Summary: H.R.701 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (09/14/2000)

Conservation and Reinvestment Act- Establishes the Conservation and Reinvestment Act Fund (CRAF). Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to deposit into CRAF certain Outer Continental Shelf revenues.

Transfers all amounts deposited into the CRAF as follows: (1) to the Secretary of the Interior for payment of $430 million to producing coastal States for impact assistance, $75 million for the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act of 1978, $150 million for the National Historic Preservation Act, $125 million for National Park Service and Indian lands restoration programs, and sums as necessary to fund the payment in lieu of taxes program at its fully authorized level; (2) to the Secretary of Commerce for payment of $350 million to coastal States for ocean and coastal conservation; (3) $25 million to the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce for coral reef protection; (4) to the Land and Water Conservation Fund such amounts as necessary to make the Fund's income $900 million; (5) $350 million to the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account within the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund; (6) to the Secretary of Agriculture $50 million each for carrying out the Urban and Community Forestry Act, the Forest Legacy program, and the Farm and Ranch Land Protection Program, and $25 million each for the Rural Development and Rural Community Assistance Programs; and (7) $60 million to the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture for carrying out the Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1970. Appropriates such funds. Provides that any shortfalls in FY 2001 or thereafter proportionally reduce such sums for that fiscal year. Prohibits the transfer of funds from the CRAF during any fiscal year until Congress has made $450 million (or a lesser amount as required) for Federal land acquisition available under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965.

(Sec. 4) Requires: (1) Governors of each State, as a condition of receiving amounts from the CRAF to report each year to the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, or Commerce as appropriate, accounting for amounts received for the previous fiscal year, including the funded projects and activities; and (2) the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce to report annually to Congress on amounts expended from the CRAF, including a summary of such Governors' reports.

(Sec. 5) Declares that amounts made available to States and political subdivisions from the CRAF are intended to supplement rather than replace expenditures by States and subdivisions. Requires the Secretaries to monitor the use of grant funds to ensure compliance with this intent.

Treats all funds received by a State or local government under this Act as Federal funds for purposes of compliance with requirements under other law that non-Federal funds be used to provide a portion of the funding for any program or project.

(Sec. 6) Provides that nothing in this Act: (1) authorizes the taking of private property for public use without just compensation; and (2) creates any authority for Federal agencies to apply regulations on privately owned land.

(Sec. 7) Directs the Secretary of the Interior to require, as a condition of providing any amounts from the CRAF, that persons owning or administering sites that benefit from such amounts include on signs installed at such sites a statement that such site is a product of such amounts.

(Sec. 8) Requires the Director of the Congressional Budget Office to report annually to Congress on whether: (1) a sufficient portion of the on-budget surplus is reserved for debt retirement to put the Government on a path to eliminate the publicly held debt by FY 2013 under current economic and technical projections; and (2) there is an on-budget surplus for that fiscal year.

Directs the Boards of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors, Disability, and Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Funds to report annually to Congress on whether outlays from such trust funds are anticipated to exceed revenues during any of the next five years.

(Sec. 9) Prohibits the transfer of funds under this Act if such expenditure diminishes benefit obligations of such trust funds or the Federal Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Fund or if there is not an on-budget surplus.

Title I: Coastal Impact Assistance and Stewardship - Amends the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to make amounts from the CRAF available for coastal impact assistance to producing coastal States with approved coastal impact assistance plans. Defines a "producing coastal State" as a coastal State with a coastal seaward boundary within 200 miles from the geographic center of a tract leased for drilling, developing, and producing oil and natural gas other than a tract within any Outer Continental Shelf area where a specified moratorium on new leasing was in effect as of January 1, 2000.

Sets forth the formula for allocating such funds to producing coastal States and coastal political subdivisions.

Requires the development and submission of a Coastal Impact Assistance Plan by each producing coastal State which shall incorporate the plans of the coastal political subdivisions for transmittal to the Secretary of the Interior for approval or disapproval before the disbursement of CRAF funds. Specifies authorized uses of the CRAF funds.

(Sec. 103) Makes amounts available from the CRAF for ocean and coastal conservation by coastal States with Statewide Coastal Conservation Plans approved by the Secretary of Commerce.

Allocates funds for cooperative enforcement agreements between the Governor of Hawaii, a territory, or a State represented on an Interstate Marine Fisheries Commission and the Secretary. Requires such agreements to authorize the deputization of State law enforcement officers with marine law enforcement responsibilities to perform the Secretary's duties relating to marine resource law enforcement. Authorizes such entities to enter into research and management agreements with the Secretary for undertaking projects for the management of living marine resources. Describes eligible projects as those that address critical fishery management needs and that pertain to fishery data collection and analysis or measures to promote innovative or cooperative fishery management.

(Sec. 104) Makes amounts available from the CRAF for activities that contribute to, or result in, preserving, sustaining or enhancing the health, diversity, or viability of coral reef ecosystems.

Title II: Land and Water Conservation Fund - Land and Water Conservation Fund Act Amendments of 2000 - Amends the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 to provide that all CRAF funds transferred to the Land and Water Conservation Fund shall be covered into the Fund.

Makes $900 million in the Fund available each fiscal year for expenditure without further appropriation, to be allocated as follows: (1) 50 percent for Federal land acquisition purposes; and (2) 50 percent for financial assistance to States.

