Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (10/20/1999)

Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2000 - Makes appropriations for the Department of the Interior and related agencies for FY 2000.

Title I: Department of the Interior - Makes appropriations for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for: (1) land and resource management; (2) wildland fire management; (3) remedial action of hazardous waste substances; (4) construction; (5) payments in lieu of taxes to local governments; (6) land acquisition; (7) Oregon and California grant lands; (8) range improvements; (9) service charges, deposits, and forfeitures with respect to public lands; and (10) miscellaneous trust funds.

Appropriates funds for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for: (1) resource management; (2) construction; (3) land acquisition; (4) expenses related to carrying out the Endangered Species Act of 1973; (5) the National Wildlife Refuge Fund; (6) expenses related to carrying out the North American Wetlands Conservation Act; (7) expenses related to carrying out the African Elephant Conservation Act, the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994; and (8) commercial salmon fishery capacity reduction with respect to Washington State Fraser River sockeye.

Makes appropriations for the National Park Service (NPS) for: (1) the National Park System; (2) national recreation and preservation activities; (3) expenses related to carrying out the Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996; (4) construction; and (5) land acquisition and State assistance from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

Rescinds specified contract authority to obligate funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for FY 2000.

Makes appropriations for: (1) the U.S. Geological Survey for surveys, investigations, and research; (2) the Minerals Management Service for royalty and offshore minerals management and oil spill research; (3) the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement for regulation and technology and the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund; (4) the Bureau of Indian Affairs for operation of Indian programs, construction, miscellaneous payments to Indians, and Indian guaranteed loans; (5) assistance to U.S. territories and for carrying out the Compacts of Free Association with respect to Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau; (6) departmental management and the Offices of the Solicitor and the Inspector General; (7) trust programs for Indians; (8) a pilot program for consolidation of fractional interests in Indian lands by direct expenditure or cooperative agreement; and (9) natural resource damage assessment.

Sets forth authorized and prohibited uses of specified funds.

(Sec. 107) Prohibits the use of funds provided in this title for specified offshore leasing and related activities.

(Sec. 114) Bars the NPS from developing a reduced entrance fee program to accommodate non-local travel through a unit. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to provide for and regulate local non-recreational passage through National Park System units, allowing each unit to develop guidelines and permits for activity appropriate to such unit.

(Sec. 116) Renames the Steel Industry American Heritage Area the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area.

(Sec. 120) Exempts all properties administered by the NPS at Fort Baker, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and other agreements associated with such properties from all taxes and special assessments, except sales tax by the State of California and its political subdivisions.

(Sec. 122) Authorizes persons utilizing Federal lands within the boundary of Lake Roosevelt National Recreational Area for grazing purposes pursuant to NPS permits to renew such permits.

(Sec. 123) Authorizes the renewal of grazing permits and leases which expire or are transferred until the Secretary completes processing, at which time a permit or lease may be canceled, suspended, or modified to meet requirements of applicable laws and regulations.

(Sec. 124) Provides that for purposes of reducing the backlog of Indian probate cases in the Department of the Interior, certain hearing requirements under provisions regarding descent and distribution of Indian lands are deemed satisfied by a proceeding conducted by an Indian probate judge appointed by the Secretary without regard to provisions governing competitive service appointments. Permits such appointments to be made only if the Secretary is unable, by January 1, 2000, to secure the services of at least ten qualified administrative law judges.

(Sec. 125) Requires the Secretary to make a specified amount available as a loan to the Government of American Samoa. Provides for repayment of the loan with funds payable to American Samoa from the Escrow Account established under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement entered into under American Samoa Government v. Philip Morris Tobacco Co., et. al. Sets forth conditions on availability of loan proceeds, including a requirement that American Samoa provide the Secretary with a fiscal and managerial reform plan designed to bring annual government operating expenses into balance with projected revenues for the years 2003 and beyond. Establishes priorities for debt repayments by American Samoa.

(Sec. 126) Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to designate Midway Atoll as a national memorial to the Battle of Midway.

