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109th Congress                                            Rept. 109-451
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 1

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



 
               FOREST EMERGENCY RECOVERY AND RESEARCH ACT

                                _______
                                

                  May 4, 2006.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                    ADDITIONAL AND DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4200]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 4200) to improve the ability of the Secretary of 
Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to promptly 
implement recovery treatments in response to catastrophic 
events affecting Federal lands under their jurisdiction, 
including the removal of dead and damaged trees and the 
implementation of reforestation treatments, to support the 
recovery of non-Federal lands damaged by catastrophic events, 
to revitalize Forest Service experimental forests, and for 
other purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommends that the bill as 
amended do pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SEC. 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as ``Forest Emergency 
Recovery and Research Act''.
  (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents
Sec. 2. Findings
Sec. 3. Definitions

       TITLE I--RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS ON FEDERAL LANDS

Sec. 101. Development of research protocols and use in catastrophic 
event research projects
Sec. 102. Catastrophic event recovery evaluations
Sec. 103. Compliance with National Environmental Policy Act
Sec. 104. Availability and use of pre-approved management practices
Sec. 105. Availability and use of emergency procedures
Sec. 106. Administrative and judicial review
Sec. 107. Guidance regarding reforestation in response to catastrophic 
events
Sec. 108. Effect of title
Sec. 109. Standards for tree retention

TITLE II--RESTORING LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY CATASTROPHIC 
                                 EVENTS

        Subtitle A--Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

Sec. 201. Assistance under Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 
to restore landscapes and communities affected by catastrophic events

           Subtitle B--Department of the Interior Assistance

Sec. 211. Restoring landscapes
Sec. 212. Restoring communities

                    TITLE III--EXPERIMENTAL FORESTS

Sec. 301. Findings
Sec. 302. Availability and use of pre-approved management practices on 
National Forest experimental forests
Sec. 303. Limited consideration of alternatives for projects on 
National Forest experimental forests

                      TITLE IV--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 401. Regulations
Sec. 402. Dedicated source of funds for research and monitoring
Sec. 403. Other funding sources
Sec. 404. Effect of declaration of major disaster or emergency

