< Back to H.R. 2588 (113th Congress, 2013–2015)

Text of the FORESTS Act of 2013

This bill was introduced on June 28, 2013, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jun 28, 2013 (Introduced).

I

113th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2588

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 28, 2013

introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, and in addition to the Committee on Agriculture, 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 reauthorize and expand authorities used by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for hazardous fuels reduction, forest health, forest restoration, and watershed restoration, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Fulfilling Our Responsibility for Efficient and Sustainable Timber Supply Act of 2013 or the FORESTS Act of 2013 .

2.

Stewardship end result contracting authority

(a)

Extension of authority

Subsection (a) of section 347 of the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999 (as contained in section 101(e) of division A of Public Law 105–277; 16 U.S.C. 2104 note), as most recently amended by section 323 of Public Law 108–7 (117 Stat. 275), is amended by striking Until September 30, 2013 and inserting Until September 30, 2023.

(b)

Contract duration and terms

Subsection (c) of such section is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2), by striking 10 years and inserting 20 years; and

(2)

in paragraph (4), by adding at the end the following new sentence: However, when the timber sale component of a Forest Service agreement or contracts under subsection (a) exceeds the resource component of agreement or contract, the timber sale contract authority applies to the timber sale..

(c)

Cancellation or termination costs

Subsection (c) of such section is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(6)

Cancellation or termination costs

(A)

In general

Notwithstanding section 3903 of title 41, United States Code, the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior are not required to obligate funds to cover the cost of cancelling or terminating a multiyear stewardship contract or agreement until such contract or agreement is cancelled or terminated.

(B)

Funding sources

The costs of cancelling or terminating of a multiyear stewardship contract or agreement may be paid from—

(i)

appropriations originally made available for the performance of the contract or agreement;

(ii)

appropriations currently available for procurement of the type of service concerned, and not otherwise obligated; or

(iii)

funds appropriated for payments for that performance or procurement.

(C)

Anti-Deficiency Act violations

In a case in which payment or obligation of funds under this paragraph would constitute a violation of section 1341 of title 31, United States Code (commonly known as the Anti-Deficiency Act), the Secretary may—

(i)

seek a supplemental appropriation; or

(ii)

request funds from the permanent judgment appropriation established pursuant to section 1304 of such title.

.

(d)

Payments to counties

Subsection (d) of such section is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(4)

Payments to counties

25 percent of timber sale receipts from a contract or agreement entered into under the authority of this section and after the date of the enactment of this paragraph shall be paid to the county within whose boundaries the receipts are derived. Payments to a county made under this paragraph shall be in addition to the amounts received under chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code (Payment in Lieu of Taxes; 31 U.S.C. 6901 et seq.).

.

3.

Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management good-neighbor cooperation

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Eligible State

The term eligible State means a State that contains National Forest System land or Bureau of Land Management land.

(2)

Federal land

The term Federal land means—

(A)

land of the National Forest System (as defined in section 11(a) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 ( 16 U.S.C. 1609(a) )); or

(B)

public lands (as defined in section 103 of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1702)).

(3)

Secretary concerned

The term Secretary concerned means—

(A)

the Secretary of Agriculture, in the case of National Forest System land; and

(B)

the Secretary of the Interior, in the case of public lands administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Bureau of Land Management.

(4)

State Forester

The term State Forester means the head of a State agency with jurisdiction over State forestry programs in an eligible State.

(b)

Cooperative agreements and contracts

(1)

In general

The Secretary concerned may enter into a cooperative agreement or contract (including a sole source contract) with a State Forester to authorize the State Forester to provide the forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration, management, and protection services described in paragraph (2) on Federal lands administered by the Secretary concerned in the eligible State.

(2)

Authorized services

The forest, rangeland, and watershed restoration, management, and protection services referred to in paragraph (1) include the conduct of—

(A)

activities to treat insect infected forests;

(B)

activities to reduce hazardous fuels;

(C)

activities involving commercial harvesting or other mechanical vegetative treatments; or

(D)

any other activities determined by the Secretary concerned to be appropriate to restore or improve forest, rangeland, and watershed health, including fish and wildlife habitat.

(3)

State as agent

Except as provided in paragraph (6), a cooperative agreement or contract entered into under paragraph (1) may authorize the State Forester to serve as the agent for the Secretary concerned in providing the restoration, management, and protection services authorized under that paragraph. Even though the State Forester serves as the agent for the Secretary concerned, the employment laws otherwise applicable to the State, rather than the employment laws applicable to the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, shall control with regard to the cooperative agreement or contract and any subcontract.

(4)

Subcontracts

In accordance with applicable contract procedures for the eligible State, a State Forester may enter into subcontracts to provide the restoration, management, and protection services authorized under a cooperative agreement or contract entered into under paragraph (1).

(5)

Timber sales

Subsections (d) and (g) of section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a) shall not apply to services performed under a cooperative agreement or contract entered into under paragraph (1).

(6)

Retention of NEPA responsibilities

Any decision required to be made under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) with respect to any restoration, management, and protection services to be provided under this section by a State Forester on Federal land, shall not be delegated to a State Forester or any other officer or employee of the eligible State.

(c)

Applicable law

The restoration, management, and protection services to be provided under this section shall be carried out on a project-to-project basis under existing applicable authorities of the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

(d)

Termination of effectiveness

The authority of the Secretary concerned to enter into cooperative agreements and contracts under this Act terminates on September 30, 2023.

(e)

Duration of contracts

A cooperative agreement or contract entered into under this Act shall not extend beyond 20 years.