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                                                       Calendar No. 246
108th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    108-121
======================================================================



 
                HEALTHY FORESTS RESTORATION ACT OF 2003

                                _______
                                

    July 31 (legislative day, July 21), 2003.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mr. Cochran, from the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and 
                   Forestry, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1904]

    The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 
reports H.R. 1904 as amended to improve the capacity of the 
Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to 
plan and conduct hazardous fuels reduction projects on National 
Forest System lands and Bureau of Land Management lands aimed 
at protecting communities, watersheds, and certain other at-
risk lands from catastrophic wildfire, to enhance efforts to 
protect watersheds and address threats to forest and rangeland 
health, including catastrophic wildfire, across the landscape, 
and for other purposes, having considered the same, recommends 
that the bill do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
  I. Introduction and summary.........................................2
 II. Purpose, need and background.....................................2
III. Section-by-section analysis......................................6
 IV. Legislative history and votes in the Committee..................18
  V. Regulatory impact statement.....................................22
 VI. Budgetary impact of the bill....................................23
VII. Minority views..................................................26
VIII.Changes in existing law.........................................31


                      I. Introduction and Summary

    H.R. 1904, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, as 
reported by the Senate Agriculture Committee, empowers the 
Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to expedite 
projects that are designed to reduce hazardous fuels buildups 
and restore healthy forest conditions on federal forest lands. 
Such projects will help to protect communities and watersheds 
from catastrophic wildfire. The legislation also contains a 
number of judicial review provisions designed to expedite legal 
proceedings governing federal agency efforts to deal with the 
forest crisis.
    The legislation also promotes a variety of other efforts 
designed to safeguard watersheds and address threats to forest 
and range land health, such as wildfire and insect infestation. 
Such provisions include those that: (1) promote the utilization 
of biomass that is removed as a by-product of forest 
restoration activities, including research, technology 
transfer, and rural economic development; (2) provide forestry 
assistance to state, private and tribal forest landowners to 
improve and restore healthy watershed conditions; (3) 
facilitate research assessments on large-scale treatments to 
reduce insect infestations and improve forest health; (4) 
provide for entering into voluntary agreements with private 
landowners for the management of their forests to encourage the 
recovery of threatened and endangered species; (5) establish a 
Public Land Corps to provide youth employment and skill 
development in the implementation of forest restoration 
projects; (6) establish a program to provide scientific 
technology transfer and grants to assist rural, resource-
dependent communities attract investment in small enterprises 
that diversify their economies and utilize the by-products of 
forest restoration activities; and (7) improve information 
about, and assessment of, emerging forest health problems, 
address invasive plant pests, and promote research on the 
management of upland hardwood forests in the southeastern U.S.

                    II. Purpose, Need and Background


                                PURPOSE

    The purposes of H.R. 1904, the Healthy Forests Restoration 
Act of 2003, are to: (1) empower the Secretaries of Agriculture 
and the Interior to expedite projects designed to reduce 
hazardous fuels buildups and restore healthy forest conditions 
on federal forest lands so as to protect communities and 
watersheds from catastrophic wildfire; and (2) promote other 
efforts that safeguard watersheds and address threats to forest 
and range land health, such as wildfire and insect infestation. 
The judicial review provisions of the legislation are designed 
to expedite legal proceedings governing federal agency efforts 
to deal with the forest crisis.
    Other provisions of the legislation are designed to: (1) 
promote the utilization of biomass that is removed as a by-
product of forest restoration activities, including research, 
technology transfer, and rural economic development; (2) 
provide forestry assistance to state, private and tribal forest 
landowners to improve and restore healthy watershed conditions; 
(3) facilitate research assessments on large-scale treatments 
to reduce insect infestations and improve forest health; (4) 
provide for entering into voluntary agreements with private 
landowners for the management of their forests to encourage the 
recovery of threatened and endangered species; (5) establish a 
Public Land Corps to provide youth employment and skill 
development in the implementation of forest restoration 
projects; (6) establish a program to provide scientific 
technology transfer and grants to assist rural, resource-
dependent communities attract investment in small enterprises 
that diversify their economies and utilize the by-products of 
forest restoration activities; and (7) improve information 
about, and assessment of, emerging forest health problems, 
address invasive plant pests, and promote research on the 
management of upland hardwood forests in the southeastern U.S.

                               BACKGROUND

    Federal land managers estimate that over 100 million acres 
of Federal forest lands are at unnaturally high risk of 
catastrophic wildfires and large-scale insect and disease 
outbreaks because of unhealthy forest conditions. The wildfire 
seasons of 2000 and 2002 were among the most destructive in the 
last half-century. In 2002 alone, more than 7.2 million acres 
burned--more than twice the 10-year average. These fires 
resulted in the deaths of 23 firefighters, drove tens of 
thousands of people from their homes, and destroyed 2000 
buildings. Over the last decade, fire-related deaths have been 
increasing and on average are now 17 per year. In a 1995 survey 
of wildland fire fighters, the number one action these fire 
fighters recommended was mechanical removal of fuels to 
increase their margins of safety. In 2002, Oregon, Arizona, and 
Colorado experienced the largest wildfires in their respective 
histories, causing damage to air quality, water quality, and 
wildlife habitat in these states and beyond.
    The 2003 fire season continues the trend of the last 
several years. By the end of July, hundreds of homes and other 
structures have been destroyed and 12 firefighters' lives have 
been lost.
    While the immediate cause of the wildfire situation is the 
long-term drought conditions that exist in the Western U.S., 
the underlying cause has been the buildup of forest fuels that 
has taken place over the last century. In many forest areas 
where, in the past, there were 100 trees per acre or fewer in 
open park-like stands, there are now dense stands of a thousand 
trees or more. All those trees compete for limited amounts of 
water and nutrients and are at increased risk to insects, 
disease and unnaturally intense wildfires.
    In spite of the billions of dollars that have been spent 
fighting wildfires over the last several years, federal 
agencies have been frustrated in their efforts to reduce the 
intensity and destructiveness of wildfires by thinning 
overcrowded stands and using controlled burning to reduce 
forest fuels. The Forest Service believes that its efforts to 
carry out time sensitive projects have been bogged down by 
legally mandated administrative process requirements that have 
delayed critical fuels reduction projects. In its June 2002 
report, PROCESS PREDICAMENT: How Statutory, Regulatory and 
Administrative Factors Affect National Forest Management, the 
Forest Service documents how requirements for detailed 
documentation, administrative appeals of proposed forest 
treatment projects, lawsuits and injunctions have all delayed 
needed projects and made it difficult for federal land 
management agencies to carry out necessary forest restoration 
and fuels treatments.
    It is not only communities and homes that are at risk--key 
watersheds and critical wildlife habitats are being damaged and 
destroyed. In 1996, the 12,000-acre Buffalo Creek Fire in 
Colorado damaged a portion of the watershed serving the city of 
Denver. Although only a small fraction of the watershed was 
burned, tens of thousands of tons of sediment washed into 
Strontia Springs Reservoir, damaging Denver's main water supply 
system and costing the city millions of dollars to repair. To 
reduce the risk of future damaging wildfires in this sensitive 
Denver watershed, the Forest Service planned a number of fuels 
treatment and forest restoration projects. A business process 
analysis of one of these projects, the Upper South Platt 
Watershed Restoration and Protection Project, identified that 
over 800 administrative activities are involved in preparing a 
legally defensible fuels treatment project that includes sale 
of commercial timber. Implementation of this project was later 
delayed due to an administrative appeal. Unfortunately, before 
this project could be implemented, in 2002 the 137,000-acre 
Hayman Fire, the largest and the most destructive wildfire in 
Colorado history, burned one-third of the project area.
    The National Academy of Public Administration, in its 2002 
report, WILDFIRE SUPPRESSION: Strategies for Containing Costs, 
(p. 34) said:

          Delays in creating or amending [Land Management Plans 
        (LMPs) and Fire Management Plans (FMPs)] result from 
        the need to use long, detailed and costly planning 
        processes that comply with diverse environmental and 
        other laws and regulations, allow for long public 
        review periods, and are subject to administrative and 
        judicial appeals.
          Due to these demanding procedures for planning and 
        environmental clearances, it may take several years to 
        prepare the required analyses for complex or 
        controversial fuels treatment projects, particularly 
        those involving projects that rely on commercial timber 
        sale authority. Federal agencies may be faced with 
        having projects tied up with appeals and litigation for 
        a prolonged period. Consequently, federal land units 
        often back away from critical plans and projects, 
        rather than risk scarce time and money in an effort 
        that may stretch out so long, or may never be approved.

    Where damaging wildfires have occurred and moved into areas 
where thinning and fuel treatments have taken place, the 
results have often shown how dramatically forest treatments can 
change the behavior of destructive wildfires. In an increasing 
number of cases, when wildfires have entered treated stands, 
destructive and intense crown fires have been stopped dead in 
their tracks or the fire dropped from the tree crowns to become 
a much less destructive and more easily controlled ground fire.
    Many communities and outside groups are calling for action 
to expedite fuels treatment on federal lands. The Western 
Governors Association has been a major catalyst for action, as 
have the leaders of communities at risk. In spite of such calls 
for action, wildfires are currently damaging far more land 
annually than federal agencies are treating.
    While America's forest health crisis is often cast as a 
phenomenon unique to western forest lands--based largely on the 
high profile of western wildfires--it is not limited to the 
West. Major pest and pathogen outbreaks are also degrading 
forest ecosystems in other parts of the country. In Arkansas 
and Missouri, for example, a recent unprecedented outbreak of 
Red oak borer has infected 800,000 acres of Federal and non-
Federal forest lands. This is not an isolated event. This 
legislation would address forest health issues in the eastern 
U.S., as well.