(Sec. 127) Allows the Secretary to redistribute any Tribal Priority Allocation funds to alleviate tribal funding inequities by transferring funds to address identified, unmet needs, dual enrollment, overlapping service areas, or inaccurate distribution methodologies. Bars any tribe from receiving a reduction in such funds of more than ten percent in FY 2000. Makes such percentage limitation inapplicable under circumstances of dual enrollment, overlapping service areas, or inaccurate distribution methodologies.

(Sec. 128) Makes funds provided in this Act unavailable for transferring land into trust status for the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe in Clark County, Washington, until the tribe and county reach a legally enforceable agreement that addresses the financial impact of new development on the county, school and fire districts, and other local governments and the impact on zoning and development.

(Sec. 129) Bars the use of funds provided in this Act to implement specified provisions of the secretarial order entitled "American Indian Tribal Rights, Federal-Tribal Trust Responsibilities, and the Endangered Species Act."

(Sec. 130) Requires the Secretary to provide a grant, from funds appropriated in the Fiscal Year 1998 Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, to the Fairbanks North Star Borough for acquisition of undeveloped parcels along the banks of the Chena River for purposes of establishing an urban greenbelt within the Borough. Provides for a grant to the municipality of Anchorage for the acquisition of wetlands adjacent to a municipal park (the Jewel Lake Wetlands).

(Sec. 132) Directs the Secretary, acting through the BLM Director, to convey specified parcels of public land to Nye County, Nevada, for the construction and operation of the Nevada Science and Technology Center as a nonprofit museum and exposition center.

Grants the County the exclusive right to purchase other specified parcels of public land for their fair market value for five years, with the proceeds to be deposited into and made available to the Secretary from a special account established under the Southern Nevada Public Land Management Act of 1998.

(Sec. 133) Amends Federal law to grant the city of Mesquite, Nevada, the exclusive right to purchase specified parcels of public land for a limited time period. Conveys such lands to the city upon notification of which lands it intends to purchase. Provides for conveyance of additional lands to the city.

(Sec. 134) Expresses the sense of the Senate with respect to planning for historical exhibits about Saint Croix Island at Red Beach and the town of Calais, Maine.

(Sec. 135) Bars the use of funds appropriated for the Department of the Interior by any Act to study or implement any plan to drain Lake Powell or to reduce the water level of the Lake below the range of water levels required for the operation of the Glen Canyon Dam.

(Sec. 136) Prohibits the use of funds made available in any Act by a Federal employee or agency to impose or require payment of an inspection fee in connection with the export of shipments of fur-bearing wildlife containing 1,000 or fewer raw, crusted, salted, or tanned hides or fur skins, or separate parts thereof, including species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Makes this provision inapplicable, for the duration of the calendar year in which the shipment occurs, to any person who ships more than 2,500 of such hides, fur skins, or parts during the course of such year.

(Sec. 137) Prohibits the use of funds appropriated under this Act to implement sound thresholds or standards in the Grand Canyon National Park until the NPS reports to Congress on the scientific basis for, and the peer review process used to validate, such thresholds or standards.

(Sec. 141) Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act to issue a notice of final rulemaking with respect to the valuation of crude oil for royalty purposes until the Comptroller General reviews the issues presented by the rulemaking and reports to Congress.

(Sec. 142) Amends Federal law to require the authority for the Thomas Paine National Historical Association to establish a memorial to Thomas Paine in the District of Columbia to expire on December 31, 2003.

(Sec. 145) Amends the National Park Omnibus Management Act of 1998 to increase to 15 percent the maximum amount of revenues from the sale of national park passports that may be used to administer and promote the passport program and the National Park System.

Incorporates provisions similar to those contained in the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998 (Public Law 105-83) concerning: (1) employees of BLM's Helium Operations; and (2) Huron Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas.

Title II: Related Agencies - Makes appropriations for the Department of Agriculture for the Forest Service for: (1) forest and rangeland research; (2) State and private forestry; (3) the National Forest System; (4) wildland fire management; (5) construction and reconstruction; (6) land acquisition; (7) range rehabilitation and improvement; and (8) forest and rangeland research.

Defers a certain amount of funds made available for obligation in prior years for Department of Energy (DOE) clean coal technology projects until FY 2001.