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

  Congress finds the following:
          (1) The number and severity of catastrophic events causing 
        resource damage to Federal land has significantly increased 
        over the last 20 years, and such catastrophic events also 
        create serious adverse environmental, social, and economic 
        consequences for Federal land and adjacent non-Federal land and 
        communities.
          (2) Catastrophic events often devastate forest or rangeland 
        ecosystems and eliminate sources of seed for desired tree and 
        plant species, which--
                  (A) delays or even precludes the reestablishment of 
                appropriate forest or plant cover on millions of acres 
                of Federal land;
                  (B) increases the susceptibility of the damaged land 
                to wildfire and noxious or harmful species and reduces 
                the economic value of the damaged land's resources;
                  (C) increases the susceptibility of adjacent 
                undamaged land to insect infestations, disease, and 
                noxious weeds;
                  (D) pollutes municipal water supplies and damages 
                water delivery infrastructure;
                  (E) exacerbates sediment production that adversely 
                impacts native fish habitat and soil productivity;
                  (F) results in unsafe campgrounds, trails, roads, and 
                other infrastructure; and
                  (G) adversely impacts the sustainability of 
                ecosystems and the well-being of adjacent communities.
          (3) Program authorities and funding mechanisms currently 
        available to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of 
        the Interior to respond to catastrophic events on forested 
        Federal land do not provide for consistent and timely response 
        activities.
          (4) The Council on Environmental Quality has approved on an 
        infrequent basis the use of alternative arrangements to respond 
        to catastrophic events on forested Federal land, but, when used 
        in the past, such alternative arrangements have encouraged 
        expedited and successful recovery outcomes.
          (5) A prompt and standardized management response to a 
        catastrophic event, which is also adaptive to the unique 
        characteristics of each catastrophic event, is needed--
                  (A) to effectively recover the area damaged by the 
                catastrophic event,
                  (B) to minimize the impact on the resources of the 
                area and adjacent communities adversely affected by the 
                catastrophic event; and
                  (C) to recover damaged, but still merchantable, 
                material before it losses economic value.
          (6) Reforestation treatments on forested Federal land after a 
        catastrophic event helps to restore appropriate forest cover, 
        which provides multiple renewable resource benefits, 
        including--
                  (A) protecting soil and water resources;
                  (B) providing habitat for wildlife and fish;
                  (C) contributing to aesthetics and enhancing the 
                recreational experience for visitors;
                  (D) providing a future source of timber for domestic 
                use; and
                  (E) ensuring the health and resiliency of affected 
                ecosystems for present and future generations.
          (7) According to the Comptroller General, the reforestation 
        backlog for Federal land has increased since 2000 as a result 
        of natural disturbances, such as wildland fires, insect 
        infestations, and diseases.
          (8) Additional scientific and monitoring information is 
        needed regarding the effectiveness of recovery treatments to 
        improve subsequent recovery proposals in response to future 
        catastrophic events.
          (9) State, tribal, and local governments, local communities, 
        and other entities play a critical role in restoring landscapes 
        damaged by a catastrophic event and in reducing the risks 
        associated with the catastrophic event.
          (10) Greater resources and adaptive arrangements must be made 
        available to land managers to facilitate the prompt 
        implementation of recovery treatments, including reforestation, 
        following catastrophic events.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Burned area emergency response.--The term ``burned area 
        emergency response'' means the process used by the Secretary 
        concerned to plan and implement emergency stabilization actions 
        on Federal land in response to a catastrophic event in order to 
        minimize threats to life or property or to stabilize and 
        prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural 
        resources resulting from the effects of the catastrophic event.
          (2) Catastrophic event.--The term ``catastrophic event'' 
        means any natural disaster or any fire, flood, or explosion, 
        regardless of cause, that the Secretary determines has caused 
        or will cause damage of significant severity and magnitude to 
        Federal land or, in the case of title II, non-Federal land. A 
        natural disaster may include a hurricane, tornado, windstorm, 
        snow or ice storm, rain storm, high water, wind-driven water, 
        tidal wave, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, 
        drought, or insect or disease outbreak.
          (3) Catastrophic event recovery.--The term ``catastrophic 
        event recovery'', with respect to an area of Federal land 
        damaged by a catastrophic event, means--
                  (A) if the catastrophic event involved fire, the 
                rehabilitation and restoration activities (other than 
                any emergency stabilization treatments undertaken as 
                part of the burned area emergency response) that are 
                undertaken on the damaged Federal land, including any 
                infrastructure or facilities thereon, in response to 
                the catastrophic event;
                  (B) if the catastrophic event did not involve fire, 
                the emergency stabilization and rehabilitation and 
                restoration activities that are undertaken on the 
                damaged Federal land, including infrastructure or 