                      NEED FOR LEGISLATIVE ACTION

    The primary purposes of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act 
of 2003 are to provide federal land managers with the ability 
to streamline government procedures and move rapidly to use 
scientifically supported fuels treatment and restoration 
methods on federal forests, while also establishing new 
conservation programs to improve water quality and restore 
healthy conditions on private forest lands. Time and resources 
are directed toward improving a forest area's health by making 
public and community participation more focused on treatment of 
insect-infested forests and reduction of unnatural, highly 
combustible overgrowth.
    When federal agencies propose hazardous fuels reductions 
projects designed to thin forests or carry out prescribed 
burning activities, such projects can be delayed for extended 
periods by requirements for detailed documentation, 
administrative appeals and lawsuits. The legislation contains 
several provisions dealing with judicial review of federal 
hazardous fuels treatment projects. These include: (1) the 
legislation would require a lawsuit challenging a fuels 
reduction project to be filed within 15 days of the final 
notice of decision on the project (only the six year statute of 
limitations currently applies to the filing of such a suit); 
(2) it would require preliminary injunctions granted by a 
federal court against a fuels reduction project be reevaluated 
every 45 days; (3) it admonishes, in non-binding terms, federal 
courts considering a legal challenge to a hazardous fuels 
reduction project to issue a decision on the merits within 100 
days; (4) it directs federal courts, when considering a 
challenge to hazardous fuels reduction projects, to balance the 
long-term environmental consequences associated with management 
inaction (i.e. doing nothing when the threat of wildfire or 
insect infestation looms), against the effects of the project 
in the short term, and finally; (5) it directs the courts to 
give ``weight'' to the Forest Service's and BLM's scientific 
determinations when balancing the ``harms'' of implementing a 
project with the ``harms'' of doing nothing.
    The legislation provides land managers with additional and 
important tools to maintain and preserve forest and rangeland 
health. Through this legislation, land managers will now have 
an improved ability to sustain healthy conditions in America's 
forests while protecting both life and property.
    In addition to the provisions designed to expedite 
hazardous fuels projects, other provisions include those that:
           Establish biomass grant programs to promote 
        research and development for the energy and other 
        commercial use of vegetative overgrowth and brush 
        discarded during treatment;
           Provide financial and technical support to 
        Indian Tribes and private forest landowners for 
        watershed quality protection;
           Authorize funding for systematic 
        information-gathering on destructive insects causing 
        large-scale forest damage;
           Support a private forestland conservation 
        initiative to restore declining forests critical to the 
        recovery of threatened, endangered and other sensitive 
        species;
           Establish a Public Land Corps of young 
        people for rehabilitation and enhancement projects in 
        forest communities; and
           Assist forest communities by promoting 
        investment in small forest products businesses and 
        local development.

                    III. Section-by-Section Anaylsis


Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents

    Gives the Act a short title of ``Healthy Forests 
Restoration Act of 2003.'' Lists table of contents.

Sec. 2. Purpose

    Lists the purposes of this Act, including: to reduce the 
risks of damage to communities, municipal water supplies and 
federal lands from catastrophic wildfire; to authorize grant 
programs to improve the commercial value of forest biomass; to 
enhance efforts to protect watersheds and address threats to 
forest and rangeland health; to promote systematic information 
gathering to address the impacts of insect infestation on 
forest and rangeland health; to improve the capacity to detect 
insect and disease infestations at an early stage; and to 
benefit threatened and endangered species, improve biological 
diversity and enhance carbon sequestration.

Sec. 3. Definitions

    Defines the terms: federal land, Indian tribe.

           TITLE I--HAZARDOUS FUELS REDUCTION ON FEDERAL LAND

Sec. 101. Definitions

    Defines the terms: authorized hazardous fuels reduction 
project, condition class 2, condition class 3, day, decision 
document, federal land, hazardous fuels, hazardous fuels 
reduction project, implementation plan, interface community, 
intermix community, municipal water supply system, resource 
management plan, Secretary, threatened and endangered species 
habitat.
    Paragraph (1) defines the term ``authorized hazardous fuels 
reduction project'' to mean those hazardous fuels reduction 
projects on Federal land described in section 102(a) that are 
conducted in accordance with the sections 103 and 104. 
Authorized hazardous fuels reduction projects conducted under 
section 104 are those for which the Secretary is required under 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to prepare an 
Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS). Hazardous fuel reduction projects that are categorically 
excluded from documentation in an EA or EIS are carriedout 
under authority other than this Act and are not subject to the process 
authorized in section 104.
    Paragraph (7) defines the term ``hazardous fuels reduction 
project'' to mean the measures and methods described in the 
definition of ``appropriate tools'' in the Implementation Plan. 
The term ``Implementation Plan'' is defined in paragraph (8) to 
mean the Implementation Plan for the 10-year Comprehensive 
Strategy for a Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland 
Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment (including any 
subsequent revision to the Plan). Accordingly, the Committee 
intends the definition of ``appropriate tools'' in the Plan to 
refer to the definition as it may be subsequently revised.
    Where reference is given in this and other sections of the 
bill to existing documents and the notation is made ``including 
any subsequent revision'' this includes revisions subsequent to 
enactment of this act.
    The Committee intends that the source watersheds referred 
to in the definition of municipal water supply system include 
groundwater aquifers that may be adversely affected by 
unnaturally intense wildfire events. By January 2004, the 
Committee requests the Secretary of Agriculture to inform the 
Senate Agriculture Committee as to the federal, state and local 
efforts to manage and protect municipal water supply systems on 
National Forest System (NFS) lands. This report should discuss 
the extent of municipal water supply systems on National Forest 
System lands (as defined in this legislation or other 
appropriate definition), their current status and trends and 
the threats that exist to meeting current and anticipated 
demands for high quality water from NFS lands.

Sec. 102. Authorized hazardous fuels reduction projects

    Allows for authorized hazardous fuels reduction projects on 
federal lands that: (1) are located in an interface or intermix 
community, (2) are located in proximity to such communities, 
(3) are condition class 3 or 2 and located in proximity to a 
municipal watershed or water supply, (4) are condition class 3 
or 2 and have been identified as an area where windthrow, 
blowdown, ice storm damage, the existence or threat of disease 
or insect infestation poses a threat to forest or rangeland 
health, or (5) contain threatened and endangered species.
    Requires projects to be planned and conducted in a manner 
consistent with land and resource management plans or an 
applicable land use plan. Limits the acreage available for 
authorized hazardous fuels reduction projects to 20,000,000 
acres. Prohibits the Secretary concerned from conducting an 
authorized hazardous fuels reduction project on the following 
federal lands: a component of the National Wilderness 
Preservation System, federal lands where the removal of 
vegetation is prohibited or restricted by a Congress or a 
presidential proclamation, or wilderness study areas.
    As discussed in the hearing on June 26, 2003, the Committee 
notes that extensive areas of federal land are currently 
damaged or threatened by disease or insect infestations. The 
Committee expects the Secretary of Agriculture to expeditiously 
classify appropriate federal lands that have been affected by 
windthrow, blowdown, ice storm damage, the existence of threat 
of disease, or insect infestation as condition class 3 or 
condition class 2 federal land.

Sec. 103. Prioritization for communities and watersheds

    Gives priority to authorized hazardous fuel reduction 
projects which provide for protection of communities and 
watersheds.

Sec. 104. Environmental analysis

    Subsection (a) provides that, except as provided in this 
title, the Secretary shall conduct an authorized hazardous fuel 
reduction project in accordance with the NEPA and other 
applicable laws. The Secretary is required to prepare an EA or 
an EIS for an authorized hazardous fuel reduction project. 
Subsection (b) relieves the Secretary from the requirement in 
section 102(2) of NEPA to develop a range of alternatives to a 
proposed authorized hazardous fuel reduction project in an EA 
or EIS.
    Encourages the public participation requirements set out in 
the Western Governors Association 10-year wildfire management 
strategy for use in conducting hazardous fuels reduction 
projects. Section 105(c)(1) requires the Secretary to provide 
notice of each hazardous fuel reduction project in accordance 
with applicable regulations and administrative guidelines. The 
Committee intends that the requirement for notice and comment 
in section 105(b)(2) would also satisfy the notice requirement 
in section 104(c)(1). Section 104(c)(2) requires the Secretary 
to conduct a meeting during the preparation stage of an 
authorized hazardous fuel reduction project. This provision 
provides the Secretary with the flexibility to hold the meeting 
at any time during the preparation stage of an authorized 
hazardous fuel reduction project, including holding the meeting 
during the public comment period.
    Requires the Secretary concerned to monitor the 
implementation of authorized hazardous fuels reduction project.

Sec. 105. Special forest service administrative review process

    Directs the Secretary to issue final regulations to 
establish an administrative review process for proposed 
hazardous fuel reduction projects within 90 days of enactment 
of this Act. Section 105 provides the Secretary with broad 
discretion to establish the appropriate administrative review 
process. Section 105(b)(1) limits eligibility to participate in 
the process to persons who have submitted specific and 
substantive written comments during the notice and comment 
stage of the project. Section 105(b)(2) requires the Secretary 
to ensure that, during the preparation stage of an authorized 
hazardous reduction project, notice and comment is provided in 
a manner sufficient to meet the eligibility requirement. The 
Committee recognizes that the process may be a pre-decisional 
process similar to the Bureau of Land Management protest 
process.

Sec. 106. Special requirements regarding judicial review of authorized 
        hazardous fuels reduction projects

    Establishes a time limit for filing a challenge to an 
authorized hazardous fuels reduction project to 15 days within 
notice of the final agency action. Limits the duration of any 
preliminary injunction granted on an authorized project to 45 
days, subject to renewal. Admonishes (in non-binding terms) a 
court in which an action or an appeal is filed to render a 
final determination within 100 days of when the complaint or 
appeal is filed.

Sec. 107. Standard for injunctive relief for agency action to restore 
        fire-adapted forest or rangeland ecosystems

    Directs the court, in considering a request for injunctive 
relief, to consider the public interest in avoiding long-term 
harm to the ecosystem. Directs the court to give weight to any 
agency finding that the balance of harm and the public interest 
in avoiding the short-term effects of the agency action is 
outweighed by the public interest in avoiding long-term harm to 
the ecosystem, unless the court finds that the decision by the 
agency was arbitrary and capricious.

Sec. 108. Effect of title

    Clarifies that nothing in this title shall be construed to 
affect or limit the use of other authorities by the Secretary 
concerned to plan or conduct a hazardous fuels reduction 
project on federal lands.

                           TITLE II--BIOMASS

Sec. 201. Findings

    Lists Congressional findings as to the need for forest 
management activities to be conducted, including the removal of 
biomass.

Sec. 202. Definitions

    Defines the terms: biomass, Indian tribe, person, preferred 
community, and Secretary.

Sec. 203. Grants to improve the commercial value of forest biomass for 
        electric energy, useful heat, transportation fuels, compost, 
        value-added products, and petroleum-based product substitutes

    Establishes a biomass commercial use grant program to 
extend assistance to any person who owns or operates a facility 
that uses biomass as a raw material to produce energy or for 
other commercial purposes. Establishes a value-added grant 
program to extend assistance to persons to offset the cost of 
projects to add value to biomass. Authorizes $25 million for 
each of the fiscal years 2004 through 2008.

Sec. 204. Reporting requirement

    Requires the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with 
the Secretary of Interior, to submit a report describing the 
results of the grant programs by October 1, 2010 to: the House 
Agriculture Committee; Resources Committee; Senate Agriculture 
Committee; and the Senate Energy and Natural Resources 
Committee.

Sec. 205. Improved Biomass Use Research Program

    Amends the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000 to 
expand some research from its current form to a more applied 
form by developing new tools for land managers; amends the 
Biomass Research and Development Act to provide an additional 
$5 million in each fiscal year to carry out this section.
    It is intended that the Forest Service will conduct this 
research in cooperation with colleges, universities (including 
forestry schools, land grant colleges, and universities, and 
1890 institutions), state agencies and private landowners.

