< Back to H.R. 587 (112th Congress, 2011–2013)

Text of the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2011

This bill was introduced on February 9, 2011, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Feb 9, 2011 (Introduced).

Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 587

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 9, 2011

(for himself and Mr. Markey) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture and Education and the Workforce, 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 amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 to expand the authorization of the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, and the Interior to provide service opportunities for young Americans; help restore the Nation’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources; train a new generation of public land managers and enthusiasts; and promote the value of public service.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2011.

2.

Reference

Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or a repeal of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other provision of the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1721 et seq.; title II of Public Law 91–378).

3.

Amendments to the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993

(a)

Name and project description changes

The Act is amended—

(1)

by striking Public Lands Corps each place it appears and inserting Public Lands Service Corps;

(2)

in the title heading, by striking PUBLIC LANDS CORPS and inserting PUBLIC LANDS SERVICE CORPS;

(3)

in the section 204—

(A)

in the section heading, by striking public lands corps and inserting public lands service corps; and

(B)

in the heading of subsection (a), by striking Public Lands Corps and inserting Public Lands Service Corps;

(4)

in the heading of paragraph (2) of section 210(a), by striking Public lands corps and inserting Public lands service corps;

(5)

by striking conservation center each place it appears and inserting residential conservation center; and

(6)

by striking appropriate conservation projects each place it appears (except in paragraph (1) of section 204(e) as so redesignated) and inserting appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects.

(b)

Findings

Section 202(a) of the Act is amended as follows:

(1)

In paragraph (1), by striking the natural and cultural and inserting natural and cultural.

(2)

By redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively, and by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Participants in conservation corps receive meaningful training and their experience with such corps provides preparation for careers in public service.

(3)

Young men and women who participate in the rehabilitation and restoration of our Nation’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic treasures will gain an increased appreciation and understanding of our public lands and heritage, and of the value of public service, and are likely to become life-long advocates for those values.

.

(3)

In paragraph (4) (as so redesignated), by inserting , cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic after Many facilities and natural.

(4)

By adding at the end the following:

(6)

The work of conservation corps can benefit communities adjacent to public lands and facilities through renewed civic engagement and participation by corps participants and those they serve; improved student achievement; and restoration and rehabilitation of public assets.

.

(c)

Purpose

Section 202(b) of the Act is amended to read as follows:

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of this Act are to—

(1)

introduce young men and women to public service while furthering their understanding and appreciation of the Nation’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic resources;

(2)

facilitate training and recruitment opportunities in which service is credited as qualifying experience for careers in public land management;

(3)

instill in a new generation of young men and women from across the Nation, including those from diverse backgrounds, the desire to seek careers in natural and cultural resource stewardship and public service by allowing them to work directly with professionals in agencies responsible for the management of the Nation’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic resources;

(4)

perform, in a cost-effective manner, appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects where such projects are not being performed by existing employees;

(5)

assist governments and Indian tribes in performing research and public education tasks associated with natural and cultural resources;

(6)

expand educational opportunities by rewarding individuals who participate in national service with an increased ability to pursue higher education or job training; and

(7)

promote public understanding and appreciation of the individual missions and natural and cultural resources conservation work of the Federal agencies through training opportunities, community service and outreach, and other appropriate means.

.

(d)

Definitions

Section 203 of the Act is amended as follows:

(1)

By amending paragraphs (1) and (2) to read as follows:

(1)

Appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project

The term appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project means any project for the conservation, restoration, construction, or rehabilitation of natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, or scenic resources.

(2)

Corps and Public Lands Service Corps

The terms Corps and Public Lands Service Corps mean the Public Lands Service Corps established under section 204 of this title.

.

(2)

By striking paragraphs (3) and (8).

(3)

By redesignating paragraphs (4), (5), (6), (7), (9), (10), (11), (12), and (13) as paragraphs (3) through (11), respectively.

