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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of February 28, 2000
VIEW THIS ON THE AMERICAN RIVERS WEBPAGE WITH DIRECT LINKS TO THE ACTUAL
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of February 28, 2000
It’s Not Too Late To Sign On For River Funding For FY’01:
American Rivers is still accepting sign-ons for the River Budget:
Priorities for Local River Conservation in FY 2001. (see
http://www.amrivers.org/rbudget2001list.html for the full list of sign on
groups as of November 1).
To see the final River Budget for FY’01 visit
http://www.amrivers.org/rbudget.html. To sign on in support, contact Suzy
McDowell at smcdowell at amrivers_org.
Note – the River Budget for FY’01 went to the printers in late October.
groups that sign on to the River Budget after November 15 will be listed
an addendum sheet to be inserted in the printed documents and added to
online list of sign on groups.
Department of Interior Budget Request Discussion:
On Wednesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will
from Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt about his department’s budget
recommendations for FY’01. Besides budget issues, Secretary Babbitt may
face questions about the soon-to-be-released rule determining the level
royalties to be paid by companies that extract oil from federal lands.
rule has been delayed by 180 days by a FY’00 appropriations bill rider.
For FY’01, the Interior Department has requested $9.24 billion to manage
the nation’s park system, wildlife refuges, endangered species, public
lands, mineral resources, reclamation projects, Indian programs, and
agencies. The request is an increase of 12% over FY’00. One of the
budget priorities is President Clinton’s Lands Legacy Initiative, a $1.4
billion proposal to expand federal protection of critical lands around
nation, help states and communities preserve open space, increase funding
for management of lands and resources, restore and sustain species, and
strengthen protections for oceans and coasts. The Interior Department
get $735 million of the money requested for the Lands Legacy program.
The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 1 in 366
Dirksen. Senate Energy contacts are Kelly Johnson, majority, 202-224-4971
and David Brooks, minority, 202-224-4103.
Senate Energy Subcommittee to Examine NPS Budget Request:
The Senate Energy Subcommittee on Parks, Historic Preservation, and
Recreation will hold a hearing on the National Park Service’s budget
for FY’01. The agency’s request was $2 billion. The NPS manages
approximately 80 million acres, more than half of which is in 55 national
The NPS’s FY’01 request of $2.04 billion represents a 13% increase over
current funding. $317.5 million of the total would be part of the
s Lands Legacy initiative. Under the request, park operations would
$90.3 million to $1.45 billion. Regular land acquisition by the agency
receive $147.5 million. The agency requested an additional $33 million
resource stewardship (total $288 million), much of which would be used
water quality monitoring in 12 parks and acceleration of a system-wide
inventory of natural resources. Of the $180 million requested for
construction projects in national parks, $12 million would go to the
modified water delivery project in the Everglades. The NPS also requested
$15 million for restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem and fisheries.
Congress has already appropriated $22 million for the project that may
to the removal of dams on the Washington state river.
The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, February 29 in 366
Dirksen Senate Office Building. Senate Energy contacts are Jim O’Toole,
majority, 202-224-5161 and David Brookes, minority, 202-224-4103.
Senate Energy Subcommittee Takes Up FY’01 Forest Budget:
On February 29, the Senate Energy Subcommittee on Forests and Public
Management will hold a hearing on the FY’01 budget recommendations from
US Forest Service. The agency’s $3.11 billion request for discretionary
spending represents an increase of $298 million over current funding
Of the Administration’s $1.4 billion Lands Legacy initiative request,
million would go to the Forest Service for land acquisition, habitat
protection, grants to states and local governments for urban forests and
open space preservation, and a revolving loan program to promote smart
growth and open space preservation. The agency has also requested a 9%
increase – to $487.5 million – for watershed protection and restoration
The hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. in 366 Dirksen on February 29.
Energy contacts are Mark Rey, majority, 202-224-4971 and Kira Finkler,
Senate Energy Committee Discussed FY’01 Recommendations:
Last week, members of the Senate Energy Committee found themselves
on whether to adopt FY’01 budget recommendations that included Senator
Murkowski’s (R-AK) bill to provide more funding for land conservation and
impact aid for coastal states. The bill, S. 25, introduced by Senator
Murkowski and Senator Mary Landrieu (R-LA), would create an off-budget
totaling several billion dollars a year generated by revenues from
oil and gas exploration. The money would be used for land conservation,
wildlife, and recreation programs and impact aid to coastal states. The
House Resources Committee has approved companion legislation (H.R. 701),
the Senate Energy Committee has not acted on S. 25.
Over the objection of several Senators, the committee approved a “views
estimates” letter that makes recommendations on spending and revenue for
programs under the committee’s jurisdiction to the Senate Budget
The letter cited the Land and Water Conservation Fund as a “commitment to
future generations that a portion of the proceeds from development of
certain natural resources would be invested in the protection and
enhancement of other natural resources.” The letter called upon members
the budget committee to “provide for the necessary revision of both
caps and committee allocations in the concurrent budget resolution to
the Senate to consider (S. 25) expeditiously if they are reported by the
For more information on the bill, visit
Full House to Take Up Wild and Scenic Bill:
On Tuesday, the House will bring to the floor a bill (H.R. 1749) to
23.3 miles of Wilson Creek in North Carolina by adding it to the Wild and
Scenic Rivers System. According to Representative Cass Ballenger (R-NC),
introduced the bill last May, Wilson Creek “passes through some of the
beautiful scenery in the nation.” The bill would protect Wilson Creek
the federal rivers system from its headwaters on Grandfather Mountain to
Johns Creek in Caldwell County. The Forest Service supports the bill.
