H.R.4496 - Protecting America's Wolves Act106th Congress (1999-2000)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Simpson, Michael K. [R-ID-2] (Introduced 05/18/2000)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||House - 06/05/2000 Executive Comment Requested from Interior. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.4496 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (05/18/2000)
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 4496 Introduced in House (IH)] 106th CONGRESS 2d Session H. R. 4496 To provide for the reintroduction of the Eastern Timber Wolf in the Catskill Mountains, New York, and to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire lands through the Bureau of Land Management to facilitate that reintroduction. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES May 18, 2000 Mr. Simpson (for himself, Mr. Hansen, Mr. Lipinski, Mr. Weldon of Pennsylvania, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. English, Mr. Salmon, Mr. Pastor, Mr. Cannon, Mr. Radanovich, Mr. Young of Alaska, Mr. Herger, Mr. Gibbons, Mr. Stump, Mr. Schaffer, Mr. Hayworth, and Mr. Walden of Oregon) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for the reintroduction of the Eastern Timber Wolf in the Catskill Mountains, New York, and to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to acquire lands through the Bureau of Land Management to facilitate that reintroduction. 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 ``Protecting America's Wolves Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE. The Congress finds the following: (1) Throughout history, wolves have been misunderstood and feared. Wolves have been subjected to widespread persecution and targeted by large scale predator eradication programs sponsored by private, State, and Federal entities. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 finally protected wolves as endangered species, but by that time wolves had been almost completely exterminated from the lower 48 States, except for a few hundred wolves that inhabited extreme northeastern Minnesota. (2) The subspecies commonly known as the Eastern Timber Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon) once had an extensive range covering most of the Eastern United States, including the Catskill Mountains of New York. (3) Reintroduction of the Eastern Timber Wolf into the State of New York would serve the public interest, by-- (A) helping to ensure the survival of that subspecies; (B) enhancing the biological diversity of the ecosystems of the State of New York and bringing them into a more natural balance; (C) beginning to redress some of the mistakes of the past, such as the Government-sponsored extermination of the Eastern Timber Wolf; and (D) enhancing our understanding of wolves and of the environment. (4) The public debate surrounding wolf reintroduction in the Northeastern United States would foster a deeper understanding within the general public about the complex interactions among species in their natural environments. SEC. 3. EASTERN TIMBER WOLF REINTRODUCTION. (a) In General.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare and publish a recovery plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf in the Northeastern United States under section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(f)), including a plan for releasing Eastern Timber Wolves in the Catskill Mountain area of New York under section 10(j) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)). (b) Plan Contents.--The Plan shall include the following: (1) Goals for the biological recovery of the Eastern Timber Wolf, including wolf population goals that must be achieved as a condition for removing that subspecies from lists under section 4(c) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(c)). (2) A process and method for obtaining Eastern Timber Wolves from Canada for release under the plan. (3) An outline of how releases under the Plan will proceed, including proposals for cooperative agreements that may be pursued with State and local government agencies to facilitate those releases. (4) A determination of the number of Eastern Timber Wolves that should be released under the Plan to ensure a self- sustaining population of that species in the Catskill Mountain area of New York. (5) A process for compensating New York residents for depredation of livestock by Eastern Timber Wolves, including-- (A) an estimate of the number and value of livestock in New York expected to be lost to depredation by that species; (B) criteria for determining in individual cases whether livestock depredation by that species has actually occurred; (C) procedures for providing compensation; (D) establishment of a separate account for the receipt and disbursement of donations of money for use to pay compensation, that shall be known as the ``Protecting Eastern Timber Wolf Restoration Mitigation Fund''; and (E) an estimate of the amount of money that would be needed in that account to ensure in perpetuity the availability of amounts for paying such compensation. (6) A study of-- (A) the feasibility of releasing Eastern Timber Wolves in other parts of New York; and (B) the feasibility of reducing road densities in certain areas of New York to provide for wolf dispersal corridors. (c) Acceptance and Use of Donations.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary may accept and use donations of funds for compensating New York residents for depredation of livestock by Eastern Timber Wolves under the Plan. (2) Deposit into pet wolf fund.--Amounts received as donations under this subsection-- (A) shall be deposited into the PET Wolf Fund; and (B) shall be available, subject to appropriations, for paying compensation in accordance with the Plan. SEC. 4. EASTERN TIMBER WOLF RELEASES. (a) In General.--The Secretary shall, in accordance with the Plan, begin releasing Eastern Timber Wolves on land in the Catskill Mountain area of New York acquired under section 5 by the latest of-- (1) the date that is 3 years after the date of the enactment of this Act; (2) the date on which the Secretary has obtained Eastern Timber Wolves for release; or (3) the date on which the Secretary has obtained land under section 5 for that release. (b) Acquisition of Animals for Release.--The Secretary shall seek to acquire Eastern Timber Wolves for release under the Plan by not later than the date referred to in subsection (a)(1). (c) Status of Released Wolves.--Section 10(j)(2)(C) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1539(j)(2)(C)) shall not apply to any population of Eastern Timber Wolves released under this section. SEC. 5. LAND ACQUISITION. (a) In General.--Subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary, through the Bureau of Land Management, may acquire land and interests in land within the Catskill Mountain area of New York for use as sites for releases of Eastern Timber Wolves under this Act. (b) Management.--Lands and interests acquired under this section shall be under the administrative jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management. SEC. 6. DESIGNATION OF CRITICAL HABITAT. Not later than 6 months after the date of the first release of Eastern Timber Wolves under this Act, the Secretary shall designate areas in New York that as critical habitat of the Eastern Timber Wolf for purposes of the Endangered Species Act of 1973. SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Act: (1) The term ``Eastern Timber Wolf'' means members of the subspecies Canis lupus lycaon, as described by Ronald M. Nowak in the article ``Another Look at Wolf Taxonomy'' in the journal Ecology and Conservation in a Changing World (Canadian and Circumpolar Institute, Occasional Publications; no. 35, pages 375-398). (2) The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior. (3) The term ``Plan'' means the recovery plan for the Eastern Timber Wolf prepared by the Secretary under section 3. (4) The term ``PET Wolf Fund'' means the separate account known as the Protecting Eastern Timber Wolf Restoration Mitigation Fund, established by the Secretary under the Plan. <all>