Text: H.R.1904 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 108-148 (12/03/2003)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 148]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


[DOCID: f:publ148.108]

[[Page 117 STAT. 1887]]

Public Law 108-148
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To improve the capacity of the Secretary of Agriculture and the 
Secretary of the Interior to conduct hazardous fuels reduction projects 
  on National Forest System lands and Bureau of Land Management lands 
 aimed at protecting communities, watersheds, and certain other at-risk 
    lands from catastrophic wildfire, to enhance efforts to protect 
watersheds and address threats to forest and rangeland health, including 
       catastrophic wildfire, across the landscape, and for other 
            purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 3, 2003 -  [H.R. 1904]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Healthy Forests Restoration 
Act of 2003.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title.--This <<NOTE: 16 USC 6501 note.>> Act may be cited 
as the ``Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Purposes.
Sec. 3. Definitions.

            TITLE I--HAZARDOUS FUEL REDUCTION ON FEDERAL LAND

Sec. 101. Definitions.
Sec. 102. Authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects.
Sec. 103. Prioritization.
Sec. 104. Environmental analysis.
Sec. 105. Special administrative review process.
Sec. 106. Judicial review in United States district courts.
Sec. 107. Effect of title.
Sec. 108. Authorization of appropriations.

                            TITLE II--BIOMASS

Sec. 201. Improved biomass use research program.
Sec. 202. Rural revitalization through forestry.
Sec. 203. Biomass commercial utilization grant program.

                TITLE III--WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE

Sec. 301. Findings and purposes.
Sec. 302. Watershed forestry assistance program.
Sec. 303. Tribal watershed forestry assistance.

           TITLE IV--INSECT INFESTATIONS AND RELATED DISEASES

Sec. 401. Findings and purpose.
Sec. 402. Definitions.
Sec. 403. Accelerated information gathering regarding forest-damaging 
           insects.
Sec. 404. Applied silvicultural assessments.
Sec. 405. Relation to other laws.
Sec. 406. Authorization of appropriations.

                TITLE V--HEALTHY FORESTS RESERVE PROGRAM

Sec. 501. Establishment of healthy forests reserve program.
Sec. 502. Eligibility and enrollment of lands in program.
Sec. 503. Restoration plans.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1888]]

Sec. 504. Financial assistance.
Sec. 505. Technical assistance.
Sec. 506. Protections and measures
Sec. 507. Involvement by other agencies and organizations.
Sec. 508. Authorization of appropriations.

                         TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

Sec. 601. Forest stands inventory and monitoring program to improve 
           detection of and response to environmental threats.

SEC. 2. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6501.>> PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to reduce wildfire risk to communities, municipal water 
        supplies, and other at-risk Federal land through a collaborative 
        process of planning, prioritizing, and implementing hazardous 
        fuel reduction projects;
            (2) to authorize grant programs to improve the commercial 
        value of forest biomass (that otherwise contributes to the risk 
        of catastrophic fire or insect or disease infestation) for 
        producing electric energy, useful heat, transportation fuel, and 
        petroleum-based product substitutes, and for other commercial 
        purposes;
            (3) to enhance efforts to protect watersheds and address 
        threats to forest and rangeland health, including catastrophic 
        wildfire, across the landscape;
            (4) to promote systematic gathering of information to 
        address the impact of insect and disease infestations and other 
        damaging agents on forest and rangeland health;
            (5) to improve the capacity to detect insect and disease 
        infestations at an early stage, particularly with respect to 
        hardwood forests; and
            (6) to protect, restore, and enhance forest ecosystem 
        components--
                    (A) to promote the recovery of threatened and 
                endangered species;
                    (B) to improve biological diversity; and
                    (C) to enhance productivity and carbon 
                sequestration.

SEC. 3. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6502.>> DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means--
                    (A) land of the National Forest System (as defined 
                in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable 
                Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a))) 
                administered by the Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
                through the Chief of the Forest Service; and
                    (B) public lands (as defined in section 103 of the 
                Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 
                U.S.C. 1702)), the surface of which is administered by 
                the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the 
                Director of the Bureau of Land Management.
            (2) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and 
        Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

[[Page 117 STAT. 1889]]

            TITLE I--HAZARDOUS FUEL REDUCTION ON FEDERAL LAND

SEC. 101. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6511.>> DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) At-risk community.--The term ``at-risk community'' means 
        an area--
                    (A) that is comprised of--
                          (i) an interface community as defined in the 
                      notice entitled ``Wildland Urban Interface 
                      Communities Within the Vicinity of Federal Lands 
                      That Are at High Risk From Wildfire'' issued by 
                      the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of 
                      the Interior in accordance with title IV of the 
                      Department of the Interior and Related Agencies 
                      Appropriations Act, 2001 (114 Stat. 1009) (66 Fed. 
                      Reg. 753, January 4, 2001); or
                          (ii) a group of homes and other structures 
                      with basic infrastructure and services (such as 
                      utilities and collectively maintained 
                      transportation routes) within or adjacent to 
                      Federal land;
                    (B) in which conditions are conducive to a large-
                scale wildland fire disturbance event; and
                    (C) for which a significant threat to human life or 
                property exists as a result of a wildland fire 
                disturbance event.
            (2) Authorized hazardous fuel reduction project.--The term 
        ``authorized hazardous fuel reduction project'' means the 
        measures and methods described in the definition of 
        ``appropriate tools'' contained in the glossary of the 
        Implementation Plan, on Federal land described in section 102(a) 
        and conducted under sections 103 and 104.
            (3) Community wildfire protection plan.--The term 
        ``community wildfire protection plan'' means a plan for an at-
        risk community that--
                    (A) is developed within the context of the 
                collaborative agreements and the guidance established by 
                the Wildland Fire Leadership Council and agreed to by 
                the applicable local government, local fire department, 
                and State agency responsible for forest management, in 
                consultation with interested parties and the Federal 
                land management agencies managing land in the vicinity 
                of the at-risk community;
                    (B) identifies and prioritizes areas for hazardous 
                fuel reduction treatments and recommends the types and 
                methods of treatment on Federal and non-Federal land 
                that will protect 1 or more at-risk communities and 
                essential infrastructure; and
                    (C) recommends measures to reduce structural 
                ignitability throughout the at-risk community.
            (4) Condition class 2.--The term ``condition class 2'', with 
        respect to an area of Federal land, means the condition class 
        description developed by the Forest Service Rocky Mountain 
        Research Station in the general technical report entitled 
        ``Development of Coarse-Scale Spatial Data for Wildland Fire and 
        Fuel Management'' (RMRS-87), dated April 2000 (including any 
        subsequent revision to the report), under which--

[[Page 117 STAT. 1890]]

                    (A) fire regimes on the land have been moderately 
                altered from historical ranges;
                    (B) there exists a moderate risk of losing key 
                ecosystem components from fire;
                    (C) fire frequencies have increased or decreased 
                from historical frequencies by 1 or more return 
                intervals, resulting in moderate changes to--
                          (i) the size, frequency, intensity, or 
                      severity of fires; or
                          (ii) landscape patterns; and
                    (D) vegetation attributes have been moderately 
                altered from the historical range of the attributes.
            (5) Condition class 3.--The term ``condition class 3'', with 
        respect to an area of Federal land, means the condition class 
        description developed by the Rocky Mountain Research Station in 
        the general technical report referred to in paragraph (4) 
        (including any subsequent revision to the report), under which--
                    (A) fire regimes on land have been significantly 
                altered from historical ranges;
                    (B) there exists a high risk of losing key ecosystem 
                components from fire;
                    (C) fire frequencies have departed from historical 
                frequencies by multiple return intervals, resulting in 
                dramatic changes to--
                          (i) the size, frequency, intensity, or 
                      severity of fires; or
                          (ii) landscape patterns; and
                    (D) vegetation attributes have been significantly 
                altered from the historical range of the attributes.
            (6) Day.--The term ``day'' means--
                    (A) a calendar day; or
                    (B) if a deadline imposed by this title would expire 
                on a nonbusiness day, the end of the next business day.
            (7) Decision document.--The term ``decision document'' 
        means--
                    (A) a decision notice (as that term is used in the 
                Forest Service Handbook);
                    (B) a decision record (as that term is used in the 
                Bureau of Land Management Handbook); and
                    (C) a record of decision (as that term is used in 
                applicable regulations of the Council on Environmental 
                Quality).
            (8) Fire regime i.--The term ``fire regime I'' means an 
        area--
                    (A) in which historically there have been low-
                severity fires with a frequency of 0 through 35 years; 
                and
                    (B) that is located primarily in low elevation 
                forests of pine, oak, or pinyon juniper.
            (9) Fire regime ii.--The term ``fire regime II'' means an 
        area--
                    (A) in which historically there are stand 
                replacement severity fires with a frequency of 0 through 
                35 years; and
                    (B) that is located primarily in low- to mid-
                elevation rangeland, grassland, or shrubland.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1891]]

