Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

110th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    110-244

======================================================================
 
  MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUNDS REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

 July 23, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany H.R. 50]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 50) to reauthorize the African Elephant Conservation 
Act and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Multinational Species Conservation 
Funds Reauthorization Act of 2007''.

SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENT OF AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION 
                    ACT.

  (a) Notice of Approval of Project Proposal.--Section 2101(c) of the 
African Elephant Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4211(c)) is amended by 
striking ``and to each country within which the project is proposed to 
be conducted''.
  (b) Administrative Expenses.--Section 2306(b) of the African Elephant 
Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4245(b)) is amended by striking ``$80,000'' 
and inserting ``$100,000''.
  (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 2306(a) of the African 
Elephant Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4245(a)) is amended by striking 
``2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007'' and inserting ``2007 
through 2012''.

SEC. 3. REAUTHORIZATION AND AMENDMENT OF RHINOCEROS AND TIGER 
                    CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994.

  (a) Notice of Approval of Project Proposal.--Section 5(c) of the 
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 5304(c)) is 
amended in the third sentence by striking ``, to the Administrator, and 
to each country within which the project is to be conducted'' and 
inserting ``and to the Administrator''.
  (b) Administrative Expenses.--Section 10(b) of the Rhinoceros and 
Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 5306(b)) is amended by 
striking ``$80,000'' and inserting ``$100,000''.
  (c) Authorization of Appropriations.--Section 10(a) of the Rhinoceros 
and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (16 U.S.C. 5306(a)) is amended by 
striking ``2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007'' and inserting 
``2007 through 2012''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 50, as ordered reported, is to 
reauthorize the African Elephant Conservation Act and 
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 50, the Multinational Species Conservation Funds 
Reauthorization Act of 2007, would amend and reauthorize 
through 2012 the African Elephant Conservation Act and the 
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act. These acts provide for 
the conservation of the rhinoceros, tiger and African elephant, 
three wildlife species listed on Appendix I of the Convention 
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and 
Flora (CITES) which prohibits any international trade of these 
endangered species. Some sub-populations of these species may 
be stable or recovering, but most remain extremely vulnerable 
in the wild.
    Rhinoceros--Between 1979 and 1992, black rhinoceros 
declined 96 percent across Asia and Africa, shrinking from over 
1 million animals to approximately 2,300. Sumatran rhinos have 
continued to decline in the past 18 years with only an 
estimated 300 surviving in Malaysia and Indonesia. White rhino, 
however, whose population once declined to about 100 animals, 
is now thought to have recovered to an estimated population of 
11,000. All five rhino species remain subjected to intense 
poaching to supply the illegal global black market for rhino 
horn used mostly in Asian medicine.
    Tiger--Once abundant throughout Asia, wild tigers now 
number between 5,000 to 7,000 animals and live in fragmented 
groups, mostly in protected forests, refuges and national 
parks. Recent surveys indicate that the South China Tiger may 
become extinct. Tiger populations remain subject to severe 
poaching pressure and illegal hunting to fuel a lucrative 
international trade in tiger and tiger parts, mostly in Asia 
for traditional medicines.
    African Elephant--Populations plummeted from an estimated 
10 million to approximately 500,000 between 1900 and 1990. 
Central and East African populations remain highly stressed due 
to increased poaching for ``bushmeat'' and illegal ivory 
markets, civil war and habitat loss. Southern populations have 
stabilized or even recovered. This has heightened hostile 
elephant/human interactions and increased interest within some 
range states to downlist specific populations to CITES Appendix 
II which would allow for permitted trade if it is not 
detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild.
    H.R. 50 would reauthorize through 2012 two popular 
international wildlife conservation acts, providing matching 
grants to non-federal conservation partners. This funding will 
support field conservation projects, such as scientific 
research, habitat enhancement, law enforcement, monitoring and 
local community outreach and education benefitting African 
elephants, rhinos, tigers and their habitats. Continued funding 
is considered essential because future survival in the wild of 
these charismatic species remains tenuous due to increased 
poaching, escalation in illegal trade, spotty law enforcement 
in countries that receive grant funding, habitat loss, 
political instability and civil strife within regions where 
these animals range, according to witnesses who testified at 
the Subcommittee hearing. Despite achievements made under both 
programs, current conservation efforts could collapse with the 
cessation of U.S. financial involvement. Below is a table 
describing total funding, grants awarded, funds used for 
administration and total non-federal matching amounts for both 
Acts since their enactments.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                      African
                                                                     Elephant      Rhino & Tiger       Total
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total number of grant proposals received........................             428             744           1,172
Total number of grant awards....................................             281             321             602
Percentage of countries with relevant species that receive                  100%             82%             94%
 grants.........................................................
Total amount appropriated by U.S. Congress......................     $17,383,350      $9,497,141     $26,880,491
Total funds distributed through grants..........................     $16,812,798      $9,304,209     $26,117,007
Total funds spent on administration of grants...................        $733,833        $488,335      $1,222,168
Total matching/in-kind funds leveraged through grants...........     $71,729,121     $19,377,873     $91,106,994
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 50 was introduced on January 4, 2007 by the Ranking 
Republican Member of the Natural Resources Committee, 
Congressman Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans. On March 13, 
2007, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill and received 
positive testimony from several witnesses, including the 
Administration. On March 22, 2007, the Fisheries Subcommittee 
met to mark up the bill. The Subcommittee's Ranking Republican 
Member, Congressman Henry Brown (R-SC) offered an amendment in 
the nature of a substitute to increase from $80,000 to $100,000 
the amount authorized under each Act for the Fish and Wildlife 
Service to administer the program, and additionally to clarify 
notice requirements for approved grants under the Rhinoceros 
and Tiger Conservation Act. The amendment was adopted by voice 
vote. The bill was then forwarded to the Full Committee as 
amended. On June 28, 2007, the Natural Resources Committee met 
to consider the committee print of the bill as forwarded by the 
Fisheries Subcommittee. Mr. Brown offered two non-controversial 
amendments that were considered en bloc under a unanimous 
consent motion. The first amendment clarified notice 
requirements for approved grants under the African Elephant 
Act, and the second amendment corrected flawed punctuation in 
the committee print identified by House Legislative Counsel. 
The amendments were adopted by unanimous consent. The bill as 
amended was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section states that the bill may be cited as the 
``Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act 
of 2007.''

