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S. 3091 (94th): An Act to amend the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974, and for other purposes.

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

9/29/1976--Conference report filed in Senate. (Conference report filed in Senate, S. Rept. 94-1335) National Forest Management Act - Amends the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to idenfity and report to Congress annually all lands in the National Forest System which either need to be reforested or are not growing at their best potential rate. Requires the Secretary to annually transmit to Congress an estimate of the sums necessary to replant and otherwise treat an amount of land equal to the acreage to be cut over that year plus a sufficient portion of those lands currently in need of replanting or treatment so as to eliminate the backlog of lands in need of reforestation within eight years of the enactment of this Act. Requires the Secretary, subsequent to such eight-year period, to annually transmit to Congress an estimate of the sums necessary to replant and treat lands being cut over and to maintain planned timber production on other lands within the National Forest System in order to prevent the development of a backlog larger than the needed work at the beginning of the fiscal year. Requires the Renewable Resource Assessment to include program recommendations which reflect specified policy objectives. Requires the Secretary to appoint a temporary committee of scientists to provide scientific and technical advice and counsel on proposed guidelines and procedures. Directs the Secretary to provide for public participation in the consideration of land and resource management plans for National Forest System lands. Requires the Secretary to assure that such plans are developed, maintained, and revised so as to: (1) achieve specified goals of the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960; (2) be in accordance with specified guidelines and procedures; and (3) permit the application of silvicultural systems only in conformity with specified standards. Limits timber sales contracts, in the absence of specified findings, to ten years. Requires the Secretary to report to Congress on milling and other wood fiber product fabrication facilities, their location, and their forest supply sources. Requires the Secretary to formulate and implement a process for estimating long-term costs and benefits to support the program evaluation requirements of this Act. Requires the Secretary to promulgate regulations governing clearcutting, silviculture, and other forest management practices. Stipulates that, unless the necessity for permanent roads is set forth in the forest development road system plan, roads constructed on land of the National Forest System in connection with a timber contract or other lease or permit shall be designed with the goal of reestablishing vegetative covers on the roadway and other affected areas. Restricts the sale of timber from each National Forest to a quantity equal to or less than that quantity which can be removed from that forest annually in perpetuity on a sustained yield basis. Permits the Secretary, when consistent with the multiple use management objectives of the land management plan and after public participation, to establish an allowable quantity of National Forest timber that may be sold which departs from the projected long-term average sale that would otherwise be established. Authorizes thinning, other stand improvement measures, and salvage sales under specified circumstances. Requires the Secretary to establish, by regulation, procedures to give Federal agencies, State and local governmental agencies, and the public adequate notice of and opportunity to comment upon the formulation of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. Makes conforming amendments to the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act. Repeals provisions which require that trees sold from the National Forests be dead, matured, or large growth. Authorizes the Secretary to sell trees or forest products located on National Forest System lands. Requires pursuant to such authority: (1) that advertised timber sales be shown on suitable maps, made available to the public; (2) that the duration of the contract be designed to promote the orderly harvesting of the timber; (3) that all timber sales be advertised; (4) that the trees or forest products be harvested and that the harvesting operations be supervised; (5) that the Secretary establish utilization standards and methods of measurement for removal of trees or forest products to achieve optimum practical use of wood material; and (6) that the Secretary take appropriate action to obviate collusive bidding practices in bidding for trees or forests products from the National Forest System. Abolishes the National Forest Reservation Commission and transfers the Commission's functions to the Secretary. Requires the Secretary, prior to entering any land purchase or exchange relating to the National Forest System of the type which previously was approved by the National Forest Reservation Commission, to submit to the appropriate Congressional committees a report pertaining to the proposed purchase or transfer. Prohibits concluding such purchase or transfer for 30 days after submission of the report, unless both committees approve the purchase or transfer for an earlier time. Requires the Secretary to conduct a study of the incidence of Dutch elm disease, including an evaluation of the methods used to control such disease.