            (10) Fire regime iii.--The term ``fire regime III'' means an 
        area--
                    (A) in which historically there are mixed severity 
                fires with a frequency of 35 through 100 years; and
                    (B) that is located primarily in forests of mixed 
                conifer, dry Douglas fir, or wet Ponderosa pine.
            (11) Implementation plan.--The term ``Implementation Plan'' 
        means the Implementation Plan for the Comprehensive Strategy for 
        a Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to 
        Communities and the Environment, dated May 2002, developed 
        pursuant to the conference report to accompany the Department of 
        the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 
        (House Report No. 106-64) (and subsequent revisions).
            (12) Municipal water supply system.--The term ``municipal 
        water supply system'' means the reservoirs, canals, ditches, 
        flumes, laterals, pipes, pipelines, and other surface facilities 
        and systems constructed or installed for the collection, 
        impoundment, storage, transportation, or distribution of 
        drinking water.
            (13) Resource management plan.--The term ``resource 
        management plan'' means--
                    (A) a land and resource management plan prepared for 
                1 or more units of land of the National Forest System 
                described in section 3(1)(A) under section 6 of the 
                Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 
                1974 (16 U.S.C. 1604); or
                    (B) a land use plan prepared for 1 or more units of 
                the public land described in section 3(1)(B) under 
                section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management 
                Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712).
            (14) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means--
                    (A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to 
                land of the National Forest System described in section 
                3(1)(A); and
                    (B) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to 
                public lands described in section 3(1)(B).
            (15) Threatened and endangered species habitat.--The term 
        ``threatened and endangered species habitat'' means Federal land 
        identified in--
                    (A) a determination that a species is an endangered 
                species or a threatened species under the Endangered 
                Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);
                    (B) a designation of critical habitat of the species 
                under that Act; or
                    (C) a recovery plan prepared for the species under 
                that Act.
            (16) Wildland-urban interface.--The term ``wildland-urban 
        interface'' means--
                    (A) an area within or adjacent to an at-risk 
                community that is identified in recommendations to the 
                Secretary in a community wildfire protection plan; or
                    (B) in the case of any area for which a community 
                wildfire protection plan is not in effect--
                          (i) an area extending \1/2\-mile from the 
                      boundary of an at-risk community;
                          (ii) an area within 1\1/2\ miles of the 
                      boundary of an at-risk community, including any 
                      land that--

[[Page 117 STAT. 1892]]

                                    (I) has a sustained steep slope that 
                                creates the potential for wildfire 
                                behavior endangering the at-risk 
                                community;
                                    (II) has a geographic feature that 
                                aids in creating an effective fire 
                                break, such as a road or ridge top; or
                                    (III) is in condition class 3, as 
                                documented by the Secretary in the 
                                project-specific environmental analysis; 
                                and
                          (iii) an area that is adjacent to an 
                      evacuation route for an at-risk community that the 
                      Secretary determines, in cooperation with the at-
                      risk community, requires hazardous fuel reduction 
                      to provide safer evacuation from the at-risk 
                      community.

SEC. 102. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6512.>> AUTHORIZED HAZARDOUS FUEL REDUCTION 
            PROJECTS.

    (a) Authorized Projects.--As soon as practicable after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall implement authorized 
hazardous fuel reduction projects, consistent with the Implementation 
Plan, on--
            (1) Federal land in wildland-urban interface areas;
            (2) condition class 3 Federal land, in such proximity to a 
        municipal water supply system or a stream feeding such a system 
        within a municipal watershed that a significant risk exists that 
        a fire disturbance event would have adverse effects on the water 
        quality of the municipal water supply or the maintenance of the 
        system, including a risk to water quality posed by erosion 
        following such a fire disturbance event;
            (3) condition class 2 Federal land located within fire 
        regime I, fire regime II, or fire regime III, in such proximity 
        to a municipal water supply system or a stream feeding such a 
        system within a municipal watershed that a significant risk 
        exists that a fire disturbance event would have adverse effects 
        on the water quality of the municipal water supply or the 
        maintenance of the system, including a risk to water quality 
        posed by erosion following such a fire disturbance event;
            (4) Federal land on which windthrow or blowdown, ice storm 
        damage, the existence of an epidemic of disease or insects, or 
        the presence of such an epidemic on immediately adjacent land 
        and the imminent risk it will spread, poses a significant threat 
        to an ecosystem component, or forest or rangeland resource, on 
        the Federal land or adjacent non-Federal land; and
            (5) Federal land not covered by paragraphs (1) through (4) 
        that contains threatened and endangered species habitat, if--
                    (A) natural fire regimes on that land are identified 
                as being important for, or wildfire is identified as a 
                threat to, an endangered species, a threatened species, 
                or habitat of an endangered species or threatened 
                species in a species recovery plan prepared under 
                section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 
                U.S.C. 1533), or a notice published in the Federal 
                Register determining a species to be an endangered 
                species or a threatened species or designating critical 
                habitat;
                    (B) the authorized hazardous fuel reduction project 
                will provide enhanced protection from catastrophic 
                wildfire

[[Page 117 STAT. 1893]]

                for the endangered species, threatened species, or 
                habitat of the endangered species or threatened species; 
                and
                    (C) the Secretary complies with any applicable 
                guidelines specified in any management or recovery plan 
                described in subparagraph (A).

    (b) Relation to Agency Plans.--An authorized hazardous fuel 
reduction project shall be conducted consistent with the resource 
management plan and other relevant administrative policies or decisions 
applicable to the Federal land covered by the project.
    (c) Acreage Limitation.--Not more than a total of 20,000,000 acres 
of Federal land may be treated under authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
projects.
    (d) Exclusion of Certain Federal Land.--The Secretary may not 
conduct an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project that would occur 
on--
            (1) a component of the National Wilderness Preservation 
        System;
            (2) Federal land on which the removal of vegetation is 
        prohibited or restricted by Act of Congress or Presidential 
        proclamation (including the applicable implementation plan); or
            (3) a Wilderness Study Area.

    (e) Old Growth Stands.--
            (1) Definitions.--In this subsection and subsection (f):
                    (A) Applicable period.--The term ``applicable 
                period'' means--
                          (i) the 2-year period beginning on the date of 
                      enactment of this Act; or
                          (ii) in the case of a resource management plan 
                      that the Secretary is in the process of revising 
                      as of the date of enactment of this Act, the 3-
                      year period beginning on the date of enactment of 
                      this Act.
                    (B) Covered project.--The term ``covered project'' 
                means an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project 
                carried out on land described in paragraph (1), (2), 
                (3), or (5) of subsection (a).
                    (C) Management direction.--The term ``management 
                direction'' means definitions, designations, standards, 
                guidelines, goals, or objectives established for an old 
                growth stand under a resource management plan developed 
                in accordance with applicable law, including section 
                6(g)(3)(B) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable 
                Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 
                1604(g)(3)(B)).
                    (D) Old growth stand.--The term ``old growth stand'' 
                has the meaning given the term under management 
                direction used pursuant to paragraphs (3) and (4), based 
                on the structure and composition characteristic of the 
                forest type, and in accordance with applicable law, 
                including section 6(g)(3)(B) of the Forest and Rangeland 
                Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 
                1604(g)(3)(B)).
            (2) Project requirements.--In carrying out a covered 
        project, the Secretary shall fully maintain, or contribute 
        toward the restoration of, the structure and composition of old 
        growth stands according to the pre-fire suppression old growth 
        conditions characteristic of the forest type, taking into 
        account the contribution of the stand to landscape fire 
        adaptation and

