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[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


113th Congress   }                                    {        Report
                 }     HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES       { 
 1st Session                                                  113-112
======================================================================
 
AMENDING THE FISH AND WILDLIFE ACT OF 1956 TO REAUTHORIZE THE VOLUNTEER 
    PROGRAMS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE BENEFIT OF NATIONAL 
                WILDLIFE REFUGES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

                                _______
                                

 June 17, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1300]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1300) to amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 
to reauthorize the volunteer programs and community 
partnerships for the benefit of national wildlife refuges, and 
for other purposes, 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. REAUTHORIZATION OF NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM 
                    VOLUNTEER, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP, AND EDUCATION 
                    PROGRAMS.

  Section 7(g) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f(g)) 
is amended by striking ``2011 through 2014'' and inserting ``2015 
through 2017''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 1300, as ordered reported, is to amend 
the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to reauthorize the volunteer 
programs and community partnerships for the benefit of national 
wildlife refuges.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The National Wildlife Refuge System contains 150 million 
acres of federal lands dedicated to the conservation of fish 
and wildlife. There are 561 refuges located throughout the 
United States and these federal lands provide essential habitat 
for thousands of fish and wildlife species. The Fish and 
Wildlife Act of 1956, as amended by the Fish and Wildlife 
Improvement Act of 1978, and the National Wildlife Refuge 
System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 
1998 (Public Law 105-242) authorized the Fish and Wildlife 
Service to accept volunteer services.
    Public Law 105-242 expanded the authority of the Secretary 
of the Interior to recruit, train and accept the services of 
individuals as volunteers; provide volunteers with food, 
housing, transportation and uniforms; provide matching funds 
for gifts or bequests to refuges; establish a Senior Volunteer 
Corps; enter into cooperative agreements with partner 
organizations, academic institutions or State or local 
governments to carry out operation and maintenance and 
educational projects; develop refuge education programs; deem 
volunteers government employees for tort claim liability and 
compensation for injuries; and require that gifts are used on 
site.
    This law also directed the Secretary to establish two or 
more pilot projects to provide employment for a full time 
volunteer coordinator who would be responsible for recruiting, 
training and supervising volunteers. This Act has been extended 
on several occasions with an authorization of appropriations of 
$2 million each fiscal year, the latest to September 30, 2014, 
with the enactment of P.L. 111-357. However, this program has 
not received a direct Congressional appropriation, but relies 
on base funding allocated to the Fish and Wildlife Service 
(FWS).
    In reality, FWS has maintained a refuge volunteer program 
for nearly thirty years and utilized volunteers throughout the 
System. The number of volunteers has increased from 4,251 in 
1982 to 56,000 individuals in 2012, and they play a vital role 
in the operation of many refuges within the System. The hours 
of service have also grown from 128,440 hours to 2.1 million, 
with donated time equaling 1000 full-time employees or about 20 
percent of the work completed within the refuge system. The 
value of this work has also significantly increased from $1.1 
million to the current calculation of $47 million. In fact, FWS 
has indicated that ``they play a vital role in serving over 44 
million visitors who enjoy public lands managed by the 
Service.'' Among the important activities that volunteers 
perform are: operating the visitors centers; building new 
fishing piers and kiosk exhibits; fighting invasive species; 
conducting fish and wildlife population surveys; planting 
native trees; removing debris; and trail maintenance.
    In addition to accepting the services of individual 
volunteers, the Service has developed formal relationships with 
a number of conservation and service organizations. These have 
included: the American Hiking Society; the Boys Scouts of 
America; the Chamber of Commerce; Ducks Unlimited; the National 
Rifle Association; and local sportsmen's clubs. There are more 
than 230 ``Friends of the Refuge'' groups which are private, 
independent, community-based, nonprofit organizations formed 
primarily by citizen volunteers who support the mission and 
purposes of a national wildlife refuge.
    During the past five years, the Obama Administration has 
requested huge increases for additional land acquisition within 
the national wildlife refuge system but has largely ignored its 
existing $3 billion dollar operations and maintenance backlog. 
As a result of these misplaced priorities, there are now 139 
refuges closed to the public and 216 units have no FWS staff on 
site. Refuge volunteers will continue to play a growing role in 
the operation of the refuge system and this legislation 
provides a modest investment of taxpayer money, allocated from 
the refuge operations account, to ensure that volunteer 
activities are properly supervised and directed. More 
importantly, this will help to ensure that Americans continue 
to have opportunities to hunt, fish, photograph, study and 
observe wildlife at our nation's national wildlife refuges 
located in all 50 states and the five territories.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 1300 was introduced on March 20, 2013, by Congressman 
Jon Runyan (R-NJ). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs. On April 
25, 2013, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and 
Insular Affairs held a hearing on the bill. On May 15, 2013, 
the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider the bill. 
The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular 
Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent. Congressman John 
Fleming (R-LA) offered an amendment designated .001 to the 
bill; the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. No 
further amendments were offered, and the bill, as amended, was 
then adopted and 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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                    Compliance With House Rule XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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. 1300--A bill to amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to 
        reauthorize the volunteer programs and community partnerships 
        for the benefit of national wildlife refuges, and for other 
        purposes

    Summary: H.R. 1300 would authorize the appropriation of $6 
million over the 2015-2017 period for the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) to carry out volunteer programs and 
community partnerships at national wildlife refuges. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would cost $6 million over the 
2015-2017 period. Enacting H.R. 1300 would not affect direct 
spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do 
not apply.
    H.R. 1300 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. 1300 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--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2014      2015      2016      2017      2018    2014-2018
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level................................         0         2         2         2         0          6
Estimated Outlays..................................         0         2         2         2         0          6
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that the 
legislation will be enacted before the end of 2013 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar USFWS activities.
    H.R. 1300 would authorize the appropriation of $2 million a 
year over the 2015-2017 period for USFWS to continue certain 
volunteer programs and community partnerships. Under those 
programs, volunteers assist USFWS personnel in conducting 
recreation activities, restoring habitats, and performing 
administrative and maintenance work at national wildlife 
refuges. In 2013, those programs received appropriations of 
about $2 million and are authorized, under current law, to 
receive $2 million in 2014. CBO estimates that implementing 
H.R. 1300 would cost $6 million over the 2015-2017 period, 
assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts.
    Pay-as-you-go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1300 
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: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget 
Act of 1974, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures. Assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $6 million over the 2015-2017 period.
    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 amend the 
Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to reauthorize the volunteer 
programs and community partnerships for the benefit of national 
wildlife refuges.

                           Earmark Statement

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of Rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       Compliance With H. Res. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                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):

             SECTION 7 OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE ACT OF 1956


                 POLICIES, PROCEDURES, RECOMMENDATIONS

  Sec. 7. (a) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out 
subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), $2,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years [2011 through 2014] 2015 through 2017.