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107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     107-35

======================================================================



 
                        WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT

                                _______
                                

 April 3, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 581]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 581) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior and the 
Secretary of Agriculture to use funds appropriated for wildland 
fire management in the Department of the Interior and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, to reimburse the United 
States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine 
Fisheries Service to facilitate the interagency cooperation 
required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 in connection 
with wildland fire management, having considered the same 
report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that 
the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 581 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to use funds 
appropriated for wildland fire management in the Department of 
Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2001, to 
reimburse the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the 
National Marine Fisheries Service to facilitate the interagency 
cooperation required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 
in connection with wildland fire management.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The fiscal year 2001 Interior and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act included unprecedented funding for a 
national wildland fire program in response to the devastating 
1999 and 2000 fire seasons. The $2.9 billion appropriated for 
the National Fire Plan, of which $1.6 billion was designated as 
emergency contingent funding, is to be used to reimburse funds 
borrowed for wildfire emergency suppression efforts, 
rehabilitate and restore damaged lands and waters, increase 
wildfire fighting readiness, enhance future emergency wildfire 
suppression, provide State and community assistance, and 
essential research and development.
    H.R. 581 is a technical fix requested by the U.S. Forest 
Service. The legislation would clarify that the Secretaries of 
Interior and Agriculture may transfer funds appropriated in the 
fiscal year 2001 Department of Interior and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and to 
the National Marine Fisheries Service for activities required 
under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act associated with 
fuel load reduction. It is the Committee's understanding that 
these funds will be used solely for specific Section 7 
consultation activities associated with fuel load reduction. 
This critical legislation is necessary as the Forest Service 
and the Department of Interior prepare for the upcoming 2001 
fire season.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 581 was introduced on February 13, 2001, by 
Congressman Joel Hefley (R-CO). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation, and Public Lands 
and the Subcommittee on Forests and Forests Health. On March 
22, 2001, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and 
Public Lands met to mark up the bill. No amendments were 
offered and the bill was forwarded to the Full Committee. On 
March 28, 2001, the Full Resources Committee met to consider 
the bill. The Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health was 
discharged from further consideration of the bill by unanimous 
consent. No amendments were offered and the bill was ordered 
favorably reported by unanimous consent to the House of 
Representatives.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of Rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of Rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that Rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax 
expenditures. According to the Congressional Budget Office, 
enactment of this bill will increase direct spending by $3 
million in Fiscal Year 2001 by causing the faster spending of 
funds already appropriated. The bill will decrease spending by 
the same amount in 2002.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of Rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of Rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, April 2, 2001.
Hon. James V. Hansen,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 581, a bill to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of 
Agriculture to use funds appropriated for wildland fire 
management in the Department of the Interior and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, to reimburse the United 
States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine 
Fisheries Service to facilitate the interagency cooperation 
required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 in connection 
with wildland fire management.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                         Barry B. Anderson,
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 581--A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior and the 
        Secretary of Agriculture to use funds appropriated for wildland 
        fire management in the Department of the Interior and Related 
        Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, to reimburse the United 
        States Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine 
        Fisheries Service to facilitate the interagency cooperation 
        required under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 in connection 
        with wildland fire management

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 581 would increase direct 
spending by $3 million in 2001 and decrease direct spending by 
the same amount in 2002. Because the bill would affect direct 
spending, pay-as-you-go procedures would apply. H.R. 581 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not 
affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    For 2001, the Congress appropriated a total of $2.8 billion 
for wildland fire programs administered by the Department of 
the Interior (DOI) and the Forest Service. Some of that funding 
was for projects to reduce hazardous fuels on federal lands. 
Before agencies may implement such projects, they must meet the 
requirements of various environmental laws, including the 
Endangered Species Act. Section 7 of that act requires the 
United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National 
Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to consult and confer with 
other federal agencies on projects that may affect endangered 
species. H.R. 581 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
and the Secretary of Agriculture to use existing funds to 
reimburse the FWS and the NMFS for costs incurred to review 
fire management plans.
    DOI has determined it already has authority to reimburse 
such costs under current law; thus, H.R. 581 would have no 
impact on that agency. According to the U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), however, under current law the Secretary of 
Agriculture does not have authority to reimburse such costs. 
Based on information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates 
that enacting H.R. 581 would authorize USDA to reimburse FWS 
and NMFS for $11 million in 2001. Furthermore, we estimate that 
without the authority provided by H.R. 581, the Forest Service 
would spend $8 million in 2001 and $3 million in 2002 on 
analyses that it is authorized to perform under current law. 
CBO estimates that, by causing faster spending of funds already 
appropriated, enacting H.R. 581 would increase direct spending 
by $3 million in 2001, and reduce it by the same amount in 
2002.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    This bill makes no changes in existing law.