Sec. 206. Rural revitalization through forestry

    Amends the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act 
of 1990 by enabling the Secretary of Agriculture, in 
consultation with other entities, to (A) accelerate adoption of 
biomass technologies, (B) create community-based enterprises, 
and (C) establish small-scale business enterprises to make use 
of biomass. Also authorizes $5 million for each fiscal year to 
carry out this section.
    The Committee intends that the requirements of this section 
can be integrated with the requirements of Title VII.

                TITLE III--WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE

Sec. 301. Findings and purposes

    Lists Congressional findings relating to the need for 
protection of watershed health in forest management practices 
and describes the purpose of this title.

Sec. 302. Watershed Forestry Assistance Program

    Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Forest 
Service, to provide technical, financial and related assistance 
to private forest landowners through State foresters and 
equivalent state officials. Focuses assistance on expanding 
state forest stewardship capacities and activities through best 
management practices to improve watershed health. Includes a 
technical assistance program to protect water quality and a 
watershed cost-share program.
    Directs the Secretary to make awards under the cost-share 
program to communities, non-profit groups and non-industrial 
private forest landowners for watershed forestry projects. 
Authorizes $15 million for each of the fiscal years 2004 
through 2008. The Federal share of the cost-share program 
provided in this section may not exceed 90 percent of the total 
cost of the watershed forestry project.

Sec. 303. Tribal watershed forestry assistance

    Authorizes the Secretary, acting through the Forest 
Service, to provide technical, financial and related assistance 
to Indian tribes. Focuses assistance on expanding tribal 
stewardship capacities and activities through tribal forestry 
best management practices to improve watershed health. Includes 
a technical assistance program to protect water quality and a 
watershed cost-share program. Authorizes $2.5 million for each 
of thefiscal years 2004 through 2008. Directs the Secretary to 
devote at least 75 percent of the funds appropriated in a fiscal year 
to the cost-share component.
    In implementing subsection (c), the Forest Service is 
encouraged to work directly with the Intertribal Timber Council 
to determine priority areas and other considerations to assist 
in allocating funds to tribes.

                     TITLE IV--INSECT INFESTATIONS

Sec. 401. Findings and purpose

    Lists Congressional findings as to insect infestation, 
resulting damage and need for assessment and treatment and 
states the purposes of this title.

Sec. 402. Definitions

    Defines the terms: Applied silivicultural assessment, 1890 
institution, Federal land, and Secretary. The Committee 
understands that the term ``applied silvicultural assessment'' 
means any vegetative or other treatment carried out for 
information gathering or research purposes under sections 403 
or 404.

Sec. 403. Accelerated information gathering regarding forest-damaging 
        insects

    Directs the Department of Agriculture, acting through the 
Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey, to conduct an 
accelerated program to plan, conduct, and promote systematic 
information gathering on certain insect pests that have caused 
large-scale damage to forest ecosystems. Directs the Secretary 
to assist land managers in the development of treatments and 
strategies to improve forest health and reduce the 
susceptibility of forest ecosystems to future infestations. 
Directs the Secretary to disseminate the results of such 
information gathering, treatments and strategies. Directs the 
Secretary to establish and carry out the program in cooperation 
with scientists from universities and forestry schools, state 
agencies and private and industrial landowners.

Sec. 404. Applied silvicultural assessments

    Enables the Secretary concerned to conduct applied 
silvicultural assessments on federal lands that the Secretary 
determines are at risk. Requires the Secretary to provide 
notice and public comment on each proposed silvicultural 
assessment.
    The information gathering under Sec. 404(a) may be tied to 
the implementation of specific research treatments to deal with 
insect infestations. The Committee understands that it is 
possible that some of the treatments carried out under this 
section may combine various stocking reduction levels (done 
through tree removals) with applications of pheromones (which 
are insect attractants, not killing insecticides) in an attempt 
to markedly reduce insect damage.
    Creates a categorical exclusion for areas 1,000 acres or 
less from documentation under NEPA which eliminates the 
Secretary's responsibility to make any findings as to whether 
the project has a significant effect on the environment. Areas 
covered by a categorical exclusion under this section that use 
similar treatment methods cannot be located adjacent to one 
another. Caps the total area of land that can be categorically 
excluded under this section at 250,000 acres. Requires proposed 
assessments to undergo peer review in their design.
    The Committee understands that establishing a research 
study under Sec. 404(d) to provide answers to research and 
management questions requires that the study area have various 
components which may include: (a) the appropriate number of 
experimental treatments, (b) the appropriate number of 
replications of each treatment, and (c) conditions needed to 
carry out the experiment (e.g. stand density, stand structure 
etc.). These treatments must be randomized. Therefore, the 
selection of a study area will be dictated by such concerns as 
finding an area of sufficient size, with conditions needed for 
studying the effects of insect attacks. In the case of some 
bark beetle species, this would likely mean finding an area of 
dense stands with evidence of recent or ongoing bark beetle 
activity. These treatments do not necessarily have to be 
located all in one place.
    The Committee encourages the Secretary to carry out the 
silvicultural assessments called for in this section in 
cooperation and collaboration with universities and forestry 
schools.

Sec. 405. Relation to other laws

    Clarifies that the authorities provided to the Secretary 
concerned in this title are supplemental to authorities 
provided in any other law.

Sec. 406. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes the appropriation of such sums as may be 
necessary to carry out this title in fiscal years 2004 through 
2008.

                TITLE V--HEALTHY FORESTS RESERVE PROGRAM

Sec. 501. Establishment of Healthy Forests Reserve Program

    Establishes a Healthy Forests Reserve Program administered 
by the Secretary of Agriculture in coordination with the 
Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to 
restore degraded forest lands and to promote the recovery of 
endangered species.
    In implementing this title, it is intended that the Forest 
Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and 
appropriate agencies of the Departments of the Interior and 
Commerce work together to capitalize on their areas of strength 
and expertise.

Sec. 502. Eligibility and enrollment of lands in program

    Directs the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with 
the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce, to designate 
forest ecosystems to be eligible for the reserve program. 
Allows lands to be enrolled pursuant to a 10-year cost-share 
agreement, a 30-year agreement or a long-term easement with a 
landowner buyback option.

Sec. 503. Restoration plans

    Requires participating landowners to develop a restoration 
plan with the USDA describing the land use activities to be 
permitted on enrolled lands.

Sec. 504. Financial assistance

    Sets forth the payment structure for 10-year, 30-year and 
long-term enrollment options as well as the procedure to 
exercise a landowner choice option in the case of a long-term 
easement.

Sec. 505. Technical assistance

    Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to provide landowners 
with the technical assistance necessary to comply with the 
terms of agreements and easements created in this program.
    The Forest Service is encouraged to work through State 
Foresters to provide forestry technical assistance under this 
section.
    Section 505(b) permits the Secretary to utilize technical 
service providers to deliver technical assistance to 
landowners. It is not the intent of this subsection to limit 
the Secretary's authority to also work in cooperation with 
state forestry or state fish and wildlife agencies, or 
equivalent state agencies, to provide technical assistance and 
to fully reimburse states for that assistance under existing 
legal authorities.

Sec. 506. Protections and measures

    Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to make available safe 
harbor assurances under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act 
to participating landowners when such enrollment will result in 
a net conservation benefit for listed species and provides for 
cost sharing assistance to landowners to do so.

Sec. 507. Involvement by other agencies and organizations

    Enables the Secretary of Agriculture to consult with other 
individuals and entities regarding the development and 
implementation of the healthy forest reserve program.

Sec. 508. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes $15 million for each of the fiscal years 2004 
through 2008.

                      TITLE VI--PUBLIC LAND CORPS

Sec. 601. Purposes

    Lists the purposes of this title, including: to carry out 
rehabilitation, enhancement, and beautification projects; to 
offer young people the opportunity to gain work experience; to 
give those young people the opportunity to serve their 
communities and country; and to expand educational 
opportunities of participants.

Sec. 602. Definitions

    Defines the terms: Alaska native corporation, corps, 
Hawaiian home lands, Indian lands, Secretaries, service and 
conservation corps, State.

Sec. 603. Public Land Corps

    Establishes the Public Land Corps and names its 
participants as individuals who are enrolled as members of a 
service or conservation group. Enables the Secretaries to enter 
into contracts or agreements with any service or conservation 
corps, or with State agencies, to perform rehabilitation, 
enhancement, or beautification projects, as well as to provide 
technical assistance.
    This provides broad authorization for the Secretaries of 
the Interior and Agriculture to utilize service and a 
conservation corps established by a state and local government, 
Indian Tribe, Alaska Native Village or Alaska Native 
Corporation, or nonprofit organization to complete hazardous 
fuels rehabilitation and beautification projects on federal 
lands. These projects may also be carried out on Indian lands, 
Hawaiian home lands, Alaska native lands, or state lands 
including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto 
Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the 
Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Palau, and 
the U.S. Virgin Islands.
    The section provides a preference for projects that provide 
long-term benefits to reduce hazardous fuels and that will 
instill corps members with: a work ethic; a sense of personal 
responsibility; and a sense of public service. The project is 
also labor intensive and can be planned and initiated promptly.
    The section directs the Secretaries to provide such 
assistance as they may consider necessary to carry out its 
requirements, including coordination and technical coordination 
with outside groups to oversee, monitor, and evaluate the 
implementation of the projects.

Sec. 604. Nondisplacement

    Establishes that the nondisplacement requirements of the 
National and Community Service Act of 1990 apply to this title.

Sec. 605. Authorization of appropriations

    Authorizes $15 million for each of the fiscal years 2004 
through 2008.

         TITLE VII--RURAL COMMUNITY FORESTRY ENTERPRISE PROGRAM

Sec. 701. Purpose

    Lists the purpose of this title: to revitalize rural 
forest-resource dependent communities by promoting investment 
in private enterprise through incentives by specified 
government agencies.
    It is intended that this title be administered in close 
coordination with the Rural Revitalization through Forestry 
program authorized at the Technology Marketing Unit at the 
Forest Products Laboratory in Section 206 of Title II. 
Opportunities to develop and share expertise among the Forest 
Enterprise Centers and the Technology Marketing Unit should be 
a high priority to ensure that these programs are coordinated 
and not duplicative of one another.

Sec. 702. Definitions

    Defines the terms: 1890 institution, eligible entity, 
eligible project, forest products, nonprofit organization, 
program, small forest products business, rural forest resource-
dependent community, Secretary.
    In Section 702(3)(A), ``responsible forest stewardship'' 
includes the establishment of forests in rural grassland-
dominated communities attempting to diversify their economies 
through the development of forests and forest products 
businesses.
    In Section 702(4)(G) the intent is to include what are 
often referred to as ``special forest products'', ``non-timber 
forest products'', and ``non-traditional forest products'' to 
allow for the widest range of business opportunities based on a 
broad range of products derived from forests.
    In Section 702(8)(B) the intent is not to limit the program 
to the areas listed.