[[Page 117 STAT. 1894]]

        watershed health, and retaining the large trees contributing to 
        old growth structure.
            (3) Newer management direction.--
                    (A) In general.--If the management direction for an 
                old growth stand was established on or after December 
                15, 1993, the Secretary shall meet the requirements of 
                paragraph (2) in carrying out a covered project by 
                implementing the management direction.
                    (B) Amendments or revisions.--Any amendment or 
                revision to management direction for which final 
                administrative approval is granted after the date of 
                enactment of this Act shall be consistent with paragraph 
                (2) for the purpose of carrying out covered projects.
            (4) Older management direction.--
                    (A) In general.--If the management direction for an 
                old growth stand was established before December 15, 
                1993, the Secretary shall meet the requirements of 
                paragraph (2) in carrying out a covered project during 
                the applicable period by implementing the management 
                direction.
                    (B) Review required.--Subject to subparagraph (C), 
                during the applicable period for management direction 
                referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall--
                          (i) review the management direction for 
                      affected covered projects, taking into account any 
                      relevant scientific information made available 
                      since the adoption of the management direction; 
                      and
                          (ii) amend the management direction for 
                      affected covered projects to be consistent with 
                      paragraph (2), if necessary to reflect relevant 
                      scientific information the Secretary did not 
                      consider in formulating the management direction.
                    (C) Review not completed.--If the Secretary does not 
                complete the review of the management direction in 
                accordance with subparagraph (B) before the end of the 
                applicable period, the Secretary shall not carry out any 
                portion of affected covered projects in stands that are 
                identified as old growth stands (based on substantial 
                supporting evidence) by any person during scoping, 
                within the period--
                          (i) beginning at the close of the applicable 
                      period for the management direction governing the 
                      affected covered projects; and
                          (ii) ending on the earlier of--
                                    (I) the date the Secretary completes 
                                the action required by subparagraph (B) 
                                for the management direction applicable 
                                to the affected covered projects; or
                                    (II) the date on which the acreage 
                                limitation specified in subsection (c) 
                                (as that limitation may be adjusted by a 
                                subsequent Act of Congress) is reached.
            (5) Limitation to covered projects.--Nothing in this 
        subsection requires the Secretary to revise or otherwise amend a 
        resource management plan to make the project requirements of 
        paragraph (2) apply to an activity other than a covered project.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1895]]

    (f) Large Tree Retention.--
            (1) In general.--Except in old growth stands where the 
        management direction is consistent with subsection (e)(2), the 
        Secretary shall carry out a covered project in a manner that--
                    (A) focuses largely on small diameter trees, 
                thinning, strategic fuel breaks, and prescribed fire to 
                modify fire behavior, as measured by the projected 
                reduction of uncharacteristically severe wildfire 
                effects for the forest type (such as adverse soil 
                impacts, tree mortality or other impacts); and
                    (B) maximizes the retention of large trees, as 
                appropriate for the forest type, to the extent that the 
                trees promote fire-resilient stands.
            (2) Wildfire risk.--Nothing in this subsection prevents 
        achievement of the purposes described in section 2(1).

    (g) Monitoring and Assessing Forest and Rangeland Health.--
            (1) In general.--For each Forest Service administrative 
        region and each Bureau of Land Management State Office, the 
        Secretary shall--
                    (A) monitor the results of a representative sample 
                of the projects authorized under this title for each 
                management unit; and
                    (B) <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>> not later than 5 
                years after the date of enactment of this Act, and each 
                5 years thereafter, issue a report that includes--
                          (i) an evaluation of the progress towards 
                      project goals; and
                          (ii) recommendations for modifications to the 
                      projects and management treatments.
            (2) Consistency of projects with recommendations.--An 
        authorized hazardous fuel reduction project approved following 
        the issuance of a monitoring report shall, to the maximum extent 
        practicable, be consistent with any applicable recommendations 
        in the report.
            (3) Similar vegetation types.--The results of a monitoring 
        report shall be made available for use (if appropriate) in an 
        authorized hazardous fuels reduction project conducted in a 
        similar vegetation type on land under the jurisdiction of the 
        Secretary.
            (4) Monitoring and assessments.--Monitoring and assessment 
        shall include a description of the changes in condition class, 
        using the Fire Regime Condition Class Guidebook or successor 
        guidance, specifically comparing end results to--
                    (A) pretreatment conditions;
                    (B) historical fire regimes; and
                    (C) any applicable watershed or landscape goals or 
                objectives in the resource management plan or other 
                relevant direction.
            (5) Multiparty monitoring.--
                    (A) In general.--In an area where significant 
                interest is expressed in multiparty monitoring, the 
                Secretary shall establish a multiparty monitoring, 
                evaluation, and accountability process in order to 
                assess the positive or negative ecological and social 
                effects of authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects 
                and projects conducted pursuant to section 404.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1896]]

                    (B) Diverse stakeholders.--The Secretary shall 
                include diverse stakeholders (including interested 
                citizens and Indian tribes) in the process required 
                under subparagraph (A).
                    (C) Funding.--Funds to carry out this paragraph may 
                be derived from operations funds for projects described 
                in subparagraph (A).
            (6) Collection of monitoring data.--The Secretary may 
        collect monitoring data by entering into cooperative agreements 
        or contracts with, or providing grants to, small or micro-
        businesses, cooperatives, nonprofit organizations, Youth 
        Conservation Corps work crews, or related State, local, and 
        other non-Federal conservation corps.
            (7) Tracking.--For each administrative unit, the Secretary 
        shall track acres burned, by the degree of severity, by large 
        wildfires (as defined by the Secretary).
            (8) Monitoring and maintenance of treated areas.--The 
        Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, develop a 
        process for monitoring the need for maintenance of treated 
        areas, over time, in order to preserve the forest health 
        benefits achieved.

SEC. 103. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6513.>> PRIORITIZATION.

    (a) In General.--In accordance with the Implementation Plan, the 
Secretary shall develop an annual program of work for Federal land that 
gives priority to authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects that 
provide for the protection of at-risk communities or watersheds or that 
implement community wildfire protection plans.
    (b) Collaboration.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall consider 
        recommendations under subsection (a) that are made by at-risk 
        communities that have developed community wildfire protection 
        plans.
            (2) Exemption.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. 
        App.) shall not apply to the planning process and 
        recommendations concerning community wildfire protection plans.

    (c) Administration.--
            (1) In general.--Federal agency involvement in developing a 
        community wildfire protection plan, or a recommendation made in 
        a community wildfire protection plan, shall not be considered a 
        Federal agency action under the National Environmental Policy 
        Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).
            (2) Compliance.--In implementing authorized hazardous fuel 
        reduction projects on Federal land, the Secretary shall, in 
        accordance with section 104, comply with the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

    (d) Funding Allocation.--
            (1) Federal land.--
                    (A) In general.--Subject to subparagraph (B), the 
                Secretary shall use not less than 50 percent of the 
                funds allocated for authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
                projects in the wildland-urban interface.
                    (B) Applicability and allocation.--The funding 
                allocation in subparagraph (A) shall apply at the 
                national level. The Secretary may allocate the 
                proportion of funds differently than is required under 
                subparagraph (A) within individual management units as 
                appropriate, in particular

[[Page 117 STAT. 1897]]

                to conduct authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects 
                on land described in section 102(a)(4).
                    (C) Wildland-urban interface.--In the case of an 
                authorized hazardous fuel reduction project for which a 
                decision notice is issued during the 1-year period 
                beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, the 
                Secretary shall use existing definitions of the term 
                ``wildland-urban interface'' rather than the definition 
                of that term provided under section 101.
            (2) Non-federal land.--
                    (A) In general.--In providing financial assistance 
                under any provision of law for hazardous fuel reduction 
                projects on non-Federal land, the Secretary shall 
                consider recommendations made by at-risk communities 
                that have developed community wildfire protection plans.
                    (B) Priority.--In allocating funding under this 
                paragraph, the Secretary should, to the maximum extent 
                practicable, give priority to communities that have 
                adopted a community wildfire protection plan or have 
                taken proactive measures to encourage willing property 
                owners to reduce fire risk on private property.

SEC. 104. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6514.>> ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS.

    (a) Authorized Hazardous Fuel Reduction Projects.--Except as 
otherwise provided in this title, the Secretary shall conduct authorized 
hazardous fuel reduction projects in accordance with--
            (1) the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 
        4331 et seq.); and
            (2) other applicable laws.

