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S. 753: Highlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 16, 2021 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

1st Session

S. 753

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 16, 2021

(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

A BILL

To reauthorize the Highlands Conservation Act, to authorize States to use funds from that Act for administrative purposes, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Highlands Conservation Reauthorization Act of 2021.

2.

Reauthorization of the Highlands Conservation Act

The Highlands Conservation Act (Public Law 108–421; 118 Stat. 2375) is amended—

(1)

in section 3—

(A)

by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:

(1)

Highlands region

The term Highlands region means—

(A)

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

(B)

a municipality approved by the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service under section 4(e).

;

(B)

in paragraph (3), by amending subparagraph (B) to read as follows:

(B)

identified by a Highlands State as having high conservation value using the best available science and geographic information systems; and

;

(C)

in paragraph (4)(A), by striking ; or and inserting , including a political subdivision thereof; or; and

(D)

by striking paragraphs (5) through (7);

(2)

in section 4—

(A)

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;

(B)

in subsection (c), by amending paragraph (5) to read as follows:

(5)

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.

;

(C)

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;

(D)

by redesignating subsection (e) as subsection (g); and

(E)

by inserting after subsection (d) the following:

(e)

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.

(f)

Limitation on administrative expenses

(1)

Federal administration

The Secretary of the Interior may not expend more than $300,000 for the administration of this Act in each fiscal year.

(2)

State administration

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.

;

(3)

in section 5—

(A)

in subsection (a), by striking the Study, Update, and any future study that the Forest Service may undertake in;

(B)

in subsection (b)—

(i)

in paragraph (1), by striking , including a Pennsylvania and Connecticut Update; and

(ii)

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

(C)

in subsection (c), by striking 2005 through 2014 and inserting 2022 through 2028; and

(4)

in section 6, by adding at the end the following:

(f)

Appraisal methodology

(1)

In general

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.

(2)

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—

(A)

an appraisal methodology approved by the Secretary of the Interior under paragraph (1); and

(B)

applicable State law.

.