Sec. 703. Rural Community Forestry Enterprise Program

    Establishes the Rural Community Forestry Enterprise Program 
through the office of the Secretary, coordinating with other 
entities. The purposes of this program are to enhance necessary 
skills and establish organizations to promote forest-related 
products and activities. Instructs the Secretary to establish 
one Forest Enterprise Center at each research station of the 
Forest Service to assist this program, as well as to provide 
technical assistance and a grant program.
    The Committee understands that Enterprise Centers are a 
cooperative function of the State and Private Forestry and 
Research branches of the Forest Service. Housing the facilities 
at Research laboratories would involve a cooperative effort 
that includes the active participation of the Research and 
Development, State and Private Forestry, and National Forest 
System branches of the agency working together to develop and 
deliver the most effective and integrated program possible. 
There is logic to housing the centers at research laboratories 
in that it enhances the opportunity for timely technology 
transfer of new research information. But it is not the intent 
of this section to require that centers be physically located 
at a forest science laboratory. The center may be located in a 
nearby federal facility or leased space, as appropriate.
    Authorizes $15 million for each of the fiscal years 2004 
through 2008.

                  TITLE VIII--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 801. Forest inventory and management

    This section amends the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act 
of 1978 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out 
a comprehensive program to inventory, monitor, characterize, 
assess and identify forest stands on National Forest System and 
private lands, with an emphasis on hardwood forest types.
    This section is intended to complement existing Forest 
Service inventory and analysis and forest health detection 
programs not to replace them. The Committee recognizes that the 
application of remote sensing technologies will vary with the 
scale of the issue being addressed.
    The Committee notes that the Institute of Technology 
Development at the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration's Stennis Space Center, along with the 
Mississippi State University GeoResources Institute, have the 
technical capabilities to utilize geospatial and information 
management technologies (including remote sensing and decision 
support systems) that would benefit the Secretary's ability to 
inventory, monitor, characterize, assess, and identify forest 
stands (and potential forest stands) in the southern and 
eastern portions of the United States. In carrying out this 
program in such areas, the Committee urges the Secretary to 
partner with entities such as these in order to take full 
advantage of remote sensing technology, emerging geospatial 
capabilities in research activities, validating techniques 
using application demonstrations, and integrating results into 
pilot operational systems.
    The language of Sec. 17(a)(2) is not intended to require 
private land owner consent to collect and analyze data 
collected by various remote sensing technologies. Any ground 
checking of such information on privately owned land would, 
however, require land owner permission.
    The Committee finds that developing a comprehensive early 
warning system for potential catastrophic environmental threats 
to U.S. forests would significantly increase the likelihood 
that forest managers could isolate and treat any such outbreak 
before it gets out of control. Such a system might conceivably 
help to identify in its early stages epidemics, like that of 
the American chestnut blight in the first half of the twentieth 
century, which could be environmentally and economically 
devastating to forests in the United States.

Sec. 802. Program for emergency treatment and reduction of nonnative 
        invasive plants

    Establishes a program through the Secretary to reduce 
nonnative invasive plants, posing a threat of wildfire, through 
hazardous fuels reduction projects by issuing grants to 
qualifying participants.
    The Committee has become increasingly concerned by the 
proliferation of nonnative invasive trees, shrubs, and vines 
that are degrading the forests of America. In the South, 
invasive species, such as kudzu, choke both public and private 
forest lands and are out-competing native flora. In the West, 
Salt Cedar, Russian Olive, and other woody plants are over-
running stream and river banks, destroying the native 
ecosystem, and utilizing critical water resources that are 
needed for human water supplies, as well as water needed for 
wildlife and fishery. In many instances, these invasive species 
increase the risk of catastrophic wildfires both within the 
wildland urban interface, as well as within our public and 
federal forests, such as the fires that burned within the city 
limits of Albuquerque, New Mexico during 2003.
    This section directs the Secretaries of the Interior and 
Agriculture to work with state and local government, Indian 
Tribes, and private landowners to treat or eradicate these 
invasive species that increase the risk to property, human 
life, or the ecological stability of an area. It authorizes the 
Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to remove plants 
within the wildland urban interface, municipal watersheds, and 
along waterways. It authorizes the Secretaries to fund projects 
to remove outdated erosion control structures that make 
eradication work difficult, or impossible, to complete, such as 
the outdated erosion control devises along the Rio Grande River 
in the State of New Mexico from the Cochiti Dam on the Rio 
Grande River to the headwaters of Elephant Butte Dam on the Rio 
Grande River in New Mexico.
    The Committee is concerned by the invasion of Salt Cedar 
and Russian Olive Trees along the Rio Grande River and expects 
the Secretaries to give priority to completion of the Middle 
Rio Grande Bosque Initiative, located along portions of the Rio 
Grande River from Cochiti Dam to the headwaters of Elephant 
Butte Dam, in the State of New Mexico under this authority.
    Another invasive species of concern to the Committee is the 
exotic vine, kudzu (Pueraia montana), that has taken over and 
smothered large areas of forestland in the southeastern U.S. 
There are many other invasive plants of concern, including 
Cogongrass (Imprata cylindrica), Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus 
umbellata), Tallowtree (Triadica sebifera), Nepalese Browntop 
(Microstegium vimieum), Japanese Climbing Fern (Lygodium 
japonicum), Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and other 
aggressive non-native invasive plants threatening forests and 
grasslands, particularly in the eastern United States. These 
species threaten ecosystem health, public use, and economic 
value of the lands they infest and contribute to the 
significant loss of native plant and animal species. Some 
invasive plants affect the ability to utilize prescribed fire 
as a tool for fuels reduction and others can create unnatural 
fire regimes that increase the risk of catastrophic wildfire.
    Priority should be given to preventing, controlling, and 
mitigating the spread and impacts of these and other priority 
invasive plants on eligible private, local, State, Tribal and 
Federal lands. Management activities will employ a full range 
of integrated pest management technologies including 
inventories and assessments, chemical control, biological 
control, cultural control, and mechanical control operations. 
Follow-up monitoring and re-treatment of infestations should be 
important components of the programs. Projects will include 
restoration activities using native plant materials to prevent 
re-infestation following treatments.
    This section authorizes the Secretaries of Agriculture and 
the Interior to fund and carry out projects to reestablish 
native species to these ecosystems, after the invasive species 
have been removed. It is the managers' expectation that such 
planting will slow the reestablishment of nonnative invasive 
trees, shrubs, and vines and will help to stabilize these 
important ecosystems.
    It authorizes the Secretaries to provide grants to State 
and local governments, to Indian Tribes, and to private lands 
owners who are willing to participate in the reestablishment of 
native species in these ecosystems.
    It authorizes such funding as may be needed to carry out 
the program and authorizes those funds to remain available to 
the Secretaries until they are expended.

Sec. 803. USDA National Agroforestry Center

    This section clarifies and updates the role and 
responsibilities of the Semiarid Agroforestry Research Center 
which was established by the 1990 Farm Bill to encourage the 
use of agroforestry practices, such as wind breaks, in erosion 
prone semiarid agricultural regions. Since that time, the 
Forest Service and its partners have become increasingly aware 
of the relevance and potential applicability of agroforestry 
technologies to a variety of farming and forestry situations 
throughout the U.S. and its territories. All landowner 
assistance programs administered by the Forest Service and its 
partners, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service, 
encourage the integration of trees and forestry practices with 
cropping and animal husbandry systems. In addition, the Center 
has recently been demonstrating the use of trees to absorb 
polluted storm water runoff in rural-urban interface areas in 
Kansas--a technology that could prove valuable for urban 
centers everywhere.
    The amendments provided in this section will serve to 
expand the relevance and function of the Center, so that it can 
better serve all clients and partners, particularly private 
landowners who are seeking innovative, economically viable 
solutions to complex and varied land management problems.

Sec. 804. Upland Hardwood Research Center

    Instructs the Secretary of Agriculture to establish an 
Upland Hardwood Research Center no later than 180 days from the 
date of enactment of this Act and to select the location of the 
center.
    The Center for Upland Hardwood Research would provide a 
broad research and development program for upland hardwood, 
mixed hardwood, and related forest mosaics of Arkansas and the 
mid-South and would be housed at an appropriate location. The 
center could also support a virtual connection to other related 
federal, state, and private research programs.
    Authorizes $2.5 million for each of the fiscal years 2004 
through 2008.

Sec. 805. Sense of Congress regarding enhanced community fire 
        protection

    Reaffirms the sense of Congress the importance of the 
enhanced community fire protection program under the 
Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.

