Text: H.R.6009 — 112th Congress (2011-2012)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (06/21/2012)


112th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6009

To establish a program that will generate dependable economic activity for counties and local governments containing National Forest System land through a management-focused approach, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 21, 2012

Mr. Labrador (for himself, Mr. Young of Alaska, and Mrs. McMorris Rodgers) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, 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 establish a program that will generate dependable economic activity for counties and local governments containing National Forest System land through a management-focused approach, 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; table of contents.

(a) Short title.—This Act may be cited as the “Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act of 2012”.

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


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Purpose.

Sec. 3. Definitions.

Sec. 4. Establishment of community forest demonstration areas.

Sec. 5. Board of Trustees.

Sec. 6. Management of community forest demonstration areas.

Sec. 7. Distribution of funds from Community Forest Demonstration Area.

Sec. 8. Initial funding authority.

SEC. 2. Purpose.

The purpose of this Act is to generate dependable economic activity for counties and local governments through sustainable forest management.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) BOARD OF TRUSTEES.—The term “Board of Trustees” means the Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor of a State for the community forest demonstration area established for the State.

(2) COMMUNITY FOREST DEMONSTRATION AREA.—The term “community forest demonstration area” means a community forest demonstration area established for a State under section 4.

(3) NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM.—The term “National Forest System” has the meaning given that term in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a)), except that the term does not include the National Grasslands and land utilization projects designated as National Grasslands administered pursuant to the Act of July 22, 1937 (7 U.S.C. 1010–1012).

(4) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of Agriculture or the designee of the Secretary of Agriculture.

(5) STATE.—The term “State” includes the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

SEC. 4. Establishment of community forest demonstration areas.

(a) Establishment required; time for establishment.—Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall establish the community forest demonstration area or areas of a State at the request of the Board of Trustees appointed to manage community forest demonstration area land in that State.

(b) Covered land.—

(1) INCLUSION OF NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LAND.—The community forest demonstration areas of a State shall consist of the National Forest System land in the State identified for inclusion by the Board of Trustees of that State.

(2) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN LAND.—A community forest demonstration area shall not include National Forest System land—

(A) that is a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System; or

(B) on which the removal of vegetation is specifically prohibited by Federal law.

(c) Conditions on establishment.—

(1) ACREAGE REQUIREMENT.—A community forest demonstration area must include at least 200,000 acres of National Forest System land.

(2) MANAGEMENT LAW REQUIREMENT.—A community forest demonstration area may be established in a State only if the State has a forest practices law or regulatory structure applicable to State or privately owned forest land in the State.

(3) REVENUE SHARING REQUIREMENT.—As a condition of the inclusion in a community forest demonstration area of National Forest System land located in a particular county in a State, the county must enter into an agreement with the Governor of the State that requires that, in utilizing revenues received by the county under section 7, the county shall continue to meet any obligations under applicable State law as provided under title I of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 7111 et seq.) or as provided in the sixth paragraph under the heading “FOREST SERVICE” in the Act of May 23, 1908 (16 U.S.C. 500) and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500).

(d) Treatment under certain other laws.—National Forest System land included in a community forest demonstration area shall not be considered Federal land for purposes of making payments to counties under the sixth paragraph under the heading “FOREST SERVICE” in the Act of May 23, 1908 (16 U.S.C. 500) and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500).

(e) Recognition of valid and existing rights.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed to limit or restrict—

(1) access to National Forest System land included in a community forest demonstration area for hunting, fishing, and other related purposes; or

(2) valid and existing rights regarding such National Forest System land.

SEC. 5. Board of Trustees.

(a) Appointment.—A community forest demonstration area for a State shall be managed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Governor of the State.

(b) Composition.—The Board of Trustees for a community forest demonstration area in a State shall include, but is not limited to, the following members:

(1) One member who holds county or local elected office, appointed from each county or local governmental unit in the State containing community forest demonstration area land.

(2) One member who represents the commercial timber, wood products, or milling industry.

(3) One member who represents persons holding Federal grazing or other land use permits.

(4) One member who represents recreational users of National Forest System land.

(c) Terms.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except in the case of certain initial appointments required by paragraph (2), members of a Board of Trustees shall serve for a term of three years.

