< Back to H.R. 4200 (109th Congress, 2005–2006)

Text of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act

This bill was introduced in a previous session of Congress and was passed by the House on May 17, 2006 but was never passed by the Senate. The text of the bill below is as of Nov 2, 2005 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

Source: GPO

HR 4200 IH

109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 4200

To improve the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to promptly implement recovery treatments in response to catastrophic events affecting Federal lands under their jurisdiction, including the removal of dead and damaged trees and the implementation of reforestation treatments, to support the recovery of non-Federal lands damaged by catastrophic events, to revitalize Forest Service experimental forests, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

November 2, 2005

Mr. WALDEN of Oregon (for himself, Mr. BAIRD, Mr. GILCHREST, Ms. HERSETH, Mr. FLAKE, Mr. THOMPSON of Mississippi, Mr. PETERSON of Pennsylvania, Mr. BOYD, Mr. PICKERING, Mr. OBERSTAR, Mr. SHADEGG, Mr. BERRY, Mr. WICKER, Mr. LEWIS of California, Mr. ROSS, Mr. HASTINGS of Washington, Mr. PETERSON of Minnesota, Mr. GOODLATTE, Mr. TERRY, Mr. POMBO, Mr. JINDAL, Mrs. DRAKE, Mr. OTTER, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. REHBERG, Mr. HAYWORTH, Mr. ROGERS of Michigan, Mr. PEARCE, Mr. GIBBONS, Mr. DEAL of Georgia, Mrs. CUBIN, Mr. CANNON, Mr. BROWN of South Carolina, Miss MCMORRIS, Mr. TAYLOR of North Carolina, Mr. RADANOVICH, Mr. SIMPSON, Mr. RENZI, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, Mr. MCCRERY, Mr. GOHMERT, Mr. HAYES, Mr. HERGER, Mr. HEFLEY, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. BONNER, Mr. TANCREDO, Mr. BOEHNER, Mr. BRADY of Texas, Mr. BISHOP of Utah, Ms. FOXX, Mr. ISSA, Mr. HUNTER, Mr. MCKEON, Mr. BURGESS, Mr. CALVERT, Mr. ALEXANDER, Mr. COLE of Oklahoma, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. GOODE, Mr. GUTKNECHT, Mr. SHERWOOD, Mr. HOEKSTRA, Mrs. BLACKBURN, Mr. WILSON of South Carolina, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. KNOLLENBERG, Mr. NUNES, Mr. SESSIONS, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. BARTON of Texas, Ms. GRANGER, Mr. REYNOLDS, Mr. TIAHRT, Mr. BLUNT, Mr. KINGSTON, Mr. CANTOR, Mr. BEAUPREZ, Mr. WHITFIELD, Mr. EVERETT, Mr. PLATTS, Mr. BOOZMAN, Mrs. MUSGRAVE, Mr. SOUDER, Mr. SAXTON, Mr. PUTNAM, Mr. LINDER, Mr. ENGLISH of Pennsylvania, Mr. THOMAS, Mr. CULBERSON, Mr. BASS, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. DAVIS of Kentucky, Mr. WAMP, Mr. LEWIS of Kentucky, and Mr. DANIEL E. LUNGREN of California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture and Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To improve the ability of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to promptly implement recovery treatments in response to catastrophic events affecting Federal lands under their jurisdiction, including the removal of dead and damaged trees and the implementation of reforestation treatments, to support the recovery of non-Federal lands damaged by catastrophic events, to revitalize Forest Service experimental forests, 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 AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as `Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act'.

    (b) Table of Contents- The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

      Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.

      Sec. 2. Findings.

      Sec. 3. Definitions.

TITLE I--RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS ON FEDERAL LANDS

      Sec. 101. Development of research protocols and use in catastrophic event research projects.

      Sec. 102. Catastrophic event recovery evaluations.

      Sec. 103. Compliance with National Environmental Policy Act.

      Sec. 104. Availability and use of pre-approved management practices.

      Sec. 105. Availability and use of alternative arrangements.

      Sec. 106. Administrative and judicial review.

      Sec. 107. Guidance regarding reforestation in response to catastrophic events.

      Sec. 108. Effect of title.

TITLE II--RESTORING LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY CATASTROPHIC EVENTS

Subtitle A--Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

      Sec. 201. Assistance under Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 to restore landscapes and communities affected by catastrophic events.

Subtitle B--Department of the Interior Assistance

      Sec. 211. Restoring landscapes.

      Sec. 212. Restoring communities.

TITLE III--EXPERIMENTAL FORESTS

      Sec. 301. Findings.

      Sec. 302. Availability and use of pre-approved management practices on National Forest experimental forests.

      Sec. 303. Availability and use of alternative arrangements for projects on National Forest experimental forests.

