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                                                      Calendar No. 711
115th Congress   }                                      {       Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session      }                                      {      115-420

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



 
              21ST CENTURY CONSERVATION SERVICE CORPS ACT

                                _______
                                

                December 6, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

        Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural 
                   Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1403]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1403) to amend the Public Lands Corps Act 
of 1993 to establish the 21st Century Conservation Service 
Corps to place youth and veterans in national service positions 
to conserve, restore, and enhance the great outdoors of the 
United States, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute and recommends 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 ``21st Century Conservation Service 
Corps Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    Section 203 of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1722) 
is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (2), by striking ``under section 204'' and 
        inserting ``by section 204(a)(1)'';
          (2) by redesignating paragraphs (8) through (13) as 
        paragraphs (9) through (14), respectively;
          (3) by inserting after paragraph (7) the following:
          ``(8) Institution of higher education.--
                  ``(A) In general.--The term `institution of higher 
                education' has the meaning given the term in section 
                102 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                1002).
                  ``(B) Exclusion.--The term `institution of higher 
                education' does not include--
                          ``(i) an institution described in section 
                        101(b) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
                        U.S.C. 1001(b)); or
                          ``(ii) an institution outside the United 
                        States, as described in section 102(a)(1)(C) of 
                        the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 
                        1002(a)(1)(C)).'';
          (4) in paragraph (9) (as so redesignated)--
                  (A) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by 
                striking ``, as follows'' and inserting ``and other 
                conservation and restoration initiatives, as follows''; 
                and
                  (B) by adding at the end the following:
                  ``(E) To protect, restore, or enhance marine, 
                estuarine, riverine, and coastal habitat ecosystem 
                components--
                          ``(i) to promote the recovery of threatened 
                        species, endangered species, and managed 
                        fisheries;
                          ``(ii) to restore fisheries, protected 
                        resources, and habitats impacted by oil and 
                        chemical spills and natural disasters; or
                          ``(iii) to enhance the resilience of coastal 
                        ecosystems, communities, and economies through 
                        habitat conservation.'';
          (5) in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (11) (as so 
        redesignated), by striking ``individuals between the ages of 16 
        and 30, inclusive,'' and inserting ``individuals between the 
        ages of 16 and 30, inclusive, or veterans age 35 or younger'';
          (6) in paragraph (13) (as so redesignated)--
                  (A) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'' at the 
                end;
                  (B) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at 
                the end and inserting ``; and''; and (C) by adding at 
                the end the following:
                  ``(C) with respect to the National Marine Sanctuary 
                System, coral reefs, and other coastal, estuarine, and 
                marine habitats, and other land and facilities 
                administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                Administration, the Secretary of Commerce.''; and
          (7) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(15) Veteran.--The term `veteran' has the meaning given the 
        term in section 101 of title 38, United States Code.''.

SEC. 3. PUBLIC LANDS CORPS PROGRAM.

    Section 204 of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1723) 
is amended--
          (1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
    ``(a) Establishment of Public Lands Corps.--
          ``(1) In general.--There is established in the Department of 
        the Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department 
        of Commerce a corps, to be known as the `Public Lands Corps''.
          ``(2) No effect on other agencies.--Nothing in this 
        subsection precludes the establishment of a public lands corps 
        by the head of a Federal department or agency other than a 
        department described in paragraph (1), in accordance with this 
        Act.''; and
           (2) in subsection (b)--
                  (A) in the first sentence, by striking ``individuals 
                between the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive,'' and 
                inserting ``individuals between the ages of 16 and 30, 
                inclusive, and veterans age 35 or younger''; and
                  (B) in the second sentence, by striking ``section 
                137(b) of the National and Community Service Act of 
                1990'' and inserting ``paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and 
                (5) of section 137(a) of the National and Community 
                Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12591(a))''.

SEC. 4. TRANSPORTATION.

    Section 205 of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1724) 
is amended by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) Transportation.--The Secretary may provide to Corps 
participants who reside in their own homes transportation to and from 
appropriate conservation project sites.''.

SEC. 5. RESOURCE ASSISTANTS.

    (a) In General.--Section 206(a) of the Public Lands Corps Act of 
1993 (16 U.S.C. 1725(a)) is amended by striking the first sentence and 
inserting the following: ``The Secretary may provide individual 
placements of resource assistants to carry out research or resource 
protection activities on behalf of the Secretary.''.
    (b) Direct Hire Authority.--Section 121(a) of the Department of the 
Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2012 
(16 U.S.C. 1725a), is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1)--
                  (A) by striking ``Secretary of the Interior'' and 
                inserting ``Secretary (as defined in section 203 of the 
                Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1722))'';
                  (B) by striking ``paragraph (1)'' and inserting 
                ``paragraph (2)''; and
                  (C) by striking ``with a land managing agency of the 
                Department of the Interior''; and
          (2) in paragraph (2)(A), by striking ``with a land managing 
        agency'' and inserting ``with the Secretary (as so defined)''.

SEC. 6. COMPENSATION AND EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS.

    Section 207 of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1726) 
is amended--
          (1) by striking the section heading and inserting 
        ``compensation and terms of service'';
          (2) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections 
        (c) and (d), respectively;
          (3) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
    ``(b) Educational Credit.--The Secretary may provide a Corps 
participant with an educational credit that may be applied towards a 
program of postsecondary education at an institution of higher 
education that agrees to award the credit for participation in the 
Corps.'';
          (4) in subsection (c) (as so redesignated)--
                  (A) by striking ``Each participant'' and inserting 
                the following:
          ``(1) In general.--Each participant''; and
                  (B) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(2) Indian youth service corps.--With respect to the Indian 
        Youth Service Corps established under section 210, the 
        Secretary shall establish the term of service of participants 
        in consultation with the affected Indian tribe.'';
          (5) in subsection (d) (as so redesignated)--
                  (A) by redesignating paragraphs (1) and (2) as 
                subparagraphs (A) and (B), respectively, and indenting 
                the subparagraphs appropriately;
                  (B) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A) (as so 
                redesignated), by striking ``The Secretary'' and 
                inserting the following:
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretary''; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(2) Time-limited appointment.--For purposes of section 9602 
        of title 5, United States Code, a former member of the Corps 
        hired by the Secretary under paragraph (1)(B) for a time-
        limited appointment shall be considered to be appointed 
        initially under open, competitive examination.''; and
          (6) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(e) Applicability to Qualified Youth or Conservation Corps.--The 
hiring and compensation standards described in this section shall apply 
to any individual participating in an appropriate conservation project 
through a qualified youth or conservation corps, including an 
individual placed through a contract or cooperative agreement, as 
approved by the Secretary.''.