           IV. Legislative History and Votes in the Committee

    H.R. 1904 was introduced in the House of Representatives by 
Congressman Scott McInnis on May 01, 2003. It was referred to 
the House Agriculture Committee and the Committee on Resources. 
The bill was ordered to be reported by Voice Vote from the 
House Agriculture Committee on May 9, 2003. The House Resources 
Committee was discharged from further consideration of H.R. 
1904 on May 9, 2003. This bill was also sequentially referred 
to the House Committee on the Judiciary which reported the bill 
on May 16, 2003. On May 20, 2003 the House of Representatives 
voted 256-170 to pass H.R. 1904. The Senate received H.R. 1904 
on May 21, 2003 and referred it to the Committee on 
Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry.
    The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and 
Forestry held a hearing on June 26, 2003, to review H.R. 1904. 
Chairman Thad Cochran called the hearing to order and then 
passed the gavel to Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho, the Chairman 
of the Subcommittee on Forestry, Conservation and Rural 
Revitalization. Senator Larry Craig of Idaho, the Chairman of 
the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests of the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources, was invited to join the 
members of the Agriculture Committee. There were four panels of 
witnesses testifying during the hearing.
    Panel I consisted of Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl of 
Arizona. Senator McCain indicated that 25,000 acres of forest 
and 345 homes and other buildings had been destroyed by forest 
fires in Arizona and that the extent of damage continued as the 
fires were only 25 percent contained at the date of the 
hearing. He pointed out that in Arizona last year, wildfires 
claimed the lives of 23 firefighters, burned 7.2 million acres, 
and cost $1.6 billion to fight. Senator McCain expressed 
support for the bill.
    Senator Kyl remarked about the forest fire then raging in 
Arizona and that while a small amount of thinning had been done 
around some of the cabins, it was not nearly enough, which was 
evident in that it did not prevent the fire from totally 
inundating the community of Summerhaven. He expressed his 
opinion that protecting all of our forests also included areas 
deep in the forest where endangered species live. Senator Kyl 
expressed concern that the Committee should not consider just 
limiting the legislation to wildland urban interface thinning. 
His second concern was that environmental impact assessments 
can take up to six months and $40,000 to $50,000 to complete. 
He expressed support for H.R. 1904 in that this legislation 
allows discretion to be given to proposed agency action which 
could lessen the time lag and get these projects implemented 
more quickly, without touching environmental laws.
    Senator Craig reminded the Committee of the great fire of 
1910 that consumed 3 million acres of land in Idaho and 
northwestern Montana and that some of those forests in Idaho 
and Montana are still recovering today. He referred to various 
forest hazards of the past few years and the appropriated funds 
required to help recover from them. Senator Craig testified 
that in some cases they waived the National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) and allowed landowners to move to immediate 
recovery. He ended with a statement that accented the 
importance of moving this legislation forward quickly.
    The second panel of witnesses included the Honorable Mark 
Rey, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment with 
the United States Department of Agriculture and the Honorable 
Lynn Scarlett, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and 
Budget at the United States Department of Interior. Secretary 
Scarlett began by estimating that one hundred and ninety 
million acres of forests remain in poor condition. She 
discussed the Administration's current limited tools for 
dealing with the forests of America. After mentioning what has 
changed in the past two years, Ms. Scarlett thanked Congress 
for their recent consolidated appropriations resolution which 
gave the Bureau of Land Management authority to engage in 
stewardship contracting, along with the Forest Service. She 
then introduced Mr. Rey.
    Secretary Rey stated that Title I of the bill would improve 
processes which now significantly contribute to costly delays, 
and it would allow timely implementation of critical fuels 
reduction projects. Mr. Rey then summarized titles II through 
VI of the bill, explaining why the Administration believed each 
is important.
    The third panel of witnesses consisted of Mr. Mike Carroll 
from the Division of Forestry in the Minnesota Department of 
Natural Resources; Dr. Fred Stephen, the interim department 
head at the Department of Entomology at the University of 
Arkansas; Mr. Tom Nelson, director of Timberlands, Sierra 
Pacific Industries from Redding, California; Ms. Jackie McAvoy, 
council member for Post Falls City in Post Falls, Idaho; and 
Mr. Michael Peterson of the Lands Council from Spokane, 
Washington.
    Mr. Carroll spoke on behalf of the National Association of 
State Foresters. He indicated his support for H.R. 1904 because 
it would help protect and improve the sustainability of 
multiple values in varied ecosystems dominated by trees and 
that it clearly supports the implementation of the National 
Fire Plan, addressing the national need for active forest 
management across mixed ownerships at a landscape level. Mr. 
Carroll stated that integrated pest management activities 
should be applied in a quick response to eradicate new, 
invasive pests. At the conclusion of his testimony, Mr. Carroll 
indicated that promoting biodiversity, and developing and 
maintaining outlets for the byproducts of the forests, was 
essential. He mentioned that base industrial processing, 
ecotourism, energy and specialty products all need to be 
considered as a part of the forestry industry complex.
    Dr. Frederick Stephen represented the Society of American 
Foresters and noted that they believe that appropriate science-
informed silviculture treatments can be important in increasing 
forest diversity and health, and therefore also reduce the 
likelihood and severity or impact of many forest insect 
outbreaks. He summarized that it is essential that we realize 
the complexity and uniqueness of insect epidemics as well as 
their commonality and that to successfully manage such problems 
will require greater support of research by university and 
other scientists. Dr. Stephen urged Congress and the 
Administration to continue to support research into 
ecologically and economically effective integrated pest 
management and forest management systems.
    Mr. Tom Nelson, testifying on behalf of the American Forest 
and Paper Association, stated that well-designed forest 
management strategies must recognize that mechanical treatments 
with removal of trees and brush should be an integral part of 
the plan. He stated a need for procedures that allow Federal 
land managers to expeditiously implement hazardous fuels 
reduction projects on Federal forests and rangelands in 
critical areas, including areas that threaten communities and 
areas at high risk for catastrophic wildfire or insect and 
disease infestation. Mr. Nelson emphasized that Congress should 
allow agencies to make a more efficient approach to NEPA 
documentation and allow for expedited handling of 
administrative and judicial challenges. He concluded his 
testimonyby asking for the creation of a watershed forestry 
assistance program which would provide States and landowners with 
technical and financial support in their efforts to address threats to 
forest health.
    Next, Ms. Jackie McAvoy testified to express support for 
H.R. 1904. She stressed her concern over the very real 
possibility that catastrophic fires would blaze across the 
Nation before any legislation intended to speed the thinning 
work that must be done to reduce the threat of insect outbreaks 
and devastating wildfires could be adopted. Ms. McAvoy brought 
samples of douglas fir bark beetles and western pine beetles 
along with bark samples. She indicated her concern for the 
safety to those living by National forests and the effects that 
fires have on the community.
    Mr. Michael Peterson, Director of the Lands Council, a 
conservation organization based in Spokane, Washington, noted 
his advocacy of the passage of the National Forest Protection 
and Restoration Act. Mr. Peterson emphasized that considerable 
research found that effective wildfire protection must focus on 
the homes and its immediate surroundings and not on wildlands. 
He suggested that we should concentrate our fuel-reduction 
projects in areas which are about a half-mile from or 200 feet 
around structures in community areas in order to help protect 
them. Mr. Peterson feels that 85 percent of the National Fire 
Plan's hazardous fuel budget should go to these areas. He 
indicated that H.R. 1904 takes the emphasis off of community 
safety and fails to provide any extra financial assistance to 
fire protection around communities. Mr. Peterson also testified 
that, in his opinion, H.R. 1904 would restrict the rights of 
Americans to take these issues into court and would authorize 
an unlimited number of projects, up to 1,000 acres, for all 
lands that are claimed at risk from insect infestations.
    The final panel of witnesses started with Dr. Norman 
Christensen of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth 
Sciences at Duke University; followed by Dr. Hal Salwasser, 
Dean of the College of Forestry at the Department of Forest 
Resources at Oregon State University; next was Dr. Donald 
Kochan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at George Mason 
University; the last to testify was Professor Patrick 
Parenteau, Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at Vermont 
Law School.
    Dr. Norman Christensen began his testimony by saying that 
many, though not all, western forests are in an unhealthy state 
with respect to flammable fuels and the risk of catastrophic 
fires and that he supported the intent of H.R. 1904 to protect 
communities, watersheds and at-risk lands from catastrophic 
fires, but that the bill should be improved in five ways: the 
legislation could and should be more specific about which 
forests have been altered by fire suppression and past land 
use; the bill provides virtually no guidelines for defining 
``hazardous fuel reduction''; it could and should be clearer 
regarding priorities for hazardous fuel reductions; the bill 
could and should be much clearer about desired outcomes; and he 
felt that the limited support for monitoring and research and 
the proposed changes in NEPA rules would undermine the 
opportunity to bring the best science to this important 
challenge.
    Dr. Hal Salwasser stated that science is clear that we have 
major and widespread problems affecting the sustainability of 
healthy forests and rangelands, some related to wildfires, 
others to insects and diseases. He indicated that sustainable 
solutions will have to be tailored to each problem by local, 
collaborative, multiparty groups working strategically at 
watershed and landscape scales. Dr. Salwasser felt that the 
restoration of forest and rangeland health must extend beyond 
the wildland urban interface and in municipal watersheds, as 
H.R. 1904 proposes. He concluded his testimony by encouraging 
the Congress to engage the public universities in assisting 
Federal and State agencies, tribes and private groups with all 
the actions needed to restore and sustain this Nation's forests 
and rangelands.
    Mr. Donald Kochan focused on the advisability of enacting 
legislation that allows citizens to participate in the process 
at the same time that it creates a system of judicial review 
that does not hamper the Forest Service and BLM from 
effectively dealing with imminent wildfire hazards within the 
National Forest System and on the public lands. He underscored 
the necessity for the Forest Service and BLM to have the 
authority that is contained in H.R. 1904 without waiting 
indefinitely for a judicial ruling during a time in which 
exists the risks of imminent fire hazards. Mr. Kochan indicated 
that the judicial review provisions of this bill are 
constitutionally valid and represent sound public policy. He 
further stated that this bill sets forth a standard which is 
consistent entirely with the current standard for preliminary 
injunctions and that the judicial review provisions will not 
adversely affect the Court's docket or its ability to manage 
its caseload.
    Mr. Patrick Parenteau also focused on the judicial review 
provisions of H.R. 1904. He urged the Committee to take a 
closer look at the judicial review provisions which he felt are 
unprecedented, unwise and unnecessary. Mr. Parenteau said that 
these provisions are potentially so broad and so inclusive that 
they will eliminate the NEPA review in cases where the statute 
and the CEQ regulations would mandate review. He suggested that 
in this bill the Administration has moved to limit citizens' 
ability to appeal projects through the codified appeal 
procedure of the Appeals Reform Act and also moved to exclude 
these projects from NEPA. He expressed concern that the phrase, 
``Fire adapted forest or rangeland system,'' is not defined in 
the bill or in any other Federal statute. Thus Mr. Parenteau 
thought that the bill was not simply about fuel reduction, but 
about all the activities of the Forest Service and the 
Department of Interior on public lands throughout the system. 
He took exception to giving weight to the findings of the 
Secretary with regard to harm from an injunction being issued. 
Mr. Parenteau indicated the Secretary was the defendant and the 
weight was not equal in this case and that would be 
unprecedented. He finished by stating that this provision 
should be deleted.
    The Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a 
business meeting on July 24, 2003 at 11:00 a.m. in SR-332 to 
consider H.R. 1904. The following members were present: 
Senators Cochran, Crapo, Dole, Ben Nelson, Miller, Coleman, 
Daschle, Lincoln, Chambliss, Talent, and Leahy. Chairman 
Cochran called the meeting to order. After statements by 
Senators Crapo, Cochran, Daschle and Lincoln, Chairman Cochran 
offered the Chairman's mark as a substitute amendment to H.R. 
1904. It was adopted unanimously by a voice vote. After remarks 
by Senator Leahy, Chairman Cochran made the motion to report 
H.R. 1904 as amended out of the Committee and it was adopted 
unanimously by voice vote.

                     V. Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact that would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 1904, as amended.
    This legislation provides direction to federal land 
management agencies, amends current law, and establishes 
several programs to assist states, communities and local 
governments, Indian tribes and private forest landowners in 
addressing hazardous fuels buildups and forest health problems.
    This legislation does not represent a regulatory measure 
that imposes a regulatory mandate that must be adhered to by 
discrete persons in the economy absent their voluntary 
participation. All programs authorized under this bill that 
deal with private individuals, businesses or landowners are 
voluntary on the part of participants.
    Any Government program that provides financial and other 
assistance must have defined regulatory guidelines and 
paperwork requirements to insure that the taxpayer's money is 
appropriately and effectively utilized.
    Individuals, businesses, local units of government and 
private landowners who voluntarily participate in cost-sharing 
or technical assistance programs authorized under this 
legislation will be required under procedures established by 
the federal implementing agencies to provide evidence of 
meeting requirements for eligibility for the programs and to 
provide evidence that assistance received was utilized in 
accordance with the requirements of the legislation and its 
implementing procedures.
    Because participation is voluntary, for it to occur, the 
financial benefits of participation must exceed the financial 
costs and regulatory burden imposed by the legislation.
    The amounts of such assistance will depend upon the funds 
actually appropriated by Congress for such programs, subject to 
the authorization limits established in this legislation. While 
the goal of the legislation is to provide financial and 
technical assistance to states, communities and local 
governments, Indian tribes, and private landowners and private 
enterprises in reducing hazardous fuels and improving forest 
health conditions, it is impossible to estimate the number of 
persons and entities that would be affected.
    Safeguards exist in these programs to preserve the privacy 
of persons and the confidentiality of information concerning 
them.

