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S. 655 (111th): Teaming with Wildlife Act of 2009

The text of the bill below is as of Mar 19, 2009 (Introduced).


II

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 655

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 19, 2009

(for himself, Ms. Stabenow, Mr. Tester, and Mr. Thune) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works

A BILL

To amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to ensure adequate funding for conservation and restoration of wildlife, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Teaming with Wildlife Act of 2009.

2.

Findings and purposes

(a)

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

a diverse array of species of fish and wildlife is of significant value to the United States for many reasons, including aesthetic, ecological, educational, cultural, recreational, economic, and scientific reasons;

(2)

millions of citizens in the United States participate in outdoor recreation through hunting, fishing, and wildlife observation, all of which have significant value to the citizens who engage in those activities and economic benefits for local communities;

(3)

it is in the national interest of the United States—

(A)

to retain for present and future generations the opportunity to observe, understand, and appreciate a wide variety of wildlife; and

(B)

to prevent wildlife from declining to the point of requiring Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);

(4)

hunters and anglers have for more than 70 years willingly paid user fees in the form of Federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment to support a Federal investment in wildlife diversity and abundance, through the enactment of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669 et seq.) and the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act ) (commonly known as the Wallop-Breaux Act) (16 U.S.C. 777 et seq.);

(5)

Congress created the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account under section 3(a)(2) of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669b(a)(2)) to expand support for the full array of fish and wildlife conservation needs, including species that are not hunted and fished, but only authorized appropriations for the Account for 1 fiscal year;

(6)

while appropriated funds have been made available through the State Wildlife Grants program of United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the lack of assured and dedicated funding for the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account has left unrealized the goals of the Account, allowing wildlife to continue to decline across the United States;

(7)

partly as a requirement of the unfunded Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account, each State has produced a comprehensive wildlife strategy, which presents an action plan for conserving the full array of wildlife and wildlife habitats of each State; and

(8)

providing assured and dedicated funding to the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account advances the national interest in keeping wildlife from becoming endangered by supporting States in implementing the comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies of the States.

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are—

(1)

to provide reliable and assured funding to advance the national interest in keeping wildlife from becoming endangered by supporting programs in each State that address the conservation needs of the full array of declining wildlife; and

(2)

to provide the Federal share of support needed to implement the comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies prepared by each State as a requirement of obtaining funds from the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account established under section 3(a)(2) of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669b(a)(2)).

3.

Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account

Section 3(a) of the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act (16 U.S.C. 669b(a)) is amended by striking paragraph (2) and inserting the following:

(2)

Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account

(A)

Establishment

There is established in the Federal aid to wildlife restoration fund a subaccount to be known as the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Account (referred to in this paragraph as the Account).

(B)

Use

Amounts in the Account shall be available without further appropriation, for each fiscal year, for apportionment in accordance with this Act to carry out State wildlife conservation and restoration programs.

(C)

Revenues

(i)

Outer Continental Shelf revenues

For each of fiscal years 2011 through 2016, from amounts deposited in the Treasury under section 9 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1338), the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the fund for deposit in the Account $175,000,000.

(ii)

Mining revenues

For each of fiscal years 2011 through 2016, from amounts deposited in the Treasury under section 35 of the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 191), after the withdrawal of funds to the States under section 35(a) of that Act, the Secretary of the Treasury shall transfer to the fund for deposit in the Account $175,000,000.

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