    (b) Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.--The 
Secretary shall prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental 
impact statement pursuant to section 102(2) of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)) for each authorized 
hazardous fuel reduction project.
    (c) Consideration of Alternatives.--
            (1) In general.--Except as provided in subsection (d), in 
        the environmental assessment or environmental impact statement 
        prepared under subsection (b), the Secretary shall study, 
        develop, and describe--
                    (A) the proposed agency action;
                    (B) the alternative of no action; and
                    (C) an additional action alternative, if the 
                additional alternative--
                          (i) is proposed during scoping or the 
                      collaborative process under subsection (f); and
                          (ii) meets the purpose and need of the 
                      project, in accordance with regulations 
                      promulgated by the Council on Environmental 
                      Quality.
            (2) Multiple additional alternatives.--If more than 1 
        additional alternative is proposed under paragraph (1)(C), the 
        Secretary shall--
                    (A) select which additional alternative to consider, 
                which is a choice that is in the sole discretion of the 
                Secretary; and
                    (B) provide a written record describing the reasons 
                for the selection.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1898]]

    (d) Alternative Analysis Process for Projects in Wildland-Urban 
Interface.--
            (1) Proposed agency action and 1 action alternative.--For an 
        authorized hazardous fuel reduction project that is proposed to 
        be conducted in the wildland-urban interface, the Secretary is 
        not required to study, develop, or describe more than the 
        proposed agency action and 1 action alternative in the 
        environmental assessment or environmental impact statement 
        prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)).
            (2) Proposed agency action.--Notwithstanding paragraph (1), 
        but subject to paragraph (3), if an authorized hazardous fuel 
        reduction project proposed to be conducted in the wildland-urban 
        interface is located no further than 1\1/2\ miles from the 
        boundary of an at-risk community, the Secretary is not required 
        to study, develop, or describe any alternative to the proposed 
        agency action in the environmental assessment or environmental 
        impact statement prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)).
            (3) Proposed agency action and community wildfire protection 
        plan alternative.--In the case of an authorized hazardous fuel 
        reduction project described in paragraph (2), if the at-risk 
        community has adopted a community wildfire protection plan and 
        the proposed agency action does not implement the 
        recommendations in the plan regarding the general location and 
        basic method of treatments, the Secretary shall evaluate the 
        recommendations in the plan as an alternative to the proposed 
        agency action in the environmental assessment or environmental 
        impact statement prepared pursuant to section 102(2) of the 
        National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332(2)).

    (e) Public Notice and Meeting.--
            (1) Public notice.--The Secretary shall provide notice of 
        each authorized hazardous fuel reduction project in accordance 
        with applicable regulations and administrative guidelines.
            (2) Public meeting.--During the preparation stage of each 
        authorized hazardous fuel reduction project, the Secretary 
        shall--
                    (A) conduct a public meeting at an appropriate 
                location proximate to the administrative unit of the 
                Federal land on which the authorized hazardous fuel 
                reduction project will be conducted; and
                    (B) provide advance notice of the location, date, 
                and time of the meeting.

    (f) Public Collaboration.--In order to encourage meaningful public 
participation during preparation of authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
projects, the Secretary shall facilitate collaboration among State and 
local governments and Indian tribes, and participation of interested 
persons, during the preparation of each authorized fuel reduction 
project in a manner consistent with the Implementation Plan.
    (g) Environmental Analysis and Public Comment.--In accordance with 
section 102(2) of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 
U.S.C. 4332(2)) and the applicable regulations

[[Page 117 STAT. 1899]]

and administrative guidelines, the Secretary shall provide an 
opportunity for public comment during the preparation of any 
environmental assessment or environmental impact statement for an 
authorized hazardous fuel reduction project.
    (h) Decision Document.--The Secretary shall sign a decision document 
for authorized hazardous fuel reduction projects and provide notice of 
the final agency actions.

SEC. 105. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6515.>> SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW PROCESS.

    (a) Interim Final Regulations.--
            (1) In general.--Not <<NOTE: Deadline.>> later than 30 days 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
        Agriculture shall promulgate interim final regulations to 
        establish a predecisional administrative review process for the 
        period described in paragraph (2) that will serve as the sole 
        means by which a person can seek administrative review regarding 
        an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project on Forest Service 
        land.
            (2) Period.--The predecisional administrative review process 
        required under paragraph (1) shall occur during the period--
                    (A) beginning after the completion of the 
                environmental assessment or environmental impact 
                statement; and
                    (B) ending not later than the date of the issuance 
                of the final decision approving the project.
            (3) Eligibility.--To be eligible to participate in the 
        administrative review process for an authorized hazardous fuel 
        reduction project under paragraph (1), a person shall submit to 
        the Secretary, during scoping or the public comment period for 
        the draft environmental analysis for the project, specific 
        written comments that relate to the proposed action.
            (4) Effective date.--The interim final regulations 
        promulgated under paragraph (1) shall take effect on the date of 
        promulgation of the regulations.

    (b) Final Regulations.--The Secretary shall promulgate final 
regulations to establish the process described in subsection (a)(1) 
after the interim final regulations have been published and reasonable 
time has been provided for public comment.
    (c) Administrative Review.--
            (1) In general.--A person may bring a civil action 
        challenging an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project in a 
        Federal district court only if the person has challenged the 
        authorized hazardous fuel reduction project by exhausting--
                    (A) the administrative review process established by 
                the Secretary of Agriculture under this section; or
                    (B) the administrative hearings and appeals 
                procedures established by the Department of the 
                Interior.
            (2) Issues.--An issue may be considered in the judicial 
        review of an action under section 106 only if the issue was 
        raised in an administrative review process described in 
        paragraph (1).
            (3) Exception.--
                    (A) In general.--An exception to the requirement of 
                exhausting the administrative review process before 
                seeking judicial review shall be available if a Federal 
                court finds that the futility or inadequacy exception 
                applies to a specific plaintiff or claim.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1900]]

                    (B) Information.--If an agency fails or is unable to 
                make information timely available during the 
                administrative review process, a court should evaluate 
                whether the administrative review process was inadequate 
                for claims or issues to which the information is 
                material.

SEC. 106. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6516.>> JUDICIAL REVIEW IN UNITED STATES 
            DISTRICT COURTS.

    (a) Venue.--Notwithstanding section 1391 of title 28, United States 
Code, or other applicable law, an authorized hazardous fuels reduction 
project conducted under this title shall be subject to judicial review 
only in the United States district court for a district in which the 
Federal land to be treated under the authorized hazardous fuels 
reduction project is located.
    (b) Expeditious Completion of Judicial Review.--In the judicial 
review of an action challenging an authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
project under subsection (a), Congress encourages a court of competent 
jurisdiction to expedite, to the maximum extent practicable, the 
proceedings in the action with the goal of rendering a final 
determination on jurisdiction, and (if jurisdiction exists) a final 
determination on the merits, as soon as practicable after the date on 
which a complaint or appeal is filed to initiate the action.
    (c) Injunctions.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the length of any 
        preliminary injunctive relief and stays pending appeal covering 
        an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project carried out under 
        this title shall not exceed 60 days.
            (2) Renewal.--
                    (A) In general.--A court of competent jurisdiction 
                may issue 1 or more renewals of any preliminary 
                injunction, or stay pending appeal, granted under 
                paragraph (1).
                    (B) Updates.--In each renewal of an injunction in an 
                action, the parties to the action shall present the 
                court with updated information on the status of the 
                authorized hazardous fuel reduction project.
            (3) Balancing of short- and long-term effects.--As part of 
        its weighing the equities while considering any request for an 
        injunction that applies to an agency action under an authorized 
        hazardous fuel reduction project, the court reviewing the 
        project shall balance the impact to the ecosystem likely 
        affected by the project of--
                    (A) the short- and long-term effects of undertaking 
                the agency action; against
                    (B) the short- and long-term effects of not 
                undertaking the agency action.

SEC. 107. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6517.>> EFFECT OF TITLE.

    (a) Other Authority.--Nothing in this title affects, or otherwise 
biases, the use by the Secretary of other statutory or administrative 
authority (including categorical exclusions adopted to implement the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)) to 
conduct a hazardous fuel reduction project on Federal land (including 
Federal land identified in section 102(d)) that is not conducted using 
the process authorized by section 104.
    (b) National Forest System.--For projects and activities of the 
National Forest System other than authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
projects, nothing in this title affects, or otherwise biases,

[[Page 117 STAT. 1901]]

the notice, comment, and appeal procedures for projects and activities 
of the National Forest System contained in part 215 of title 36, Code of 
Federal Regulations, or the consideration or disposition of any legal 
action brought with respect to the procedures.

SEC. 108. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6518.>> AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated $760,000,000 for each fiscal 
year to carry out--
            (1) activities authorized by this title; and
            (2) other hazardous fuel reduction activities of the 
        Secretary, including making grants to States, local governments, 
        Indian tribes, and other eligible recipients for activities 
        authorized by law.

                            TITLE II--BIOMASS

SEC. 201. IMPROVED BIOMASS USE RESEARCH PROGRAM.

    (a) Uses of Grants, Contracts, and Assistance.--Section 307(d) of 
the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 (7 U.S.C. 7624 note; 
Public Law 106-224) <<NOTE: 7 USC 8101 note.>> is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``or'' at the end;
            (2) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; or''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(5) research to integrate silviculture, harvesting, 
        product development, processing information, and economic 
        evaluation to provide the science, technology, and tools to 
        forest managers and community developers for use in evaluating 
        forest treatment and production alternatives, including--
                    ``(A) to develop tools that would enable land 
                managers, locally or in a several-State region, to 
                estimate--
                          ``(i) the cost to deliver varying quantities 
                      of wood to a particular location; and
                          ``(ii) the amount that could be paid for 
                      stumpage if delivered wood was used for a specific 
                      mix of products;
                    ``(B) to conduct research focused on developing 
                appropriate thinning systems and equipment designs that 
                are--
                          ``(i) capable of being used on land without 
                      significant adverse effects on the land;
                          ``(ii) capable of handling large and varied 
                      landscapes;
                          ``(iii) adaptable to handling a wide variety 
                      of tree sizes;
                          ``(iv) inexpensive; and
                          ``(v) adaptable to various terrains; and
                    ``(C) to develop, test, and employ in the training 
                of forestry managers and community developers curricula 
                materials and training programs on matters described in 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B).''.

    (b) Funding.--Section 310(b) of the Biomass Research and Development 
Act of 2000 (7 U.S.C. 7624 note; Public Law 106-224) <<NOTE: 7 USC 8101 
note.>> is amended by striking ``$49,000,000'' and inserting 
``$54,000,000''.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1902]]

SEC. 202. RURAL REVITALIZATION THROUGH FORESTRY.

    Section 2371 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act 
of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6601) is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(d) Rural Revitalization Technologies.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
        through the Chief of the Forest Service, in consultation with 
        the State and Private Forestry Technology Marketing Unit at the 
        Forest Products Laboratory, and in collaboration with eligible 
        institutions, may carry out a program--
                    ``(A) to accelerate adoption of technologies using 
                biomass and small-diameter materials;
                    ``(B) to create community-based enterprises through 
                marketing activities and demonstration projects; and
                    ``(C) to establish small-scale business enterprises 
                to make use of biomass and small-diameter materials.
            ``(2) Authorization of appropriations.--There is authorized 
        to be appropriated to carry out this subsection $5,000,000 for 
        each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.''.

SEC. 203. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6531.>> BIOMASS COMMERCIAL UTILIZATION GRANT 
            PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--In addition to any other authority of the Secretary 
of Agriculture to make grants to a person that owns or operates a 
facility that uses biomass as a raw material to produce electric energy, 
sensible heat, transportation fuel, or substitutes for petroleum-based 
products, the Secretary may make grants to a person that owns or 
operates a facility that uses biomass for wood-based products or other 
commercial purposes to offset the costs incurred to purchase biomass.
    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2004 through 2008.

                TITLE III--WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE

SEC. 301. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6541.>> FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) there has been a dramatic shift in public attitudes and 
        perceptions about forest management, particularly in the 
        understanding and practice of sustainable forest management;
            (2) it is commonly recognized that the proper stewardship of 
        forest land is essential to sustaining and restoring the health 
        of watersheds;
            (3) forests can provide essential ecological services in 
        filtering pollutants, buffering important rivers and estuaries, 
        and minimizing flooding, which makes forest restoration worthy 
        of special focus; and
            (4) strengthened education, technical assistance, and 
        financial assistance for nonindustrial private forest landowners 
        and communities, relating to the protection of watershed health, 
        is needed to realize the expectations of the general public.

    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this title are--
            (1) to improve landowner and public understanding of the 
        connection between forest management and watershed health;

[[Page 117 STAT. 1903]]

            (2) to encourage landowners to maintain tree cover on 
        property and to use tree plantings and vegetative treatments as 
        creative solutions to watershed problems associated with varying 
        land uses;
            (3) to enhance and complement forest management and buffer 
        use for watersheds, with an emphasis on community watersheds;
            (4) to establish new partnerships and collaborative 
        watershed approaches to forest management, stewardship, and 
        conservation;
            (5) to provide technical and financial assistance to States 
        to deliver a coordinated program that enhances State forestry 
        best-management practices programs, and conserves and improves 
        forested land and potentially forested land, through technical, 
        financial, and educational assistance to qualifying individuals 
        and entities; and
            (6) to maximize the proper management and conservation of 
        wetland forests and to assist in the restoration of those 
        forests.

SEC. 302. WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 is amended by 
inserting after section 5 (16 U.S.C. 2103a) the following:

``SEC. 6. <<NOTE: 16 USC 2103b.>> WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    ``(a) Definition of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land.--In this 
section, the term `nonindustrial private forest land' means rural land, 
as determined by the Secretary, that--
            ``(1) has existing tree cover or that is suitable for 
        growing trees; and
            ``(2) is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, 
        group, association, corporation, or other private legal entity, 
        that has definitive decisionmaking authority over the land.

    ``(b) General Authority and Purpose.--The Secretary, acting through 
the Chief of the Forest Service and (where appropriate) through the 
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, may 
provide technical, financial, and related assistance to State foresters, 
equivalent State officials, or Cooperative Extension officials at land 
grant colleges and universities and 1890 institutions for the purpose of 
expanding State forest stewardship capacities and activities through 
State forestry best-management practices and other means at the State 
level to address watershed issues on non-Federal forested land and 
potentially forested land.
    ``(c) Technical Assistance To Protect Water Quality.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary, in cooperation with State 
        foresters or equivalent State officials, shall engage interested 
        members of the public, including nonprofit organizations and 
        local watershed councils, to develop a program of technical 
        assistance to protect water quality described in paragraph (2).
            ``(2) Purpose of program.--The program under this subsection 
        shall be designed--
                    ``(A) to build and strengthen watershed partnerships 
                that focus on forested landscapes at the State, 
                regional, and local levels;
                    ``(B) to provide State forestry best-management 
                practices and water quality technical assistance 
                directly to owners of nonindustrial private forest land;

[[Page 117 STAT. 1904]]

                    ``(C) to provide technical guidance to land managers 
                and policymakers for water quality protection through 
                forest management;
                    ``(D) to complement State and local efforts to 
                protect water quality and provide enhanced opportunities 
                for consultation and cooperation among Federal and State 
                agencies charged with responsibility for water and 
                watershed management; and
                    ``(E) to provide enhanced forest resource data and 
                support for improved implementation and monitoring of 
                State forestry best-management practices.
            ``(3) Implementation.--In the case of a participating State, 
        the program of technical assistance shall be implemented by 
        State foresters or equivalent State officials.