                facilities thereon, in response to the catastrophic 
                event; or
                  (C) the reforestation or revegetation, consistent 
                with the applicable land and resource management plan, 
                of the damaged Federal land in response to the 
                catastrophic event using, to the extent practicable and 
                preferable, native or beneficial plants to avoid 
                creation of plantation forests and the recovery of 
                trees on the damaged Federal land, through the use of 
                timber harvesting and other appropriate methods of 
                forest regeneration.
          (4) Catastrophic event recovery evaluation.--The term 
        ``catastrophic event recovery evaluation'', with respect to an 
        area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, means an 
        evaluation of the damaged Federal land that is conducted in 
        accordance with section 102.
          (5) Catastrophic event recovery proposal.--The term 
        ``catastrophic event recovery proposal'' means the list and 
        brief description of catastrophic event recovery projects, 
        catastrophic event research projects, and pre-approved 
        management practices that are--
                  (A) identified as part of the catastrophic event 
                recovery evaluation of an area of Federal land damaged 
                by a catastrophic event; and
                  (B) proposed to be undertaken to facilitate the 
                catastrophic event recovery of the area or evaluate the 
                effects and effectiveness of such recovery efforts.
          (6) Catastrophic event recovery project.--The term 
        ``catastrophic event recovery project'' means an individual 
        activity or a series of activities identified in a catastrophic 
        event recovery proposal for an area of Federal land damaged by 
        a catastrophic event and proposed to be undertaken in response 
        to the catastrophic event to promote catastrophic event 
        recovery.
          (7) Catastrophic event research project.--The term 
        ``catastrophic event research project'' means a scientifically 
        designed study of the effects and effectiveness of--
                  (A) any catastrophic event recovery projects 
                undertaken in an area of land damaged by a catastrophic 
                event; and
                  (B) any emergency stabilization treatments undertaken 
                as part of a burned area emergency response in the area 
                of land damaged by a catastrophic event.
          (8) Community wildfire protection plan.--The term ``community 
        wildfire protection plan'' has the meaning given that term in 
        section 101(3) of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 
        (16 U.S.C. 6511(3)).
          (9) Eligible entity.--The term ``eligible entity'', for 
        purposes of providing assistance under subtitle B of title II, 
        means a State Forester or equivalent State official, an Indian 
        tribe, local government, community-based organization, or other 
        person.
          (10) Federal land.--The term ``Federal land'' means land in 
        the National Forest System and public lands. The term does not 
        include any land contained in a component of the National 
        Wilderness Preservation System or designated as a national 
        monument.
          (11) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
          (12) Land and resource management plan.--The term ``land and 
        resource management plan'' means--
                  (A) a land and resource management plan developed for 
                a unit of the National Forest System under section 6 of 
                the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning 
                Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1604); or
                  (B) a land use plan developed for an area of the 
                public lands under section 202 of the Federal Land 
                Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712).
          (13) Land-grant colleges and universities.--The term ``land-
        grant colleges and universities'' has the meaning given that 
        term in section 1404(11) of the National Agricultural Research, 
        Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103(11)).
          (14) Landscape assessment.--The term ``landscape assessment'' 
        means an assessment describing catastrophic event conditions 
        and recovery needs and opportunities on non-Federal land 
        affected by a catastrophic event and including a list of 
        proposed special recovery projects to address those needs and 
        opportunities.
          (15) National forest system.--The term ``National Forest 
        System'' has the meaning given that term in section 11(a) of 
        the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 
        1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a)).
          (16) Pre-approved management practice.--The term ``pre-
        approved management practice'' means a management practice 
        identified by the Secretary concerned under section 104(a) that 
        may be immediately implemented as part of a catastrophic event 
        recovery project or catastrophic event research project to 
        facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of an area of 
        Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event.
          (17) Public lands.--The term ``public lands'' has the meaning 
        given that term in section 103(e) of the Federal Land Policy 
        and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702(e)).
          (18) Secretary concerned.--The term ``Secretary concerned'' 
        means--
                  (A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to 
                National Forest System land; and
                  (B) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to 
                public lands.
          (19) Special recovery project.--The term ``special recovery 
        project'' means an individual activity or a series of 
        activities proposed to be undertaken to rehabilitate, repair, 
        and restore non-Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, 
        community infrastructure and facilities on the land, and 
        economic, social, and cultural conditions affected by the 
        catastrophic event.