Makes appropriations for DOE for: (1) fossil energy research and development activities; (2) naval petroleum and oil shale reserve activities; (3) payment to the State of California for the State Teachers' Retirement Fund from the Elk Hills School Lands Fund; (4) energy conservation; (5) economic regulation activities of the Office of Hearings and Appeals; (6) the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; and (7) the Energy Information Administration.

Makes appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services for the Indian Health Service and Indian health facilities.

Makes appropriations for: (1) the Office of Navajo and Hopi Indian Relocation; (2) the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development; (3) the Smithsonian Institution, including amounts for repair and rehabilitation of buildings owned or occupied by the Smithsonian and construction; (4) the National Gallery of Art, including an amount for repair and restoration of facilities owned or occupied by the National Gallery; (5) operations, maintenance, and construction expenses of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; (6) carrying out the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Act of 1968; (7) the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); (8) the National Endowment for the Humanities; (9) the Institute of Museum and Library Services; (10) the Commission of Fine Arts; (11) national capital arts and cultural affairs; (12) the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; (13) the National Capital Planning Commission; (14) the Holocaust Memorial Council; and (15) the Presidio trust.

Sets forth provisions regarding uses of, and limitations on, funds appropriated under this title.

Title III: General Provisions - Sets forth limitations on the use of funds under this Act, including Buy American requirements.

Incorporates provisions similar to those contained in the Department of Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998 (Public Law 105-83) concerning: (1) the sale of timber from giant sequoias; (2) the underground lunchroom at Carlsbad Caverns National Park; (3) funding for the Americorps program; (4) the bridge between Jersey City, New Jersey, and Ellis Island; (5) patents for mining or mill site claims; (6) competition for watershed restoration project contracts in the Pacific Northwest; (7) designation of Biosphere Reserves; and (8) restrictions on NEA grants.

(Sec. 317) Bars the use of funds made available in any Act to designate any portion of Canaveral National Seashore in Brevard County, Florida, as a clothing-optional area or area in which public nudity is permitted if such designation would be contrary to county ordinance.

(Sec. 331) Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to: (1) implement a pilot program for FY 2000 through 2004 for enhancing Forest Service administration of rights-of-way and other land uses; and (2) report to specified congressional committees on whether the use of funds for such program resulted in more expeditious approval of rights-of-way and special use authorizations.

Directs the Secretary to deposit fees collected to recover the costs of processing applications for, and monitoring compliance with, authorizations to use and occupy National Forest System lands pursuant to specified Acts. Makes such amounts available to cover costs incurred by the Forest Service for the processing of applications for special use authorizations and monitoring activities in connection with such authorizations.

(Sec. 332) Authorizes the Secretary to conduct technology transfer and development, training, dissemination of information, and applied research in the management, processing, and utilization of the hardwood forest resource.

Permits the Secretary of Agriculture to operate and utilize assets of the Wood Education and Resource Center in West Virginia as part of a newly formed Institute of Hardwood Technology Transfer and Applied Research. Requires Institute revenues to be deposited in a special Treasury fund known as the Hardwood Technology Transfer and Applied Research Fund.

Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 333) Sets forth requirements for the sale of timber in Region 10 of the Forest Service, including those regarding the volume of western red cedar timber available for processors.

(Sec. 336) Prohibits the use of funds appropriated by this Act to propose or issue rules or orders for implementing the Kyoto Protocol.

(Sec. 337) Prohibits the Departments of the Interior or Agriculture from expending funds to limit the number or acreage of millsites based on the ratio between the number or acreage of millsites and the number or acreage of associated lode or placer claims with respect to specified grandfathered patent applications and operations or property for which a plan of operations has been approved or submitted to the BLM or Forest Service.

(Sec. 338) Requires the Forest Service to review Forest Service campground concessions policy to determine if modifications can be made to Forest Service contracts for campgrounds so that such concessions are exempted from the Service Contract Act. Requires the Forest Service to offer such exemptions in FY 2000.

(Sec. 339) Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to implement a pilot program to charge and collect at least the fair market value for forest botanical products (vegetation, excluding trees, that grows on National Forest System lands) harvested on such lands.