TITLE IV--GENERAL PROVISIONS

      Sec. 401. Regulations.

      Sec. 402. Funding sources.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) The number and severity of catastrophic events causing resource damage to Federal land has significantly increased over the last 20 years, and such catastrophic events also create serious adverse environmental, social, and economic consequences for Federal land and adjacent non-Federal land and communities.

      (2) Catastrophic events often devastate forest or rangeland ecosystems and eliminate sources of seed for desired tree and plant species, which--

        (A) delays or even precludes the reestablishment of appropriate forest or plant cover on millions of acres of Federal land;

        (B) increases the susceptibility of the damaged land to wildfire and noxious or harmful species and reduces the economic value of the damaged land's resources;

        (C) increases the susceptibility of adjacent undamaged land to insect infestations, disease, and noxious weeds;

        (D) pollutes municipal water supplies and damages water delivery infrastructure;

        (E) exacerbates sediment production that adversely impacts native fish habitat and soil productivity;

        (F) results in unsafe campgrounds, trails, roads, and other infrastructure; and

        (G) adversely impacts the sustainability of ecosystems and the well-being of adjacent communities.

      (3) Program authorities and funding mechanisms currently available to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to respond to catastrophic events on forested Federal land do not provide for consistent and timely response activities.

      (4) Alternative arrangements approved by the Council on Environmental Quality have been used on an inconsistent basis to respond to catastrophic events on forested Federal land, but, when used in the past, such alternative arrangements have encouraged expedited and successful recovery outcomes.

      (5) A prompt and standardized management response to a catastrophic event, which is also adaptive to the unique characteristics of each catastrophic event, is needed--

        (A) to effectively recover the area damaged by the catastrophic event,

        (B) to minimize the impact on the resources of the area and adjacent communities adversely affected by the catastrophic event; and

        (C) to recover damaged, but still merchantable, material before it losses economic value.

      (6) Reforestation treatments on forested Federal land after a catastrophic event helps to restore appropriate forest cover, which provides multiple renewable resource benefits, including--

        (A) protecting soil and water resources;

        (B) providing habitat for wildlife and fish;

        (C) contributing to aesthetics and enhancing the recreational experience for visitors;

        (D) providing a future source of timber for domestic use; and

        (E) ensuring the health and resiliency of affected ecosystems for present and future generations.

      (7) According to the Comptroller General, the reforestation backlog for Federal land has increased since 2000 as a result of natural disturbances, such as wildland fires, insect infestations, and diseases.

      (8) Additional scientific and monitoring information is needed regarding the effectiveness of recovery treatments to improve subsequent recovery proposals in response to future catastrophic events.

      (9) State, tribal, and local governments, local communities, and other entities play a critical role in restoring landscapes damaged by a catastrophic event and in reducing the risks associated with the catastrophic event.

      (10) Greater resources and adaptive arrangements must be made available to land managers to facilitate the prompt implementation of recovery treatments, including reforestation, following catastrophic events.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:

      (1) BURNED AREA EMERGENCY RESPONSE- The term `burned area emergency response' means the process used by the Secretary concerned to plan and implement emergency stabilization actions on Federal land in response to a catastrophic event in order to minimize threats to life or property or to stabilize and prevent unacceptable degradation to natural and cultural resources resulting from the effects of the catastrophic event.

      (2) CATASTROPHIC EVENT- The term `catastrophic event' means any natural disaster or any fire, flood, or explosion, regardless of cause, that the Secretary determines has caused or will cause damage of significant severity and magnitude to Federal land or, in the case of title II, non-Federal land. A natural disaster may include a hurricane, tornado, windstorm, snow or ice storm, rain storm, high water, wind-driven water, tidal wave, earthquake, volcanic eruption, landslide, mudslide, drought, or insect or disease outbreak.

      (3) CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY- The term `catastrophic event recovery', with respect to an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, means--

        (A) if the catastrophic event involved fire, the rehabilitation and restoration activities (other than any emergency stabilization treatments undertaken as part of the burned area emergency response) that are undertaken on the damaged Federal land, including any infrastructure or facilities thereon, in response to the catastrophic event;

        (B) if the catastrophic event did not involve fire, the emergency stabilization and rehabilitation and restoration activities that are undertaken on the damaged Federal land, including infrastructure or facilities thereon, in response to the catastrophic event; or

        (C) the reforestation or revegetation of the damaged Federal land in response to the catastrophic event using, to the extent practicable and preferable, native or beneficial plants to avoid creation of plantation forests and the recovery of trees on the damaged Federal land through the use of timber harvesting in a manner consistent with the applicable land and resource management plan.

      (4) CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY EVALUATION- The term `catastrophic event recovery evaluation', with respect to an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, means an evaluation of the damaged Federal land that is conducted in accordance with section 102 for the purpose of developing the catastrophic event recovery proposal for the area.

