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                                                       Calendar No. 417
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-218
_______________________________________________________________________


 
             WETLANDS AND WILDLIFE ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

                 June 19, 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


    Mr. Chafee, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1677]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1677), to reauthorize the North American 
Wetlands Conservation Act and the Partnerships for Wildlife 
Act, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                           General Statement

The North American Wetlands Conservation Act
    Throughout this century, populations of waterfowl have 
fluctuated, and with increased interest in waterfowl 
conservation, cooperative surveys of populations were started 
in 1955 in the United States and Canada. The most recent 
downward trend occurred in the early 1980's, when duck and 
other waterfowl populations experienced a drastic decline, 
compared to levels of the previous decade. This decline was due 
to several factors, including continuing loss of habitat and an 
extended drought in many parts of the country. The numbers are 
stark: between the 1970's and 1985, breeding populations of 
ducks dropped an average of 31 percent, with certain species, 
such as the northern pintail, declining by as much as 61 
percent.
    In response to this decline, the United States and Canada 
signed the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (the Plan) 
in 1986, which established ambitious goals and innovative 
strategies for conserving waterfowl habitat. The goals were to 
return waterfowl populations to 1970's levels. The strategies 
called for voluntary partnerships among various stakeholders--
Federal, State and local government agencies, businesses, 
conservation organizations, and private individuals--to 
undertake projects to conserve wetlands for waterfowl, 
migratory birds and other species. The Plan provides an 
important framework for conservation efforts among the United 
States, Canada and, since 1994, Mexico. Under the Plan, the the 
most important habitat areas for waterfowl are determined. 
Based on these priorities, 10 joint ventures exist in the 
United States across all four flyways, and other joint ventures 
are being formed.
    The North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) was 
passed by Congress in 1989, in large part to assist in the 
implementation of the Plan. The law created a Federal funding 
source for wetlands conservation projects, including projects 
undertaken by the partnerships under the Plan. NAWCA provides 
funding from four sources: annual appropriations by Congress; 
interest on short-term investments of monies held in the fund 
established by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (the 
Pittman-Robertson Fund); fines and penalties collected under 
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA); and a portion of the 
monies from the Sport Fish Restoration Account of the Aquatic 
Resources Trust Fund (ARTF), pursuant to the Coastal Wetlands 
Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act.
    Of the funds derived from the first three sources, between 
50 percent and 70 percent must be spent on projects in Canada 
and Mexico, and between 30 percent and 50 percent must be spent 
on projects in the United States. Funds from the ARTF must be 
spent on coastal wetlands conservation projects in coastal 
States. Federal funds used to carry out projects cannot exceed 
50 percent of the total contribution by all U.S. partners 
involved in the project, unless the project is carried out on 
Federal lands or waters. In fiscal year 1997, $23.5 million was 
generated with Pittman-Robertson Fund interest, $9.5 million 
was provided by the ARTF, and $9.75 million was appropriated.
    NAWCA established the North American Wetlands Conservation 
Council (the Council) to review proposed wetlands conservation 
projects. The Council recommends projects to the Migratory Bird 
Conservation Commission based on criteria enumerated in the 
law, including the extent to which the project fulfills the 
purposes of the Plan, the availability of non-Federal funds, 
and the extent to which there is a partnership among public and 
private entities.
    The Council consists of nine members: the Director of the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; the Secretary of the Board of 
the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; four directors of 
State fish and wildlife agencies, each from a different flyway, 
appointed by the Secretary of the Interior; and three 
representatives from nonprofit organizations actively 
participating in wetlands conservation projects, also appointed 
by the Secretary.
    According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, since its 
enactment, NAWCA has funded approximately 575 projects covering 
approximately 3.8 million acres across the continent. In the 
United States alone, approximately 280 projects in 46 States, 
with more than 800 partners, have been funded by NAWCA. 
Overall, more than $240 million in Federal funds has been 
matched by more than $360 million in non-Federal funds.
    With the help of NAWCA and other laws that help conserve 
wetlands and waterfowl, in concert with abundant rainfall in 
recent years, populations of many species of ducks and other 
waterfowl have rebounded to, or even surpassed, their levels in 
the early 1970's. For example, after dropping from an average 
of 36.1 million between 1970 and 1972 to a low of 25.1 million 
in 1989 (a drop of 31 percent), the number of breeding ducks, 
surveyed each spring at key nesting areas, increased to a high 
of 42.6 million in 1997 (an increase of 70 percent from 1989). 
In addition, loss of wetlands, while still occurring, has 
declined in recent years. However, to obtain accurate estimates 
of current wetlands acreage, the committee believes that the 
Administration needs to coordinate wetlands surveys among the 
various wetlands programs administered by the Federal 
Government.
    The success of NAWCA in conserving wetlands and waterfowl 
is attributable to several factors. First, NAWCA, in 
conjunction with the Plan, focuses on management and protection 
of the habitat itself. Second, the law relies on voluntary 
partnerships rather than regulatory mandates. Lastly, NAWCA 
leverages Federal dollars with State, local and private 
dollars.
    The benefits of NAWCA have not been limited to waterfowl 
and wetlands. Several joint ventures have undertaken 
significant projects covering numerous species and habitat 
types. For example, the Central Valley Habitat Joint Venture, 
founded in 1988, stretches 400 miles along the San Joaquin and 
Sacramento River basins and the Suisun Marsh. This area serves 
as the wintering grounds for 60 percent of the migratory 
waterfowl in the Pacific flyways, but it also sustains 200 
species of migratory birds and almost 50 species listed as 
endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. 
Since the joint venture was established, more than 110,000 
acres have been protected through 19 projects and $14 million 
in Federal funds, matched by $56 million in partner funds. In 
addition, when the Plan was reviewed and updated in 1994, joint 
ventures were encouraged to develop additional goals and 
strategies for other species of migratory birds or wildlife of 
regional significance. These goals must complement waterfowl-
based habitat objectives of the Plan.
The Partnerships for Wildlife Act
    The Partnerships for Wildlife Act was enacted in 1992 to 
encourage partnerships among the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, State agencies, and private organizations and 
individuals to undertake projects to conserve non-game wildlife 
species. It created the Wildlife Conservation and Appreciation 
Fund, which receives monies from Federal appropriations. Under 
the law, the Secretary of the Interior makes grants to State 
fish and wildlife agencies for wildlife conservation and 
appreciation projects. In general, each Federal dollar for a 
project must be matched with at least one dollar from the State 
and one dollar from a private entity or person.
    The law is modeled after NAWCA, and is the only Federal 
grants program for the sole purpose of benefiting non-game 
species--species that are not hunted, fished, or trapped. 
Projects have covered numerous species across 40 States, and 
have entailed management programs, research, education and 
outreach. Since 1994, Federal funding for grants has totaled 
$4.2 million. Appropriations in 1997 totaled $800,000, although 
more than $1.2 million in grants was requested.