Requires the Secretary to conduct analyses to determine whether and how the harvest of such products on such lands can be conducted on a sustainable basis. Prohibits harvesting of such products at levels exceeding sustainable harvest levels as defined in the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960.

(Sec. 341) Expands Forest Service authority to enter into stewardship contracting demonstration pilot projects to authorize an additional nine projects in Region One.

(Sec. 342) Authorizes increases in recreation residence fees, with a specified ceiling.

(Sec. 343) Requires the use of monies appropriated for the purchase of land by the Forest Service in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in compliance with a specified acquisition protocol.

(Sec. 345) Amends the National Forest-Dependent Rural Communities Economic Diversification Act of 1990 to change references to "rural forestry and economic diversification action teams" to "rural natural resources and economic diversification action teams."

Requires action plans under such Act to identify opportunities to enhance local economies dependent on National Forest System land resources (currently, national forest resources).

Changes references in such Act to "forest resources" and "national forest resources" to "natural resources" and "National Forest System land resources," respectively, in provisions regarding action plan implementation, training and education, and loans to economically disadvantaged rural communities.

(Sec. 346) Amends the Interstate 90 Land Exchange Act of 1998 to require title to certain lands offered to the United States by the Plum Creek Timber Company to be placed in escrow by Plum Creek for a three-year period. Bars Plum Creek from undertaking any activities on such lands, except for fire suppression and road maintenance, during the escrow period without the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture. Conditions conveyance of selected lands by the United States to Plum Creek upon placement in escrow of the title of such lands. Removes certain lands from the list of selected lands and provides measures for equalizing values of offered and selected lands.

(Sec. 347) Adjusts the boundary of the Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington. Considers such boundary to be the boundary of the Forest as of January 1, 1965, for purposes of allocation of Land and Water Conservation Fund monies for Federal purposes under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965.

(Sec. 348) Amends the Food Security Act of 1985 to make certain provisions regarding confidentiality of information applicable to a forest inventory and analysis under the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978.

(Sec. 350) Bars the use of funds made available by this Act to relocate grizzly bears into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness of Idaho and Montana.

(Sec. 351) Makes BLM funds available for high priority projects carried out by the Youth Conservation Corps or related partnerships in order to increase the number of summer jobs available for youth on Federal lands.

(Sec. 352) Amends the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1998 to remove a sunset provision regarding the Environmental Improvement and Restoration Fund.

(Sec. 353) Prohibits the use of funds in this Act by the Secretary of the Interior to issue a prospecting permit for hardrock mineral exploration on Mark Twain National Forest land in the Current River-Jack's Fork River Eleven Point Watershed.

(Sec. 357) Directs the Secretary, as part of the President's budget submission for FY 2001, to include a plan for implementing the recommendations of the National Academy of Science's-National Research Council's study entitled "Hardrock Mining on Federal Lands."

Bars the use of funds in this Act by the Secretary to promulgate final rules to revise regulations regarding surface management or to finalize the accompanying draft environmental impact statement.

Title IV: Mississippi National Forest Improvement Act of 1999 - Mississippi National Forest Improvement Act of 1999 - Authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to sell or exchange U.S. right, title, and interest in and to specified lands in Mississippi. Makes proceeds from such sales or exchanges available for: (1) the construction of a research laboratory and office at the Forest Service administrative site at Mississippi State University at Starkville, Mississippi; (2) the acquisition, construction, or improvement of administrative facilities in connection with National Forest System units in the State; and (3) the acquisition of lands and interests in land for such units in the State.

(Sec. 404) Authorizes the Secretary to acquire all right, title, and interest in land owned by the University of Mississippi within or near the boundaries of the De Soto National Forest in Stone, George, and Jackson Counties, Mississippi.

(Sec. 405) Ratifies a 1999 agreement entered into between the Secretary, the State of Mississippi, and the Franklin County School Board that provides for the Federal acquisition of State-owned land for the construction of the Franklin Lake Dam.

(Sec. 408) Authorizes appropriations to carry out this Act.

Title V: United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund - Transfers a specified amount of interest credited to the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund to the United Mine Workers of America Combined Benefit Fund to pay the amount of any shortfall in any premium account for any plan year under the Combined Fund.