Section 2. Reauthorization and amendment of African Elephant 
        Conservation Act

    This section amends the African Elephant Conservation Act 
to increase funding available to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to administer the program from $80,000 to $100,000 per 
year. The section also revises notice requirements for grants 
approved by the Secretary of the Interior to eliminate 
unnecessary notices to the countries in which the grant 
activity will be conducted. The section also amends the act to 
reauthorize existing funding levels through fiscal year 2012.

Section 3. Reauthorization and amendment of Rhinoceros and Tiger 
        Conservation Act of 1994

    This section amends the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation 
Act to make corresponding changes identical to those described 
in section 2.

            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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

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

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    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, as ordered reported, is to reauthorize 
the African Elephant Conservation Act and Rhinoceros and Tiger 
Conservation Act of 1994.
    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. 50--Multinational Species Conservation Funds Reauthorization Act 
        of 2007

    Summary: H.R. 50 would reauthorize appropriations for 
projects carried out under the African Elephant Conservation 
Act of 1988 and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 
1994. Specifically, the bill would authorize appropriations 
through 2012 for such projects at the existing authorization 
level of up to $15 million annually. The current authorizations 
expire after fiscal year 2007. The Secretary of the Interior 
uses this fund primarily to help finance research and 
conservation programs overseas.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 50 would result in additional 
spending of $68 million over the 2008-2012 period. (An 
additional $7 million would be spent after 2012.) Enacting the 
legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 50 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the federal government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 50 is shown in the following table. 
The cost of this legislation falls within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment). For this estimate, CBO 
assumes that the entire amounts authorized by the bill would be 
appropriated for each fiscal year. Outlay estimates are based 
on recent spending patterns for this program.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                     By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                                 -----------------------------------------------
                                                                   2007    2008    2009    2010    2011    2012
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                        SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATIONSpending Under Current Law for Multinational Species
 Conservation Funds:
    Budget Authority............................................       3       0       0       0       0       0
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       3       0       0       0       0       0
Proposed Changes:
    Authorization Level.........................................       0      15      15      15      15      15
    Estimated Outlays...........................................       0       9      14      15      15      15
Spending Under H.R. 50 for Multinational Species Conservation
 Funds:
    Estimated Authorization Level...............................      15      15      15      15      15      15
    Estimated Outlays...........................................      15       9      14      15      15      15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 50 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would not affect the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Deborah Reis and David 
Reynolds; Impact on State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Leo 
Lex; Impact on the Private Sector: Justin Hall.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 50 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

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

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION ACT

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


TITLE II--AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            PART I--AFRICAN ELEPHANT CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE

SEC. 2101. PROVISION OF ASSISTANCE.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Project Review and Approval.--The Secretary shall review 
each project proposal to determine if it meets the criteria set 
forth in subsection (d) and otherwise merits assistance under 
this title. Not later than six months after receiving a project 
proposal, and subject to the availability of funds, the 
Secretary shall approve or disapprove the proposal and provide 
written notification to the person who submitted the proposal 
[and to each country within which the project is proposed to be 
conducted].

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


PART III--MISCELLANEOUS

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2306. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
the Fund and to the Secretary a total of not to exceed 
$5,000,000 for each of fiscal years [2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 
2005, 2006, and 2007] 2007 through 2012 to carry out this 
title, to remain available until expended.
  (b) Administrative Expenses.--Of amounts available each 
fiscal year to carry out this title, the Secretary may expend 
not more than 3 percent or [$80,000] $100,000, whichever is 
greater, to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry 
out this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1994

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 5. RHINOCEROS AND TIGER CONSERVATION ASSISTANCE.

  (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (c) Project Review and Approval.--Within 30 days of receiving 
a final project proposal, the Secretary shall provide a copy of 
the proposal to the Administrator. The Secretary shall review 
each final project proposal to determine if it meets the 
criteria set forth in subsection (d). Not later than 6 months 
after receiving a final project proposal, and subject to the 
availability of funds, the Secretary, after consulting with the 
Administrator, shall approve or disapprove the proposal and 
provide written notification to the person who submitted the 
proposal[, to the Administrator, and to each country within 
which the project is to be conducted] and to the Administrator.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
the Fund $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years [2001, 2002, 
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007] 2007 through 2012 to carry 
out this Act, to remain available until expended.
  (b) Administrative Expenses.--Of amounts available each 
fiscal year to carry out this Act, the Secretary may expend not 
more than 3 percent or [$80,000] $100,000, whichever is 
greater, to pay the administrative expenses necessary to carry 
out this Act.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *