Summary: S.1449 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1449. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (07/23/2003)

America's Healthy Forests Restoration and Research Act of 2003 - Permits the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest System lands, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, to plan and conduct hazardous fuels reduction projects (fuels projects) on specified types of Federal lands.

Directs the Secretary concerned to give priority to fuels projects that provide for the protection of communities and watersheds.

Requires the Secretary concerned to plan and conduct fuels projects in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and other applicable laws, with an exemption from specified provisions of such Act pertaining to analysis of alternative options to proposed agency actions.

Directs the Secretary concerned to provide for collaboration among governments, Indian tribes, and interested persons during the formulation of each fuels project.

Sets forth special requirements regarding judicial review of fuels projects. Provides injunctive relief for agency actions on Federal lands, including fuels projects, to restore fire-adapted forests or rangeland systems.

Authorizes the Secretary concerned to make grants to: (1) improve the commercial value of forest biomass to produce electric energy, sensible heat, transportation fuels, substitutes for petroleum-based products, wood-based products, pulp, or other commercial products; and (2) offset the cost of projects to add value to biomass.

Amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to permit the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Forest Service, to provide assistance to State foresters and officials for the purpose of expanding State forest capacities and activities to address watershed issues on non-Federal forested lands and potentially forested lands. Directs the Secretary to: (1) develop a technical assistance program to protect water quality; and (2) establish a watershed forestry cost-share program.

Directs the Secretary concerned to establish an accelerated program to conduct, and promote comprehensive information gathering on the effects to forests of insect and disease infestation and severe weather. Allows the Secretary concerned to conduct applied silvicultural assessments on threatened Federal lands.

Directs the Secretary concerned to: (1) inventory and monitor Federal and private (with consent) forest stands to identify environmental threats; and (2) develop a comprehensive early warning system for potential catastrophic forest threats.

Amends the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 to increase Biomass Research and Development Initiative grant uses.

Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out biomass and small-diameter-based rural revitalization programs.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an Upland Hardwood Research Center which shall, in conjunction with the Southern Forest Research Station of the Department of Agriculture, provide a broad research and development program for the upland hardwood resources of the Ozark Mountains and the South.

Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the healthy forests reserve program for the purpose of restoring and enhancing private forest ecosystems to promote the recovery of threatened and endangered species as well as improve biodiversity and enhance carbon sequestration.

Directs the Secretaries to jointly establish a program for the emergency treatment and reduction of nonnative invasive plants.

Expresses congressional reaffirmation of the enhanced community fire protection program.