               Objectives and Summary of the Legislation

    The bill would reauthorize NAWCA through fiscal year 2003 
at a level of $30 million per year. It would also reauthorize 
the Partnerships for Wildlife Act through fiscal year 2003 at a 
level of $6.25 million per year. These amounts are the same as 
those in the current laws, both of which expire at the end of 
fiscal year 1998.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee makes an evaluation 
of the regulatory impact of the reported bill. The reported 
bill will have no regulatory impact. This bill will not have 
any adverse impact on the personal privacy of individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that this bill would 
impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments. All of its governmental 
directives are imposed on Federal agencies. The bill does not 
directly impose any private sector mandates.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1677 was introduced by Senator Chafee and referred to 
the committee on February 25, 1998. H.R. 2556, a similar bill 
introduced by Congressman Saxton on September 25, 1997, was 
received from the House of Representatives and referred to the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works on May 20, 1998. On 
May 21, 1998, the committee held a business meeting to consider 
S. 1677, which was favorably reported out of the committee by 
voice vote.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of a reported 
bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be included 
in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                    Washington, DC, June 11 , 1998.

Hon. John H. Chafee, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1677, the Wetlands 
and Wildlife Enhancement Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah 
Reis and Joanna Wilson (for Federal costs), both of whom can be 
reached at 226-2820, and Marjorie Miller (for the State and 
local impact), who can be reached at 225-3220.