SEC. 7. REPORTING AND DATA COLLECTION.

    Title II of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1721 et 
seq.) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating sections 209 through 211 as sections 211 
        through 213, respectively;
          (2) by inserting after section 208 the following:

``SEC. 209. REPORTING AND DATA COLLECTION.

    ``(a) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment 
of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, and annually 
thereafter, the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National 
and Community Service, in coordination with the Secretaries, shall 
submit to Congress a report that includes data on the Corps, 
including--
          ``(1) the number of participants enrolled in the Corps and 
        the length of the term of service for each participant;
          ``(2) the projects carried out by Corps participants, 
        categorized by type of project and Federal agency;
          ``(3) the total amount and sources of funding provided for 
        the service of participants;
          ``(4) the type of service performed by participants and the 
        impact and accomplishments of the service; and
          ``(5) any other similar data determined to be appropriate by 
        the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and 
        Community Service or the Secretaries.
    ``(b) Data.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, and annually 
thereafter, the Secretaries shall submit to the Chief Executive Officer 
of the Corporation for National and Community Service the data 
described in subsection (a).
    ``(c) Data Collection.--The Chief Executive Officer of the 
Corporation for National and Community Service may coordinate with 
qualified youth or conservation corps to improve the collection of the 
required data described in subsection (a).
    ``(d) Coordination.--
          ``(1) In general.--The Secretaries shall, to the maximum 
        extent practicable, coordinate with each other to carry out 
        activities authorized under this Act, including--
                  ``(A) the data collection and reporting requirements 
                of this section; and
                  ``(B) implementing and issuing guidance on 
                eligibility for noncompetitive hiring status under 
                section 207(d).
          ``(2) Designation of coordinators.--The Secretary shall 
        designate a coordinator to coordinate and serve as the primary 
        point of contact for any activity of the Corps carried out by 
        the Secretary.''; and
          (3) in subsection (c) of section 212 (as so redesignated), by 
        striking ``211'' and inserting ``213''.

SEC. 8. INDIAN YOUTH SERVICE CORPS.

    Title II of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1721 et 
seq.) (as amended by section 7) is amended by inserting after section 
209 the following:

``SEC. 210. INDIAN YOUTH SERVICE CORPS.

    ``(a) In General.--There is established within the Public Lands 
Corps a program to be known as the `Indian Youth Service Corps' that--
          ``(1) enrolls participants between the ages of 16 and 30, 
        inclusive, and veterans age 35 or younger, a majority of whom 
        are Indians;
          ``(2) is established pursuant to an agreement between an 
        Indian tribe and a qualified youth or conservation corps for 
        the benefit of the members of the Indian tribe; and
          ``(3) carries out appropriate conservation projects on 
        eligible service land.
    ``(b) Authorization of Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretary may 
enter into cooperative agreements with Indian tribes and qualified 
youth or conservation corps for the establishment and administration of 
the Indian Youth Service Corps.
    ``(c) Guidelines.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, the 
Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with Indian tribes, shall 
issue guidelines for the management of the Indian Youth Service Corps, 
in accordance with this Act and any other applicable Federal laws.''.

                                Purpose

    The purpose of S. 1403, as ordered reported, is to amend 
the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (PLCA, 16 U.S.C. 1721 et 
seq.) to increase the number of youth, Tribal youth, and 
veterans in national service positions to conserve, restore, 
and enhance the great outdoors of the United States.

                          Background and Need

    The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was created by 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression. 
The program employed more than 2.5 million young men to work on 
conservation projects across the nation. The original ``CCC 
Boys'' received an education, job training, and a modest wage, 
and the parks, forests, trails, and structures they created are 
still used today.
    When the United States entered World War II, many CCC 
members, having received basic skills and training through 
their Corps experience, entered the armed forces. Soon 
thereafter, the CCC program ended but its legacy continues 
through the more than 150 Corps operating nationwide today.
    The Public Lands Corps, one of the modern successors of the 
CCC, was established by the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 
(Public Law 103-82) to encourage young adults to carry out a 
wide range of service projects on public lands. In 2005, the 
1993 Act was amended to expand the use of the Corps and the 
opportunities it promised for young people around the country. 
Since then, the Department of the Interior and Department of 
Agriculture have supported a wide range of Public Lands Corps 
projects. These projects have a strong record of restoring, 
maintaining, and improving public lands in a cost-effective and 
efficient manner.
    Public Land Corps programs benefit young men and women by 
providing them with public service, service-learning, job 
training, and work opportunities. The programs seek to 
introduce a diverse group of young people to careers in natural 
and cultural resource stewardship and public service by working 
directly with conservation professionals in natural resource 
agencies. This work also promotes the understanding of and 
appreciation for the agencies' missions, and provides potential 
pathways to Federal careers in these agencies.
    S. 1403 amends the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to expand 
the number of American youth and veterans who work to protect, 
restore, enhance, and increase public access to America's great 
outdoors. In addition, the bill establishes a Tribal Youth 
Corps to include and attract underserved populations, and 
increases the number of Federal agencies that are eligible to 
create Public Lands Corps programs. Unlike the original CCC, S. 
1403 aims to cultivate public-private partnerships to expand 
the capacity of existing Corps and incubate new Corps where 
there is need.
    There is a large backlog of priority projects on public 
lands awaiting completion. There is also a high demand for 
national service positions, with applications to existing 
national service corps programs consistently exceeding the 
number of available positions. S. 1403 seeks to address these 
two needs by putting America's youth, particularly Tribal youth 
and returning veterans, to work protecting, restoring, and 
enhancing America's great outdoors.

                          Legislative History

    S. 1403 was introduced by Senators McCain, Alexander, 
Bennet, and Udall on June 21, 2017. The National Parks 
Subcommittee held a hearing on S. 1403 on July 19, 2017.
    In the House of Representatives, Representative McSally 
introduced a related bill, H.R. 2987, on June 21, 2017.
    In the 114th Congress, a similar bill, S. 1993, was 
introduced by Senators McCain and Bennet on August 5, 2015. The 
National Parks Subcommittee held a hearing on S. 1993 on March 
17, 2016.
    Another similar bill, S. 1160, was introduced by Senators 
Udall, Bennet, Heinrich, and Tester on April 30, 2015.
    In the House of Representatives, Representative McSally 
introduced a related bill, H.R. 5114, on April 28, 2016. On 
June 23, 2016, the Natural Resources Committee's Subcommittee 
on Federal Lands held a hearing on H.R. 5114.
    Another similar bill, H.R. 2167, was introduced by 
Representative Grijalva on April 30, 2015. The Subcommittee on 
Federal Lands held a hearing on H.R. 2167 on June 23, 2016.
    At its business meeting on October 2, 2018, the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources, on a voice vote, ordered S. 
1403 favorably reported, as amended.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
1403, if amended as described herein. Senator Lee asked to be 
recorded as voting no.