      (5) CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY PROPOSAL- The term `catastrophic event recovery proposal' means the list and brief description of catastrophic event recovery projects, catastrophic event research projects, and pre-approved management practices that are--

        (A) prepared or identified as part of the catastrophic event recovery evaluation of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event; and

        (B) proposed to be undertaken to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of the area or evaluate the effects and effectiveness of such recovery efforts.

      (6) CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY PROJECT- The term `catastrophic event recovery project' means an individual activity or a series of activities identified in a catastrophic event recovery proposal for an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event and proposed to be undertaken in response to the catastrophic event to promote catastrophic event recovery.

      (7) CATASTROPHIC EVENT RESEARCH PROJECT- The term `catastrophic event research project' means a scientifically designed study of the effects and effectiveness of--

        (A) any catastrophic event recovery projects undertaken in an area of land damaged by a catastrophic event; and

        (B) any emergency stabilization treatments undertaken as part of a burned area emergency response in the area of land damaged by a catastrophic event.

      (8) COMMUNITY WILDFIRE PROTECTION PLAN- The term `community wildfire protection plan' has the meaning given that term in section 101(3) of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511(3)).

      (9) ELIGIBLE ENTITY- The term `eligible entity', for purposes of providing assistance under subtitle B of title II, means a State Forester or equivalent State official, an Indian tribe, local government, community-based organization, or other person.

      (10) FEDERAL LAND- The term `Federal land' means land in the National Forest System and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, including lands held for the benefit of an Indian tribe. The term does not include any land contained in a component of the National Wilderness Preservation System or designated as a national monument.

      (11) INDIAN TRIBE- The term `Indian tribe' has the meaning given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

      (12) LAND AND RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PLAN- The term `land and resource management plan' means--

        (A) a land and resource management plan developed for a unit of the National Forest System under section 6 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1604); or

        (B) a land use plan developed for an area of the public lands under section 202 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1712).

      (13) LAND-GRANT COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES- The term `land-grant colleges and universities' has the meaning given that term in section 1404(11) of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3103(11)).

      (14) LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT- The term `landscape assessment' means an assessment describing catastrophic event conditions and recovery needs and opportunities on non-Federal land affected by a catastrophic event and including a list of proposed special recovery projects to address those needs and opportunities.

      (15) NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM- The term `National Forest System' has the meaning given that term in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1609(a)).

      (16) PRE-APPROVED MANAGEMENT PRACTICE- The term `pre-approved management practice' means a management practice identified by the Secretary concerned under section 104(a) that may be immediately implemented as part of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event.

      (17) SECRETARY CONCERNED- The term `Secretary concerned' means--

        (A) the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest System land; and

        (B) the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, including lands held for the benefit of an Indian tribe.

      (18) SPECIAL RECOVERY PROJECT- The term `special recovery project' means an individual activity or a series of activities proposed to be undertaken to rehabilitate, repair, and restore non-Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, community infrastructure and facilities on the land, and economic, social, and cultural conditions affected by the catastrophic event.

TITLE I--RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS ON FEDERAL LANDS

SEC. 101. DEVELOPMENT OF RESEARCH PROTOCOLS AND USE IN CATASTROPHIC EVENT RESEARCH PROJECTS.

    (a) Development of Protocols; Purpose- For the purpose of collecting and analyzing scientific information about the effectiveness and ecological impacts of catastrophic event recovery projects and emergency stabilization treatments undertaken as part of a burned area emergency response to increase the long-term benefits of management activities and to decrease short-term impacts, the Secretary concerned shall develop research protocols consisting of a research approach that is specifically designed to improve knowledge, understanding, and predictive capabilities, including an appropriate and scientifically sound experimental design or set of sampling procedures, and accompanying methods of data analysis and interpretation.

    (b) Peer Review Required- The research protocols developed under subsection (a), and any subsequent modification thereof, shall be subject to independent peer review by scientific and land management experts.

    (c) Time for Completion; Modification- The research protocols required by this section shall be submitted to Congress not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act. The Secretary concerned may modify the research protocols, as the Secretary determines necessary, after their submission to Congress. The Secretary concerned shall notify Congress regarding any such modification.

    (d) Catastrophic Event Research Projects- In accordance with the research protocols developed under this section, the Secretary concerned may conduct one or more catastrophic event research projects in an area of land damaged by a catastrophic event. The Secretary may develop a proposed catastrophic event research project as part of a catastrophic event recovery proposal or develop a catastrophic event research project independently of the catastrophic event recovery proposal during the catastrophic event recovery in response to changing conditions in the area damaged by the catastrophic event.