       TITLE I--RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS ON FEDERAL LANDS

SEC. 101. DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCH PROTOCOLS AND USE IN CATASTROPHIC 
                    EVENT RESEARCH PROJECTS.

  (a) Development of Protocols; Purpose.--For the purpose of conducting 
and evaluating the effectiveness and effects of a catastrophic event 
recovery project and of emergency stabilization treatments undertaken 
as part of a burned area emergency response, the Secretary concerned 
shall develop research protocols consisting of--
          (1) a research approach that is specifically designed to 
        improve knowledge, understanding, and predictive capabilities--
                  (A) to increase the long-term benefits of management 
                activities, including natural and artificial 
                regeneration of vegetation; and
                  (B) to decrease the short-term impacts of such 
                management activities;
          (2) an appropriate and scientifically sound experimental 
        design or set of sampling procedures; and
          (3) accompanying methods of data analysis and interpretation.
  (b) Peer Review.--The research protocols developed under subsection 
(a), and any subsequent modification thereof, shall be subject to peer 
review, including independent, third-party peer review, by scientific 
and land management experts.
  (c) Time for Completion; Modification.--The research protocols 
required by this section shall be submitted to Congress not later than 
180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The Secretary 
concerned may modify the research protocols, as the Secretary 
determines necessary, after their submission to Congress. The Secretary 
concerned shall notify Congress regarding any such modification.
  (d) Catastrophic Event Research Projects.--In accordance with the 
research protocols developed under this section, the Secretary 
concerned may conduct one or more catastrophic event research projects 
in an area of land damaged by a catastrophic event. The Secretary may 
develop a proposed catastrophic event research project as part of a 
catastrophic event recovery proposal or develop a catastrophic event 
research project independently of the catastrophic event recovery 
proposal during the catastrophic event recovery in response to changing 
conditions in the area damaged by the catastrophic event.
  (e) Public Access.--
          (1) Protocols.--The Secretary concerned shall make the 
        research protocols developed under subsection (a), including 
        any modification thereof, publicly available, in a form 
        determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.
          (2) Research results.--After completion of the peer review 
        required by subsection (b), the Secretary concerned shall make 
        the results of catastrophic event research projects publicly 
        available, in a form determined to be appropriate by the 
        Secretary.
  (f) Forest Health Partnerships.--In developing and using the research 
protocols required by this section, the Secretary concerned shall enter 
into cooperative agreements with land-grant colleges and universities 
and other institutions of higher education to form forest health 
partnerships, including regional institutes, to utilize their 
education, research, and outreach capacity to address the catastrophic 
event recovery of forested land. A forest health partnership may be 
aligned with the current network of Cooperative Ecosystem Studies 
Units.