                          Committee Amendment

    During its consideration of S. 1403, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute. The substitute 
amendment replaces the short title; updates the definitions to 
the PLCA; expands the Public Lands Corps to authorize the 
participation of additional Federal agencies; and expands the 
qualified participants eligible to enroll in Public Lands Corps 
programs. The substitute amendment also authorizes the 
applicable Secretary to provide additional transportation 
options to Public Lands Corps' participants; individual 
placements of resource assistants to carry out research or 
resource protection activities; and educational credits to 
program participants that may be applied towards a 
postsecondary education program for participation in the Public 
Lands Corps. The substitute amendment further establishes and 
provides equity for all Indian Youth Service Corps; clarifies 
the status of former Corps participants hired for time-limited 
appointments; applies all compensation and hiring standards to 
any individual participating in corps projects through a 
qualified youth or conservation corps; requires additional 
reporting and data collection; and expands direct hire 
authority to additional Federal agencies.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Sec. 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Sec. 2. Definitions

    Section 2 amends Section 203 of the PLCA (16 U.S.C. 1722) 
to modify definitions for the terms ``Priority Project,'' 
``Qualified Youth or Conservation Corps,'' and ``Secretary,'' 
and add definitions for the terms ``Institution of Higher 
Education'' and ``Veteran.''

Sec. 3. Public Lands Corps program

    Section 3 amends Section 204 of the PLCA (16 U.S.C. 1723) 
by adding the Department of Commerce to those federal agencies 
(i.e., the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture) for 
which a ``Public Lands Corps'' is established and makes clear 
that other Federal departments or agencies are not precluded 
from establishing a Public Lands Corps. This section also 
amends section 204(b) of the PLCA to allow veterans age 35 or 
younger to participate in the program, and modifies enrollment 
criteria.

Sec. 4. Transportation

    Section 4 amends section 205 of the PLCA (16 U.S.C. 1724) 
by adding a new subsection (e) to authorize the Secretary to 
provide participants with transportation to a project site.

Sec. 5. Resource assistants

    Subsection (a) amends section 206(a) of the PLCA (16 U.S.C. 
1725(a)) to include the updated definition of the term 
``Secretary'' to provide the Secretaries of Agriculture and 
Commerce with the authority to provide individual placements of 
resource assistants to carry out research or resource 
protection activities.
    Subsection (b) amends section 121(a) of the Department of 
the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations 
Act, 2012 (16 U.S.C. 1725a) to include the updated definition 
of the term ``Secretary'' to provide the Secretaries of 
Agriculture and Commerce with direct hire authority under this 
section.

Sec. 6. Compensation and employment standards

    Section 6 amends section 207 of the PLCA (16 U.S.C. 1726) 
to insert a new subsection (b) to authorize the Secretary to 
provide a Public Lands Corps participant with an educational 
credit for a postsecondary education program at an institution 
of higher education that agrees to award such credit. This 
section also redesignates the subsections accordingly.
    This section also modifies subsection (c), as redesignated, 
to require the Secretary to establish the term of service of 
participants in the Indian Youth Corps established in section 
210 in consultation with the affected Indian Tribe.
    This section further adds a new paragraph (2) to subsection 
(d), as redesignated. The new subsection directs certain time 
limited appointments to be considered as being appointed under 
open-competitive examination.
    This section also adds a new subsection (e) to apply hiring 
and compensation standards to all individuals participating in 
an appropriate conservation projects through a qualified youth 
or conservation corps, including an individual placed through a 
contract or cooperative agreement.

Sec. 7. Reporting and data collection

    Section 7 amends Title II of the PLCA to insert a new 
section 209 on reporting and data collection and redesignating 
the applicable sections accordingly. The new section 209 
requires the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Corporation 
for National and Community Service (Corporation), in 
coordination with the Secretaries, to submit a report to 
Congress that includes Public Lands Corps data, within two 
years of the Act's enactment and annually thereafter. The 
specified reporting includes the number of participants 
enrolled in the Corps and each participant's service term 
length; the projects, categorized by and Federal agency, 
carried out by participants; the total amount and funding 
sources provided for participants' service; the type of service 
performed and the impact and accomplishments of such service; 
and any other similar data determined to be appropriate by the 
CEO or the Secretaries.
    Pursuant to the new section 209, the Secretaries are 
required to submit the specified data to the Corporation's CEO 
within one year after the Act's enactment and annually 
thereafter. The CEO of the Corporation is authorized to 
coordinate with qualified youth or conservation corps to 
improve data collection. The Secretaries are further directed 
to coordinate with each other, to the maximum extent 
practicable, to carry out this Act's duties and activities, 
including data collection and reporting, as well as 
implementing and issuing noncompetitive hiring status 
eligibility guidance. The Secretary must also designate a 
coordinator to coordinate and serve as the primary point of 
contact for any Corps activity carried out by the Secretary.