                    VI. Budgetary Impact of the Bill

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 30, 2003.
Hon. Thad Cochran,
Chairman, Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1904, the Healthy 
Forests Restoration Act of 2003.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                               (For Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Director).
    Enclosure.

               CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE

H.R. 1904--Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003

    Summary: CBO estimates that H.R. 1904 would authorize the 
appropriation of $140 million in 2004 and $705 million over the 
2004-2008 period to research and restore forests on federal, 
state, and private lands. Assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the act 
would cost $29 million in 2004 and $589 million over the next 
five years. Enacting this legislation could affect offsetting 
receipts (a credit against direct spending), but CBO estimates 
that any such effects would total less than $500,000 a year.
    H.R. 1904 contains no 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. Federal funds authorized for those and other 
programs would benefit state, local, and tribal governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1904 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--
                                                          ------------------------------------------------------
                                                              2004       2005       2006       2007       2008
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Estimated Authorization Level............................        140        145        140        140        140
Estimated Outlays........................................         29         91        133        165        171
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1904 will be enacted before the end of fiscal year 2003 and 
that amounts estimated to be necessary to implement the 
legislation will be provided each year. Estimates of outlays 
are based on historical spending patterns for similar 
activities. Provisions that would affect spending subject to 
appropriations and direct spending are described below.

Spending Subject to Appropriation

    H.R. 1904 would specifically authorize the appropriation of 
$115 million in 2004 and $460 million over the 2004-2008 period 
for the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior (DOI) 
to support research and restoration of federal, state, and 
private forests. The act would authorize those agencies to make 
grants and perform research to support biomass technology; 
provide technical and financial assistance to certain 
nonfederal entities to support watershed management, land 
rehabilitation projects, and efforts to revitalize rural 
economies; establish a new center to study hardwood forests; 
and assess the health of federal and private forests. Based on 
information from the agencies and historical spending patterns 
for similar activities, CBO estimates that these programs would 
cost $21 million in 2004 and $374 million over the next five 
years.
    The act also would authorize the appropriation of amounts 
necessary for the Forest Service and DOI to purchase 
conservation easements from private landowners and to 
investigate and address infestations of forests by insects and 
nonnative invasive plants. Based on information from the 
agencies about the level of effort required to administer those 
programs, CBO estimates that H.R. 1904 would authorize the 
appropriation of $25 million in 2004 and $245 million over the 
2004-2008 period. We estimate that such funding for these 
activities would result in outlays of $8 million in 2004 and 
$215 million over the next five years.

Direct Spending (Including Offsetting Receipts)

    Title I would authorize expedited procedures for planning 
and conducting certain projects to reduce the risk of wildfires 
on certain federal lands managed by the Forest Service or the 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Under H.R. 1904, those 
expedited procedures would limit some environmental assessment 
requirements and shorten administrative and judicial appeals. 
According to the Forest Service and BLM, the expedited 
procedures could affect the timing of some projects that 
generate offsetting receipts, such as timber harvests, that the 
agencies plan to conduct under current law. Based on 
information from the agencies,however, CBO estimates that any 
subsequent change in offsetting receipts would total less than $500,000 
annually.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1904 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments. CBO expects that states would manage the 
watershed forestry assistance programs authorized by this act 
voluntarily. Federal funds authorized for those and other 
programs would benefit state, local, and tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimates: On May 9, 2003, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 1904 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Agriculture on May 8, 2003. On May 15, 2003, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimated for H.R. 1904 as ordered reported 
by the House Committee on the Judiciary on May 14, 2003. 
Compared to those versions of H.R. 1904, CBO estimates that the 
Senate committee's version of the legislation would authorize 
about twice as much funding to research and restore forests and 
provide financial and technical assistance to nonfederal 
entities.
    In addition, on May 7, 2003, CBO transmitted a cost 
estimate for S. 14, the Energy Policy Act of 2003, as 
introduced on April 30, 2003. A provision in that bill is 
similar to a provision of H.R. 1904 that would authorize grants 
to eligible entities that use biomass to produce energy. Our 
estimate of the cost of such grants ($25 million a year) is the 
same for both pieces of legislation.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Megan Carroll; Impact 
on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Marjorie Miller; 
Impact on the Private Sector: Cecil McPherson.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                          VII. Minority Views

                              ----------                              


                    MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATOR LEAHY

                              INTRODUCTION

    While the country is facing another difficult fire season, 
and portions of the bill are well-intentioned to address this 
situation, there is no quick fix to this difficult situation, 
which is a result of over a century of past land management and 
wildland fire suppression practices. We share the underlying 
goal of reducing the risk of wildfires on our public lands, but 
strongly disagree with the approach outlined in H.R. 1904. This 
bill contains many controversial provisions that go far beyond 
the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Committee. Provisions in 
Title I of this bill should also have been reviewed by the 
Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the Judiciary 
Committee. Provisions in other titles of this bill should have 
been reviewed by these committees, as well as the Environment 
and Public Works Committee.
    In addition, there are several other proposals in other 
legislation that this Committee could have considered. We will 
have a debate over those proposals on the floor of the Senate. 
For that reason and in deference to member's wishes, the bill 
was moved by voice vote. This vote does not reflect unanimous 
support for the bill.

                                OVERVIEW

    The recent wildfires in the western states demand that we 
find real solutions to the risk communities face from wildfire. 
The intended objective of the H.R. 1904 is to restore forests 
to a more natural condition by accelerating forest-thinning 
projects on federal lands and reduce fire risk. While this is 
an appropriate objective, we find H.R. 1904's interjection of 
legislative direction onto the courts unacceptable.
    The Administration has stated that 190 million acres need 
to be treated. If that is correct, by the Administration's own 
admission, it will take at least eight to ten years to address 
the buildup of hazardous fuel loads on these many acres. Most 
people believe it will be much longer than that unless we do 
something to focus activities on those areas at greatest risk 
and dedicate more funding to get projects off the ground.
    H.R. 1904 fails to do either of these things. In fact, the 
bill is written so broadly that the existing funds available 
for fuel reduction could easily be diluted to such a degree 
that the Federal agencies move backwards in reducing the risk 
of wildfire. The bill does not set any priorities for covering 
this vast acreage. When Congress funded the National Fire Plan 
in 2000, we specifically instructed the agencies to target the 
funding to areas near communities. The National Academy of 
Public Administration, in its 2002 report, Wildfire 
Suppression: Strategies for Containing Costs, in addition, also 
recommended this approach, saying ``treat close to communities, 
including municipal watersheds, before treating more distant 
areas.'' (p. 34) The report goes on to recommend specific 
actions:

          To effectively reduce vulnerability to losses from 
        wildfires and help moderate suppression costs in and 
        around community interface areas, several actions can 
        be taken to protect structures and reduce firefighting 
        costs: fire-safety provisions in zoning ordinances, 
        subdivision regulations, building codes, and structural 
        and landscape maintenance regulations; basic fire-
        protection infrastructure in each community and mutual-
        aid agreements among communities, state agencies, and 
        federal agencies; insurance and fire-protection grading 
        and rating systems; and pre-fire reduction of fuels 
        build-up on public and private lands near structures. 
        Non-federal entities have responsibility for these 
        matters but often have not used their authority for 
        this purpose. (p. 22, 23)

H.R. 1904 does not fund or encourage any of these actions.
    H.R. 1904 also does not address the funding needs to reduce 
wildfire risk on either federal or non-federal lands. Again, if 
the Administration is correct that 190 million acres need to be 
treated, this effort will cost billions of dollars over the 
next few decades. One of the main obstacles to fuel-reduction 
work is lack of funding. One of NAPA's key recommendations in 
its 2002 report was that the hazardous fuels reduction program 
will ``require sizable, sustained investments to make a 
nationwide impact.'' (p. 3) As the majority has stated many 
times, fire does not respect jurisdictional boundaries. The 
NAPA report showed that ``most of the fires reported, 77 
percent, were on non-Federal lands and 47% of acres burned are 
on non-Federal lands.'' (p. 18)
    If the majority is unwilling to set priorities for 
addressing communities at risk or discuss alternative funding 
mechanisms to speed up projects, then I do not understand why 
we should be rushing to gut environmental laws and judicial 
review. Certainly, the Administration has done a great 
marketing job of selling environmental laws and the judicial 
process as the scapegoat for wildfires. The statistics 
contradict their statement though. A recent GAO study showed 
that only a quarter of the fuel reduction projects from the 
past two fiscal years were appealed, and most of those were 
quickly dealt with. Barely any had legal challenges filed 
against them.
    Yet, the Administration also seems determined to set a new 
precedent to cut back environmental analysis, public review and 
the court's independence. H.R. 1904 is just another step in 
what appears to be the Administration's wholesale assault on 
the public's role and right to participate in the management of 
their public lands.

             ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS AND PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT

    As discussed previously, the majority's assertion that 
environmental laws and public involvement have become obstacles 
to improving our response to the wildfire-related risks to our 
communities has not been proven. At best, the majority has only 
provided anecdotal evidence. It certainly does not warrant the 
gaping loophole to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 
included in H.R. 1904.
    If passed, H.R. 1904 would be the first permanent statutory 
rollback of NEPA--the National Environmental Policy Act. It 
would pave the way for other efforts to roll back NEPA in other 
arenas, including transportation projects, energy projects, our 
oceans, and more. Section 104 seeks to eliminate the most 
important part of NEPA--the requirement that alternatives to 
agency actions are considered. The courts have called this 
consideration of alternatives the very ``heart of NEPA.'' This 
alternatives analysis ensures that agencies ``look before they 
leap,''--look beyond their initial inclination to examine 
alternatives with less environmental harm or greater 
environmental benefit. Reviewing courts have repeatedly 
underscored the centrality of alternatives to the statutory 
purpose. ``[T]he heart of the EIS is the requirement that an 
agency rigorously explore and objectively evaluate the 
projected environmental impacts of all reasonable alternatives 
for completing the proposed action.'' Van Ee v. E.P.A. 202 F.3d 
296, 309 (D.C. Cir. 2000).
    Section 403 of H.R. 1904 creates a new category of projects 
to be excluded from NEPA review. While NEPA regulations allow 
for such ``categorical exclusions'' for some activities, that 
has heretofore always been based on knowledge that the excluded 
category will not cause significant environmental harm. H.R. 
1904 lacks this safeguard and therefore amounts to a complete 
repeal of NEPA for the project category. It is likely that 
little to no environmental review would be conducted.
    Again, I must ask why these new loopholes in NEPA are 
necessary when the Forest Service is already able to do most of 
its fuel reduction projects under categorical exclusions now. 
According to the GAO report, the vast majority of acres 
treated, 3 million of 4.7 million, were categorically excluded 
from NEPA review. In terms of acreage, 60% of all decisions 
involving hazardous fuels reduction were categorically excluded 
from NPEA review. None of these were appealed or litigated. 
Therefore, all categorical exclusions are going through without 
controversy.