SEC. 102. CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY EVALUATIONS.

  (a) Commencement.--
          (1) Evaluation required.--In response to a catastrophic event 
        affecting 1,000 or more acres of Federal land, the Secretary 
        concerned shall conduct a catastrophic event recovery 
        evaluation of the damaged Federal land.
          (2) Evaluation authorized.--If a catastrophic event affects 
        more than 250 acres of Federal land, but less than 1,000 acres, 
        the Secretary concerned is authorized, but not required, to 
        conduct a catastrophic event recovery evaluation of the damaged 
        Federal land.
          (3) Time for commencement.--To facilitate prompt decision-
        making with regard to the catastrophic event recovery of 
        Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event when a 
        catastrophic event recovery evaluation is required under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary concerned shall commence the 
        catastrophic event recovery evaluation for the damaged Federal 
        land--
                  (A) as soon as practicable during or after the 
                conclusion of the catastrophic event; but
                  (B) in no event later than 30 days after the 
                conclusion of the catastrophic event.
  (b) Completion.--
          (1) Time for completion.--To facilitate prompt implementation 
        of catastrophic event recovery projects on Federal land damaged 
        by a catastrophic event when a catastrophic event recovery 
        evaluation is required under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary 
        concerned shall complete the catastrophic event recovery 
        evaluation for the damaged Federal land not later than 30 days 
        after the date on which Secretary commenced the catastrophic 
        event recovery evaluation.
          (2) Extension.--The Secretary concerned may extend the 
        completion date for a catastrophic event recovery evaluation, 
        on a case-by-case basis, when the Secretary concerned 
        determines that additional time is necessary to evaluate a 
        complex catastrophic event, an on-going catastrophic event, or 
        a series of catastrophic events.
  (c) Elements of Catastrophic Event Evaluation.--In conducting the 
catastrophic event recovery evaluation for an area of Federal land 
damaged by a catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall prepare 
the following:
          (1) A description of catastrophic event conditions on the 
        damaged Federal land, recovery needs and opportunities, and the 
        areas where management intervention would be helpful to achieve 
        the catastrophic event recovery of the damaged Federal land.
          (2) A preliminary determination of any catastrophic event 
        research projects that best fit the circumstances of the 
        particular catastrophic event environment or would enhance 
        scientific understanding relevant to the damaged area.
          (3) A catastrophic event recovery proposal containing 
        possible catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic 
        event research projects for the damaged area and describing the 
        anticipated size and scope of these projects.
          (4) One or more maps detailing the area of damaged Federal 
        land and the location of catastrophic event recovery proposals.
          (5) A preliminary estimate of the funding that would be 
        needed to complete the catastrophic event recovery projects and 
        catastrophic event research projects contained in the 
        catastrophic event recovery proposal.
          (6) A preliminary estimate of the receipts to be derived from 
        the catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event 
        research projects contained in the catastrophic event recovery 
        proposal, and, to the maximum extent practicable, an estimate 
        of revenues likely to be lost if action is not taken in a 
        timely manner.
          (7) A preliminary schedule showing the timing of possible 
        catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event 
        research projects by fiscal year, assuming funding is available 
        to undertake the projects.
  (d) Use of Pre-Approved Management Practices or Emergency 
Procedures.--
          (1) Determination.--In addition to complying with the 
        requirements specified in subsection (c) for each catastrophic 
        event recovery evaluation, the Secretary concerned shall make a 
        determination of--
                  (A) whether or not any pre-approved management 
                practices should be immediately implemented under 
                section 104 to facilitate the catastrophic event 
                recovery of the area covered by the catastrophic event 
                recovery evaluation; and
                  (B) whether or not any catastrophic event recovery 
                project or catastrophic event research project, or 
                portion of such a project, contained in the 
                catastrophic event recovery proposal should be 
                developed and carried out using the emergency 
                procedures authorized by section 105.
          (2) Factors.--In making any determination under paragraph 
        (1)(B) to develop and carry out a catastrophic event recovery 
        project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of 
        such a project, using emergency procedures under section 105, 
        the Secretary concerned shall consider at a minimum the 
        following:
                  (A) The necessity of promptly responding to the 
                catastrophic event on the damaged Federal land.
                  (B) The recovery needs and opportunities identified 
                under subsection (c)(1) with respect to the damaged 
                Federal land.
                  (C) The lack of pre-approved management practices 
                applicable to the damaged Federal land.
                  (D) The threat to public health and safety.
                  (E) The likelihood of substantial loss of adjacent 
                private and public property or other substantial 
                economic losses.
          (3) Notification and consultation.--The Secretary concerned 
        shall make the determinations under paragraph (1) after 
        notification of and in consultationwith the Council on 
Environmental Quality, but the determination remains in the sole 
discretion of the Secretary.
  (e) Interdisciplinary Approach.--To conduct the catastrophic event 
recovery evaluation of an area of Federal land damaged by a 
catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall use a systematic, 
interdisciplinary approach that insures the integrated use of 
appropriate natural and social sciences.
  (f) Coordination With Other Activities.--
          (1) Related assessment of non-federal land.--The Secretary 
        concerned may combine the preparation of a catastrophic event 
        recovery evaluation of Federal land with the preparation of a 
        landscape assessment for non-Federal land in the vicinity of 
        the damaged Federal land prepared under subtitle B of title II 
        or subsection (c) of section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry 
        Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2106c), as added by section 
        201.
          (2) Related community wildfire protection plans.--During 
        preparation of a catastrophic event recovery evaluation for an 
        area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event involving 
        wildfire, the Secretary concerned shall consider post-fire 
        management recommendations, if any, contained in any community 
        wildfire protection plan addressing the damaged Federal land.
  (g) Public Collaboration.--To encourage meaningful participation 
during the preparation of catastrophic event recovery projects, the 
Secretary concerned shall facilitate collaboration among State and 
local governments, Indian tribes, land-grant colleges and universities, 
and interested persons during the preparation of catastrophic event 
recovery evaluations and catastrophic event recovery proposals.
  (h) Public Notice.--
          (1) Notice of evaluation.--The Secretary concerned shall 
        provide public notice of each catastrophic event recovery 
        evaluation, including the catastrophic event recovery proposal 
        prepared as part of the evaluation. The notice shall be 
        provided in a form determined to be appropriate by the 
        Secretary concerned, such as publication in the Federal 
        Register.
          (2) Notice of public meetings.--The Secretary concerned shall 
        provide notice of public meetings conducted in connection with 
        a catastrophic event recovery evaluation and the availability 
        of preliminary analyses or documents prepared as part of the 
        evaluation. The notice shall be provided at such times and in 
        such a manner as the Secretary concerned considers appropriate.