Sec. 8. Indian Youth Service Corps

    Section 8 amends Title II of the PLCA (as amended by 
section 7) by inserting a new section 210 to establish the 
Indian Youth Service Corps. The Indian Youth Service Corps is 
to enroll participants between the ages of 16 and 30, 
inclusive, and veterans age 35 or younger, a majority of whom 
are Indians; be established pursuant to an agreement between an 
Indian Tribe and a qualified youth or conservation corps for 
the benefit of the Indian Tribe members; and carry out 
appropriate conservation projects on eligible service lands. 
The Secretary is authorized to enter into cooperative 
agreements with Indian Tribes and qualified youth or 
conservation corps for the establishment and administration of 
the Indian Youth Service Corps. Not later than 18 months after 
enactment, the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with 
the Indian tribes, is required to issue guidance for the 
management of the Indian Youth Service Corps, in accordance 
with this Act and any other applicable Federal laws.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 1403 would amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993, 
which governs programs that employ young adults to work on 
lands managed by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the 
Forest Service.
    Existing Public Lands Corps (PLC) programs vary by agency 
and funding source. Although historically some agencies have 
received specific appropriations to carry out the program, the 
National Park Service often has derived funding from recreation 
fees that the agency can use without further appropriation 
action. Additionally, most PLC projects are carried out through 
partnerships with existing qualified youth or conservation 
corps in each state. The costs of those projects are split 
between the federal government and the participating service 
corps.
    S. 1403 would, among other things:
           Expand the program to include the Department 
        of Commerce (specifically, the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA),
           Assist Indian tribes and related youth 
        groups with the operation of the Indian Youth Service 
        Corps,
           Offer an educational credit as a form of 
        compensation for participation in the PLC,
           Require participating agencies to designate 
        program coordinators,
           Require data collection and a subsequent 
        report to the Congress about the operations and 
        effectiveness of the PLC programs,
           Open the program to veterans under the age 
        of 35, and
           Authorize agencies to use appropriated funds 
        to provide transportation subsidies to program 
        participants.
    Using information from DOI, the Forest Service and NOAA, 
CBO estimates that S. 1403 would not significantly increase 
spending subject to appropriation.
    Enacting S. 1403 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1403 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    S. 1403 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On May 4, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
2987, as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural 
Resources on January 17, 2018. The two pieces of legislation 
are similar, however H.R. 2987 would expand and authorize more 
activities under the Public Lands Corps Act than S. 1403. CBO 
estimates that neither bill would have a significant effect on 
the federal budget.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jacob Fabian. 
The estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 1403. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 1403, as ordered reported.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

    S. 1403, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the July 19, 2017, hearing on S.1403 follows:

   Statement of Robert Vogel, Acting Deputy Director, National Park 
                Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Chairman Daines, Ranking Member Hirono, and members of the 
subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 1403, to amend the 
Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to establish the 21st Century 
Conservation Service Corps to place youth and veterans in 
national service positions to conserve, restore, and enhance 
the great outdoors of the United States, and for other 
purposes.
    The Department recommends that Congress defer action on S. 
1403 until we have an opportunity to review all of the 
Department's youth programs and determine the most cost-
effective strategies for engaging children, youth, and young 
adults in our nation's great outdoors. This legislation would 
officially rename the Public Lands Corps as the 21st Century 
Conservation Service Corps, expand the participation of 
veterans of the U.S armed forces in the corps, increase the 
number of Federal agencies that are able to use the program, 
and authorize a program specifically for Indian youth to carry 
out projects on tribal lands.
    The Department's land management bureaus, along with the 
U.S. Forest Service, have established successful public-private 
partnership programs using the authority of the Public Lands 
Service Corps. Informally, the agencies identify these 
arrangements as 21st Century Service Corps or ``21CSC'' 
partnerships, so we believe that converting the Public Lands 
Corps Act authorities to 21st Century Service Corps authorities 
in statute is appropriate. In addition, a new identity for the 
program seems appropriate in light of the bill's highlighting 
of veterans as an eligible group of participants and the 
extension of the program to multiple Federal agencies beyond 
the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.
    In the Department of the Interior, using the authority of 
the Public Lands Corps Act, the Bureau of Land Management 
(BLM), the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs (BIA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the 
National Park Service (NPS) and the U.S. Geological Survey 
(USGS), have collaborated with youth conservation corps on 
21CSC projects all across the country. These projects, which 
are undertaken through the use of cooperative agreements, have 
ranged from trail maintenance to watershed restoration, 
historic preservation to forest regeneration, and invasive 
species removal to front-line services for visitors. The 
projects have decreased the land management agencies' 
maintenance backlogs and helped to fill critical staffing gaps. 
They have also given many young people, including youth from 
underserved communities and veterans, opportunities to gain in-
demand skills for success in the 21st century workplace. 
Through these partnerships, the bureaus have been able to 
generate an interest among young people in pursuing careers in 
public land management, which is an increasingly important 
aspect of the program as growing numbers of Federal employees 
become eligible for retirement.
    A few specific examples of public-private partnerships help 
illustrate the success of the 21CSC partnerships:
    In Maryland, the NPS Historic Preservation Training Center 
and a partner organization, Conservation Legacy recently 
piloted the Traditional Trades Youth Initiative to provide a 
structured, experiential training opportunity to young adults 
in traditional construction trades (carpentry, masonry, and 
woodcrafting). Participants work closely alongside experienced 
craftspeople, serving as assistants or apprentice level trades 
workers to learn preservation trades skills while completing 
projects within parks, such as restoring historic windows and 