            Sincerely,
                                           June E. O'Neill,
                                                          Director.
                                ------                                


               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    S. 1677, Wetlands and Wildlife Enhancement Act of 1998, as 
reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public 
Works on May 21, 1998.
Summary
    S. 1677 would reauthorize, through fiscal year 2003, 
appropriations for two programs of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS). Specifically, the bill would authorize annual 
appropriations of $30 million and $6.25 million, respectively, 
for programs carried out under the North American Wetlands 
Conservation Act (NAWCA) and the Partnerships for Wildlife Act 
(PWA). The FWS uses appropriations authorized by these Acts to 
fund a wide variety of activities including matching grants, 
cooperative projects, and land acquisition.
    Assuming appropriation of the entire amounts authorized, 
CBO estimates that enacting S. 1677 would result in additional 
discretionary spending of about $160 million over the 1999-2003 
period. The legislation would not affect direct spending or 
receipts; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. 
S. 1677 does not contain any intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
(UMRA) and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments.
Estimated Cost to the Federal Government
    The amounts authorized by S. 1677 are the same as the 
current authorization levels for both programs, but are 
significantly higher than the amounts appropriated for these 
activities in recent years. The 1998 appropriations for NAWCA 
and PWA are $11.7 million and $0.8 million, respectively. For 
purposes of this estimate, CBO assumes that the entire amounts 
authorized will be appropriated for each fiscal year and that 
outlays will follow historical spending patterns for each 
program. The estimated budgetary impact of S. 1677 is shown in 
the following table. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars                                     
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                   1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION                                                                               
Spending Under Current Law:                                                                                     
    Budget Authority\1\.........................................      13       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      12       4       1       0       0       0
Proposed Changes:                                                                                               
    Authorization Level.........................................       0      36      36      36      36      36
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       0      20      32      36      36      36
Spending Under S. 1677:                                                                                         
    Authorization Level\1\......................................      13      36      36      36      36      36
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      12      24      33      36      36      36
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ The 1998 level is the sum of amounts appropriated for that year for the programs carried out under NAWCA and
  PWA.                                                                                                          

    Pay-As-You-Go Considerations: None.
    Estimated Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: 
S. 1677 contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined in 
UMRA and would impose no costs on State, local, or tribal 
governments. State fish and wildlife agencies receive grants 
under the Partnerships for Wildlife Act. These Federal funds 
must be matched by equal amounts of both State and private 
funds.
    Estimated Impact on the Private Sector: S. 1677 contains no 
private-sector mandates as defined in UMRA.
    Previous CBO Estimate: On May 7, 1998, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 2556, the Wetlands and Wildlife 
Enhancement Act of 1997, as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Resources on April 29, 1998. The two bills are 
identical, as are the cost estimates.
    Estimate Prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and 
Joanna Wilson (226-2860); Impact on State, Local, and Tribal 
Governments: Marjorie Miller (225-3220).
    Estimate Approved by: Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill 
as reported are shown as follows: existing law as proposed to 
be omitted is enclosed in [bold brackets]; new matter proposed 
to be added to existing law is printed in italic; and existing 
law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman.

               United States Code--Title 16--Conservation

Chapter 64--North American Wetlands Conservation

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 4406. Amounts available to carry out this chapter
    (a) Omitted.
    b) Migratory bird fines, penalties, forfeitures--.The sums 
received under section 707 of this title as penalties or fines, 
or from forfeitures of property are authorized to be 
appropriated to the Department of the Interior for purposes of 
allocation under section 4407 of this title. This subsection 
shall not be construed to require the sale of 
instrumentalities.
    (c) Authorization of appropriations--.In addition to the 
amounts made available under subsections (a) and (b) of this 
section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Department of the Interior for purposes of allocation under 
section 4407 of this title [not to exceed $20,000,000 for each 
of fiscal years 1995 and 1996 and $30,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 1997 and 1998] not to exceed $30,000,000 for each 
of fiscal years 1999 through 2003.
    (d) Availability of funds--.Sums made available under this 
section shall be available until expended.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


