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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-638

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



 
          NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY SYSTEM VOLUNTEER ACT OF 2006

                                _______
                                

 September 6, 2006.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 5381]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 5381) to establish a volunteer program and promote 
community partnerships for the benefit of national fish 
hatcheries and fisheries program offices, having considered the 
same, report favorably thereon without amendment and recommend 
that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 5381 is to establish a volunteer 
program and promote community partnerships for the benefit of 
national fish hatcheries and fisheries program offices.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The majority of federal fish hatchery facilities are 
managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. From its 
historic level of 136 National Fish Hatcheries in 1940, the 
System is now comprised of 69 National Fish Hatcheries, seven 
Fish Technology Centers, nine Fish Health Centers and one 
historic fish hatchery. The role of the National Fish Hatchery 
System is broader than private, state and tribal hatcheries 
which primarily stock fish for commercial and recreational 
fishing.
    The National Fish Hatchery System has an existing volunteer 
program: its limited statutory authority is contained within 
the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956. There are currently 18 
``Friends of the Hatchery'' volunteer organizations out of 150 
eligible facilities. This is despite the fact that the vast 
majority of our national fish hatcheries are more than sixty 
years old, the number of full-time hatchery employees has 
declined by more than 12 percent over the past decade, and the 
need for volunteer services is significant.
    This legislation is modeled after the highly successful 
National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community 
Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998. As a result of that law, 
the number of refuge volunteers has significantly increased 
from 4,251 in 1982 to more than 37,000 individuals last year. 
The number of hours of donated service has also risen from 
128,440 hours to 1.5 million hours in 2006, and the value of 
this volunteer work is $26.6 million. There are now more than 
280 ``Friends of the Refuge'' organizations.
    Under H.R. 5381, the existing hatchery volunteer program 
would be expanded. The Secretary of the Interior would be 
permitted to accept gifts or bequests of real and personal 
property for the benefit of the System. It also authorizes the 
creation of one or more pilot volunteer projects within the 
System and the payment of a full-time volunteer coordinator who 
would be responsible for the recruiting, training and 
supervision of volunteers. The bill allows the Secretary to 
enter into cooperative agreements with partner organizations, 
and it permits the Secretary to approve projects to assist the 
System by promoting the stewardship of hatchery resources and 
supporting the operation and maintenance of the hatchery 
program.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 5381 was introduced on May 11, 2006, by Congressman 
Jim Saxton (R-NJ). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on 
Fisheries and Oceans. On June 15, 2006, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On July 19, 2006, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee on 
Fisheries and Oceans was discharged from further consideration 
of the bill by unanimous consent. No amendments were offered 
and the bill was ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

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

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article IV, section 3, clause 2 of the Constitution of the 
United States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3( d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in tax expenditures. 
According to the Congressional Budget Office, enactment of the 
bill could increase revenues from private donations and 
associated direct spending, but any such effects are less than 
$500,000 annually.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to establish a volunteer program and 
promote community partnerships for the benefit of national fish 
hatcheries and fisheries program offices.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 5381--National Fish Hatchery System Volunteer Act of 2006

    H.R. 5381 would authorize the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service (USFWS) to allow nonfederal partners to carry out 
projects and programs that promote and support national fish 
hatcheries. Assuming appropriation of the amounts authorized by 
the bill, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5381 would cost 
$350,000 a year over the 2007-2011 period. Enacting the bill 
also could increase revenues from private donations and 
associated direct spending, but we expect that such effects 
would be less than $500,000 a year.
    The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 5381 would authorize the USFWS to accept and use 
property, volunteer services, and funds donated by nonfederal 
entities such as nonprofit organizations. The bill would 
authorize the agency to accept donations from those partners, 
including amounts earned from the sale of educational materials 
and products at the hatcheries. Under the bill, all such 
earnings would be available, without further appropriation 
action, for hatchery purposes. Based on information provided by 
the USFWS, CBO estimates that donations (which would be 
recorded as revenues in the federal budget) would be less than 
$500,000 a year.
    Finally, the bill would authorize the appropriation of 
$350,000 for each of fiscal years 2007 through 2011, including 
$200,000 annually for hatchery programs and $150,000 annually 
for a pilot program to maintain volunteer coordinators at one 
or more hatcheries. Assuming appropriation of the amounts 
authorized by H.R. 5381, CBO estimates that the USFWS would 
spend $350,000 a year to coordinate volunteer activities at 
hatcheries and to develop and implement public education 
programs.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

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

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.