Text: H.R.2593 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:

Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/06/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 2593


To secure and conserve Federal public lands and natural resources along the international land borders of the United States, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 6, 2007

Mr. Grijalva introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Homeland Security, and in addition to the Committees on Natural Resources and Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To secure and conserve Federal public lands and natural resources along the international land borders of the United States, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as “The Borderlands Conservation and Security Act of 2007”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings.—The Congress finds the following:

(1) The United States-Mexico border area contains a high concentration of protected Federal lands, including National Parks, National Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, and Wilderness Areas. These lands are of significant ecological, educational, historic, cultural, recreational and economic value to the United States and its people.

(2) The United States and Mexico have collaborated to address shared conservation and security issues, including migratory, imperiled, and invasive species, border operations and security, cultural resources, and trans-boundary pollution.

(3) Federal lands and resources along the United States-Mexico border have suffered extensive damage from the effects of unauthorized immigration, human and drug smuggling, and border enforcement activities.

(4) Increased coordination and planning between the Department of Homeland Security and Federal land management agencies can help avoid and mitigate damage to Federal lands and resources along the United States-Mexico border while improving border security.

(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act are to provide a means whereby the Federal lands and resources along the United States-Mexico border are provided the highest protection possible from the effects of unauthorized immigration, human and drug smuggling, and border enforcement activities, while ensuring that all operations necessary to achieve border security are undertaken.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

(a) Protected land.—The term “protected land” means land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary concerned.

(b) Secretary.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Homeland Security.

(c) Secretary concerned.—The term “Secretary concerned” means—

(1) with respect to land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Agriculture; and

(2) with respect to land under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior.

SEC. 4. Protection of Borderland Environment.

(a) Border protection strategy.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than May 30, 2008, the Secretary, the Secretary of the Interior, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly develop a border protection strategy that supports the border security needs of the United States in the manner that best protects—

(A) units of the National Park System;

(B) National Forest System land;

(C) land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management;

(D) land under the jurisdiction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service; and

(E) other relevant land under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture.

(2) TRIBAL LANDS.—The Secretary, in consultation with Tribal officials, shall jointly develop a border protection strategy for tribal lands along the United States-Mexico border.

(b) Required training.—The Secretary, in cooperation with the Secretary concerned, shall provide—

(1) Federal land resource training for Customs and Border Protection agents assigned to patrol protected land; and

(2) cultural resource training for Customs and Border Protection agents assigned to patrol tribal lands.

(c) Coordination.—In providing training for Customs and Border Protection agents under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall coordinate with the Secretary concerned to ensure that the training is appropriate to the mission of the relevant agency of the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture to minimize the adverse impact on natural and cultural resources from border enforcement activities.

(d) Inventory of costs and activities.—The Secretary concerned shall develop and submit to the Secretary an inventory of costs incurred by the Secretary concerned relating to illegal border activity and border enforcement activities, including the cost of—

(1) infrastructure;

(2) equipment;

(3) training;

(4) recurring maintenance;

(5) construction of facilities;

(6) restoration of natural and cultural resources;

(7) recapitalization of facilities; and

(8) operations.

(e) Recommendations.—The Secretary shall—

(1) develop joint recommendations with the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture for an appropriate cost recovery mechanism relating to items identified in subsection (d); and

(2) not later than May 30, 2008, submit to the appropriate congressional committees (as defined in section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 101)), including the Subcommittee on National Parks of the Senate and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands of the House of Representatives, the recommendations developed under paragraph (1).

SEC. 5. Border Barrier Construction.

(a) Fencing and other barriers on public lands.—Section 102(b)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–208; 8 U.S.C. 1103 note) is amended—

(1) in subparagraph (A), in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking “the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for least 2 layers of reinforced fencing, the installation of additional physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors—” and inserting “the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, or the heads of other Federal agencies, as appropriate, and State, local, and tribal officials, shall provide for fencing, vehicle barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, sensors, or other surveillance and barrier tools as necessary—”;

(2) in subparagraph (B)(i), by striking “2007” and inserting “2008”; and

(3) by adding after subparagraph (C) the following new subparagraph:

“(D) MANNER OF CONSTRUCTION.—In carrying out the requirements of subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, where practicable, prioritize the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, remote cameras, sensors, vehicle barriers, or other low impact border enforcement techniques on lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, or other Federal agencies.”.

(b) Applicability of existing laws.—Section 102(c) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1103 note), is repealed.

(c) Federal lands.—In fulfilling the requirements of section 102(b)(1) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 as amended by subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall not commence any construction of fencing on any lands under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture or the Secretary of the Interior prior to the submission to Congress by the Secretary of Homeland Security of the Border Protection Strategy mandated by section 4(a) of this Act.

SEC. 6. Borderlands Conservation Fund.

(a) In general.—The Secretary shall—

(1) establish a program to provide financial assistance for projects consistent with the goal of improved management of ecologically sensitive or listed species, improved wildlife habitat to aid in the management of these species, and mitigating the impacts of border enforcement, human and drug smuggling, and unauthorized immigration on these species, pending approval of project applications; and

(2) subject to the availability of funds, award grants to eligible organizations to promote conservation of these species.