(Sec. 203) Revises the formula for State apportionment of Fund amounts. Limits administrative expenses to four percent of the total funds available for financial assistance to States each fiscal year. Apportions remaining funds as follows: (1) 60 percent equally among the States; and (2) 40 percent on the basis of population. Makes all federally recognized Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations eligible to receive shares of such apportionment in accordance with a competitive grant program established by the Secretary of the Interior. Treats such tribes and corporations collectively as one State. Requires each State, with an exception, to make available as grants to local governments at least 25 percent of its annual apportionment.

(Sec. 204) Revises the requirement that a State have a comprehensive statewide outdoor recreation plan as a prerequisite to consideration by the Secretary of the Interior of financial assistance for acquisition or development projects. Requires a State Action Agenda for Community Recreation and Conservation prior to consideration by the Secretary of the Interior of financial assistance from the Fund. Allows each State to define its own priorities and criteria for selection of outdoor conservation and recreation acquisition and development projects eligible for grants under the Act if it provides for public involvement in this process. Allows an existing Comprehensive State Plan to remain in effect until the State adopts a State Action Agenda.

(Sec. 206) Requires the Secretary to approve, subject to certain conditions, the conversion of property (other than for public outdoor recreation use) acquired or developed with assistance under the Act only if the State demonstrates no prudent or feasible alternative exists. Exempts from such requirement those properties that are no longer viable as an outdoor conservation and recreation facility due to changes in demographics, or that must be abandoned because of environmental contamination or another condition which endangers public health and safety.

(Sec. 207) Prohibits amounts made available for Federal land acquisition under the Act from being used to acquire property unless the owner of the property is willing to sell or the acquisition is authorized by law.

Title III: Wildlife Conservation and Restoration - Amends the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (FAWRA) to require CRAF funds transferred for FAWRA purposes to be deposited in a new subaccount (Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account) in the Federal Aid to Wildlife Restoration Fund, to be made available without further appropriation, for apportionment in each fiscal year for State wildlife conservation and restoration programs.

(Sec. 303) Sets forth requirements for: (1) apportionment of such subaccount funds; and (2) applications for approval of, and subaccount funds for, State wildlife conservation and restoration programs Limits: (1) administrative expenses to two percent of total subaccount revenues; and (2) the use of such funds for wildlife-associated recreation and law enforcement, respectively, to ten percent of amounts apportioned to States.

Requires States receiving apportionments under this title to implement a wildlife conservation strategy.

Title IV: Urban Park Program - Amends the Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Act to make transferred CRAF funds available to the Secretary of the Interior, without further appropriation, for the urban park and recreation recovery program. Sets forth limits on the use of such funds.

(Sec. 402) Provides for the development of new recreation areas and facilities (including the acquisition of lands for such development) under the urban park and recreation recovery program.

(Sec. 404) Revises requirements for: (1) Federal assistance grant eligibility; (2) local park and recreation recovery action programs; (3) State action incentives; and (4) conversion of recreation property for any other purposes other than public recreation purposes.

(Sec. 409) Repeals a prohibition on the use of urban park and recreation recovery funds for land acquisition. Repeals sunset provisions and congressional reporting requirements with respect to: (1) the impact of the urban park and recreation recovery program; and (2) the annual achievements of the innovation grant program.

Title V: Historic Preservation - Amends the National Historic Preservation Act to provide that amounts transferred from the CRAF each fiscal year shall be available without further appropriation, in a fiscal year, to carry out the Act.

Requires at least one half of the funds made available each fiscal year under the Act to be used for preservation projects on historic properties or archaeological sites (giving priority to the preservation of endangered historic properties or archaeological sites). Allocates specified amounts for State, local governmental, and tribal historic preservation programs and the American Battlefield Protection Program.

(Sec. 502) Amends the American Battlefield Protection Act of 1996 to authorize such sums as may be necessary (currently, $3 million) to carry out the American Battlefield Protection Program. Repeals the termination date for the Program.

Title VI: National Park and Indian Land Restoration Programs - Makes CRAF funds transferred to the Secretary of the Interior available for the protection of significant natural, cultural, or historical resources at National Park System units that are threatened or in need of stabilization or restoration. Establishes limitations on the use of such funds, including prohibitions on use for land acquisition and construction.

(Sec. 602) Makes CRAF funds available for a competitive grant program for Indian tribes and Alaska Native Corporations to assist in the restoration of degraded lands, resource protection, or the protection of public health and safety.

Title VII: Conservation Easements and Rural Development - Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out a farm and ranch land protection program by limiting the non-agricultural uses of lands with prime, unique, or other productive uses. Authorizes, under such program, matching grants to State or local governments, Indian tribes, and specified tax-exempt conservation organizations to facilitate purchase of permanent conservation easements or easements or other interests in such lands when the lands are subject to a pending State or local government offer. Permits acquisition of a conservation easement only with the owner's consent.

(Sec. 702) Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to make CRAF funds available for a rural development program to provide technical assistance to rural communities for sustainable rural development purposes.

(Sec. 703) Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to make grants to States for the conservation of non-Federal lands of clear regional or national interest. Prohibits grants where the Federal contribution for a project exceeds $1 million unless authorized by an Act of Congress. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 704) Requires the Secretary of the Interior to complete the mapping of all existing conservation easements acquired by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before 1977 to protect wetlands. Authorizes appropriations.