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S. 830 (108th): Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forestry Program Act of 2003


The text of the bill below is as of Apr 9, 2003 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


S 830 IS

108th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 830

To require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to expand and strengthen cooperative efforts to restore and protect forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

April 9, 2003

Mr. SARBANES (for himself, Mr. WARNER, Mr. ALLEN, and Ms. MIKULSKI) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry


A BILL

To require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to expand and strengthen cooperative efforts to restore and protect forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, and for other purposes.

    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 ‘Chesapeake Bay Watershed Forestry Program Act of 2003’.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

      (1) trees and forests are critical to the long-term health and proper functioning of the Chesapeake Bay and the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

      (2) the Chesapeake Bay States are losing forest land to urban growth at a rate of nearly 100 acres per day; and

      (3) the Forest Service has a vital role to play in assisting States, local governments, and nonprofit organizations in carrying out forest conservation, restoration, and stewardship projects and activities.

    (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--

      (1) to expand and strengthen cooperative efforts to protect, restore, and manage forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and

      (2) to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) CHESAPEAKE BAY AGREEMENT- The term ‘Chesapeake Bay Agreement’ means the formal, voluntary agreements--

        (A) executed to achieve the goal of restoring and protecting the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem and the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem; and

        (B) signed by the Council.

      (2) CHESAPEAKE BAY STATE- The term ‘Chesapeake Bay State’ means each of the States of Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia and the District of Columbia.

      (3) COORDINATOR- The term ‘Coordinator’ means the Coordinator of the program designated under section 4(b)(1)(B).

      (4) COUNCIL- The term ‘Council’ means the Chesapeake Bay Executive Council.

      (5) PROGRAM- The term ‘program’ means the Chesapeake Bay watershed forestry program carried out under section 4(a).

      (6) SECRETARY- The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service and the Coordinator.

SEC. 4. CHESAPEAKE BAY WATERSHED FORESTRY PROGRAM.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall carry out a Chesapeake Bay watershed forestry program under which the Secretary shall make grants and provide technical assistance to eligible entities to restore and conserve forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including grants and assistance--

      (1) to promote forest conservation and stewardship efforts in urban, suburban, and rural areas of the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

      (2) to manage National Forest System land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed in a manner that protects water quality and sustains watershed health;

      (3) to assist in developing and carrying out projects and partnerships in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

      (4) to conduct research, assessment, and planning activities to restore and protect forest land in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

      (5) to develop communication and education resources to enhance public understanding of the value of forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; and

      (6) to contribute to the achievement of the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

    (b) OFFICE; COORDINATOR-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall--

        (A) maintain an office within the Forest Service to carry out the program; and

        (B) designate an employee of the Forest Service as Coordinator of the program.

      (2) DUTIES- As part of the program, the Coordinator, in cooperation with the Secretary and the Chesapeake Bay Program, shall--

        (A) provide grants and technical assistance to restore and protect forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

        (B) enter into partnerships to carry out forest restoration and conservation activities at a watershed scale using the resources and programs of the Forest Service;

        (C) carry out activities, in collaboration with other units of the Forest Service, that contribute to the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement;

        (D) represent the Forest Service in deliberations of the Chesapeake Bay Program; and

        (E) support and collaborate with the Forestry Work Group in planning and implementing program activities.

    (c) ELIGIBLE ENTITIES- To be eligible to receive assistance under the program, an entity shall be--

      (1) a Chesapeake Bay State;

      (2) a political subdivision of a Chesapeake Bay State;

      (3) an organization operating in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that is described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of that Code; or

      (4) any other person in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that the Secretary determines to be eligible.

    (d) GRANTS-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall make grants to eligible entities under the program to carry out projects to protect, restore, and manage forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

      (2) FEDERAL SHARE- The Federal share of a grant made under the program shall not exceed 75 percent, as determined by the Secretary.

      (3) TYPES OF PROJECTS- The Secretary may make a grant to an eligible entity for any project in the Chesapeake Bay watershed that--

        (A) improves habitat and water quality through the establishment, protection, or stewardship of riparian or wetland forests or stream corridors;

        (B) builds the capacity of State and local organizations to implement forest conservation, restoration, and stewardship actions;

        (C) develops and implements watershed management plans that--

          (i) address forest conservation needs; and

          (ii) reduce urban runoff;

        (D) provides outreach and assistance to private landowners and communities to restore or conserve forests in the watershed;

        (E) implements communication, education, or technology transfer programs that broaden public understanding of the value of trees and forests in sustaining and restoring the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

        (F) coordinates and implements community-based watershed partnerships and initiatives that--

          (i) focus on the restoration or protection of urban and rural forests; or

          (ii) focus programs of the Forest Service on restoring or protecting watersheds;

        (G) provides enhanced forest resource data to support watershed management;

        (H) enhances upland forest health to reduce risks to watershed function and water quality; or

        (I) conducts inventory assessment or monitoring activities to measure environmental change associated with projects carried out under the program.

      (4) STATE WATERSHED FORESTERS- Funds made available under section 6 may be used by a Chesapeake Bay State to employ a State watershed forester to carry out activities and coordinate watershed-level projects relating to the program.

    (e) STUDY-

      (1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in consultation with the Council, shall conduct a study of urban and rural forests in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, including--

        (A) an assessment of forest loss and fragmentation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed;

        (B) an identification of forest land within the Chesapeake Bay watershed that should be restored or protected; and

        (C) recommendations for expanded and targeted actions and programs that are needed to achieve the goals of the Chesapeake Bay Agreement.

      (2) REPORT- Not later than 1 year after amounts are first made available under section 6, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that describes the results of the study.

SEC. 5. WATERSHED FORESTRY RESEARCH PROGRAM.

    (a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary, in cooperation with the Council, shall establish a watershed forestry research program for the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

    (b) ADMINISTRATION- In carrying out the watershed forestry research program established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall--

      (1) use a combination of applied research, modeling, demonstration projects, implementation standards, strategies for adaptive management, training, and education to meet the needs of the residents of the Chesapeake Bay States for managing forests in urban, developing, and rural areas;

      (2) solicit input from local managers and Federal, State, and private researchers, with respect to air and water quality, social and economic implications, environmental change, and other Chesapeake Bay watershed forestry issues in urban and rural areas; and

      (3) collaborate with the Chesapeake Bay Program Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee and universities in the Chesapeake Bay States to--

        (A) address issues in the Chesapeake Bay Agreement; and

        (B) support modeling and informational needs of the Chesapeake Bay program.

    (c) WATERSHED FORESTRY RESEARCH STRATEGY- Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in collaboration with the Northeast Forest Research Station and the Southern Forest Research Station, shall submit to Congress a strategy for research to address Chesapeake Bay watershed goals.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the program $3,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2010, of which--

      (1) not more than $500,000 shall be used to conduct the study required under section 4(e); and

      (2) not more than $1,000,000 for any fiscal year shall be used to carry out the watershed forestry research program under section 5.

SEC. 7. REPORT.

    Not later than December 1, 2005, and annually thereafter, the Coordinator shall submit to the Secretary a comprehensive report on activities carried out under the program.