(4)

By amending paragraph (7) (as so redesignated) to read as follows:

(7)

Public lands

The term public lands means any lands or waters (or interest therein) owned or administered by the United States, including those areas of coastal and ocean waters, the Great Lakes and their connecting waters, and submerged lands over which the United States exercises jurisdiction, except that such term does not include any Indian lands.

.

(5)

In paragraph (8) (as so redesignated)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in subparagraph (C), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(D)

makes available for audit for each fiscal year for which the qualified youth or conservation corps receives Federal funds under this Act, information pertaining to the expenditure of the funds, any matching funds, and participant demographics.

.

(6)

In paragraph (10) (as so redesignated)—

(A)

in subparagraph (A), by striking and at the end;

(B)

in subparagraph (B), by striking the period and inserting ; and; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(C)

with respect to the National Marine Sanctuary System, coral reefs, and other coastal, estuarine, and marine habitats, and other lands and facilities administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Secretary of Commerce.

.

(7)

By adding at the end the following:

(12)

Residential conservation centers

The term residential conservation centers means the facilities authorized under section 205.

(13)

Consulting intern

The term consulting intern means a consulting intern selected under section 206.

(14)

Public Lands Service Corps participant

The term Public Lands Service Corps participant, Corps participant or participant of the Corps means an individual who is enrolled in the Public Lands Service Corps pursuant to section 204(b).

.

(e)

Public lands service corps program

Section 204 of the Act is amended as follows:

(1)

In subsection (a)—

(A)

in the heading, by adding at the end Program;

(B)

by striking and the Department of Agriculture a and inserting , the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Commerce a service and training program titled the; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following: The Secretary of the Interior shall establish a department-level office to coordinate Public Lands Service Corps activities within the Department of the Interior. The Secretary of Agriculture shall establish within the U.S. Forest Service an office to coordinate Public Lands Service Corps activities within that agency. The Secretary of Commerce shall establish within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration an office to coordinate Public Lands Service Corps activities within that agency. The Secretary of each department shall designate a Public Lands Service Corps coordinator for each agency within that department that administers Public Lands Service Corps activities..

(2)

By amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

(b)

Participants

The Secretary may enroll in the Public Lands Service Corps individuals between the ages of 16 and 25, inclusive, who are either hired by an agency under the Secretary’s jurisdiction to perform work authorized under this Act or who are members of a qualified youth or conservation corps with which the Secretary has entered into a cooperative agreement to perform work authorized under this Act. The Secretary may also enroll resource assistants and consulting interns. All enrollees shall be considered Public Lands Service Corps participants, and may be enrolled for a term of up to 24 months of service, which may be served over more than two calendar years. The individuals may be enrolled without regard to the civil service and classification laws, rules, or regulations of the United States. The Secretary may establish a preference for the enrollment in the Corps of individuals who are economically, physically, or educationally disadvantaged.

.

(3)

In subsection (c)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking contracts and;

(ii)

by inserting natural and cultural resources after appropriate; and

(iii)

by striking subsection (d) and inserting subsection (e);

(B)

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

(C)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Recruitment

The Secretary shall undertake, or enter into cooperative agreements to provide, a program to attract eligible youth to the Corps by publicizing Corps opportunities through high schools, colleges, employment centers, electronic media, and other appropriate institutions or means.

; and

(D)

by amending paragraph (3) (as so redesignated) to read as follows:

(3)

Preference

For purposes of entering into cooperative agreements under paragraph (1), the Secretary may give preference to qualified youth or conservation corps located in a specific area that have a substantial portion of members who are economically, physically, or educationally disadvantaged to carry out projects within the area.

.

(4)

By redesignating subsections (d) through (f) as subsections (e) through (g), respectively.

