IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
March 16, 2021
Mr. Murphy (for himself, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Blumenthal, and Mr. Casey) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To reauthorize the Highlands Conservation Act, to authorize States to use funds from that Act for administrative purposes, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Highlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021.
Reauthorization of the Highlands Conservation Act
The Highlands Conservation Act (Public Law 108–421; 118 Stat. 2375) is amended—
in section 3—
by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
Highlands region means—
the area depicted on the map entitled
The Highlands Region, dated June 2004, updated after the date of enactment of the Highlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021 to comprise each municipality included on the list of municipalities included in the Highlands region as of that date of enactment, and maintained in the headquarters of the Forest Service in Washington, District of Columbia; and
a municipality approved by the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under section 4(e).
in paragraph (3), by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:
identified by a Highlands State as having high conservation value using the best available science and geographic information systems; and
in paragraph (4)(A), by striking
; or and inserting
, including a political subdivision thereof; or; and
by striking paragraphs (5) through (7);
in section 4—
in subsection (a)(1), by striking
in the Study and all that follows through the end of the paragraph and inserting
using the best available science and geographic information systems; and;
in subsection (c), by amending paragraph (5) to read as follows:
provides that land conservation partnership projects will be consistent with areas identified as having high conservation value in accordance with the purposes described in section 2 in the Highlands region.
in subsection (e), by striking
$10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2005 through 2021 and inserting
$20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2022 through 2028;
by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (g); and
by inserting after subsection (d) the following:
Request for inclusion of additional municipality
The Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service may, at the request of a Highlands State, approve the inclusion of a municipality within the State as part of the Highlands region.
Limitation on administrative expenses
The Secretary of the Interior may not expend more than $300,000 for the administration of this Act in each fiscal year.
A State that receives funds under this section for a land conservation partnership project may not use more than 5 percent of the funds to administer the land conservation partnership project.
in section 5—
in subsection (a), by striking
the Study, Update, and any future study that the Forest Service may undertake in;
in subsection (b)—
in paragraph (1), by striking
, including a Pennsylvania and Connecticut Update; and
in paragraph (2), by striking
the findings and all that follows through the end of the paragraph and inserting
with stakeholders regarding implementation of the program; and; and
in subsection (c), by striking
2005 through 2014 and inserting
2022 through 2028; and
in section 6, by adding at the end the following:
With respect to an appraisal related to a land acquisition carried out under this Act, a Highlands State may use an appraisal methodology approved by the Secretary of the Interior.
Alternative appraisal methodology
A Highlands State may petition the Secretary of the Interior to consider an alternative appraisal methodology when there is a conflict, in any Highlands State, between—
an appraisal methodology approved by the Secretary of the Interior under paragraph (1); and
applicable State law.