(b) Definitions.—

(1) In this section:

(A) CONSERVATION.—The term “conservation” means the use of methods and procedures necessary to prevent the diminution of, and to sustain viable populations of species that occur in the United States—Mexico borderlands. This includes all activities associated with the protection and management of wildlife species of the borderland region and with the protection of the habitat upon which they depend.

(B) FUND.—The term “fund” means the Borderland Conservation Fund established in this section.

(C) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

(c) Project proposals.—

(1) SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS.—A proposal for a project for the conservation of species identified in this Act may be submitted to the Secretary by—

(A) any local wildlife management authority in the United States or Mexico; and

(B) any person or non-governmental organization with the demonstrated ability and experience working with the taxa for which a proposal is submitted.

(2) ELEMENTS.—A proposal submitted under paragraph (1) shall contain the following elements:

(A) A concise statement of the proposed action that includes a statement of need and benefits to the species to be achieved by the project proposal.

(B) An outline of methods to be used to accomplish the tasks outlined in the project proposal.

(C) The name of the project applicant and their affiliation.

(D) An estimate of the cost and time frame for project completion.

(E) Identification of all mechanisms to ensure local involvement in the project.

(F) Assurances that the project has received endorsement of the responsible wildlife management authority and other appropriate authorities.

(G) Information on the source and amount of any matching funds to be used for completion of the project.

(d) Project review and approval.—The Secretary shall—

(1) establish a protocol for soliciting and reviewing proposals for Borderland Conservation Fund monies; and

(2) within the framework established by the Secretary, call for proposals in all years when funds are available in the Borderland Conservation Fund.

(e) Criteria for approval.—To be eligible for approval, a project must enhance conservation of wildlife species and their habitat by assisting efforts to—

(1) develop sound scientific information on—

(A) population trends for approved wildlife species;

(B) identification of threats to wildlife populations or the habitat upon which they depend, particularly due to border security measures, construction, enforcement, or illegal activity; and

(C) identification of methods to improve habitat conditions or to improve the status of the wildlife species, particularly those impacted by border security measures, construction, enforcement, or illegal activity;

(2) implement species or habitat conservation plans;

(3) promote cooperation among local citizens, wildlife and habitat management agencies, and nongovernmental organizations in programs that would be approved under this Act; and

(4) build local capacity to implement scientifically sound wildlife or habitat management programs.

(f) Matching funds.—In determining whether to approve project proposals under this section, the Secretary shall give preference to projects with matching non-Federal funds.

(g) Project reporting.—

(1) RECIPIENT REPORTS.—In any year for which a recipient is awarded funds under this Act, the recipient shall submit a report to the Secretary that outlines significant accomplishments of the project, significant deviations from the approved project proposal, and financial expenditures related to the project for that year.

(2) SECRETARIAL REPORTS.—The Secretary shall submit an annual report to Congress outlining accomplishments under this Act related to the improved conservation of borderland resources.

(h) Establishment.—There is established in the Multinational Species Conservation Fund a separate account to be known as the “Borderland Conservation Fund” consisting of—

(1) amounts transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Borderland Conservation Fund;

(2) amounts appropriated to the fund; and

(3) any interest earned on investments from funds held within the fund.

(i) Expenditures from the fund.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (2), upon request by the Secretary, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer from the Borderland Conservation Fund to the Secretary, without further appropriation, such amounts as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out projects under this Act.

(2) ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.—Of the amounts in the account available for each fiscal year, the Secretary may expend not more than 3 percent or $80,000, whichever is greater, of the fund balance annually to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry out this Act.

(3) FOCUS.—Not less than 30 percent of the amounts made available to the fund for each fiscal year shall be expended for projects carried out in Mexico.

(j) Investments of amounts.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of the Treasury shall invest amounts in the fund that are not, in the judgment of the Secretary of the Treasury, required to meet withdrawals. Investments may be made only in interest-bearing obligations of the United States.

(2) ACQUISITIONS OF OBLIGATIONS.—For the purpose of investments under paragraph (1), obligations may be acquired—

(A) on original issue at the issue price; or

(B) by purchase of outstanding obligations at the market price.

(3) SALE OF OBLIGATIONS.—Any obligation acquired by the fund may be sold by the Secretary of the Treasury at the market price.

(4) CREDITS TO FUND.—The interest on, and the proceeds from the sale or redemption of, any obligations held in the fund shall be credited to and form a part of the fund.

(k) Transfers of amounts.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The amounts required to be transferred to the fund under this section shall be transferred at least monthly from the general fund of the Treasury to the fund on the basis of estimates made by the Secretary of the Treasury.

(2) ADJUSTMENTS.—Proper adjustment shall be made in amounts subsequently transferred to the extent prior estimates were in excess of or less than the amounts required to be transferred.

(l) Acceptance and use of donations.—The Secretary may accept and use donations to provide assistance under section 4. Amounts received by the Secretary in the form of donations shall be transferred to the Secretary of the Treasury for deposit into the Fund.

(m) Authorization of appropriations.—There are authorized to be appropriated to the fund through the Secretary $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013.