replacing a shingle roof on a barn at Gettysburg National 
Military Park.
    In Oregon and California, the Klamath Bird Observatory 
(KBO) built on a long-standing partnership with the BLM and FWS 
to expand its internship program and improve outreach to 
underserved communities, including Native American and Hispanic 
youth. The combination of KBO's established long-term 
monitoring program and an intensive bird banding training 
curriculum foster the integration of youth engagement and 
professional training. The internships have provided 
opportunities for training and practical experience in bird 
monitoring techniques; learning through a well-rounded 
curriculum in field biology; and attaining bird bander 
certification through the North American Banding Council.
    In Arizona, the Conservation Legacy organization worked 
with the BIA to lead an eight-person Native American youth crew 
in completion of natural resource conservation projects on the 
Navajo Nation. The crew consisted of local area high school 
students and two adult crew leaders. During the four-week 
program the crew restored and stabilized Hubble Wash, 
maintained trails, and repaired and constructed wildlife 
fencing.
    In New Mexico, the Talking Talons Youth Leadership, in 
partnership with the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge 
(NWR), the Bureau of Reclamation, the New Mexico State Land 
Office, Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, the Bosque 
Ecosystem Monitoring Program, Amigos Bravos, Friends of the 
Valle de Oro, and Friends of the Sandia Mountains provided 
approximately 560 hours of paid employment for urban and 
minority youth in conservation work that benefited the public 
lands and the mission of the Valle de Oro NWR, BOR, and the 
State of New Mexico. In addition to receiving in-depth 
education and training in diverse aspects of environmental 
restoration, monitoring, and stewardship, crew members 
conducted surface and groundwater quality monitoring and 
removed invasive vegetation on 80 acres on the refuge and 
adjacent Federal and state lands.
    And, in Maine, the Friends of Acadia hired young people to 
work on projects with the NPS in Acadia National Park, 
including engaging the public in raptor viewing opportunities 
and working on a trail crew mediating trail issues. Many of the 
youth work experiences occured in accessible, highly visited 
areas, such as Sieur de Monts Springs.
    S. 1403 would increase the number of Federal departments 
and agencies authorized to partner with conservation 
organizations to support and carry out 21CSC projects. In 
addition to the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, 
the authorities could be used by the Departments of 
Transportation, Labor, Energy, Defense, Veterans Affairs, and 
Commerce; the Environmental Protection Agency, the Council on 
Environmental Quality, the Corporation for National and 
Community Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, and any other agencies as 
designated by the President. The bill would give participating 
agencies flexibility to support 21CSC projects in a manner 
consistent with each agency's mission and resources, while 
seeking to minimize the duplication of a specific project by 
another agency. Authorizing these entities to carry out project 
directly with other agencies would relieve the administrative 
burden on the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, 
which currently serve as sponsoring entities for 21CSC projects 
carried out by Federal entities outside of those two 
departments. The bill would also require participating agencies 
to report to Congress to ensure 21CSC activities are carried 
out in a cost-effective manner.
    This bill delineates the categories of projects that could 
be conducted through a cooperative agreement between an agency 
and a partner. While the projects are focused on the full range 
of activities that constitute conservation, restoration and 
management of public lands and waters, the list includes work 
that would be conducted primarily inside, such as service in a 
science, policy, or program internship, which has a clear 
benefit for natural, cultural, or historic resources or 
treasures, including interpretation and education services. 
This will make clear to agencies that manage almost any kind of 
work related to conservation or restoration that they have the 
ability to use this program, even if those agencies are not 
considered land management agencies.
    S. 1403 also establishes a 21CSC specifically for Indian 
youth to participate in projects on tribal lands. This program 
would be administered through a cooperative agreement with a 
tribal agency or a 21CSC organization. Guidelines for this 
program would be issued by the Secretary of the Interior within 
18 months of enactment of the bill.
    This bill maintains two changes to the Public Lands Corps 
Act that were passed by Congress in December 2016 as part of 
the NPS Centennial Act: one providing an upper age limit of 30 
for participants (raised from 25), and the other providing a 
two-year period of eligibility for noncompetitive Federal 
hiring for participants (increased from a period of 120 days) 
who complete the requirements of the program. These provisions 
both increase the pool of potential participants and the 
opportunities for participants who have developed the skills 
the agencies need to move into permanent Federal positions.
    In addition to these changes, the lower end of the age 
limit for participation would be reduced from 16 to 15. 21CSC 
organizations would be encouraged to select veterans of age 35 
or younger for projects to focus on training young people, but 
veterans would not have any age limit for participation.
    S. 1403 would reduce the cost-share requirement for 21CSC 
projects from 25 percent to 10 percent, while resource 
assistants participating through 21CSC organizations would 
still require a 25 percent cost-share. The Department supports 
the cost-share requirement reduction for 21CSC projects, which 
would enable a greater range of organizations such as smaller, 
community-based organizations that draw from low-income and 
rural populations to participate in the 21CSC.
    If the committee acts on S. 1403, we recommend an amendment 
to Section 12. This section retains existing law that allows 
land management agencies to use direct hire authority to hire 
former resource assistants who have completed ``a rigorous 
undergraduate or graduate summer internship'' and extends that 
authority to other agencies, we suggest amending this section. 
As currently written, Section 12 would eliminate the reference 
to the National Park Service Business Plan Internship as an 
example of the kind of internship that meets the definition of 
``rigorous.'' We think that keeping that phrase in law would 
maintain the Business Plan Internship as a benchmark for the 
types of internships that are sufficiently rigorous for interns 
to be hired by agencies without going through the competitive 
hiring process. Without maintaining that benchmark, agencies 
will have a more difficult time determining what internships 
meet the definition of ``rigorous.'' We would be pleased to 
provide language to amend this section. Finally, as the 
Department reviews this legislation more thoroughly and 
considers it in the context of other programs aimed at youth 
engagement, we may want to suggest additional amendments.
    Chairman Daines, this concludes my statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the 
subcommittee may have.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
S. 1403, 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):