               United States Code--Title 16--Conservation

                 Chapter 57A--Partnerships for Wildlife

Sec. 3744. Wildlife partnership program
    (a) In general--.The Secretary shall provide the amounts 
available in the Fund to designated State agencies on a 
matching basis to assist in carrying out wildlife conservation 
and appreciation projects that are eligible under subsection 
(b) of this section.
    (b) Eligible projects--.The following wildlife conservation 
and appreciation projects shall be eligible for matching funds 
from the Fund:
            (1) inventory of fish and wildlife species;
            (2) determination and monitoring of the size, range 
        and distribution of populations of fish and wildlife 
        species;
            (3) identification of the extent, condition, and 
        location of the significant habitats of fish and 
        wildlife species;
            (4) identification of the significant problems that 
        may adversely affect fish and wildlife species and 
        their significant habitats;
            (5) actions to conserve fish and wildlife species 
        and their habitats; and
            (6) actions of which the principal purpose is to 
        provide opportunities for the public to use and enjoy 
        fish and wildlife through nonconsumptive activities.
    (c) Project standards--.The Secretary shall not provide 
funding to carry out an eligible wildlife conservation and 
appreciation project unless the Secretary determines that such 
a project--
            (1) is planned adequately to accomplish the stated 
        objective or objectives;
            (2) utilizes accepted fish and wildlife management 
        principles, sound design and appropriate procedures;
            (3) will yield benefits pertinent to the identified 
        need at a level commensurate with project costs;
            (4) provides for the tracking of costs and 
        accomplishments related to the project;
            (5) provides for monitoring, evaluating, and 
        reporting of the accomplishment of project objectives; 
        and
            (6) complies with all applicable Federal 
        environmental laws and regulations.
    (d) Limitations on Federal payment--.The amount of 
appropriated Federal funds provided from the Fund by the 
Secretary to any designated State Agency with respect to any 
fiscal year to carry out an eligible wildlife conservation and 
appreciation project under this section--
            (1) may not exceed $250,000;
            (2) may not exceed one third of the total project 
        cost for that fiscal year;
            (3) may not exceed 40 percent of the total project 
        cost for that fiscal year if designated State agencies 
        from two or more States cooperate in implementing such 
        a project; and
            (4) may not be used to defray the administrative 
        cost of State programs.
    (e) Non-Federal share of projects--
            (1) State share--.Of the total cost each fiscal 
        year of each project carried out with amounts provided 
        by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section, 
        at least \1/3\ shall be paid with amounts from State, 
        non-Federal sources, except that if designated State 
        agencies from 2 or more States cooperate in 
        implementing such a project at least 30 percent shall 
        be paid with amounts from such State, non-Federal 
        sources. Payments required by this paragraph may not be 
        in the form of an in-kind contribution.
            (2) Private share--.Of the total cost each fiscal 
        year of each project carried out with amounts provided 
        by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section, 
        at least \1/3\ shall be paid with amounts from 
        voluntary contributions by private entities or persons, 
        except that if designated State agencies from 2 or more 
        States cooperate in implementing such a project, at 
        least 30 percent shall be paid from such sources. 
        Subject to the approval of the Secretary, such 
        contributions for a project may be in the form of, but 
        are not required to be limited to, private cash 
        donations, and the contribution of materials, 
        equipment, or services necessary for the project.
    (f) Eligibility of designated State agencies--.No 
designated State agency shall be eligible to receive matching 
funds from the Wildlife Conservation and Appreciation Fund if 
revenue derived from activities regulated by such an agency is 
diverted for any purpose other than the management and 
conservation of fish and wildlife. Such revenue shall include, 
but not be limited to, all income from the sale of hunting, 
fishing and trapping licenses; all income from nongame checkoff 
systems; all income from the sale of waterfowl, habitat 
conservation, and other stamps that are requisite for engaging 
in certain activities regulated by the designated State agency; 
all income from the sale of any commodities and products by the 
designated State agency from lands and waters administered by 
the State for fish and wildlife purposes; and all funds 
apportioned to the designated State agency under the Federal 
Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Programs.
    (g) Establishment of Fund--
            (1) The Secretary shall establish the Fund, which 
        shall consist of amounts deposited into the Fund by the 
        Secretary under paragraph (2) of this subsection.
            (2) The Secretary shall deposit into the Fund 
        amounts appropriated to the Secretary for deposit to 
        the Fund, of which not more than 4 percent shall be 
        available to the Secretary to defray the costs of 
        administering this chapter and evaluating wildlife 
        conservation and appreciation projects.
    (h) Authorization of appropriations--.There are authorized 
to be appropriated to the Fund and to the Secretary [for each 
of fiscal years 1992 through 1998 not to exceed $6,250,000] not 
to exceed $6,250,000 for each of fiscal years 1999 through 
2003.