(5)

By inserting after subsection (c) the following:

(d)

Training

The Secretary shall establish a training program based at appropriate residential conservation centers or at other suitable regional Federal or other appropriate facilities or sites to provide training for Corps participants. The Secretary shall—

(1)

ensure that the duration and comprehensiveness of the training program shall be commensurate with the projects Corps participants are expected to undertake;

(2)

develop department-wide standards for the program that include training in—

(A)

resource stewardship;

(B)

ethics for those in public service;

(C)

principles of national service;

(D)

health and safety;

(E)

teamwork and leadership; and

(F)

interpersonal communications;

(3)

direct each participating agency to develop agency-specific training guidelines to ensure that Corps participants enrolled to undertake projects for that agency are appropriately informed about matters specific to that agency, including—

(A)

the history and organization of the agency;

(B)

the agency’s core values; and

(C)

any agency-specific standards for the management of natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, and scenic resources; and

(4)

take into account training already received by Corps participants enrolled from qualified youth or conservation corps, including in the matters outlined in paragraph (2).

.

(6)

In subsection (e) (as so redesignated)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

by striking The Secretary may utilize the Corps or any qualified youth or conservation corps to carry out appropriate and inserting The Secretary may use Corps participants to carry out, under appropriate supervision and training, appropriate natural and cultural resource; and

(ii)

by striking law on public lands. and inserting the following:

law. Such projects may include, but are not limited to—

(A)

protection, restoration, or enhancement of ecosystem components to promote species recovery, improve biological diversity, enhance productivity and carbon sequestration, and enhance adaptability and resilience of public lands and resources in the face of climate change and other natural and human disturbances;

(B)

promoting the health of forests and public lands, refuges, and coastal and marine areas, including—

(i)

protection and restoration of watersheds and forest, riparian, estuarine, grassland, coral reef, intertidal, or other habitat;

(ii)

reduction of wildfire risk and mitigation of damage from insects, disease, and disasters;

(iii)

erosion control;

(iv)

control or removal of invasive, noxious, or non-native species; and

(v)

restoration of native species;

(C)

collection of biological, archaeological, and other scientific data, including monitoring of climatological information, species populations and movement, habitat status, and other factors;

(D)

assisting in historical and cultural research, archival and curatorial work, oral history projects, documentary photography, and activities that support the creation of public works of art related to public lands; and

(E)

construction, repair, rehabilitation, green building retrofitting, and maintenance of roads, trails, campgrounds, and other facilities, employee housing, cultural and historic sites and structures, and facilities that further the purposes of the Public Lands Service Corps.

;

(B)

by redesignating paragraphs (2) and (3) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively;

(C)

by inserting after paragraph (1) the following:

(2)

Visitor services

The Secretary may—

(A)

enter into or amend an existing cooperative agreement with a cooperating association, educational institute, friends group, or similar nonprofit partner organization for the purpose of providing training and work experience to Corps participants in areas including, but not limited to, sales, office work, accounting, and management provided that the work experience directly relates to the protection and management of the public lands; and

(B)

allow Corps participants to help promote visitor safety and enjoyment of public lands, and assist in the gathering of visitor use data.

(3)

Interpretation

The Secretary may assign Corps participants to provide interpretation or education services for the public under the appropriate direction and supervision of agency personnel, including—

(A)

providing orientation and information services to visitors, including services for non-English speaking visitors and visitors who use American Sign Language;

(B)

assisting agency personnel in the delivery of interpretive or educational programs, including outdoor learning and classroom learning;

(C)

presenting programs on Federal lands or at schools, after-school programs, and youth-serving community programs that relate the personal experience of the Corps participant for the purpose of promoting public awareness of the Corps, its role in public land management agencies, and its availability to potential participants; and

(D)

creating nonpersonal interpretive products, such as Web site content, Junior Ranger program books, printed handouts, and audiovisual programs.

; and

(D)

in paragraph (4) (as so redesignated), by striking Appropriate conservation projects and inserting Appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation projects.

(7)

In subsection (g) (as so redesignated), by striking appropriate conservation project inserting appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project.

(8)

By amending the text of subsection (f)(2) (as so redesignated) to read as follows: will instill in Corps participants a work ethic and a sense of public service;.

(9)

In subsection (g) (as so redesignated), by striking on eligible service lands.