                     PUBLIC LANDS CORPS ACT OF 1993

          TITLE II OF THE YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS ACT OF 1970

Public Law 91-378, as Amended by Public Law 103-82

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



SEC. 203. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this title:
          (1) Appropriate conservation project.--The term 
        ``appropriate conservation project'' means any project 
        for the conservation, restoration, construction or 
        rehabilitation of natural, cultural, historic, 
        archaeological, recreational, or scenic resources.
          (2) Corps and public lands corps.--The terms 
        ``Corps'' and ``Public Lands Corps'' mean the Public 
        Lands Corps established [under section 204] by section 
        204(a)(1).
          (3) Eligible service lands.--The term ``eligible 
        service lands'' means public lands, Indian lands, and 
        Hawaiian home lands.
          (4) Hawaiian home lands.--The term ``Hawaiian home 
        lands'' means all lands given the status of Hawaiian 
        home lands under section 204 of the Hawaiian Homes 
        Commission Act, 1920 (42 Stat. 1101, or under the 
        corresponding provision of the Constitution of the 
        State of Hawaii adopted under section 4 of the Act 
        entitled ``An Act to provide for the admission of the 
        State of Hawaii into the Union'', approved March 18, 
        1959 (Public Law 863; 73 Stat. 5).
          (5) Indian.--The term ``Indian'' means a person who--
                  (A) is a member of an Indian tribe; or
                  (B) is a ``Native'', as defined in section 
                3(b) of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
                (43 U.S.C. 1602(b)).
          (6) Indian lands.--The term ``Indian lands'' means--
                  (A) any Indian reservation;
                  (B) any public domain Indian allotments;
                  (C) any former Indian reservation in the 
                State of Oklahoma;
                  (D) any land held by incorporated Native 
                regional corporations, and village corporations 
                under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act 
                (43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.); and
                  (E) any land held by dependent Indian 
                communities within the borders of the United 
                States whether within the original or 
                subsequently acquired territory thereof, and 
                whether within or without the limits of a 
                State.
          (7) Indian tribe.--The term ``Indian tribe'' means an 
        Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or 
        community, including any Native village, Regional 
        Corporation, or Village Corporation, as defined in 
        subsection (c), (g), or (j), respectively, of section 3 
        of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 
        1602 (c), (g), or (j)), that is recognized as eligible 
        for the special programs and services provided by the 
        United States under federal law to Indians because of 
        their status as Indians.
          (8) Institution of higher education.--
                  (A) In general.--The term `institution of 
                higher education' has the meaning given the 
                term in section 102 of the Higher Education Act 
                of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002).
                  (B) Exclusion.--The term `institution of 
                higher education' does not include--
                          (i) an institution described in 
                        section 101(b) of the Higher Education 
                        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001(b)); or
                          (ii) an institution outside the 
                        United States, as described in section 
                        102(a)(1)(C) of the Higher Education 
                        Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1002(a)(1)(C)).
          [(8)](9) Priority project.--The term ``priority 
        project'' means an appropriate conservation project 
        conducted on eligible service lands to further 1 or 
        more of the purposes of the Healthy Forests Restoration 
        Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.)[, as follows] and 
        other conservation and restoration initiatives, as 
        follows:
                  (A) To reduce wildfire risk to a community, 
                municipal water supply, or other at-risk 
                Federal land.
                  (B) To protect a watershed or address a 
                threat to forest and rangeland health, 
                including catastrophic wildfire.
                  (C) To address the impact of insect or 
                disease infestations or other damaging agents 
                on forest and rangeland health.
                  (D) To protect, restore, or enhance forest 
                ecosystem components to--
                          (i) promote the recovery of 
                        threatened or endangered species;
                          (ii) improve biological diversity; or
                          (iii) enhance productivity and carbon 
                        sequestration.
                  (E) To protect, restore, or enhance marine, 
                estuarine, riverine, and coastal habitat 
                ecosystem components--
                          (i) to promote the recovery of 
                        threatened species, endangered species, 
                        and managed fisheries;
                          (ii) to restore fisheries, protected 
                        resources, and habitats impacted by oil 
                        and chemical spills and natural 
                        disasters; or
                          (iii) to enhance the resilience of 
                        coastal ecosystems, communities, and 
                        economies through habitat conservation.
          [(9)](10) Public lands.--The term ``public lands''' 
        means any lands or waters (or interest therein) owned 
        or administered by the United States, except that such 
        term does not include any Indian lands.
          [(10)](11) Qualified youth or conservation corps.--
        The term ``qualified youth or conservation corps''' 
        means any program established by a State or local 
        government, by the governing body of any Indian tribe, 
        or by a nonprofit organization that--
                  (A) is capable of offering meaningful, full-
                time, productive work for [individuals between 
                the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive,] individuals 
                between the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive, or 
                veterans age 35 or younger in a natural or 
                cultural resource setting;
                  (B) gives participants a mix of work 
                experience, basic and life skills, education, 
                training, and support services; and
                  (C) provides participants with the 
                opportunity to develop citizenship values and 
                skills through service to their community and 
                the United States.
          [(11)](12) Resource assistant.--The term ``resource 
        assistant'' means a resource assistant selected under 
        section 206.
          [(12)](13) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means--
                  (A) with respect to National Forest System 
                land, the Secretary of Agriculture; [and]
                  (B) with respect to Indian lands, Hawaiian 
                home lands, or land administered by the 
                Department of the Interior, the Secretary of 
                the Interior[.]; and
                  (C) with respect to the National Marine 
                Sanctuary System, coral reefs, and other 
                coastal, estuarine, and marine habitats, and 
                other land and facilities administered by the 
                National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
                Administration, the Secretary of Commerce.
          [(13)](14) State.--The term ``State'' means any State 
        of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands 
        of the United States, American Samoa, and the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
          (15) Veteran.--The term `veteran' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 101 of title 38, United 
        States Code.

SEC. 204. PUBLIC LANDS CORPS PROGRAM.

    [(a) Establishment of public lands corps.--There is hereby 
established in the Department of the Interior and the 
Department of Agriculture a Public Lands Corps.]
    (a) Establishment of Public Lands Corps.--
          (1) In general.--There is established in the 
        Department of the Interior, the Department of 
        Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce a corps, to 
        be known as the `Public Lands Corps'.
          (2) No effect on other agencies.--Nothing in this 
        subsection precludes the establishment of a public 
        lands corps by the head of a Federal department or 
        agency other than a department described in paragraph 
        (1), in accordance with this Act.
    (b) Participants.--The Corps shall consist of [individuals 
between the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive,] individuals between 
the ages of 16 and 30, inclusive, and veterans age 35 or 
younger who are enrolled as participants in the Corps by the 
Secretary. To be eligible for enrollment in the Corps, an 
individual shall satisfy the criteria specified in [section 
137(b) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990] 
paragraphs (1), (2), (4), and (5) of section 137(a) of the 
National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 
12591(a)). The Secretary may enroll such individuals in the 
Corps without regard to the civil service and classification 
laws, rules, or regulations of the United States. The Secretary 
may establish a preference for the enrollment in the Corps of 
individuals who are economically, physically, or educationally 
disadvantaged.
    (c) Qualified Youth or Conservation Corps.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary is authorized to enter 
        into contracts and cooperative agreements with any 
        qualified youth or conservation corps to perform 
        appropriate conservation projects referred to in 
        subsection (d).
          (2) Preference.
                  (A) In general.--For purposes of entering 
                into contracts and cooperative agreements under 
                paragraph (1), the Secretary may give 
                preference to qualified youth or conservation 
                corps located in a specific area that have a 
                substantial portion of members who are 
                economically, physically, or educationally 
                disadvantaged to carry out projects within the 
                area.
                  (B) Priority projects.--In carrying out 
                priority projects in a specific area, the 
                Secretary shall, to the maximum extent 
                practicable, give preference to qualified youth 
                or conservation corps located in that specific 
                area that have a substantial portion of members 
                who are economically, physically, or 
                educationally disadvantaged.
    (d) Projects To Be Carried Out.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may utilize the Corps 
        or any qualified youth or conservation corps to carry 
        out appropriate conservation projects which the 
        Secretary is authorized to carry out under other 
        authority of law on public lands.
          (2) Projects on indian lands.--Appropriate 
        conservation projects may also be carried out under 
        this title on Indian lands with the approval of the 
        Indian tribe involved and on Hawaiian home lands with 
        the approval of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands 
        of the State of Hawaii.
          (3) Disaster prevention or relief projects.--The 
        Secretary may authorize appropriate conservation 
        projects and other appropriate projects to be carried 
        out on Federal, State, local, or private land as part 
        of a Federal disaster prevention or relief effort.
    (e) Preference for Certain Projects.--In selecting 
appropriate conservation projects to be carried out under this 
title, the Secretary shall give preference to those projects 
which--
          (1) will provide long-term benefits to the public;
          (2) will instill in the enrollee involved a work 
        ethic and a sense of public service;
          (3) will be labor intensive;
          (4) can be planned and initiated promptly; and
          (5) will provide academic, experiential, or 
        environmental education opportunities.
    (f) Consistency.--Each appropriate conservation project 
carried out under this title on eligible service lands shall be 
consistent with the provisions of law and policies relating to 
the management and administration of such lands, with all other 
applicable provisions of law, and with all management, 
operational, and other plans and documents which govern the 
administration of the area.