    (e) Public Access-

      (1) PROTOCOLS- The Secretary concerned shall make the research protocols developed under subsection (a), including any modification thereof, publicly available, in a form determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

      (2) RESEARCH RESULTS- After completion of the independent peer review required by subsection (b), the Secretary concerned shall make the results of catastrophic event research projects publicly available, in a form determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

    (f) Forest Health Partnerships- In developing and using the research protocols required by this section, the Secretary concerned shall enter into cooperative agreements with land-grant colleges and universities to form forest health partnerships, including regional institutes, to utilize the education, research, and outreach capacity of land-grant colleges and universities to address the recovery of forested land after a catastrophic event. A forest health partnership may be aligned with the current network of Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Units.

SEC. 102. CATASTROPHIC EVENT RECOVERY EVALUATIONS.

    (a) Commencement-

      (1) EVALUATION REQUIRED- In response to a catastrophic event affecting 1,000 or more acres of Federal land, the Secretary concerned shall conduct a catastrophic event recovery evaluation of the damaged Federal land.

      (2) EVALUATION AUTHORIZED- If a catastrophic event affects more than 250 acres of Federal land, but less than 1,000 acres, the Secretary concerned is authorized, but not required, to conduct a catastrophic event recovery evaluation of the damaged Federal land.

    (b) Completion- When a catastrophic event recovery evaluation is required to be conducted under subsection (a), the Secretary concerned shall commence and complete the catastrophic event recovery evaluation not later than 30 days after the conclusion of the catastrophic event in order to facilitate prompt--

      (1) decision-making with regard to the catastrophic event recovery of the Federal land damaged by the catastrophic event; and

      (2) implementation of catastrophic event recovery projects on the damaged Federal land.

    (c) Elements of Catastrophic Event Evaluation- In conducting the catastrophic event recovery evaluation for an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall prepare the following:

      (1) A description of catastrophic event conditions on the damaged Federal land, recovery needs and opportunities, and the areas where management intervention would be helpful--

        (A) to repair, maintain, or improve resource values;

        (B) to maintain infrastructure;

        (C) to foster reforestation or other recovery of the damaged Federal land; and

        (D) to achieve the goals and objectives of the applicable land and resource management plan.

      (2) A preliminary determination of any catastrophic event research projects that best fit the circumstances of the particular catastrophic event environment or would enhance scientific understanding relevant to the damaged area.

      (3) A catastrophic event recovery proposal containing possible catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects for the damaged area and describing the anticipated size and scope of these projects.

      (4) One or more maps detailing the area of damaged Federal land and the location of catastrophic event recovery proposals.

      (5) A preliminary estimate of the funding that would be needed to complete the catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects contained in the catastrophic event recovery proposal.

      (6) A preliminary estimate of the receipts to be derived from the catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects contained in the catastrophic event recovery proposal.

      (7) A preliminary schedule showing the timing of possible catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects by fiscal year, assuming funding is available to undertake the projects.

    (d) Use of Pre-Approved Management Practices or Alternative Arrangements-

      (1) DETERMINATION- In addition to complying with the requirements specified in subsection (c) for each catastrophic event recovery evaluation, the Secretary concerned shall make a determination of--

        (A) whether or not any pre-approved management practices can be immediately implemented under section 104 to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of the area covered by the catastrophic event recovery evaluation; and

        (B) whether or not any catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, contained in the catastrophic event recovery proposal should be developed and carried out using the alternative arrangements authorized by section 105.

      (2) FACTORS- In making any determination under paragraph (1)(B) to develop and carry out a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, using alternative arrangements under section 105, the Secretary concerned shall consider at a minimum the following:

        (A) The necessity of promptly responding to the catastrophic event on the damaged Federal land.

        (B) The recovery needs and opportunities identified under subsection (c)(1) with respect to the damaged Federal land.

        (C) The lack of pre-approved management practices applicable to the damaged Federal land.

        (D) The threat to public health and safety.

        (E) The likelihood of substantial loss of adjacent private and public property or other substantial economic losses.

      (3) NOTIFICATION AND CONSULTATION- The Secretary concerned shall make the determinations under paragraph (1) after notification of and in consultation with the Council on Environmental Quality, but the determination remains in the sole discretion of the Secretary.

    (e) Interdisciplinary Approach- To conduct the catastrophic event recovery evaluation of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach that insures the integrated use of appropriate natural and social sciences.

    (f) Coordination With Other Activities- The Secretary concerned may combine the preparation of a catastrophic event recovery evaluation of Federal land with the preparation of a landscape assessment for non-Federal land in the vicinity of the damaged Federal land prepared under subtitle B of title II or subsection (c) of section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2106c), as added by section 201.