SEC. 103. COMPLIANCE WITH NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT.

  (a) Compliance Required.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the 
Secretary concerned shall comply with the National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4331 et seq.), its implementing regulations, and 
other applicable laws in designing and conducting catastrophic event 
recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects.
  (b) Satisfaction of NEPA Requirements.--The following activities are 
deemed to satisfy the requirements of section 102 of the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 et seq.) and its 
implementing regulations:
          (1) The preparation of the list of pre-approved management 
        practices required by subsection (a) of section 104.
          (2) The use of pre-approved management practices on the list 
        in the manner provided in section 104.
          (3) The use of emergency procedures in the manner provided in 
        section 105.

SEC. 104. AVAILABILITY AND USE OF PRE-APPROVED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

  (a) List of Available Pre-Approved Management Practices.--The 
Secretary concerned shall prepare a list of management practices, by 
forest type or plant association group, that may be immediately 
implemented as part of a catastrophic event recovery project or 
catastrophic event research project to facilitate the catastrophic 
event recovery of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic 
event. The list of pre-approved management practices shall be prepared 
using notice and comment rule making under section 553 of title 5, 
United States Code.
  (b) Peer Review.--Before a management practice may be included on the 
list of pre-approved management practices, the management practice 
shall be subject to peer review, including independent, third-party 
peer review, by scientific and land management experts. The results of 
the peer review shall be available to the public during the comment 
period.
  (c) Revision or Amendment of List.--The Secretary concerned may amend 
or revise the list of pre-approved management practices as necessary 
whenever new scientific and managerial information becomes available. 
Subsections (a) and (b) shall apply to the amendment or revision 
process.
  (d) Use for Certain Activities Prohibited.--
          (1) Road construction.--A pre-approved management practice 
        may not authorize any permanent road building. Any temporary 
        road constructed as part of a pre-approved management practice 
        shall be obliterated upon conclusion of the practice and the 
        road area restored to the extent practicable.
          (2) Timber harvesting.--Timber harvesting carried out as part 
        of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event 
        research project, or portion of such a project, for which 
        emergency procedures under this section were used shall be 
        limited to trees--
                  (A) that are already down, dead, broken, or severely 
                root sprung;
                  (B) regarding which mortality is highly probable 
                within five years after the end of the catastrophic 
                event; or
                  (C) that are required to be removed for worker or 
                public safety.
  (c) Required Consultation.--
          (1) ESA consultation.--In the case of a catastrophic event 
        recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or 
        portion of such a project, for which emergency procedures under 
        this section are used, the Secretary concerned may use the 
        procedures described in section 402.05 of title 50, Code of 
        Federal Regulations, to comply with section 7 of the Endangered 
        Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536). At the conclusion of the 
        consultation, the statement required by subsection (b)(4) of 
        such section shall be issued for any incidental taking that may 
        occur under the project, which shall be effective beginning on 
        the date the Secretary concerned initiates action under the 
        project and shall apply to all persons assisting or cooperating 
        with the Secretary under the project.
          (2) Other required consultation.--Any consultation required 
        under other laws, such as the National Historic Preservation 
        Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) or the Federal Water Pollution 
        Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), may proceed 
        simultaneously with the design of a catastrophic event recovery 
        project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of 
        such a project, for which emergency procedures under this 
        section are used. Results of consultation shall be immediately 
        incorporated into the project, to the extent feasible, 
        practical, and consistent with the response, recovery, and 
        rehabilitation objectives of the project.
  (d) Completion of Emergency Procedures and Issuance of Decision 
Document.--Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary 
concerned makes the determination under section 102(d) to develop and 
carry out a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event 
research project, or portion of such a project, using emergency 
procedures, the Secretary concerned shall--
          (1) complete the emergency procedures for that catastrophic 
        event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, 
        or portion thereof, under this section; and
          (2) issue a concise decision document that contains the 
        following:
                  (A) The rationale for the agency decision.
                  (B) An economic analysis and justification.
                  (C) An analysis of the environmental effects of the 
                project and how such effects will be minimized or 
                mitigated consistent with the applicable land and 
                resource management plan. As part of this analysis, the 
                Secretary concerned shall consider, to the extent the 
                Secretary concerned determines appropriate, forest type 
                or plant association group, standing- and down-dead 
                wood, watershed, water quality, wildlife habitat, and 
                soils applicable to the damaged Federal land.
  (e) Immediate Implementation.--In the case of a catastrophic event 
recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of 
such a project, for which the emergency procedures authorized by this 
section are used, the Secretary concerned shall implement the project, 
or portion of the project, immediately after the issuance of the 
decision document under subsection (d), subject only to the 
availability of funds for the project.
  (f) Monitoring.--To monitor a catastrophic event recovery project or 
catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for 
which the emergency procedures authorized by this section were used, 
the Secretary concerned may establish a third-party monitoring group, 
as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

SEC. 106. ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.