(2) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS.—In making initial appointments to a Board of Trustees, the Governor making the appointments shall stagger terms so that at least one-third of the members will be replaced every three years.

(d) Compensation.—Members of a Board of Trustees shall serve without pay, but may be reimbursed from the funds made available for the management of a community forest demonstration area for the actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses incurred by members in the performance of their duties.

SEC. 6. Management of community forest demonstration areas.

(a) Assumption of management.—

(1) CONFIRMATION.—The Board of Trustees appointed for a community forest demonstration area shall assume all management authority with regard to the community forest demonstration area as soon as the Secretary confirms that—

(A) the National Forest System land to be included in the community forest demonstration area meets the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) of section 4; and

(B) the Board of Trustees has been duly appointed under section 5 and is able to conduct business.

(2) SCOPE AND TIME FOR CONFIRMATION.—The determination of the Secretary under paragraph (1) is limited to confirming whether the conditions specified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of such paragraph have been satisfied. The Secretary shall make the determination not later than 60 days after the date of the appointment of the Board of Trustees.

(3) EFFECT OF FAILURE TO CONFIRM.—If the Secretary determines that either or both conditions specified in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of paragraph (1) are not satisfied for confirmation of a Board of Trustees, the Secretary shall—

(A) promptly notify the Governor of the affected State and the Board of Trustees of the reasons preventing confirmation; and

(B) make a new determination under paragraph (2) within 60 days after receiving a new request from the Board of Trustees that addresses the reasons that previously prevented confirmation.

(b) Management responsibilities.—Upon assumption of management of a community forest demonstration area, the Board of Trustees for the community forest demonstration area shall manage the land and resources of the community forest demonstration area and the occupancy and use thereof in conformity with this Act, and to the extent not in conflict with this Act, the laws and regulations applicable to management of State forest lands in the State in which the community forest demonstration area is located.

(c) Applicability of other federal laws.—The administration and management of a community forest demonstration area, including implementing actions, shall not be considered Federal action and shall be subject to the following only to the extent that such laws apply to the State administration and management of forest lands in the State in which the community forest demonstration area is located:

(1) The Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 note).

(2) The Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.).

(3) The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

(4) Federal laws and regulations governing procurement by Federal agencies.

(5) Other Federal laws.

(d) Consultation.—

(1) WITH INDIAN TRIBES.—The Board of Trustees for a community forest demonstration area shall cooperate and consult with Indian tribes on management policies and practices for the community forest demonstration area that may affect the Indian tribes. The Board of Trustees may allow the use of lands within the community forest demonstration area for religious and cultural uses by Native Americans.

(2) WITH COLLABORATIVE GROUPS.—The Board of Trustees for a community forest demonstration area shall consult with any applicable forest collaborative group.

(e) Recreation.—Nothing in this section shall affect public use and recreation within a community forest demonstration area.

(f) Fire management.—The Secretary shall provide fire presuppression, suppression, and rehabilitation services on and with respect to a community forest demonstration area to the same extent generally authorized in other units of the National Forest System.

SEC. 7. Distribution of funds from Community Forest Demonstration Area.

(a) Retention of funds for management.—The Board of Trustees of a community forest demonstration area may retain such sums as the Board of Trustees considers to be necessary from amounts generated from that community forest demonstration area to fund the management, administration, restoration, operation and maintenance, improvement, repair, and related expenses incurred with respect to the community forest demonstration area.

(b) Funds to counties or local governmental units.—Subject to subsection (a), the Board of Trustees of a community forest demonstration area in a State shall distribute funds received by the Board of Trustees under section 6 to each county or local governmental unit in the State in an amount proportional to the funds received by the county or local governmental unit under title I of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 7111 et seq.).

SEC. 8. Initial funding authority.

(a) Funding source.—Counties may use such sums as the counties consider to be necessary from amounts made available to the counties under title I of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000 (16 U.S.C. 7111 et seq.) to provide initial funding for the management of community forest demonstration areas.

(b) No restriction on use of non-Federal funds.—Nothing in this Act restricts the Board of Trustees of a community forest demonstration area from seeking non-Federal loans or other non-Federal funds for management of the community forest demonstration area.