    (g) Public Collaboration- To encourage meaningful participation during the preparation of catastrophic event recovery projects, the Secretary concerned shall facilitate collaboration among State and local governments, Indian tribes, land-grant colleges and universities, and interested persons during the preparation of catastrophic event recovery evaluations and catastrophic event recovery proposals.

    (h) Public Notice-

      (1) NOTICE OF EVALUATION- The Secretary concerned shall provide public notice of each catastrophic event recovery evaluation, including the catastrophic event recovery proposal prepared as part of the evaluation. The notice shall be provided in a form determined to be appropriate by the Secretary concerned, such as publication in the Federal Register.

      (2) NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETINGS- The Secretary concerned shall provide notice of public meetings conducted in connection with a catastrophic event recovery evaluation and the availability of preliminary analyses or documents prepared as part of the evaluation. The notice shall be provided at such times and in such a manner as the Secretary concerned considers appropriate.

SEC. 103. COMPLIANCE WITH NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT.

    (a) Compliance Required- Except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary concerned shall comply with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4331 et seq.), its implementing regulations, and other applicable laws in designing and conducting catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects.

    (b) Satisfaction of NEPA Requirements- The list of pre-approved management practices prepared under subsection (a) of section 104, the use of pre-approved management practices in the manner provided in such section as part of the catastrophic event recovery of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, and the use of alternative arrangements in the manner provided in section 105 to design or conduct a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, are deemed to satisfy the requirements of section 102 of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4332 et seq.) and its implementing regulations.

SEC. 104. AVAILABILITY AND USE OF PRE-APPROVED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES.

    (a) List of Available Pre-Approved Management Practices-

      (1) PREPARATION OF LIST- The Secretary concerned shall prepare a list of management practices that may be immediately implemented as part of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event.

      (2) RULE MAKING- The list of pre-approved management practices shall be prepared using notice and comment rule making under section 553 of title 5, United States Code.

      (3) PEER REVIEW REQUIRED- Before a management practice may be included on the list of pre-approved management practices, the management practice shall be subject to independent peer review by scientific and land management experts. The results of the review shall be available to the public during the comment period.

      (4) REVISION OR AMENDMENT- The Secretary concerned may amend or revise the list of pre-approved management practices as necessary whenever new scientific and managerial information becomes available. Paragraphs (2) and (3) shall apply to the amendment or revision process.

    (b) Use of Pre-Approved Management Practices- Until the end of the two-year period beginning on the date on which the catastrophic event recovery evaluation is completed for an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned may implement and carry out pre-approved management practices to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of the area.

    (c) Effect of Termination of Period- After the expiration of the applicable time period under subsection (b), a pre-approved management practice may not be initiated under the authority of such subsection for an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event. Any pre-approved management practice initiated before the date of the expiration of the applicable time period may not be continued after that date.

    (d) Use for Certain Activities Prohibited-

      (1) ROAD CONSTRUCTION- A pre-approved management practice may not authorize any permanent road building. Any temporary road constructed as part of a pre-approved management practice shall be obliterated upon conclusion of the practice and the road area restored to the extent practicable.

      (2) TIMBER HARVESTING- Timber harvesting carried out as part of a pre-approved management practice shall be limited to trees--

        (A) that are already down, dead, broken, or severely root sprung;

        (B) regarding which mortality is highly probable within five years after the end of the catastrophic event; or

        (C) that are required to be removed for worker or public safety.

    (e) Required Consultation-

      (1) ESA CONSULTATION- In the case of the proposed use of a pre-approved management practice under subsection (b), the Secretary concerned may use the emergency procedures described in section 402.05 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, to comply with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536). At the conclusion of the consultation, the statement required by subsection (b)(4) of such section shall be issued for any incidental taking that may occur while using the pre-approved management practice, which shall be effective beginning on the date the Secretary concerned initiates the practice and shall apply to all persons assisting or cooperating with the Secretary in using the practice.

      (2) OTHER REQUIRED CONSULTATION- Any consultation required under other laws, such as the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) or the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), may proceed simultaneously with the implementation of a pre-approved management practice. Results of consultation shall be immediately incorporated into the practice, to the extent feasible, practical, and consistent with the response, recovery, and rehabilitation objectives of the project.

    (f) Issuance of Decision Document- Not later than 30 days after the date on which the Secretary concerned makes the determination under section 102(d) to use a pre-approved management practice to facilitate the catastrophic event recovery of an area of Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event, the Secretary concerned shall issue a concise decision document that contains--

      (1) a description of the pre-approved management practice to be implemented;

      (2) the rationale for the agency decision;

      (3) an economic analysis and justification; and

      (4) an analysis of the environmental effects of the pre-approved management practice and how such effects will be minimized or mitigated consistent with the applicable land and resource management plan.