    ``(d) Watershed Forestry Cost-Share Program.--
            ``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a watershed 
        forestry cost-share program--
                    ``(A) which shall be--
                          ``(i) administered by the Forest Service; and
                          ``(ii) implemented by State foresters or 
                      equivalent State officials in participating 
                      States; and
                    ``(B) under which funds or other support provided to 
                participating States shall be made available for State 
                forestry best-management practices programs and 
                watershed forestry projects.
            ``(2) Watershed forestry projects.--The State forester, an 
        equivalent State official of a participating State, or a 
        Cooperative Extension official at a land grant college or 
        university or 1890 institution, in coordination with the State 
        Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee established under 
        section 19(b) (or an equivalent committee) for that State, shall 
        make awards to communities, nonprofit groups, and owners of 
        nonindustrial private forest land under the program for 
        watershed forestry projects described in paragraph (3).
            ``(3) Project elements and objectives.--A watershed forestry 
        project shall accomplish critical forest stewardship, watershed 
        protection, and restoration needs within a State by 
        demonstrating the value of trees and forests to watershed health 
        and condition through--
                    ``(A) the use of trees as solutions to water quality 
                problems in urban and rural areas;
                    ``(B) community-based planning, involvement, and 
                action through State, local, and nonprofit partnerships;
                    ``(C) application of and dissemination of monitoring 
                information on forestry best-management practices 
                relating to watershed forestry;
                    ``(D) watershed-scale forest management activities 
                and conservation planning; and
                    ``(E)(i) the restoration of wetland (as defined by 
                the States) and stream-side forests; and
                    ``(ii) the establishment of riparian vegetative 
                buffers.
            ``(4) Cost-sharing.--
                    ``(A) Federal share.--
                          ``(i) Funds under this subsection.--Funds 
                      provided under this subsection for a watershed 
                      forestry project may not exceed 75 percent of the 
                      cost of the project.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1905]]

                          ``(ii) Other federal funds.--The percentage of 
                      the cost of a project described in clause (i) that 
                      is not covered by funds made available under this 
                      subsection may be paid using other Federal funding 
                      sources, except that the total Federal share of 
                      the costs of the project may not exceed 90 
                      percent.
                    ``(B) Form.--The non-Federal share of the costs of a 
                project may be provided in the form of cash, services, 
                or other in-kind contributions.
            ``(5) Prioritization.--The State Forest Stewardship 
        Coordinating Committee for a State, or equivalent State 
        committee, shall prioritize watersheds in that State to target 
        watershed forestry projects funded under this subsection.
            ``(6) Watershed forester.--Financial and technical 
        assistance shall be made available to the State Forester or 
        equivalent State official to create a State watershed or best-
        management practice forester position to--
                    ``(A) lead statewide programs; and
                    ``(B) coordinate watershed-level projects.

    ``(e) Distribution.--
            ``(1) In general.--Of the funds made available for a fiscal 
        year under subsection (g), the Secretary shall use--
                    ``(A) at least 75 percent of the funds to carry out 
                the cost-share program under subsection (d); and
                    ``(B) the remainder of the funds to deliver 
                technical assistance, education, and planning, at the 
                local level, through the State Forester or equivalent 
                State official.
            ``(2) Special considerations.--Distribution of funds by the 
        Secretary among States under paragraph (1) shall be made only 
        after giving appropriate consideration to--
                    ``(A) the acres of agricultural land, nonindustrial 
                private forest land, and highly erodible land in each 
                State;
                    ``(B) the miles of riparian buffer needed;
                    ``(C) the miles of impaired stream segments and 
                other impaired water bodies where forestry practices can 
                be used to restore or protect water resources;
                    ``(D) the number of owners of nonindustrial private 
                forest land in each State; and
                    ``(E) water quality cost savings that can be 
                achieved through forest watershed management.

    ``(f) Willing Owners.--
            ``(1) In general.--Participation of an owner of 
        nonindustrial private forest land in the watershed forestry 
        assistance program under this section is voluntary.
            ``(2) Written consent.--The watershed forestry assistance 
        program shall not be carried out on nonindustrial private forest 
        land without the written consent of the owner of, or entity 
        having definitive decisionmaking over, the nonindustrial private 
        forest land.

    ``(g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $15,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2004 through 2008.''.

SEC. 303. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6542.>> TRIBAL WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this 
section as the ``Secretary''), acting through the Chief of the Forest 
Service, shall provide technical, financial, and related

[[Page 117 STAT. 1906]]

assistance to Indian tribes for the purpose of expanding tribal 
stewardship capacities and activities through tribal forestry best-
management practices and other means at the tribal level to address 
watershed issues on land under the jurisdiction of or administered by 
the Indian tribes.
    (b) Technical Assistance To Protect Water Quality.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary, in cooperation with Indian 
        tribes, shall develop a program to provide technical assistance 
        to protect water quality, as described in paragraph (2).
            (2) Purpose of program.--The program under this subsection 
        shall be designed--
                    (A) to build and strengthen watershed partnerships 
                that focus on forested landscapes at the State, 
                regional, tribal, and local levels;
                    (B) to provide tribal forestry best-management 
                practices and water quality technical assistance 
                directly to Indian tribes;
                    (C) to provide technical guidance to tribal land 
                managers and policy makers for water quality protection 
                through forest management;
                    (D) to complement tribal efforts to protect water 
                quality and provide enhanced opportunities for 
                consultation and cooperation among Federal agencies and 
                tribal entities charged with responsibility for water 
                and watershed management; and
                    (E) to provide enhanced forest resource data and 
                support for improved implementation and monitoring of 
                tribal forestry best-management practices.

    (c) Watershed Forestry Program.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a watershed 
        forestry program in cooperation with Indian tribes.
            (2) Programs and projects.--Funds or other support provided 
        under the program shall be made available for tribal forestry 
        best-management practices programs and watershed forestry 
        projects.
            (3) Annual awards.--The Secretary shall annually make awards 
        to Indian tribes to carry out this subsection.
            (4) Project elements and objectives.--A watershed forestry 
        project shall accomplish critical forest stewardship, watershed 
        protection, and restoration needs within land under the 
        jurisdiction of or administered by an Indian tribe by 
        demonstrating the value of trees and forests to watershed health 
        and condition through--
                    (A) the use of trees as solutions to water quality 
                problems;
                    (B) application of and dissemination of monitoring 
                information on forestry best-management practices 
                relating to watershed forestry;
                    (C) watershed-scale forest management activities and 
                conservation planning;
                    (D) the restoration of wetland and stream-side 
                forests and the establishment of riparian vegetative 
                buffers; and
                    (E) tribal-based planning, involvement, and action 
                through State, tribal, local, and nonprofit 
                partnerships.
            (5) Prioritization.--An Indian tribe that participates in 
        the program under this subsection shall prioritize watersheds in 
        land under the jurisdiction of or administered by the Indian

[[Page 117 STAT. 1907]]

        tribe to target watershed forestry projects funded under this 
        subsection.
            (6) Watershed forester.--The Secretary may provide to Indian 
        tribes under this section financial and technical assistance to 
        establish a position of tribal forester to lead tribal programs 
        and coordinate small watershed-level projects.

    (d) Distribution.--The Secretary shall devote--
            (1) at least 75 percent of the funds made available for a 
        fiscal year under subsection (e) to the program under subsection 
        (c); and
            (2) the remainder of the funds to deliver technical 
        assistance, education, and planning in the field to Indian 
        tribes.

    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $2,500,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2004 through 2008.

           TITLE IV--INSECT INFESTATIONS AND RELATED DISEASES

SEC. 401. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6551.>> FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) high levels of tree mortality resulting from insect 
        infestation (including the interaction between insects and 
        diseases) may result in--
                    (A) increased fire risk;
                    (B) loss of old trees and old growth;
                    (C) loss of threatened and endangered species;
                    (D) loss of species diversity;
                    (E) degraded watershed conditions;
                    (F) increased potential for damage from other agents 
                of disturbance, including exotic, invasive species; and
                    (G) decreased timber values;
            (2)(A) forest-damaging insects destroy hundreds of thousands 
        of acres of trees each year;
            (B) in the West, more than 21,000,000 acres are at high risk 
        of forest-damaging insect infestation, and in the South, more 
        than 57,000,000 acres are at risk across all land ownerships; 
        and
            (C) severe drought conditions in many areas of the South and 
        West will increase the risk of forest-damaging insect 
        infestations;
            (3) the hemlock woolly adelgid is--
                    (A) destroying streamside forests throughout the 
                mid-Atlantic and Appalachian regions;
                    (B) threatening water quality and sensitive aquatic 
                species; and
                    (C) posing a potential threat to valuable commercial 
                timber land in northern New England;
            (4)(A) the emerald ash borer is a nonnative, invasive pest 
        that has quickly become a major threat to hardwood forests 
        because an emerald ash borer infestation is almost always fatal 
        to affected trees; and
            (B) the emerald ash borer pest threatens to destroy more 
        than 692,000,000 ash trees in forests in Michigan and Ohio 
        alone, and between 5 and 10 percent of urban street trees in the 
        Upper Midwest;

[[Page 117 STAT. 1908]]