SEC. 205. CONSERVATION CENTERS AND PROGRAM SUPPORT.

    (a) Establishment and Use.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may establish and use 
        conservation centers owned and operated by the 
        Secretary for--
                  (A) use by the Public Lands Corps; and
                  (B) the conduct of appropriate conservation 
                projects under this title.
          (2) Assistance for conservation centers.--The 
        Secretary may provide to a conservation center 
        established under paragraph (1) any services, 
        facilities, equipment, and supplies that the Secretary 
        determines to be necessary for the conservation center.
          (3) Standards for conservation centers.--The 
        Secretary shall--
                  (A) establish basic standards of health, 
                nutrition, sanitation, and safety for all 
                conservation centers established under 
                paragraph (1); and
                  (B) ensure that the standards established 
                under subparagraph (A) are enforced.
          (4) Management.--As the Secretary determines to be 
        appropriate, the Secretary may enter into a contract or 
        other appropriate arrangement with a State or local 
        government agency or private organization to provide 
        for the management of a conservation center.
    (b) Logistical Support.--The Secretary may make 
arrangements with the Secretary of Defense to have logistical 
support provided by the Armed Forces to the Corps and any 
conservation center established under this section, where 
feasible. Logistical support may include the provision of 
temporary tent shelters where needed, transportation, and 
residential supervision.
    (c) Use of Military Installations.--The Secretary may make 
arrangements with the Secretary of Defense to identify military 
installations and other facilities of the Department of Defense 
and, in consultation with the adjutant generals of the State 
National Guards, National Guard facilities that may be used, in 
whole or in part, by the Corps for training or housing Corps 
participants.
    (d) Assistance.--The Secretary may provide any services, 
facilities, equipment, supplies, technical assistance, 
oversight, monitoring, or evaluations that are appropriate to 
carry out this title.
    (e) Transportation.--The Secretary may provide to Corps 
participants who reside in their own homes transportation to 
and from appropriate conservation project sites.

SEC. 206. RESOURCE ASSISTANTS.

    (a) Authorization.--[The Secretary is authorized to provide 
individual placements of resource assistants with any Federal 
land managing agency under the jurisdiction of the Secretary to 
carry out research or resource protection activities on behalf 
of the agency.] The Secretary may provide individual placements 
of resource assistants to carry out research or resource 
protection activities on behalf of the Secretary. To be 
eligible for selection as a resource assistant, an individual 
must be at least 17 years of age. The Secretary may select 
resource assistants without regard to the civil service and 
classification laws, rules, or regulations of the United 
States. The Secretary shall give a preference to the selection 
of individuals who are enrolled in an institution of higher 
education or are recent graduates from an institution of higher 
education, with particular attention given to ensure full 
representation of women and participants from historically 
black, Hispanic, and Native American schools.
    (b) Use of Existing Nonprofit Organizations.--Whenever one 
or more existing nonprofit organizations can provide, in the 
judgment of the Secretary, appropriate recruitment and 
placement services to fulfill the requirements of this section, 
the Secretary may implement this section through such existing 
organizations. Participating nonprofit organizations shall 
contribute to the expenses of providing and supporting the 
resource assistants, through private sources of funding, at a 
level equal to 25 percent of the total costs of each 
participant in the Resource Assistant program who has been 
recruited and placed through that organization. Any such 
participating nonprofit conservation service organization shall 
be required, by the respective land managing agency, to submit 
an annual report evaluating the scope, size, and quality of the 
program, including the value of work contributed by the 
Resource Assistants, to the mission of the agency.

SEC. 207. [LIVING ALLOWANCES AND TERMS OF SERVICE] COMPENSATION AND 
                    TERMS OF SERVICE.

    (a) Living Allowances.--The Secretary shall provide each 
participant in the Public Lands Corps and each resource 
assistant with a living allowance in an amount established by 
the Secretary.
    (b) Educational Credit.--The Secretary may provide a Corps 
participant with an educational credit that may be applied 
towards a program of postsecondary education at an institution 
of higher education that agrees to award the credit for 
participation in the Corps.
    [(b)](c) Terms of Service.--[Each participant]
          (1) In general._Each participant in the Corps and 
        each resource assistant shall agree to participate in 
        the Corps or serve as a resource assistant, as the case 
        may be, for such term of service as may be established 
        by the Secretary enrolling or selecting the individual.
          (2) Indian youth service corps.--With respect to the 
        Indian Youth Service Corps established under section 
        210, the Secretary shall establish the term of service 
        of participants in consultation with the affected 
        Indian tribe.
    [(c)](d) Hiring.--[The Secretary]
          (1) In general._The Secretary may--
          [(1)](A) grant to a member of the Public Lands Corps 
        credit for time served with the Public Lands Corps, 
        which may be used toward future Federal hiring; and
          [(2)](B) provide to a former member of the Public 
        Lands Corps noncompetitive hiring status for a period 
        of not more than 2 years after the date on which the 
        member's service with the Public Lands Corps is 
        complete.
          (2) Time-limited appointment.--For purposes of 
        section 9602 of title 5, United States Code, a former 
        member of the Corps hired by the Secretary under 
        paragraph (1)(B) for a time-limited appointment shall 
        be considered to be appointed initially under open, 
        competitive examination.
    (e) Applicability to Qualified Youth or Conversation 
Corps.--The hiring and compensation standards described in this 
section shall apply to any individual participating in an 
appropriate conservation project through a qualified youth or 
conservation corps, including an individual placed through a 
contract or cooperative agreement, as approved by the 
Secretary.

SEC. 208. NATIONAL SERVICE EDUCATIONAL AWARDS.

    (a) Educational Benefits and Awards.--If a participant in 
the Public Lands Corps or a resource assistant also serves in 
an approved national service position designated under subtitle 
C of title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, 
the participant or resource assistant shall be eligible for a 
national service educational award in the manner prescribed in 
subtitle D of such title upon successfully complying with the 
requirements for the award. The period during which the 
national service educational award may be used, the purposes 
for which the award may be used, and the amount of the award 
shall be determined as provided under such subtitle.
    (b) Forbearance in the Collection of Stafford Loans.--For 
purposes of section 428 of the Higher Education Act of 1965, in 
the case of borrowers who are either participants in the Corps 
or resource assistants, upon written request, a lender shall 
grant a borrower forbearance on such terms as are otherwise 
consistent with the regulations of the Secretary of Education, 
during periods in which the borrower is serving as such a 
participant or a resource assistant.

SEC. 209. REPORTING AND DATA COLLECTION.