(10)

By adding at the end the following:

(h)

Other participants

The Secretary may allow volunteers from other programs administered or designated by the Secretary to participate as volunteers in projects carried out under this section on such terms as the Secretary considers appropriate.

.

(f)

Residential conservation centers and program support

Section 205 of the Act is amended as follows:

(1)

In the section heading, by striking Conservation and inserting Residential conservation.

(2)

In subsection (a)—

(A)

by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

(1)

In general

The Secretary may establish residential conservation centers for—

(A)

such housing, food service, medical care, transportation, and other services as the Secretary deems necessary for the Public Lands Service Corps; and

(B)

the conduct of appropriate residential conservation projects under this Act.

;

(B)

by striking paragraph (2) and redesignating paragraphs (3) and (4) as paragraphs (2) and (3), respectively;

(C)

in paragraph (2) (as so redesignated)—

(i)

in the text, by inserting residential before conservation centers; and

(ii)

in the heading, by inserting residential before conservation centers; and

(D)

in paragraph (3) (as so redesignated), by striking with a State or and inserting a cooperative agreement with another Federal, State, or.

(3)

In subsection (b)—

(A)

by striking The Secretary and inserting the following:

(1)

The Secretary

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(2)

The Secretary may make arrangements with other Federal agencies, States, local governments, or private organizations to provide temporary housing as needed and available.

(3)

In project areas where Corps participants can reasonably be expected to reside at their own homes, the Secretary may fund or provide transportation to and from project sites.

.

(4)

By redesignating subsection (d) as subsection (g).

(5)

By inserting after subsection (c) the following:

(d)

Facilities

The Secretary may, as an appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project, direct Corps participants to aid in the rehabilitation or construction of residential conservation center facilities, including housing.

(e)

Green buildings

The Secretary may seek the assistance of the Secretary of Energy in identifying and using solar and other green building technologies and modular housing designs that may be adapted for residential conservation center facilities, including—

(1)

designs from the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon competition; and

(2)

logistical support, assistance, and training from Solar Decathlon participants.

(f)

Mentors

The Secretary may recruit from programs, such as agency volunteer programs, and from agency retirees, veterans groups, military retirees, active duty personnel, and from appropriate youth-serving organizations, such adults as may be suitable and qualified to provide training, mentoring, and crew-leading services to Corps participants.

.

(6)

In subsection (g) (as so redesignated), by striking are appropriate to carry out this title and inserting the Secretary determines to be necessary for the residential conservation center.

(g)

Resource assistants and consulting interns

Section 206 of the Act is amended as follows:

(1)

In the section heading, by inserting and consulting interns before the period.

(2)

In subsection (a), by striking The Secretary is authorized to provide individual placements of resource and inserting the following:

The Secretary is authorized, to provide individual placements of the following:

(1)

Resource

.

(3)

By inserting after subsection (a)(1) (as so designated), the following:

(2)

Consulting interns with any Federal land, coastal, or ocean management agency under the jurisdiction of the Secretary to carry out management analysis activities on behalf of the agency. To be eligible for selection as a consulting intern, an individual must be a current enrollee and have completed at least one full year at a graduate or professional school that has been accredited by an accrediting body that has been recognized by the Secretary of Education. The Secretary may select consulting interns without regard to the civil service and classification laws, rules, or regulations of the United States.

.

(4)

In subsection (b)—

(A)

by inserting or consulting interns before through private sources;

(B)

in the second sentence, before the period, by inserting ; up to 15 percent may be in-kind; and

(C)

by striking Resource Assistants and inserting resource assistants or consulting interns.

(5)

By adding at the end the following:

(c)

Cost sharing requirements

At the Secretary’s discretion, the requirements for cost sharing applicable to participating nonprofit organizations for the expenses of resource assistants and consulting interns under subsection (b) may be reduced to not less than 10 percent.

.

