H.R. 5007 (103rd): National Forest Stewardship Contracting Act of 1994

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Aug 20, 1994 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

HR 5007 IH

103d CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5007

To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to use stewardship contracting under which the receipts from the sale of timber and other forest products from National Forest System lands are available to the Secretary to conduct other resource activities on such lands for the improvement and restoration of healthy forest ecosystems.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 20, 1994

Mr. LAROCCO introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture


A BILL

To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to use stewardship contracting under which the receipts from the sale of timber and other forest products from National Forest System lands are available to the Secretary to conduct other resource activities on such lands for the improvement and restoration of healthy forest ecosystems.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘National Forest Stewardship Contracting Act of 1994’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS, PURPOSES, AND DEFINITIONS.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) In many of the units of the National Forest System, current conditions, such as heavy fuel loads, tree density, and increased threats from catastrophic fires, disease, and insect infestations, adversely affect the biodiversity, health, and sustainability of the forest ecosystems of such units.

      (2) The current authority granted to resource managers of units of the National Forest System does not provide for the distribution of revenues from the sale of timber and other forest products to accomplish ecosystem restoration work under a single contract.

      (3) A new and innovative contracting process for the National Forest System is required to meet Federal goals of improving forest resource conditions through implementation of ecosystem management.

      (4) The improvement of the forest resource is important to the long-term viability of species found on National Forest System lands.

      (5) Ecosystem restoration work performed as part of a timber sale contract would improve employment opportunities in communities near units of the National Forest System to the benefit of long-term economic health and community stability.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are as follows:

      (1) To improve and restore the health of forest resources through implementation of ecosystem management.

      (2) To provide for employment opportunities and economic stability for communities near units of the National Forest System.

      (3) To provide for needed flexibility in procurement and funding practices and in the distribution of revenues from timber and other forest products to assist in implementation of ecosystem management.

      (4) To provide the Secretary of Agriculture with the authority to enter into stewardship contracts to achieve management requirements prescribed in the following provisions of law:

        (A) The Act of June 4, 1897 (commonly known as the Organic Administration Act; 16 U.S.C. 473-475, 477-482, 551).

        (B) The Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960 (16 U.S.C. 528-531).

        (C) The Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1600-1614).

        (D) Section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a).

        (E) The Act of May 23, 1908, and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500).

    (c) DEFINITIONS- For purposes of this Act:

      (1) ACCOUNT- The term ‘Account’ means the Stewardship Account established under section 5.

      (2) STEWARDSHIP CONTRACT- The term ‘stewardship contract’ means a contract under which receipts from the sale of timber or other forest products are available to finance other resource activities for the improvement and restoration of forest ecosystems of units of the National Forest System.

      (3) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Agriculture.

      (4) RESOURCE ACTIVITIES- The term ‘resource activities’ includes site preparation, replanting, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, silvi-cultural treatments, watershed improvement, fuel treatments (including prescribed burning), and road obliteration.

      (5) RESOURCE MANAGER- The term ‘resource manager’ refers to the line officer responsible for management decisios associated with project implementation on a unit of a national forest.

SEC. 3. USE OF STEWARDSHIP CONTRACTS.

    (a) USE AUTHORIZED- The Secretary shall establish and implement in the Forest Service a program to use stewardship contracts for the sale of timber and forest products on National Forest System lands using resource activities that provide for the health of the forest, sustainable ecosystems and economic assistance to forest resource-dependent communities.

    (b) DEVELOPMENT AND USE OF CONTRACTS- The Secretary shall develop a standard stewardship contract for use throughout the National Forest System. Each resource manager of a unit of the National Forest System may enter into stewardship contracts with qualified non-Federal entities (as established in regulations relating to procurement by the Federal Government or as determined by the Secretary). Contracts should clearly describe the desired future condition for each resource managed under the contract and the evaluation criteria to be used to determine acceptable performance. The Secretary shall ensure that resource managers give such preferential treatment to small businesses, including small business concerns within the meaning of section 3(a) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632(a)), in the awarding of stewardship contracts as is required under existing laws and policies relating to the allocation of timber sale programs in the Forest Service. The length of a stewardship contract shall be consistent with the requirements of section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a).

    (c) SELECTION OF AREAS FOR CONTRACTS- In selecting areas within units of the National Forest System to be subject to stewardship contracts, the Secretary and resource managers shall base the selection on the need to improve forest health, maintain and improve soil and water quality, and improve fisheries and wildlife habitat. Priority shall be given to wildland interface areas with respect to reducing fire hazards and minimizing the effects of insect and disease infestations.

    (d) APPLICATION OF CONTRACTS- Subject to subsection (e), the Secretary may apply all or part of the revenues received from the sale of timber or any other forest products resulting to the Federal Government under a stewardship contract as an offset against the cost of other resource activities undertaken by the Secretary.

    (e) EFFECT ON OTHER REVENUE REQUIREMENTS- Required deposits shall continue to be made to the National Forest Fund, and 25 percent of the actual value of timber removed under stewardship contracts shall remain available for payments to States, as required under the Act of May 23, 1908, and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500). The Secretary shall first collect revenues to make such payments before exercising the authority provided in subsection (d).

    (f) SUPPLEMENTATION OF CONTRACTS- Appropriated funds may be included in a stewardship contract before the award of the contract if--

      (1) the monies are available from the current annual appropriation; and

      (2) the monies are provided for the benefiting function.

SEC. 4. STEWARDSHIP CONTRACT RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURES.

    (a) RECEIPTS- Monetary receipts, as part of the payment for timber and other forest products under stewardship contracts, shall be deposited in a designated fund to be known as the ‘Stewardship Account’. Amounts in the Account shall be used to make payments to States under the Act of May 23, 1908, and section 13 of the Act of March 1, 1911 (16 U.S.C. 500) and to fund resource activities. Amounts in the Account are hereby appropriated and shall be available to the Secretary until expended, except that those amounts found by the Secretary to be in excess to the needs of the Secretary shall be transferred to miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States.

    (b) EXPENDITURES- Not less than 80 percent of amounts in the Account available for resource activities shall be used for the direct costs of such resource activities.

    (c) REPORTING- As part of the annual report of the Secretary to Congress, the Secretary shall include an accounting of revenues, expenditures, and accomplishments related to the stewardship contracts.

SEC. 5. RELATION TO OTHER LAWS.

    All stewardship contracts shall comply with existing applicable laws, and nothing in this Act may be construed as modifying the provisions of any other law except as explicitly provided in this Act.