Everglades Plan Under Review:
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water
and the Environment will discuss a $7.8 billion state and federal plan to
restore the Everglades while ensuring adequate water supplies for the
and farms of South Florida.
Known as the Restudy, the multiagency comprehensive review study, along
with the Clinton Administration’s plan, seeks to recapture 80% of the 1.7
billion gallons of fresh water currently diverted out to the sea. The
which was proposed last summer, would affect 18,000 square miles from
of Orlando to Florida bay and the flora, fauna, and more than 5 million
people who live in the area. The plan calls for 181,00 acres of new
reservoirs, 35,600 acres of restored or constructed wetlands and removal
almost 240 miles of levees and canals.
Everglades National Park covers 1.5 million acres and was created in
The federal agency has built 1,700 miles of canals and levees and 16
pump stations in south Florida, altering the flow of water from the lake
the bay and causing dramatic declines in native species.
Among those expected to testify at the hearing, to be held at 1:00 p.m.
March 1, are Joseph Westphal, Assistant Secretary for the Army for Civil
Works; David Struhs, Secretary of the Florida Department of Environment
Protection; a representative of the Miccosukee tribe; and representatives
environmental, landowner, and farming groups. The hearing will be held in
2167 Rayburn. House Transportation contacts are Ben Grumbles, majority,
202-225-4360 and Ken Kopocis, minority, 202-225-0060.
EPA’s TMDL Proposal Gets Yet Another Hearing
Hearings on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed revisions for
water quality regulations continue this week, moving to the Senate
Environment Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water. The hearing
focus on the cost to states of the proposed regulations.
Last week, the Senate Agriculture Committee heard from EPA Administrator
Carol Browner and USDA Secretary Dan Glickman on EPA’s efforts to
its total maximum daily load (TMDL) program. EPA proposal would require
states to identify waterways that do not meet water quality standards and
develop watershed restoration plans to bring them into compliance.
At the Agriculture Committee hearing, Secretary Glickman distanced
from the highly critical written comments filed by the USDA on the
regulations last October. Secretary Glickman said he disagreed with the
of his agency’s letter that cast doubt on EPA’s legal authority and
that the USDA should not have questioned EPA’s interpretation of the
Water Act. However, USDA still has some concerns about the TMDL proposal.
Secretary Glickman said he hoped EPA would develop a comprehensive cost
estimate of the program and clarify how the TMDL process applies to
watersheds and silviculture activities.
Administrator Browning and Secretary Glickman pointed out that the
Administration’s budget request for FY’01 calls for an increase in
to help states develop TMDL programs and other water pollution control
initiatives. The Administration requested an increase of $1.3 billion in
01 for conservation programs run by USDA, including $45 million for EPA
grants to states to be matched by stateside funding.
The Senate Environment subcommittee hearing will be held on March 1 at
p.m. in 406 Dirksen. Senate Environment contacts are Sharla Moffett
majority, 202-224-6228 and Jo-Ellen Darcy, minority, 202-224-3247.
Feb. 29, 10 a.m.: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior hearing
FY’01 budget request of the Department of the Interior. Location: B-308
Feb. 29, 2:00 p.m.: House Transportation Water Resources and Environment
Subcommittee hearing on water restoration bills for Long Island Sound and
Lake Pontchartrain Basin in Louisiana (H.R. 3313 and H.R. 2957).
March 1, 9:30 a.m.: House Appropriations Subcommittee on VA-HUD hearing
the FY’01 budget request for the Council on Environmental Quality.
March 1, 10 a.m.: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior hearing
the FY’01 budget request of the Bureau of land Management. Location:
March 1, 11 a.m.: House Resources Committee hearing on Representative Don
Young’s (R-AK) bill (H.R. 3160) to reauthorize the Endangered Species
Location: 1324 Longworth (for more information, see
March 2, 10 a.m.: House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest
hearing on a proposed US Forest Service rule on land and resource
planning. Location: 1334 Longworth.
March 2, 2:30 p.m.: Senate Energy Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land
Management hearing on a proposed US Forest Service rule on land and
management planning. Location: 366 Dirksen.
March 2, 2:30 p.m.: Senate Energy Subcommittee on Forests and Public Land
Management hearing on the FY’01 budget request of the US Forest Service.
Location: 366 Dirksen.
March 2, 10 a.m.: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture
on the FY’01 budget request of the Natural Resources Conservation
Location: 2362A Rayburn.
March 3, 10 a.m.: House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior hearing
FY’01 budget request of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Location: B-308
LINKS TO PAST UPDATES:
February 21: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-21.html
February 14: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-14.html
February 7: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-7.html
January 31: http://www.amrivers.org/policy1-31.html
January 24: http://www.amrivers.org/policy1-24.html
November 29: http://www.amrivers.org/policy11-29.html
November 15: http://www.amrivers.org/policy11-15.html
November 8: http://www.amrivers.org/policy11-8.html
November 1: http://www.amrivers.org/policy11-1.html
October 25: http://www.amrivers.org/policy10-25.html
October 18: http://www.amrivers.org/policy10-18.html
October 11: http://www.amrivers.org/policy10-11.html
October 4: http://www.amrivers.org/policy10-4.html
September 27: http://www.amrivers.org/policy9-27.html
September 20: http://www.amrivers.org/policy9-20.html
September 13: http://www.amrivers.org/policy9-13.html
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QUESTIONS? Contact Suzy McDowell, Conservation Outreach Coordinator, at
smcdowell at amrivers_org or 202-347-7550x3040.
Legislative information taken from many sources including Thomas,
Congressional Greensheets, Greenwire, and Roll Call.
1025 Vermont Ave, NW, #720
Washington, DC 20005
smcdowell at amrivers_org