  (a) Administrative Review Generally.--Except as provided in 
subsection (b), nothing in this title affects--
          (1) the notice, comment, and appeal requirements of section 
        322 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies 
        Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public 102-381; 16 U.S.C. 1612 note); 
        and
          (2) section 215 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations.
  (b) Predecisional Administrative Notice, Comment, and Review.--
          (1) Interim final regulations.--Not later than 60 days after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of 
        Agriculture shall promulgate interim final regulations to 
        establish a predecisional administrative review process that 
        will serve as the sole means by which--
                  (A) the Secretary of Agriculture will provide notice 
                of and solicit comments regarding--
                          (i) the proposed use of a pre-approved 
                        management practice under section 104 on 
                        National Forest System land; and
                          (ii) a catastrophic event recovery project or 
                        catastrophic event research project, or portion 
                        of such a project, for which the emergency 
                        procedures under section 105 are used on 
                        National Forest System land; and
                  (B) a person can seek administrative review 
                regarding--
                          (i) the proposed use of a pre-approved 
                        management practice under section 104 on 
                        National Forest System land; and
                          (ii) a catastrophic event recovery project or 
                        catastrophic event research project, or portion 
                        of such a project, for which the emergency 
                        procedures under section 105 are used on 
                        National Forest System land.
          (2) Period covered by review process.--The review portion of 
        the predecisional administrative review process described in 
        paragraph (1)(B) shall occur during the period--
                  (A) beginning on the date on which the Secretary of 
                Agriculture makes a determination to use pre-approved 
                management practices or emergency procedures under 
                section 102(d); and
                  (B) ending not later than the date of the issuance of 
                applicable decision document under section 104 or 105.
          (3) Effective date.--The interim final regulations 
        promulgated under paragraph (1) shall take effect on the date 
        of promulgation of the regulations.
          (4) Final regulations.--The Secretary of Agriculture shall 
        promulgate final regulations to establish the predecisional 
        administrative review process described in paragraph (1) as 
        soon as practicable after the interim final regulations have 
        been promulgated and a reasonable period of time has been 
        provided for public comment.
  (c) Judicial Review.--Section 106 of the Healthy Forests Restoration 
Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6516) shall apply with respect to the 
implementation of a pre-approved management practice under section 104 
or a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research 
project regarding which the applicable administrative review process 
has been exhausted. In any proceeding for judicial review of agency 
action under this subsection, attorney fees awarded to a prevailing 
party may not exceed the hourly rates established in section 3006A of 
title 18, United States Code.

SEC. 107. GUIDANCE REGARDING REFORESTATION IN RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC 
                    EVENTS.

  Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
the Secretary concerned shall--
          (1) standardize the collection, reporting, and review 
        procedures for data regarding more aggressive, expedited, and 
        comprehensive reforestation in response to catastrophic events 
        by clarifying agency-wide guidance and developing standard 
        protocols for determining when and how reforestation can be 
        best achieved as part of the response to catastrophic events;
          (2) clarify agency-wide guidance regarding reforestation in 
        response to catastrophic events to ensure that such guidance is 
        consistent with agency goals and budget constraints; and
          (3) clarify agency-wide guidance regarding the development, 
        during the revision of a land and resource management plan, of 
        goals and objectives for catastrophic event recovery to ensure 
        that such guidance addresses catastrophic event recovery 
        objectives, by forest type or plant association group, related 
        to standing- and down-dead wood, soil and watershed protection, 
        wildlife habitat, and other resource values.

SEC. 108. EFFECT OF TITLE.

  (a) Use of Other Authorities.--Nothing in this title affects the use 
by the Secretary concerned of other statutory or administrative 
authority, including categorical exclusions adopted to implement the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), to 
conduct a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event 
research project, or portion of such a project, that is not conducted 
using the emergency procedures authorized by section 105.
  (b) Preference for Local Operators.--In the manner provided in 
section 420 of the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006 (Public Law 109-54; 119 Stat. 553), 
the Secretary concerned maygive consideration to local contractors in 
awarding a Federal contract to implement--
          (1) a pre-approved management practice under section 104; or
          (2) a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic 
        event research project, or portions of such a project, for 
        which the emergency procedures under section 105 are used.
  (c) Advisory Committees.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 
U.S.C. App.) and title XVIII of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (7 
U.S.C. 2281 et seq.) shall not apply to--
          (1) the peer review provided by scientific and land 
        management experts under section 101(b) or 104(b);
          (2) the monitoring process under section 104(h) or 105(f); 
        and
          (3) the preparation of a catastrophic event recovery 
        evaluation or catastrophic event recovery proposal.

SEC. 109. STANDARDS FOR TREE RETENTION.

