(Sec. 404) Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to award concession contracts that authorize private persons, corporations, or other entities to provide services to park visitors and to utilize facilities if it is determined that such award is appropriate.

(Sec. 405) Requires a concession contract to be awarded to the person submitting the best proposal through a competitive selection process to be established by the Secretary. Allows noncompetitive award of a temporary contract to avoid interruption of services.

Requires the Secretary to publish a notice of availability for a prospectus soliciting proposals for contracts for concessions at a Park specifying minimum contract requirements and contract terms and conditions. Requires congressional notification for any proposed contract with anticipated gross receipts exceeding $1 million or of a duration of over ten years.

Prohibits the Secretary from granting a preferential right to a concessioner to renew concession contracts under this Act, except for certain outfitting and guide contracts and certain contracts with annual gross receipts of under $500,000.

(Sec. 406) Sets forth criteria for determining franchise fees, including fees for multiple franchise contracts within a park.

(Sec. 407) Requires all fees to be: (1) covered into a special Treasury account established for reallocation to NPS units for resource management and protection, maintenance activities, interpretation, and research; or (2) deposited into a Park Improvement Fund established by the concessioner (as directed by the Secretary) from which expenditures shall be made for park activities and projects. Requires: (1) an annual statement from the concessioner to the Secretary reflecting total activity in the Fund for the preceding fiscal year; and (2) an annual report from the Secretary to specified congressional committees concerning Fund expenditures.

(Sec. 408) Establishes a maximum: (1) ten-year duration for a concessions contract, provided that the Secretary may award a contract for up to 20 years if determined necessary; and (2) two-year duration for a temporary contract.

(Sec. 409) Requires the approval of the Secretary and congressional notification before a concession contract can be transferred, assigned, sold, or conveyed. Sets forth conditions that preclude such approval.

(Sec. 410) Grants possessory interest to: (1) concessioners who have commenced acquisition or construction of any structure on Federal land within a park before the enactment of this Act; and (2) concessioners who construct or acquire an improvement on U.S. land within a Park after enactment of this Act.

(Sec. 411) Places limitations on a concessioner's rates and charges to the public.

(Sec. 412) Directs the Secretary to: (1) evaluate periodically the performance of each concessioner under contract; (2) terminate a contract if a concessioner fails, within the prescribed time, to meet minimum requirements identified in a notice of unsatisfactory performance; and (3) notify specified congressional committees of each unsatisfactory rating and each contract terminated.

(Sec. 413) Grants the Comptroller General of the United States access to and the right to examine any pertinent books, documents, papers, and records of the concessioner related to the contracts.

(Sec. 414) Exempts contracts awarded by the Secretary under this Act from certain provisions of Federal law with respect to the leasing of U.S. buildings and properties.

(Sec. 416) Requires the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior to submit biannual reports to specified congressional committees on the implementation of this Act and its effect on facilities operated pursuant to concession contracts and on visitor services.

(Sec. 417) Authorizes appropriations.