            (5)(A) epidemic populations of Southern pine beetles are 
        ravaging forests in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, 
        Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, 
        Tennessee, and Virginia; and
            (B) in 2001, Florida and Kentucky experienced 146 percent 
        and 111 percent increases, respectively, in Southern pine beetle 
        populations;
            (6) those epidemic outbreaks of Southern pine beetles have 
        forced private landowners to harvest dead and dying trees, in 
        rural areas and increasingly urbanized settings;
            (7) according to the Forest Service, recent outbreaks of the 
        red oak borer in Arkansas and Missouri have been unprecedented, 
        with more than 1,000,000 acres infested at population levels 
        never seen before;
            (8) much of the damage from the red oak borer has taken 
        place in national forests, and the Federal response has been 
        inadequate to protect forest ecosystems and other ecological and 
        economic resources;
            (9)(A) previous silvicultural assessments, while useful and 
        informative, have been limited in scale and scope of 
        application; and
            (B) there have not been sufficient resources available to 
        adequately test a full array of individual and combined applied 
        silvicultural assessments;
            (10) only through the full funding, development, and 
        assessment of potential applied silvicultural assessments over 
        specific time frames across an array of environmental and 
        climatic conditions can the most innovative and cost effective 
        management applications be determined that will help reduce the 
        susceptibility of forest ecosystems to attack by forest pests;
            (11)(A) often, there are significant interactions between 
        insects and diseases;
            (B) many diseases (such as white pine blister rust, beech 
        bark disease, and many other diseases) can weaken trees and 
        forest stands and predispose trees and forest stands to insect 
        attack; and
            (C) certain diseases are spread using insects as vectors 
        (including Dutch elm disease and pine pitch canker); and
            (12) funding and implementation of an initiative to combat 
        forest pest infestations and associated diseases should not come 
        at the expense of supporting other programs and initiatives of 
        the Secretary.

    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this title are--
            (1) to require the Secretary to develop an accelerated basic 
        and applied assessment program to combat infestations by forest-
        damaging insects and associated diseases;
            (2) to enlist the assistance of colleges and universities 
        (including forestry schools, land grant colleges and 
        universities, and 1890 Institutions), State agencies, and 
        private landowners to carry out the program; and
            (3) to carry out applied silvicultural assessments.

SEC. 402. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6552.>> DEFINITIONS.

    In this title:
            (1) Applied silvicultural assessment.--

[[Page 117 STAT. 1909]]

                    (A) In general.--The term ``applied silvicultural 
                assessment'' means any vegetative or other treatment 
                carried out for information gathering and research 
                purposes.
                    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``applied silvicultural 
                assessment'' includes timber harvesting, thinning, 
                prescribed burning, pruning, and any combination of 
                those activities.
            (2) 1890 institution.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``1890 Institution'' means 
                a college or university that is eligible to receive 
                funds under the Act of August 30, 1890 (7 U.S.C. 321 et 
                seq.).
                    (B) Inclusion.--The term ``1890 Institution'' 
                includes Tuskegee University.
            (3) Forest-damaging insect.--The term ``forest-damaging 
        insect'' means--
                    (A) a Southern pine beetle;
                    (B) a mountain pine beetle;
                    (C) a spruce bark beetle;
                    (D) a gypsy moth;
                    (E) a hemlock woolly adelgid;
                    (F) an emerald ash borer;
                    (G) a red oak borer;
                    (H) a white oak borer; and
                    (I) such other insects as may be identified by the 
                Secretary.
            (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means--
                    (A) the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the 
                Forest Service, with respect to National Forest System 
                land; and
                    (B) the Secretary of the Interior, acting through 
                appropriate offices of the United States Geological 
                Survey, with respect to federally owned land 
                administered by the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 403. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6553.>> ACCELERATED INFORMATION GATHERING 
            REGARDING FOREST-DAMAGING INSECTS.

    (a) Information Gathering.--The Secretary, acting through the Forest 
Service and United States Geological Survey, as appropriate, shall 
establish an accelerated program--
            (1) to plan, conduct, and promote comprehensive and 
        systematic information gathering on forest-damaging insects and 
        associated diseases, including an evaluation of--
                    (A) infestation prevention and suppression methods;
                    (B) effects of infestations and associated disease 
                interactions on forest ecosystems;
                    (C) restoration of forest ecosystem efforts;
                    (D) utilization options regarding infested trees; 
                and
                    (E) models to predict the occurrence, distribution, 
                and impact of outbreaks of forest-damaging insects and 
                associated diseases;
            (2) to assist land managers in the development of treatments 
        and strategies to improve forest health and reduce the 
        susceptibility of forest ecosystems to severe infestations of 
        forest-damaging insects and associated diseases on Federal land 
        and State and private land; and
            (3) to disseminate the results of the information gathering, 
        treatments, and strategies.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1910]]

    (b) Cooperation and Assistance.--The Secretary shall--
            (1) establish and carry out the program in cooperation 
        with--
                    (A) scientists from colleges and universities 
                (including forestry schools, land grant colleges and 
                universities, and 1890 Institutions);
                    (B) Federal, State, and local agencies; and
                    (C) private and industrial landowners; and
            (2) designate such colleges and universities to assist in 
        carrying out the program.

SEC. 404. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6554.>> APPLIED SILVICULTURAL ASSESSMENTS.

    (a) Assessment Efforts.--For information gathering and research 
purposes, the Secretary may conduct applied silvicultural assessments on 
Federal land that the Secretary determines is at risk of infestation by, 
or is infested with, forest-damaging insects.
    (b) Limitations.--
            (1) Exclusion of certain areas.--Subsection (a) does not 
        apply to--
                    (A) a component of the National Wilderness 
                Preservation System;
                    (B) any Federal land on which, by Act of Congress or 
                Presidential proclamation, the removal of vegetation is 
                restricted or prohibited;
                    (C) a congressionally-designated wilderness study 
                area; or
                    (D) an area in which activities under subsection (a) 
                would be inconsistent with the applicable land and 
                resource management plan.
            (2) Certain treatment prohibited.--Nothing in subsection (a) 
        authorizes the application of insecticides in municipal 
        watersheds or associated riparian areas.
            (3) Peer review.--
                    (A) In general.--Before being carried out, each 
                applied silvicultural assessment under this title shall 
                be peer reviewed by scientific experts selected by the 
                Secretary, which shall include non-Federal experts.
                    (B) Existing peer review processes.--The Secretary 
                may use existing peer review processes to the extent the 
                processes comply with subparagraph (A).

    (c) Public Notice and Comment.--
            (1) Public notice.--The Secretary shall provide notice of 
        each applied silvicultural assessment proposed to be carried out 
        under this section.
            (2) Public comment.--The Secretary shall provide an 
        opportunity for public comment before carrying out an applied 
        silviculture assessment under this section.

    (d) Categorical Exclusion.--
            (1) In general.--Applied silvicultural assessment and 
        research treatments carried out under this section on not more 
        than 1,000 acres for an assessment or treatment may be 
        categorically excluded from documentation in an environmental 
        impact statement and environmental assessment under the National 
        Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.).

[[Page 117 STAT. 1911]]

            (2) Administration.--Applied silvicultural assessments and 
        research treatments categorically excluded under paragraph (1)--
                    (A) shall not be carried out in an area that is 
                adjacent to another area that is categorically excluded 
                under paragraph (1) that is being treated with similar 
                methods; and
                    (B) shall be subject to the extraordinary 
                circumstances procedures established by the Secretary 
                pursuant to section 1508.4 of title 40, Code of Federal 
                Regulations.
            (3) Maximum categorical exclusion.--The total number of 
        acres categorically excluded under paragraph (1) shall not 
        exceed 250,000 acres.
            (4) No additional findings required.--In accordance with 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary shall not be required to make any 
        findings as to whether an applied silvicultural assessment 
        project, either individually or cumulatively, has a significant 
        effect on the environment.

SEC. 405. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6555.>> RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.

    The authority provided to each Secretary under this title is 
supplemental to, and not in lieu of, any authority provided to the 
Secretaries under any other law.

SEC. 406. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6556.>> AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary 
to carry out this title for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.

                TITLE V--HEALTHY FORESTS RESERVE PROGRAM

SEC. 501. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6571.>> ESTABLISHMENT OF HEALTHY FORESTS 
            RESERVE PROGRAM.

    (a) Establishment.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall establish the 
healthy forests reserve program for the purpose of restoring and 
enhancing forest ecosystems--
            (1) to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered 
        species;
            (2) to improve biodiversity; and
            (3) to enhance carbon sequestration.

    (b) Coordination.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out the 
healthy forests reserve program in coordination with the Secretary of 
the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce.