    (g) Immediate Implementation- The Secretary concerned shall implement a pre-approved management practice immediately after the issuance of the decision document under subsection (f), subject only to the availability of funds for the practice.

    (h) Monitoring- To monitor the implementation of a pre-approved management practice, the Secretary concerned may establish a third-party monitoring group, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

SEC. 105. AVAILABILITY AND USE OF ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS.

    (a) Limited Consideration of Alternatives- If the Secretary concerned determines under section 102(d) to utilize alternative arrangements to conduct a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, the Secretary concerned is not required to study, develop, or describe more than the proposed agency action and the alternative of no action in designing that project or the portion of the project for which the alternative arrangements are utilized.

    (b) Use for Certain Activities Prohibited-

      (1) ROAD CONSTRUCTION- Alternative arrangements under this section may not be used to design or conduct a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, that provides for any permanent road building. Any temporary road constructed as part of the project shall be obliterated upon completion of the project and the road area restored to the extent practicable.

      (2) TIMBER HARVESTING- Timber harvesting carried out as part of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which alternative arrangements under this section were used shall be limited to trees--

        (A) that are already down, dead, broken, or severely root sprung;

        (B) regarding which mortality is highly probable; or

        (C) that are required to be removed for worker or public safety.

    (c) Required Consultation-

      (1) ESA CONSULTATION- In the case of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which alternative arrangements under this section are used, the Secretary concerned may use the emergency procedures described in section 402.05 of title 50, Code of Federal Regulations, to comply with section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1536). At the conclusion of the consultation, the statement required by subsection (b)(4) of such section shall be issued for any incidental taking that may occur under the project, which shall be effective beginning on the date the Secretary concerned initiates action under the project and shall apply to all persons assisting or cooperating with the Secretary under the project.

      (2) OTHER REQUIRED CONSULTATION- Any consultation required under other laws, such as the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) or the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq.), may proceed simultaneously with the design of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which alternative arrangements under this section are used. Results of consultation shall be immediately incorporated into the project, to the extent feasible, practical, and consistent with the response, recovery, and rehabilitation objectives of the project.

    (d) Completion of Alternative Arrangements and Issuance of Decision Document- Not later than 90 days after the date on which the Secretary concerned makes the determination under section 102(d) to develop and carry out a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, using alternative arrangements, the Secretary concerned shall--

      (1) complete the alternative arrangements for that catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion thereof, under this section; and

      (2) issue a concise decision document that contains--

        (A) the rationale for the agency decision;

        (B) an economic analysis and justification; and

        (C) an analysis of the environmental effects of the project and how such effects will be minimized or mitigated consistent with the applicable land and resource management plan.

    (e) Immediate Implementation- In the case of a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which the alternative arrangements authorized by this section are used, the Secretary concerned shall implement the project, or portion of the project, immediately after the issuance of the decision document under subsection (d), subject only to the availability of funds for the project.

    (f) Monitoring- To monitor a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which the alternative arrangements authorized by this section were used, the Secretary concerned may establish a third-party monitoring group, as determined to be appropriate by the Secretary.

SEC. 106. ADMINISTRATIVE AND JUDICIAL REVIEW.

    (a) Administrative Review Generally- Except as provided in subsection (b), nothing in this title affects--

      (1) the notice, comment, and appeal requirements of section 322 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public 102-381; 16 U.S.C. 1612 note) and section 215 of title 36, Code of Federal Regulations; or

      (2) the consideration or disposition of any legal action brought with respect to such requirements.

    (b) Predecisional Administrative Review- The predecisional administrative review process established by the Secretary of Agriculture by regulation under section 105 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6515), and the Department of the Interior administrative hearings and appeals procedures referred to in subsection (c)(1)(B) of such section, shall serve as the sole means by which a person can seek administrative review regarding--

      (1) the proposed use of a pre-approved management practice under section 104; or

      (2) a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, for which the alternative arrangements under section 105 are used.

    (c) Judicial Review- Section 106 of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6516) shall apply with respect to the implementation of a pre-approved management practice under section 104 or a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project regarding which the applicable administrative review process has been exhausted. In any proceeding for judicial review of agency action under this subsection, attorney fees awarded to a prevailing party may not exceed the hourly rates established in section 3006A of title 18, United States Code.

SEC. 107. GUIDANCE REGARDING REFORESTATION IN RESPONSE TO CATASTROPHIC EVENTS.

    Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary concerned shall--

      (1) standardize the collection, reporting, and review procedures for data regarding more aggressive, expedited, and comprehensive reforestation in response to catastrophic events by clarifying agency-wide guidance and developing standard protocols for determining when and how reforestation can be best achieved as part of the response to catastrophic events; and

      (2) clarify agency-wide guidance regarding reforestation in response to catastrophic events to ensure that such guidance is consistent with agency goals and budget constraints.