(h)

Technical amendment

The Act is amended by redesignating sections 207, 208, 209, 210, and 211 as sections 208, 209, 210, 211, and 212, respectively.

(i)

Guidance

The Act is amended by inserting after section 206 the following:

207.

Guidance

Not later than 18 months after funds are made available for this purpose, the Secretaries shall issue guidelines for the management of the Public Lands Service Corps programs for use by regional and State directors, and the supervisors of individual parks, forests, districts, sanctuaries, reserves, hatcheries, and refuges.

.

(j)

Living allowances and terms of service

Section 208 of the Act (as so redesignated) is amended—

(1)

by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

(a)

Living allowances

The Secretary shall provide each Corps participant with a living allowance in an amount established by the Secretary. The Secretary may—

(1)

apply a cost-of-living differential to such allowances; and

(2)

reimburse Corps participants for travel costs at the beginning and end of their term of service if the Secretary deems appropriate.

;

(2)

by amending the text of subsection (b) to read as follows: Each Corps participant shall agree to participate in the Corps for such term of service as may be established by the Secretary enrolling or selecting the individual.;

(3)

in the heading of subsection (c), by adding at the end Preference and Future Employment; and

(4)

in subsection (c)—

(A)

by amending paragraphs (1) and (2) to read as follows:

(1)

grant to a participant of the Public Lands Service Corps credit for service time in the Corps to be used as qualifying experience toward future Federal hiring;

(2)

provide to a former participant of the Public Lands Service Corps noncompetitive hiring status for a period of not more than two years after the date on which the participant’s service with the Public Lands Service Corps is complete (not counting any time spent enrolled in an academic institution or trade school), if the candidate—

(A)

has served a minimum of 960 hours on an appropriate natural or cultural resource conservation project that included at least 120 hours through the Public Lands Service Corps; and

(B)

meets Office of Personnel Management qualification standards for the position to which the candidate is applying;

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following:

(3)

develop a system to provide consideration for participants who cannot meet the requirements of paragraph (2);

(4)

provide to an individual who has successfully fulfilled the resource assistant program noncompetitive hiring status for a period of not more than two years after the date on which the individual has completed an undergraduate degree from an accredited institution;

(5)

provide to an individual who has successfully fulfilled the consulting internship program noncompetitive hiring status for a period of not more than two years after the date on which the individual has completed a graduate degree from an accredited institution; and

(6)

provide, or enter into cooperative agreements with qualified employment agencies to provide, alumni services such as job and education counseling, referrals, verification of service, communications, and other appropriate services to participants who have completed their Corps service.

.

(k)

National service educational awards

Section 209 of the Act (as so redesignated) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by striking If a and all that follows through shall be eligible and inserting If a Corps participant also serves in an approved national service position designated under subtitle C of title I of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12571 et seq.), the Corps participant shall be eligible; and

(2)

in subsection (b), by striking—

(A)

either participants in the Corps or resource assistants and inserting participants in the Corps; and

(B)

or a resource assistant.

(l)

Nondisplacement

Section 210 of the Act (as so redesignated) is amended to read as follows:

210.

Nondisplacement

The nondisplacement requirements of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 shall be applicable to all activities carried out by the Public Lands Service Corps participants.

.

(m)

Funding

Section 211 of the Act (as so redesignated) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)(1)—

(A)

by striking appropriate conservation project each place it appears and inserting appropriate natural and cultural resources conservation project; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following: The Secretary may reduce to no less than 10 percent the non-Federal costs of a project when the Secretary determines that it is necessary to enable participation in the Public Lands Service Corps from a greater range of organizations.; and

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

by inserting program after Corps; and

(B)

by inserting , consulting interns before and qualified youth.

(n)

Authorization of appropriations

Section 212 of the Act (as so redesignated) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a), by inserting to the Secretary after authorized to be appropriated;

(2)

in subsection (a), by striking to carry out the first place it appears and all that follows through the period and inserting such sums as may be necessary to carry out this title.;

(3)

by striking subsection (b); and

(4)

by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (b).