SEC. 502. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6572.>> ELIGIBILITY AND ENROLLMENT OF LANDS IN 
            PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with 
the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce, shall 
describe and define forest ecosystems that are eligible for enrollment 
in the healthy forests reserve program.
    (b) Eligibility.--To be eligible for enrollment in the healthy 
forests reserve program, land shall be--
            (1) private land the enrollment of which will restore, 
        enhance, or otherwise measurably increase the likelihood of 
        recovery of a species listed as endangered or threatened under 
        section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 
        1533); and

[[Page 117 STAT. 1912]]

            (2) private land the enrollment of which will restore, 
        enhance, or otherwise measurably improve the well-being of 
        species that--
                    (A) are not listed as endangered or threatened under 
                section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 
                U.S.C. 1533); but
                    (B) are candidates for such listing, State-listed 
                species, or special concern species.

    (c) Other Considerations.--In enrolling land that satisfies the 
criteria under subsection (b), the Secretary of Agriculture shall give 
additional consideration to land the enrollment of which will--
            (1) improve biological diversity; and
            (2) increase carbon sequestration.

    (d) Enrollment by Willing Owners.--The Secretary of Agriculture 
shall enroll land in the healthy forests reserve program only with the 
consent of the owner of the land.
    (e) Maximum Enrollment.--The total number of acres enrolled in the 
healthy forests reserve program shall not exceed 2,000,000 acres.
    (f) Methods of Enrollment.--
            (1) In general.--Land may be enrolled in the healthy forests 
        reserve program in accordance with--
                    (A) a 10-year cost-share agreement;
                    (B) a 30-year easement; or
                    (C) an easement of not more than 99 years.
            (2) Proportion.--The extent to which each enrollment method 
        is used shall be based on the approximate proportion of owner 
        interest expressed in that method in comparison to the other 
        methods.

    (g) Enrollment Priority.--
            (1) Species.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall give 
        priority to the enrollment of land that provides the greatest 
        conservation benefit to--
                    (A) primarily, species listed as endangered or 
                threatened under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act 
                of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533); and
                    (B) secondarily, species that--
                          (i) are not listed as endangered or threatened 
                      under section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 
                      1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533); but
                          (ii) are candidates for such listing, State-
                      listed species, or special concern species.
            (2) Cost-effectiveness.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall 
        also consider the cost-effectiveness of each agreement or 
        easement, and associated restoration plans, so as to maximize 
        the environmental benefits per dollar expended.

SEC. 503. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6573.>> RESTORATION PLANS.

    (a) In General.--Land enrolled in the healthy forests reserve 
program shall be subject to a restoration plan, to be developed jointly 
by the landowner and the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with 
the Secretary of Interior.
    (b) Practices.--The restoration plan shall require such restoration 
practices as are necessary to restore and enhance habitat for--

[[Page 117 STAT. 1913]]

            (1) species listed as endangered or threatened under section 
        4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533); and
            (2) animal or plant species before the species reach 
        threatened or endangered status, such as candidate, State-listed 
        species, and special concern species.

SEC. 504. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6574.>> FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) Easements of Not More Than 99 Years.--In the case of land 
enrolled in the healthy forests reserve program using an easement of not 
more than 99 years described in section 502(f)(1)(C), the Secretary of 
Agriculture shall pay the owner of the land an amount equal to not less 
than 75 percent, nor more than 100 percent, of (as determined by the 
Secretary)--
            (1) the fair market value of the enrolled land during the 
        period the land is subject to the easement, less the fair market 
        value of the land encumbered by the easement; and
            (2) the actual costs of the approved conservation practices 
        or the average cost of approved practices carried out on the 
        land during the period in which the land is subject to the 
        easement.

    (b) Thirty-Year Easement.--In the case of land enrolled in the 
healthy forests reserve program using a 30-year easement, the Secretary 
of Agriculture shall pay the owner of the land an amount equal to not 
more than (as determined by the Secretary)--
            (1) 75 percent of the fair market value of the land, less 
        the fair market value of the land encumbered by the easement; 
        and
            (2) 75 percent of the actual costs of the approved 
        conservation practices or 75 percent of the average cost of 
        approved practices.

    (c) Ten-Year Agreement.--In the case of land enrolled in the healthy 
forests reserve program using a 10-year cost-share agreement, the 
Secretary of Agriculture shall pay the owner of the land an amount equal 
to not more than (as determined by the Secretary)--
            (1) fifty percent of the actual costs of the approved 
        conservation practices; or
            (2) fifty percent of the average cost of approved practices.

    (d) Acceptance of Contributions.--The Secretary of Agriculture may 
accept and use contributions of non-Federal funds to make payments under 
this section.

SEC. 505. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6575.>> TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall provide 
landowners with technical assistance to assist the owners in complying 
with the terms of plans (as included in agreements or easements) under 
the healthy forests reserve program.
    (b) Technical Service Providers.--The Secretary of Agriculture may 
request the services of, and enter into cooperative agreements with, 
individuals or entities certified as technical service providers under 
section 1242 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3842), to 
assist the Secretary in providing technical assistance necessary to 
develop and implement the healthy forests reserve program.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1914]]

SEC. 506. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6576.>> PROTECTIONS AND MEASURES.

    (a) Protections.--In the case of a landowner that enrolls land in 
the program and whose conservation activities result in a net 
conservation benefit for listed, candidate, or other species, the 
Secretary of Agriculture shall make available to the landowner safe 
harbor or similar assurances and protection under--
            (1) section 7(b)(4) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
        (16 U.S.C. 1536(b)(4)); or
            (2) section 10(a)(1) of that Act (16 U.S.C. 1539(a)(1)).

    (b) Measures.--If protection under subsection (a) requires the 
taking of measures that are in addition to the measures covered by the 
applicable restoration plan agreed to under section 503, the cost of the 
additional measures, as well as the cost of any permit, shall be 
considered part of the restoration plan for purposes of financial 
assistance under section 504.

SEC. 507. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6577.>> INVOLVEMENT BY OTHER AGENCIES AND 
            ORGANIZATIONS.

    In carrying out this title, the Secretary of Agriculture may consult 
with--
            (1) nonindustrial private forest landowners;
            (2) other Federal agencies;
            (3) State fish and wildlife agencies;
            (4) State forestry agencies;
            (5) State environmental quality agencies;
            (6) other State conservation agencies; and
            (7) nonprofit conservation organizations.

SEC. 508. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6578.>> AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title--
            (1) $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2004; and
            (2) such sums as are necessary for each of fiscal years 2005 
        through 2008.

                         TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS

SEC. 601. <<NOTE: 16 USC 6591.>> FOREST STANDS INVENTORY AND MONITORING 
            PROGRAM TO IMPROVE DETECTION OF AND RESPONSE TO 
            ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out a 
comprehensive program to inventory, monitor, characterize, assess, and 
identify forest stands (with emphasis on hardwood forest stands) and 
potential forest stands--
            (1) in units of the National Forest System (other than those 
        units created from the public domain); and
            (2) on private forest land, with the consent of the owner of 
        the land.

    (b) Issues To Be Addressed.--In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary shall address issues including--
            (1) early detection, identification, and assessment of 
        environmental threats (including insect, disease, invasive 
        species, fire, and weather-related risks and other episodic 
        events);
            (2) loss or degradation of forests;
            (3) degradation of the quality forest stands caused by 
        inadequate forest regeneration practices;
            (4) quantification of carbon uptake rates; and
            (5) management practices that focus on preventing further 
        forest degradation.

[[Page 117 STAT. 1915]]

    (c) Early Warning System.--In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary shall develop a comprehensive early warning system for 
potential catastrophic environmental threats to forests to increase the 
likelihood that forest managers will be able to--
            (1) isolate and treat a threat before the threat gets out of 
        control; and
            (2) prevent epidemics, such as the American chestnut blight 
        in the first half of the twentieth century, that could be 
        environmentally and economically devastating to forests.

    (d) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for each of fiscal 
years 2004 through 2008.

    Approved December 3, 2003.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1904:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

HOUSE REPORTS: Nos. 108-96, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Agriculture) and Pt. 2 
(Comm. on the Judiciary) and 108-386 (Comm. of Conference).
SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-121 (Comm. on Agriculture, Nutrition, and 
Forestry).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 149 (2003):
            May 20, considered and passed House.
            Oct. 29, 30, considered and passed Senate, amended.
            Nov. 21, House and Senate agreed to conference report.
WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 39 (2003):
            Dec. 3, Presidential remarks.

                                  <all>