  (a) Snags and Downed Wood.--In planning or conducting any 
catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research 
project, the Secretary concerned shall ensure that--
          (1) at a minimum, a distribution of standing snags and downed 
        wood of the oldest age class is retained on site necessary to 
        provide habitat for associated species through various stages 
        of forest development and to provide a long-term nutrient 
        source; and
          (2) within the oldest age class on site, priority is given, 
        to the extent practicable, to retaining the more decay-
        resistant species.
  (b) Exception.--Subsection (a) shall not apply in the case of 
academic research, either by an accredited research university or a 
Forest Service Research Station, or when the applicable land and 
resource management plan contains more restrictive guidelines for snags 
and downed wood.
  (c) Plan Amendment.--The Secretary concerned may amend a land and 
resource management plan to incorporate snags and downed wood retention 
guidelines, specific to forest type or plant association group.

TITLE II--RESTORING LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY CATASTROPHIC 
                                 EVENTS

        Subtitle A--Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

SEC. 201. ASSISTANCE UNDER COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1978 
                    TO RESTORE LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY 
                    CATASTROPHIC EVENTS.

  (a) Assistance Authorized.--Section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry 
Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2106c) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections 
        (d) and (e), respectively; and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new 
        subsection:
  ``(c) Response to Catastrophic Events Affecting Non-Federal Lands.--
          ``(1) Landscape assessments.--At the request of an eligible 
        entity, the Secretary may cooperate with the eligible entity in 
        the preparation of a landscape assessment for non-Federal lands 
        affected by a catastrophic event. The Secretary may combine the 
        preparation of a landscape assessment with the preparation of a 
        catastrophic event recovery evaluation under title I of the 
        Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act regarding Federal 
        land in the vicinity of the damaged non-Federal land.
          ``(2) Community assessments.--At the request of an eligible 
        entity affected by a catastrophic event, the Secretary may 
        cooperate with the eligible entity in the preparation of a 
        community wildfire protection plan or related plan.
          ``(3) Decision to provide assessment assistance.--In response 
        to the request of an eligible entity for assistance under 
        paragraph (1) or (2), the Secretary shall make a decision, 
        within 30 days after receiving the request, whether or not to 
        provide such assistance. The decision rests in the sole 
        discretion of the Secretary, but, if the Secretary rejects the 
        request for assistance, the Secretary shall provide the 
        eligible entity with an explanation of the reasons for the 
        rejection.
          ``(4) Types of assistance.--The Secretary concerned may 
        provide technical and financial cost-share assistance to an 
        eligible entity--
                  ``(A) to assist in the preparation of a landscape 
                assessment under paragraph (1) or a community wildfire 
                protection plan, community assessment, or community 
                action plan under paragraph (2); and
                  ``(B) to implement special recovery projects 
                identified in the landscape assessment or community 
                wildfire protection plan, community assessment, or 
                community action plan.
          ``(5) Special recovery projects.--Special recovery projects 
        supported under paragraph (4)(B) may include projects 
        involving--
                  ``(A) revegetation, tree planting, and other 
                management practices the Secretary determines to be 
                appropriate;
                  ``(B) developing products from and markets for timber 
                harvested in response to a catastrophic event and 
                remaining forest resources;
                  ``(C) training for the local populace for work in 
                connection with catastrophic event recovery;
                  ``(D) repair of forest roads, bridges, and trails and 
                water supply areas affected by a catastrophic event; 
                and
                  ``(E) such other activities as the Secretary 
                determines to be necessary to undertake the special 
                recovery project.
          ``(6) Additional funding sources.--Amounts appropriated to 
        the Secretary to carry out sections 8 and 10 may be used to 
        provide assistance under this subsection.
          ``(7) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  ``(A) The term `eligible entity' means a State 
                Forester or equivalent State official, an Indian tribe, 
                or local government. The term may include community-
                based organizations and other persons working in 
                conjunction with a State Forester or equivalent State 
                official, an Indian tribe, or local government.
                  ``(B) The terms `catastrophic event', `landscape 
                assessment', and `special recovery project' have the 
                meanings given those terms in section 3 of the Forest 
                Emergency Recovery and Research Act.
                  ``(C) The term `community wildfire protection plan' 
                has the meaning given that term in section 101(3) of 
                the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 
                6511(3)).''.
  (b) Clerical Amendment.--The heading of such section is amended by 
inserting before the period at the end the following: ``and 
response