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H.R. 3824 (114th): Forest Service and Department of the Interior Law Enforcement Improvement Act of 2015

The text of the bill below is as of Oct 23, 2015 (Introduced).


I

114th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3824

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

October 23, 2015

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 reform oversight of law enforcement activities of the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior and to improve coordination and cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Forest Service and Department of the Interior Law Enforcement Improvement Act of 2015.

2.

Management of Forest Service law enforcement personnel

(a)

Responsibility of regional forester

Except in the case of law enforcement personnel described in subsection (b), the Regional Forester for a Forest Service Region shall be responsible for all Forest Service law enforcement personnel assigned to that Region. The Regional Forester may delegate this responsibility to Forest Supervisors and District Rangers as the Regional Forester considers appropriate and based on the capabilities of the line officer.

(b)

Investigations Division

The Chief of the Forest Service, acting through the Director of Law Enforcement, shall remain responsible for the Investigations Division of Forest Service law enforcement.

3.

Federal Lands Law Enforcement Review Boards

(a)

Establishment

The Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to the Forest Service, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to the land management agencies of the Department of the Interior, shall establish a Federal Lands Law Enforcement Review Board.

(b)

Composition

Each Federal Lands Law Enforcement Review Board shall be composed of seven members as follows:

(1)

The applicable Director of Law Enforcement.

(2)

A Law Enforcement Regional Special Agent in Charge, in the case of the Board established by the Secretary of Agriculture, and a State Director of Law Enforcement and Security, in the case of the Board established by the Secretary of the Interior.

(3)

Three line officers selected by the Secretary concerned.

(4)

One member of the National Sheriffs’ Association who resides east of the 100th meridian and is recommended by the Association.

(5)

One member of the National Sheriffs’ Association who resides west of the 100th meridian and is recommended by the Association.

(c)

Purposes

The purposes of a Federal Lands Law Enforcement Review Board are to review and make recommendations regarding the following:

(1)

Law enforcement incidents of concern involving law enforcement personnel of the agency.

(2)

Proposed changes to agency law enforcement policy.

(3)

The cooperative law enforcement program.

(4)

Training of agency law enforcement personnel.

(d)

Additional boards

The Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to the Forest Service, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to the land management agencies of the Department of the Interior, may establish additional Federal Lands Law Enforcement Review Boards at subordinate levels of the agency.

4.

Improved coordination and cooperation with local law enforcement agencies

(a)

Forest service

Public Law 92–82 (16 U.S.C. 551a) is amended by adding at the end the following new sentence: If a political subdivision of a State contains 25,000 acres or more of Federal land, all or a majority of which is National Forest System land, the Secretary shall endeavor to develop a memorandum of understanding with the political subdivision to address the specific roles and coordination between Forest Service law enforcement personnel and local law enforcement..

(b)

Department of the Interior

If a political subdivision of a State contains 25,000 acres or more of Federal land, all or a majority of which is under the jurisdiction of a land management agency of the Department of the Interior, the Secretary of the Interior shall endeavor to develop a memorandum of understanding with the political subdivision to address the specific roles and coordination between Department law enforcement personnel and local law enforcement.