skip to main content

S. 1033: A bill to amend the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 to provide for stewardship contracting projects, and for other purposes.

The text of the bill below is as of May 3, 2017 (Introduced).


II

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 1033

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 3, 2017

introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

A BILL

To amend the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 to provide for stewardship contracting projects, and for other purposes.

1.

Stewardship contracting projects

(a)

In general

The Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 is amended—

(1)

by striking section 604 (16 U.S.C. 6591c);

(2)

by redesignating sections 601, 602, and 603 (16 U.S.C. 6591, 6591a, 6591b) as sections 701, 702, and 703, respectively;

(3)

by redesignating title VI (16 U.S.C. 6591 et seq.) (as amended by paragraphs (1) and (2)) as title VII;

(4)

in section 703(a) (as so redesignated), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking section 602(d) and inserting section 702(d); and

(5)

by inserting after title V (16 U.S.C. 6571 et seq.) the following:

VI

Stewardship Contracting

601.

Definitions

In this title:

(1)

Chief

The term Chief means the Secretary, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service.

(2)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(3)

Stewardship contract

The term stewardship contract means a contract or agreement entered into under section 602.

602.

Projects

The Chief may enter into a stewardship contracting project contract or agreement, as appropriate, with a private person or another public entity to perform services to achieve land management goals described in section 603 for the National Forest System that meet local and rural community needs.

603.

Land management goals

The land management goals of a project under section 602 may include any of the following:

(1)

Road and trail maintenance or obliteration to restore or maintain water quality.

(2)

Soil productivity, habitat for wildlife and fisheries, or other resource values.

(3)

Setting of prescribed fires to improve the composition, structure, condition, and health of stands or to improve wildlife habitat.

(4)

Removing vegetation or other activities—

(A)

to promote healthy forest stands;

(B)

to reduce fire hazards; or

(C)

to achieve other land management objectives.

(5)

Watershed restoration and maintenance.

(6)

Restoration and maintenance of wildlife and fish.

(7)

Control of noxious and exotic weeds and reestablishing native plant species.

604.

Agreements or contracts

(a)

Procurement procedure

A private person or public entity for the performance of services under a stewardship contract shall be selected on a best-value basis, including consideration of the private person or public entity under other public or private agreements or contracts.

(b)

Contract for sale of property

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a contract entered into under section 602 may, at the discretion of the Secretary, be considered a contract for the sale of property under such terms as the Secretary may establish.

(c)

Term

(1)

In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the Chief may enter into a contract under section 602 in accordance with section 3903 of title 41, United States Code.

(2)

Maximum

The period of a stewardship contract shall be not longer than 10 years.

(d)

Offsets

(1)

In general

The Chief may apply the value of timber or other forest products removed as an offset against the cost of services received under a stewardship contract.

(2)

Methods of appraisal

The value of timber or other forest products used as an offset under paragraph (1)—

(A)

shall be determined using appropriate methods of appraisal commensurate with the quantity of products to be removed; and

(B)

may—

(i)

be determined using a unit of measure appropriate to the stewardship contracts; and

(ii)

include valuing products on a per-acre basis.

(e)

Relation to other laws

Notwithstanding subsections (d) and (g) of section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a), the Chief may enter into a stewardship contract.

(f)

Contracting officer

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may determine the appropriate contracting officer to enter into and administer a stewardship contract.

(g)

Fire liability provisions

Not later than 90 days after February 7, 2014, the Chief shall issue for use in each stewardship contract fire liability provisions that are in substantially the same form as the fire liability provisions contained in—

(1)

integrated resource timber contracts, as described in the Forest Service contract numbered 2400–13, part H, section H.4; and

(2)

timber sale contracts conducted pursuant to section 14 of the National Forest Management Act of 1976 (16 U.S.C. 472a).

605.

Receipts

(a)

In general

The Chief may collect amounts from a stewardship contract if the collection is a secondary objective of negotiating the stewardship contract that will best achieve the purposes of this title.

(b)

Use

Amounts from a stewardship contract—

(1)

may be retained by the Chief; and

(2)

shall be available for expenditure without further appropriation—

(A)

at the project site from which the amounts are collected; or

(B)

at another project site.

(c)

Relation to other laws

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the value of services received by the Chief under a stewardship contract, and any payments made or resources provided by the contractor or the Chief, shall not be considered amounts received from the National Forest System.

(2)

Knutson-Vandenberg Act

The Act of June 9, 1930 (commonly known as the Knutson-Vandenberg Act) (16 U.S.C. 576 et seq.), shall not apply to a stewardship contract.

606.

Costs of removal

The Chief may collect deposits from a contractor to cover the costs of removal of timber or other forest products (including timber that the contractor did not harvest) under—

(1)

the Act of August 11, 1916 (16 U.S.C. 490); and

(2)

the Act of June 30, 1914 (16 U.S.C. 498).

607.

Performance and payment guarantees

(a)

In general

The Chief may require performance and payment bonds under sections 28.103–2 and 28.103–3 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation, in an amount that the contracting officer considers sufficient to protect the investment in receipts by the Federal Government generated by the contractor from the estimated value of the forest products to be removed under a stewardship contract.

(b)

Excess offset value

If the offset value of the forest products described in subsection (a) exceeds the value of the resource improvement treatments, the Chief may—

(1)

collect any residual receipts under the Act of June 9, 1930 (commonly known as the Knutson-Vandenberg Act) (16 U.S.C. 576 et seq.); and

(2)

apply the excess to other authorized stewardship projects.

608.

Monitoring and evaluation

(a)

In general

The Chief shall establish and participate in a multiparty monitoring and evaluation process that assesses the stewardship contracting projects conducted under this title.

(b)

Participants

Participants in the process described in subsection (a) may include—

(1)

any cooperating governmental agency, including a tribal government; and

(2)

any other interested group or individual.

609.

Reporting

Not later than 1 year after February 7, 2014, and annually thereafter, the Chief shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives a report on—

(1)

the status of development, execution, and administration of stewardship contracts;

(2)

the specific accomplishments that have resulted from stewardship contracts; and

(3)

the role of local communities in the development of stewardship contract plans.

.

(b)

Conforming amendments

The table of contents for the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6501 note; Public Law 108–148) is amended by striking the items relating to title VI and inserting the following:

TITLE VI—Stewardship Contracting

Sec. 601. Definitions.

Sec. 602. Projects.

Sec. 603. Land management goals.

Sec. 604. Agreements or contracts.

Sec. 605. Receipts.

Sec. 606. Costs of removal.

Sec. 607. Performance and payment guarantees.

Sec. 608. Monitoring and evaluation.

Sec. 609. Reporting.

TITLE VII—Miscellaneous

Sec. 701. Forest stands inventory and monitoring program to improve detection of and response to environmental threats.

Sec. 702. Designation of treatment areas.

Sec. 703. Administrative review.

.