SEC. 108. EFFECT OF TITLE.

    (a) Use of Other Authorities- Nothing in this title affects the use by the Secretary concerned of other statutory or administrative authority, including categorical exclusions adopted to implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), to conduct a catastrophic event recovery project or catastrophic event research project, or portion of such a project, that is not conducted using the alternative arrangements authorized by section 105.

    (b) Advisory Committees- The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) and title XVIII of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2281 et seq.) shall not apply to--

      (1) the independent peer review provided by scientific and land management experts under section 101(b);

      (2) the monitoring process under section 104(h) or 105(f); and

      (3) the preparation of a catastrophic event recovery evaluation or catastrophic event recovery proposal.

TITLE II--RESTORING LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES IMPACTED BY CATASTROPHIC EVENTS

Subtitle A--Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978

SEC. 201. ASSISTANCE UNDER COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1978 TO RESTORE LANDSCAPES AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED BY CATASTROPHIC EVENTS.

    (a) Assistance Authorized- Section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2106c) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating subsections (c) and (d) as subsections (d) and (e), respectively; and

      (2) by inserting after subsection (b) the following new subsection:

    `(c) Response to Catastrophic Events Affecting Non-Federal Lands-

      `(1) LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENTS- The Secretary may cooperate with an eligible entity, at the request of the eligible entity, in the preparation of a landscape assessment for non-Federal lands affected by a catastrophic event. The Secretary may combine the preparation of a landscape assessment with the preparation of a catastrophic event recovery evaluation under title I of the Emergency Forest Research and Reforestation Act regarding Federal land in the vicinity of the damaged non-Federal land.

      `(2) COMMUNITY ASSESSMENTS- The Secretary may cooperate with an eligible entity affected by a catastrophic event, at the request of the eligible entity, to assist in the preparation of a community wildfire protection plan or related plan.

      `(3) TYPES OF ASSISTANCE- The Secretary concerned may provide technical and financial cost-share assistance to an eligible entity--

        `(A) to assist in the preparation of a landscape assessment under paragraph (1) or a community wildfire protection plan, community assessment, or community action plan under paragraph (2); and

        `(B) to implement special recovery projects identified in the landscape assessment or community wildfire protection plan, community assessment, or community action plan.

      `(4) SPECIAL RECOVERY PROJECTS- The Secretary may provide assistance under this subsection for special recovery projects, including projects involving--

        `(A) revegetation, tree planting, and other management practices the Secretary determines to be appropriate;

        `(B) developing products from and markets for fire timber harvest and remaining forest resources;

        `(C) training for the local workforce;

        `(D) repair of public facilities, such as water systems, roads, bridges and trails, affected by a catastrophic event; and

        `(E) such other activities as the Secretary determines to be necessary to undertake the special recovery project.

      `(5) DEFINITIONS- In this subsection:

        `(A) The term `eligible entity' means a State Forester or equivalent State official, an Indian tribe, local government, community-based organization, or other person.

        `(B) The terms `catastrophic event', `landscape assessment', and `special recovery project' have the meanings given those terms in section 3 of the Emergency Forest Research and Reforestation Act.

        `(C) The term `community wildfire protection plan' has the meaning given that term in section 101(3) of the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6511(3)).'.

    (b) Clerical Amendment- The heading of such section is amended by inserting before the period at the end the following: `and response to catastrophic events'.

Subtitle B--Department of the Interior Assistance

SEC. 211. RESTORING LANDSCAPES.

    (a) Landscape Assessments- The Secretary of the Interior may cooperate with an eligible entity, at the request of the eligible entity, in the preparation of a landscape assessment for non-Federal lands affected by a catastrophic event. The Secretary may combine the preparation of a landscape assessment with the preparation of a catastrophic event recovery evaluation under title I of the Federal land in the vicinity of the damaged non-Federal land.

    (b) Types of Assistance- The Secretary of the Interior may provide technical and financial cost-share assistance to an eligible entity--

      (1) to assist in the preparation of a landscape assessment; and

      (2) to implement special recovery projects identified in the landscape assessment.

    (c) Special Recovery Projects- The Secretary of the Interior may provide assistance under subsection (b) for special recovery projects, including revegetation, tree planting, and other practices the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

SEC. 212. RESTORING COMMUNITIES.

    (a) Community Assessments- The Secretary of the Interior may cooperate with an eligible entity affected by a catastrophic event, at the request of the eligible entity, to assist in the preparation of a community wildfire protection plan or related plan.

    (b) Types of Assistance- The Secretary of the Interior may provide technical and financial cost-share assistance to an eligible entity--

      (1) to assist in the preparation of development of a community wildfire protection plan, a community assessment, or a community action plan; and

      (2) to implement special recovery projects identified in a community wildfire protection plan, a community assessment, or a community action plan.

