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H.R. 4043 (112th): Military Readiness and Southern Sea Otter Conservation Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

7/17/2012--Reported to House amended, Part I. Military Readiness and Southern Sea Otter Conservation Act - Directs the Secretary of Defense (DOD) to establish Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Areas for national defense purposes (thereby conserving the southern sea otter [otter] in such Areas while allowing reasonable military readiness activities). Allows certain incidental otter takings in such Areas in the course of a military readiness activity, while authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to revise or terminate such authorized takings upon determining that the military activities are substantially impeding otter conservation or the return of such otters to optimum sustainable levels.

Directs: (1) the Secretary of the Navy to monitor the Areas, at least annually, to evaluate otter status; and (2) the Secretaries of the Navy and the Interior to report jointly every three years to Congress and the public on such monitoring.

Requires the Secretary of the Interior, upon ending a specified otter relocation and management plan and in planning and implementing recovery and conservation measures to allow for the expansion of otter range, to coordinate and cooperate with: (1) the Secretary of the Navy, (2) the Secretary of Commerce regarding recovery efforts for endangered species, and (3) the state of California in continuing viable commercial harvest of state fisheries.