                      APPEALS AND JUDICIAL REVIEW

    The majority views assert that administrative and judicial 
review has become a procedural barrier to quick implementation 
of fuel-reduction projects. Again, this assertion does not have 
any factual basis.
    Section 105 exempts fuel reduction projects from the 
Appeals Reform Act of 1992 which provides citizens the right to 
appeal unlawful Forest Service decisions. Instead, H.R. 1904 
gives the Administration a blank check to develop its own 
process. The appeals process is not only used by environmental 
groups, as the Administration asserts, but is also used by 
landowners, local businesses and neighboring towns. According 
to a report by the Northern Arizona University, ranchers 
actually file more appeals than environmental groups. The 
Administration argues that this provision is needed because 
appeals have become a roadblock to fuel reduction projects. 
However, the Forest Service does not have a national database 
of fuels reduction decisions, appeals or litigation to back up 
this point. All they have offered is a flawed report that used 
inaccurate accounting and left out large categories of fuel 
reduction projects.
    Studies by the General Accounting Office and Northern 
Arizona University show that administrative appeals do not slow 
down fuel reduction projects. The GAO study showed that only 24 
percent of the fuel reduction projects from the past two fiscal 
years were appealed. Of those, 79 percent were dealt with in 90 
days or less.
    Sections 106 and 107 take extraordinary steps to limit 
citizens' right to seek redress from government action in 
court, micromanage judicial decisions and tilt the scales of 
justice in favor of fuel reduction projects. As Professor 
Parenteau testified in the one hearing held on this bill, 
``Section 106 imposes unreasonable deadlines on litigants and 
the courts, attempts to prioritize federal dockets, limits 
judicial authority and imposes additional procedural steps and 
workload on busy, understaffed federal courts struggling to 
reduce the backlog of cases.'' Specifically, Section 106 would 
do this by restricting the time the public has to challenge 
decisions to only 15 days. This provision eliminates any 
meaningful opportunity to explore options for resolving 
controversies over proposed projects. In fact, it is barely 
enough time for attorneys to investigate the facts and 
determine whether a case has merit. This provision could very 
well backfire and cause more lawsuits and delay over projects 
rather than expedite them.
    Section 106 also imposes unreasonable limits and 
instructions on judges. It prohibits judges from granting 
waivers to the filing deadline, urges courts to expedite 
consideration of cases and limits any preliminary injunction to 
45 days. This section tries to dictate to the courts which 
cases on their dockets are most important at any particular 
time. If 190 million acres really do need to be treated, it is 
hard to imagine the number of cases that might flood federal 
courts as a result of these provisions in section 106 and be 
``fast-tracked'' by judges.
    Section 107 is a blatant attempt to bias the judgement of 
the courts by emphasizing the ``harm to the defendant'' as the 
dominant consideration in weighing equities. For these 
projects, the defendant is the government. In essence, this 
section is telling the courts to give greater weight to the 
government's determination on whether a project should go 
forward even if the court finds that the agency has violated 
the law. This new standard applies not only to fuel reduction 
projects, but also to any project on Federal lands that ``is 
necessary to restore fire-adapted forest or rangeland system.'' 
This significantly broadens the scope of section 107 far beyond 
what the Administration stated intention is for H.R. 1904.
    Again, the Administration has not proved its assertion that 
judicial review is slowing down projects or that courts are not 
applying equitable remedies. The GAO study found that only 3 
percent, specifically 23 of 762 hazardous fuels reduction 
projects had legal challenges filed against them. How can an 
average of 13 legal challenges on hazardous fuels projects a 
year constitute the kind of gridlock that would merit anything 
like the permanent changes proposed in H.R. 1904? In addition, 
courts have the authority to weigh short and long term effects 
of injunctive relief and use it. In a recent case (Forest 
Conservation Council v. United States Forest Service, CV 03-
0054 FJM July 9, 2003), the court, after finding that the 
government had violated NEPA, declined to enjoin the project 
because it determined that the long-term harm from delaying the 
logging outweighed the short-term harm of allowing the project 
from going forward without an Environmental Assessment.

                               CONCLUSION

    H.R. 1904 misses the mark on several fronts. Unfortunately, 
it will do very little to improve the ability of the Forest 
Service to speed up fuel reduction projects on the ground but 
its doing great harm to the basic rights of the public to 
review the management decisions for our public lands. Congress 
should take a step back and consider other proposals to help 
manage the wildfire risk on our Federal and non-Federal lands. 
We should recognize the limited resources available for these 
projects and set priorities to fund projects in the wildland-
urban interface first. We should put more funding towards 
helping our state and local partners protect communities. And, 
we should and can reduce the risk without gutting 
environmental, administration and judicial review.

                     VIII. Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made in 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows: (1) Existing law 
that is proposed to be terminated is enclosed in black 
brackets; (2) New material is printed in italic; and (3) 
Existing law in which no change is proposed is shown in roman 
font.

              BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000

        TITLE III--BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2000

SEC. 301. SHORT TITLE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 307. BIOMASS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (d) Uses of Grants, Contracts, and Assistance.--A grant, 
contract, or assistance under this section may be used to 
conduct--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) research aimed at ensuring the environmental 
        performance and economic viability of biobased 
        industrial products and their raw material input of 
        biomass when considered as an integrated system, 
        including research on--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (C) the field and laboratory research related 
                to feedstock production with the interrelated 
                goals of enhancing the sustainability, 
                increasing productivity, and decreasing the 
                cost of biomass processing, including research 
                on--

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                          (iv) development of economically 
                        viable cropping systems that improve 
                        the conservation and restoration of 
                        marginal land; [or]
          (4) any research and development in technologies or 
        processes determined by the Secretary of Agriculture 
        and the Secretary of Energy, acting through their 
        respective points of contact and in consultation with 
        the Board, to be consistent with the purposes described 
        in subsection (b) and the priority described in 
        subsection (c)(2)(B)[.] or
          (5) research to integrate silviculture, harvesting, 
        product development, processing information, and 
        economic evaluation to provide the science, technology, 
        and tools to forest managers and community developers 
        for use in evaluating forest treatment and production 
        alternatives, including--
                  (A) to develop tools that would enable land 
                managers, locally or in a several-State region, 
                to estimate--
                          (i) the cost to deliver varying 
                        quantities of wood to a particular 
                        location; and
                          (ii) the amount that could be paid 
                        for stumpage if delivered wood was used 
                        for a specific mix of products;
                  (B) to conduct research focused on developing 
                appropriate thinning systems and equipment 
                designs that are--
                          (i) capable of being used on land 
                        without significant adverse effects on 
                        the land;
                          (ii) capable of handling large and 
                        varied landscapes;
                          (iii) adaptable to handling a wide 
                        variety of tree sizes;
                          (iv) inexpensive; and
                          (v) adaptable to various terrains; 
                        and
                  (C) to develop, test, and employ in the 
                training of forestry managers and community 
                developers curricula materials and training 
                programs on matters described in subparagraphs 
                (A) and (B).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 310. FUNDING.

    (a) Funding.--Of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, 
the Secretary shall make available to carry out this title--
          (1) $5,000,000 for fiscal year 2002; and

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (b) Authorization of Appropriations.--In addition to 
amounts transferred under subsection (a), there are authorized 
to be appropriated to carry out this title [$49,000,000] 
$54,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2007 of which 
not less than $5,000,000 shall be used for each fiscal year to 
carry out section 307(d)(5).

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


         FOOD, AGRICULTURE, CONSERVATION, AND TRADE ACT OF 1990


                 TITLE XII--STATE AND PRIVATE FORESTRY

SEC. 1201. SHORT TITLE.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 1243. SEMIARID AGROFORESTRY RESEARCH CENTER.]

SEC. 1243. USDA NATIONAL AGROFORESTRY CENTER. 

    (a) [Semiarid] USDA National Agroforestry Research, 
Development, and Demonstration Center.--The Secretary of 
Agriculture shall establish at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory 
of the United States Forest Service, in Lincoln, Nebraska, a 
[Semiarid] USDA National Agroforestry Research, Development, 
and Demonstration Center (hereafter referred to in this section 
as the ``Center'') and appoint a Director to manage and 
coordinate the program established at the Center under 
subsection (b).
    (b) Program.--The Secretary shall establish a program at 
the Center and seek the participation of Federal or State 
governmental entities, local governments, community 
organizations, the Institute of Tropical Forestry and the 
Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry of the Forest Service, 
land-grant colleges or universities, State agricultural 
experiment stations, State and private foresters, the National 
Arbor Day Foundation, and other nonprofit foundations in such 
program to conduct or assist research, investigations, studies, 
and surveys to--
          (1) develop sustainable agroforestry systems on 
        [semiarid] lands that minimize topsoil loss and water 
        contamination and stabilize or enhance crop 
        productivity;
          (2) adapt, demonstrate, document, and model the 
        effectiveness of agroforestry systems under different 
        farming systems and soil or climate conditions;
          (3) develop dual use agroforestry systems compatible 
        with paragraphs (1) and (2) which would provide high-
        value forestry products for commercial sale [from 
        semiarid land];
          [(4) develop and improve the drought and pest 
        resistance characteristics of trees for conservation 
        forestry and agroforestry applications in semiarid 
        regions, including the introduction and breeding of 
        trees suited for the Great Plains region of the United 
        States;]
          (4) collect information on the design, installation, 
        and function of forested riparian and upland buffers 
        to--
                  (A) protect water quality; and
                  (B) manage water flow;
          (5) develop technology transfer programs that 
        increase farmer and public acceptance of sustainable 
        agroforestry systems;
          (6) develop improved windbreak and shelterbelt 
        technologies for drought preparedness, soil and water 
        conservation, environmental quality, and biological 
        diversity [on semiarid lands];
          (7) develop technical and economic concepts for 
        sustainable agroforestry [on semiarid lands], including 
        the conduct of economic analyses of the costs and 
        benefits of agroforestry systems and the development of 
        models to predict the economic benefits under soil or 
        climate conditions;
          [(8) provide international leadership in the 
        development and exchange of agroforestry practices on 
        semiarid lands worldwide;]
          (8) provide international leadership in the worldwide 
        development and exchange of agroforestry practices;
          (9) support research on the effects of agroforestry 
        systems [on semiarid lands] in mitigating nonpoint 
        source water pollution;
          (10) support research on the design, establishment, 
        and maintenance of tree and shrub plantings to regulate 
        the deposition of snow along roadways; [and]
          (11) conduct sociological, demographic, and economic 
        studies as needed to develop strategies for increasing 
        the use of forestry conservation and agroforestry 
        practices[.];
          (12) quantify the carbon storage potential of 
        agroforestry practices such as--
                  (A) windbreaks;
                  (B) forested riparian buffers;
                  (C) silvopasture timber and grazing systems; 
                and
                  (D) alley cropping; and
          (13) modify and adapt riparian forest buffer 
        technology used on agricultural land for use by 
        communities to manage stormwater runoff.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2371. FORESTRY RURAL REVITALIZATION.