    (c) Special Recovery Projects- The Secretary of the Interior may provide assistance under subsection (b) for special recovery projects, including projects involving--

      (1) developing products from and markets for fire timber harvest and remaining forest resources;

      (2) training for the local workforce;

      (3) repair of public facilities, such as water systems, roads, bridges and trails, affected by a catastrophic event; and

      (4) such other activities as the Secretary determines to be necessary to undertake the special recovery project.

TITLE III--EXPERIMENTAL FORESTS

SEC. 301. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:

      (1) The experimental forests established pursuant to section 4 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1643) or the organic administrative authorities of the Secretary of Agriculture (16 U.S.C. 551) serve as a natural laboratory for the Forest Service to evaluate management practices generally and specific responses to catastrophic events that can be eventually used throughout the National Forest System.

      (2) To build upon the knowledge base to be developed using catastrophic events research projects conducted under title I, the Secretary of Agriculture should be authorized to use the same authorities provided under sections 104 and 105 to design and carry out projects in the experimental forests.

SEC. 302. AVAILABILITY AND USE OF PRE-APPROVED MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON NATIONAL FOREST EXPERIMENTAL FORESTS.

    Management practices included on the list of pre-approved management practices prepared under subsection (a) of section 104 may be implemented, in the manner provided by such section, in an experimental forest established pursuant to section 4 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1643) or the organic administrative authorities of the Secretary of Agriculture (16 U.S.C. 551).

SEC. 303. AVAILABILITY AND USE OF ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR PROJECTS ON NATIONAL FOREST EXPERIMENTAL FORESTS.

    Section 105 shall apply with respect to any individual activity or a series of activities proposed to be undertaken in an experimental forest established pursuant to section 4 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1643) or the organic administrative authorities of the Secretary of Agriculture (16 U.S.C. 551).

TITLE IV--GENERAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 401. REGULATIONS.

    The Secretary concerned is not required to promulgate regulations to implement this Act.

SEC. 402. FUNDING SOURCES.

    (a) Reservation of Unobligated Balances- Funds appropriated for the Department of Agriculture or the Department of the Interior for a fiscal year that remain unobligated at the end of that fiscal year shall be available to the Secretary concerned, until expended and without further appropriation, to implement and carry out pre-approved management practices and catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects under title I.

    (b) Availability of Wildland Fires Management Funds- Any funds appropriated for the Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management for a fiscal year for wildland fires management may be used to implement and carry out pre-approved management practices and catastrophic event recovery projects and catastrophic event research projects under title I that are related to wildland fire.

    (c) Availability of Knutson-Vandenberg Funds- Section 3 of the Act of June 9, 1930 (commonly known as the Knutson-Vandenberg Act; 16 U.S.C. 576b), as amended by section 318 of division E of Public Law 108-447 (118 Stat. 3096), is further amended----

      (1) by striking `Such deposits shall be covered' and inserting the following:

    `(b) Amounts deposited under subsection (a) shall be covered';

      (2) by inserting after the second proviso the following new sentence: `The Secretary of Agriculture may also use excess amounts to cover the costs of activities of the Secretary under title I of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act.'; and

      (3) in subsection (c)--

        (A) in paragraph (1), by striking `and';

        (B) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3); and

        (c) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph:

      `(2) the excess amounts will not be needed for activities of the Secretary under title I of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act during the fiscal year in which the transfer would be made; and'.

    (d) Availability of Forest Service Salvage Sale Funds- Section 14(h) of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a(h)) is amended--

      (1) in the fourth sentence, by inserting after `the purposes for which deposited' the following: `and to cover the costs of activities of the Secretary under title I of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act'; and

      (2) in last proviso, by striking `for which deposited on any national forest' and inserting `for which deposits of money are available under this subsection'.

    (e) Availability of BLM Revolving Fund Derived From Disposal of Salvage Timber- The first paragraph under the headings `Forest Ecosystems Health and Recovery' and `REVOLVING FUND, SPECIAL ACCOUNT' in title I of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102-381; 106 Stat. 1376; 43 U.S.C. 1736a), is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: `The money in this fund shall likewise be immediately available to cover the costs of activities of the Bureau of Land Management under title I of the Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act.'.

    (f) Effect of Declaration of Major Disaster or Emergency- If an area of non-Federal land damaged by a catastrophic event is also covered by a declaration by the President under section 401 or 501 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5170, 5191) that a major disaster or emergency exists, the Director of Federal Emergency Management Agency may use funds available for activities under that Act to reimburse the Secretary concerned for assistance in that area provided under subtitle B of title II or subsection (c) of section 10A of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2106c), as added by section 201.