    (a) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, 
and annually thereafter, the Chief Executive Officer of the 
Corporation for National and Community Service, in coordination 
with the Secretaries, shall submit to Congress a report that 
includes data on the Corps, including--
          (1) the number of participants enrolled in the Corps 
        and the length of the term of service for each 
        participant;
          (2) the projects carried out by Corps participants, 
        categorized by type of project and Federal agency;
          (3) the total amount and sources of funding provided 
        for the service of participants;
          (4) the type of service performed by participants and 
        the impact and accomplishments of the service; and
          (5) any other similar data determined to be 
        appropriate by the Chief Executive Officer of the 
        Corporation for National and Community Service or the 
        Secretaries.
    (b) Data.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, 
and annually thereafter, the Secretaries shall submit to the 
Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and 
Community Service the data described in subsection (a).
    (c) Data Collection.--The Chief Executive Officer of the 
Corporation for National and Community Service may coordinate 
with qualified youth or conservation corps to improve the 
collection of the required data described in subsection (a).
    (d) Coordination.
          (1) In general.--The Secretaries shall, to the 
        maximum extent practicable, coordinate with each other 
        to carry out activities authorized under this Act, 
        including--
                  (A) the data collection and reporting 
                requirements of this section; and
                  (B) implementing and issuing guidance on 
                eligibility for noncompetitive hiring status 
                under section 207(d).
          (2) Designation of coordinators.--The Secretary shall 
        designate a coordinator to coordinate and serve as the 
        primary point of contact for any activity of the Corps 
        carried out by the Secretary.

SEC. 210. INDIAN YOUTH SERVICE CORPS.

    (a) In General.--There is established within the Public 
Lands Corps a program to be known as the `Indian Youth Service 
Corps' that--
          (1) enrolls participants between the ages of 10 and 
        30, inclusive, and veterans age 35 or younger, a 
        majority of whom are Indians;
          (2) is established pursuant to an agreement between 
        an Indian tribe and a qualified youth or conservation 
        corps for the benefit of the members of the Indian 
        tribe; and
          (3) carries out appropriate conservation projects on 
        eligible service land.
    (b) Authorization of Cooperative Agreements.--The Secretary 
may enter into cooperative agreements with Indian tribes and 
qualified youth or conservation corps for the establishment and 
administration of the Indian Youth Service Corps.
    (c) Guidelines.--Not later than 18 months after the date of 
enactment of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act, 
the Secretary of the Interior, in consultation with Indian 
tribes, shall issue guidelines for the management of the Indian 
Youth Service Corps, in accordance with this Act and any other 
applicable Federal laws.

SEC. [209] 211. NONDISPLACEMENT.

    The nondisplacement requirements of section 177 of the 
National and Community Service Act of 1990 shall be applicable 
to all activities carried out by the Public Lands Corps, to all 
activities carried out under this title by a qualified youth or 
conservation corps, and to the selection and service of 
resource assistants.

SEC. [210] 212. FUNDING.

    (a) Cost Sharing.--
          (1) Projects by qualified youth or conservation 
        corps.--The Secretary is authorized to pay not more 
        than 75 percent of the costs of any appropriate 
        conservation project carried out pursuant to this title 
        on public lands by a qualified youth or conservation 
        corps. The remaining 25 percent of the costs of such a 
        project may be provided from nonfederal sources in the 
        form of funds, services, facilities, materials, 
        equipment, or any combination of the foregoing. No cost 
        sharing shall be required in the case of any 
        appropriate conservation project carried out on Indian 
        lands or Hawaiian home lands under this title.
          (2) Public lands corps projects.--The Secretary is 
        authorized to accept donations of funds, services, 
        facilities, materials, or equipment for the purposes of 
        operating the Public Lands Corps and carrying out 
        appropriate conservation projects by the Corps. 
        However, nothing in this title shall be construed to 
        require any cost sharing for any project carried out 
        directly by the Corps.
    (b) Funds Available Under National and Community Service 
Act.--In order to carry out the Public Lands Corps or to 
support resource assistants and qualified youth or conservation 
corps under this title, the Secretary shall be eligible to 
apply for and receive assistance under section 121(b) of the 
National and Community Service Act of 1990.
    (c) Other Funds.--Amounts appropriated pursuant to the 
authorization of appropriations under section [211] 213 are in 
addition to amounts allocated to the Public Lands Corps through 
other Federal programs or projects.

SEC. [211] 213. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
carry out this title $12,000,000 for each fiscal year, of which 
$8,000,000 is authorized to carry out priority projects and 
$4,000,000 of which is authorized to carry out other 
appropriate conservation projects.
    (b) Disaster Relief or Prevention Projects.--
Notwithstanding subsection (a), any amounts made available 
under that subsection shall be available for disaster 
prevention or relief projects.
    (c) Availability of Funds.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, amounts appropriated for any fiscal year to 
carry out this title shall remain available for obligation and 
expenditure until the end of the fiscal year following the 
fiscal year for which the amounts are appropriated.

                 CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012

Public Law 112-74

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   DIVISION E, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, ENVIRONMENT, AND RELATED 
AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2012

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                                TITLE I


DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



General Provisions, Department of the Interior

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



                           HIRING AUTHORITIES

    Sec. 121. (a) Direct Hire Authority.--
          (1) During fiscal year 2012 and thereafter, the 
        [Secretary of the Interior] Secretary (as defined in 
        section 203 of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 
        U.S.C. 1722)) may appoint, without regard to the 
        provisions of subchapter I of chapter 33 of title 5, 
        United States Code, other than sections 3303 and 3328 
        of such title, a qualified candidate described in 
        [paragraph (1)] paragraph (2) directly to a position 
        [with a land managing agency of the Department of the 
        Interior] for which the candidate meets Office of 
        Personnel Management qualification standards.
          (2) Paragraph (1) applies with respect to a former 
        resource assistant (as defined in section 203 of the 
        Public Land Corps Act (16 U.S.C. 1722)) who--
                  (A) completed a rigorous undergraduate or 
                graduate summer internship [with a land 
                managing agency] with the Secretary (as so 
                defined), such as the National Park Service 
                Business Plan Internship;
                  (B) successfully fulfilled the requirements 
                of the internship program; and
                  (C) subsequently earned an undergraduate or 
                graduate degree from an accredited institution 
                of higher education.
          (3) The direct hire authority under this subsection 
        may not be exercised with respect to a specific 
        qualified candidate after the end of the two-year 
        period beginning on the date on which the candidate 
        completed the undergraduate or graduate degree, as the 
        case may be.

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