    (a) Establishment of Economic Development and Global 
Marketing Program.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
through the Extension Service and the Cooperative Extension 
System, and in consultation with the Forest Service, shall 
establish and implement educational programs and provide 
technical assistance to assist businesses, industries, and 
policymakers to create jobs, raise incomes, and increase public 
revenues in manners consistent with environmental concerns.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) use the full resources of the Cooperative 
        Extension Service, including land-grant universities 
        and county offices, to promote economic development 
        that is sustainable and environmentally sound.
    (d) Rural Revitalization Technologies.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary of Agriculture, acting 
        through the Chief of the Forest Service, in 
        consultation with the State and Private Forestry 
        Technology Marketing Unit at the Forest Products 
        Laboratory, and in collaboration with eligible 
        institutions, may carry out a program--
                  (A) to accelerate adoption of technologies 
                using biomass and small-diameter materials;
                  (B) to create community-based enterprises 
                through marketing activities and demonstration 
                projects; and
                  (C) to establish small-scale business 
                enterprises to make use of biomass and small-
                diameter materials.
          (2) Authorization of appropriations.--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
        subsection $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 
        through 2008.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


              COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1978


SEC. 5. FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    (h) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are hereby 
authorized to be appropriated $25,000,000 for each of the 
fiscal years 1991 through 1995, and such sums as may be 
necessary thereafter, to carry out this section.
    [Sec. 6. Section 6 repealed by section 8001(a) of P.L. 107 
09171, 116 Stat. 468.]

SEC. 6. WATERSHED FORESTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) Definition of Nonindustrial Private Forest Land.--In 
this section, the term ``nonindustrial private forest land'' 
means rural land, as determined by the Secretary, that--
          (1) has existing tree cover or that is suitable for 
        growing trees; and
          (2) is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, 
        group, association, corporation, or other private legal 
        entity, that has definitive decisionmaking authority 
        over the land.
    (b) General Authority and Purpose.--The Secretary, acting 
through the Chief of the Forest Service, may provide technical, 
financial, and related assistance to State foresters, 
equivalent State officials, and officials of the Cooperative 
State Research, Education, and Extension Service for the 
purpose of expanding State forest stewardship capacities and 
activities through State forestry best-management practices and 
other means at the State level to address watershed issues on 
non-Federal forested land and potentially forested land.
    (c) Technical Assistance To Protect Water Quality.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary, in cooperation with 
        State foresters, officials of the Cooperative State 
        Research, Education, and Extension Service, or 
        equivalent State officials, shall engage interested 
        members of the public, including nonprofit 
        organizations and local watershed councils, to develop 
        a program of technical assistance to protect water 
        quality described in paragraph (2).
          (2) Purpose of program.--The program under this 
        subsection shall be designed--
                  (A) to build and strengthen watershed 
                partnerships that focus on forested landscapes 
                at the State, regional, and local levels;
                  (B) to provide State forestry best-management 
                practices and water quality technical 
                assistance directly to owners of nonindustrial 
                private forest land;
                  (C) to provide technical guidance to land 
                managers and policymakers for water quality 
                protection through forest management;
                  (D) to complement State and local efforts to 
                protect water quality and provide enhanced 
                opportunities for consultation and cooperation 
                among Federal and State agencies charged with 
                responsibility for water and watershed 
                management; and
                  (E) to provide enhanced forest resource data 
                and support for improved implementation and 
                monitoring of State forestry best-management 
                practices.
          (3) Implementation.--The program of technical 
        assistance shall be implemented by State foresters or 
        equivalent State officials.
    (d) Watershed Forestry Cost-Share Program.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary shall establish a 
        watershed forestry cost-share program--
                  (A) which shall be--
                          (i) administered by the Forest 
                        Service; and
                          (ii) implemented by State foresters 
                        or equivalent State officials; and
                  (B) under which funds or other support 
                provided shall be made available for State 
                forestry best-management practices programs and 
                watershed forestry projects.
          (2) Watershed forestry projects.--The State forester, 
        State Research, Education and Extension official, or 
        equivalent State official of a State, in coordination 
        with the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating 
        Committee established under section 19(b) (or an 
        equivalent committee) for that State, shall make awards 
        to communities, nonprofit groups, and owners of 
        nonindustrial private forest land under the program for 
        watershed forestry projects described in paragraph (3).
          (3) Project elements and objectives.--A watershed 
        forestry project shall accomplish critical forest 
        stewardship, watershed protection, and restoration 
        needs within a State by demonstrating the value of 
        trees and forests to watershed health and condition 
        through--
                  (A) the use of trees as solutions to water 
                quality problems in urban and rural areas;
                  (B) community-based planning, involvement, 
                and action through State, local and nonprofit 
                partnerships;
                  (C) application of and dissemination of 
                monitoring information on forestry best-
                management practices relating to watershed 
                forestry;
                  (D) watershed-scale forest management 
                activities and conservation planning; and
                  (E)(i) the restoration of wetland (as defined 
                by the States) and stream-side forests; and
                  (ii) the establishment of riparian vegetative 
                buffers.
          (4) Cost-sharing.--
                  (A) Federal share.--
                          (i) Funds under this subsection.--
                        Funds provided under this subsection 
                        for a watershed forestry project may 
                        not exceed 75 percent of the cost of 
                        the project.
                          (ii) Other federal funds.--The 
                        percentage of the cost of a project 
                        described in clause (i) that is not 
                        covered by funds made available under 
                        this subsection may be paid usingother 
Federal funding sources, except that the total Federal share of the 
costs of the project may not exceed 90 percent.
                  (B) Form.--The non-Federal share of the costs 
                of a project may be provided in the form of 
                cash, services, or other in-kind contributions.
          (5) Prioritization.--The State Forest Stewardship 
        Coordinating Committee for a State, or equivalent State 
        committee, shall prioritize watersheds in that State to 
        target watershed forestry projects funded under this 
        subsection.
          (6) Watershed forester.--Financial and technical 
        assistance shall be made available to the State 
        Forester or equivalent State official to create a State 
        watershed or best-management practice forester position 
        to--
                  (A) lead statewide programs; and
                  (B) coordinate watershed-level projects.
    (e) Distribution.--
          (1) In general.--Of the funds made available for a 
        fiscal year under subsection (g), the Secretary shall 
        use--
                  (A) at least 75 percent of the funds to carry 
                out the cost-share program under subsection 
                (d); and
                  (B) the remainder of the funds to deliver 
                technical assistance, education, and planning, 
                at the local level, through the State Forester 
                or equivalent State official.
          (2) Special considerations.--Distribution of funds by 
        the Secretary among States under paragraph (1) shall be 
        made only after giving appropriate consideration to--
                  (A) the acres of agricultural land, 
                nonindustrial private forest land, and highly 
                erodible land in each State;
                  (B) the miles of riparian buffer needed;
                  (C) the miles of impaired stream segments and 
                other impaired water bodies where forestry 
                practices can be used to restore or protect 
                water resources;
                  (D) the number of owners of nonindustrial 
                private forest land in each State; and
                  (E) water quality cost savings that can be 
                achieved through forest watershed management.
    (f) Willing Owners.--
          (1) In general.--Participation of an owner of 
        nonindustrial private forest land in the watershed 
        forestry assistance program under this section is 
        voluntary.
          (2) Written consent.--The watershed forestry 
        assistance program shall not be carried out on 
        nonindustrial private forest land without the written 
        consent of the owner of, or entity having definitive 
        decisionmaking over, the nonindustrial private forest 
        land.
    (g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized 
to be appropriated to carry out this section $15,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.

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SEC. 10A. [ENHANCED COMMUNITY FIRE PROTECTION.]

    An Act to improve the capacity of the Secretary of 
Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
hazardous fuels reduction projects on National Forest System 
lands and Bureau of Land Management lands aimed at protecting 
communities, watersheds, and certain other at-risk lands from 
catastrophic wildfire, to enhance efforts to protect watersheds 
and address threats to forest and rangeland health, including 
catastrophic wildfire, across the landscape, and for other 
purposes.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    [Sec. 17. The provisions of this Act shall become effective 
October 1, 1978.]

SEC. 17. FOREST INVENTORY AND MANAGEMENT.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall carry out a program 
using geospatial and information management technologies 
(including remote sensing imaging and decision support systems) 
to inventory, monitor, characterize, assess, and identify 
forest stands and potential forest stands (with emphasis on 
hardwood forest stands) on
          (1) in units of the National Forest System; and
          (2) on private forest land, with the consent of the 
        owner of the land.
    (b) Means.--The Secretary shall carry out the program 
through the use of--
          (1) remote sensing technology of the National 
        Aeronautics and Space Administration and the United 
        States Geological Survey;
          (2) emerging geospatial capabilities in research 
        activities;
          (3) validating techniques using application 
        demonstrations; and
          (4) integration of results into pilot operational 
        systems.
    (c) Issues To Be Addressed.--In carrying out the program, 
the Secretary shall address issues including--
          (1) early detection, identification, and assessment 
        of environmental threats (including insect, disease, 
        invasive species, fire, acid deposition, and weather-
        related risks and other episodic events);
          (2) loss or degradation of forests;
          (3) degradation of the quality forest stands caused 
        by inadequate forest regeneration practices;
          (4) quantification of carbon uptake rates; and
          (5) management practices that focus on preventing 
        further forest degradation.
    (d) Early Warning System.--In carrying out the program, the 
Secretary shall develop a comprehensive early warning system 
for potential catastrophic environmental threats to forests to 
increase the likelihood that forest managers will be able to--
          (1) isolate and treat a threat before the threat gets 
        out of control; and
          (2) prevent epidemics, such as the American chestnut 
        blight in the first half of the twentieth century, that 
        could be environmentally and economically devastating 
        to forests.
    (e) Authorization of Appropriations.--There are authorized 
to be appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for 
each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009.