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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update, Week of June 14, 1999

BILLS!! http://www.amrivers.org/policynew.html
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of June 14, 1999


Senate to Take Up Energy and Water Funding Bill for FY'00:
	On Monday (or later this week), the Senate is scheduled to bring its
funding bill for energy and water to the floor. The bill, approved by the
Senate Appropriations Committee on May 27, would provide less money for
water development, science, and renewable energy programs than requested
the Clinton Administration. In total, the bill would provide $21.7
in new budget authority, $279 million below the Clinton Administration's
proposed amount and $440 million less than the amount appropriated in
	 The following are funding levels in the Senate bill for some
programs, with the Clinton Administration's FY'00 request in parentheses:
$715 million for energy supply programs ($836 million); $328 million for
non-defense environmental management ($331 million); $4.6 billion for
resources development, including $3.8 billion for the US Army Corps of
Engineers ($3.9 billion), $761 million for the Bureau of Reclamation
million), $50 million for the California Bay-Delta Ecosystem Restoration
project ($95 million), and $39 million for the Central Utah Project ($39
million); $292 million for federal power marketing administrations ($200
million); and $7 million for the Tennessee Valley Authority for the Land
Between the Lakes recreation area ($7 million).

Senate Plans to Move Draft Agriculture Funding Bill:
	On Tuesday, the Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee plans to
mark up its FY'00 funding bill for the Department of Agriculture. The
subcommittee is working with a funding allocation of $13.1 billion in
authority for discretionary spending. The House passed its $60.8 billion
agriculture funding bill last week, having cut $102.5 million from its
billion in discretionary spending.
	Like the Senate bill, the House bill did not meet most of the funding
requests for environmental and resource programs included in the Clinton
Administration's bill. The bill would maintain current levels of funding
the Environmental Quality Incentives Program at $174 million, $126
below the Administration request. The bill would provide $654 million for
conservation operations by the Natural Resources Conservation Service,
compared to the Administration request of $681 million. The House bill
provide an additional $16 million over the $83 million request for
and flood prevention operations.
	The markup is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 15 in 124
Senate Office Building.


Senate Subcommittee to Examine Questions Regarding Mining Law Ruling:
	On Tuesday, a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee will hear
from a variety of witnesses about the Department of Interior's recent
decision to change how the 1872 General Mining Law is interpreted. The
decision focuses on the ration of mill sites to lode claims and resulted
the DOI's rejection of an operating plan for Battle Mountain Gold's
for the Crown Jewel Mine on mostly federal lands in Washington near the
Canadian border.
	Under the DOI's new interpretation of the General Mining Law, according
Interior Solicitor John Leshy, each mining claim cannot use more than
acres for mill sites on which to dump waste rock. The company's proposal,
which they would use cyanide to extract gold from crushed rocks, would
exceed the ratio by almost 500 acres. If the DOI decision holds, mining
companies would be required to obtain a permit under the Federal Land
and Management Act for a site to dispose of waste rock. Such a request
be refused under the law if the site were located in an environmentally
sensitive area and miners would be required to avoid undue degradation.
	Congress moved to salvage the mining proposal via the Kosovo emergency
spending bill by approving language offered by Representative Ralph
(R-OH) to allow the Crown Jewel mine to go forward and to grandfather
applications for milling operations that were submitted before the
of the bill.
	Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt has long been trying to reform the
General Mining Law, which many claim is outdated and gives away public
resources without adequate reclamation requirements.
	The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. on June 15 in 366 Dirksen Senate
Office Building.


Army Corps of Engineers Says Eastern Virginia Proposed Reservoir Not
Last week, the US Army Corps of Engineers released a preliminary finding
regarding the 12.1 billion-gallon King William Reservoir proposal by the
Newport News Waterworks. The analysis states that the region will have
adequate water supply well into the 21st century without the proposed
reservoir. Newport News Waterworks has until June 25 to respond to the
preliminary findings regarding the reservoir, which it has been planning
twelve years.
The Corps found that that the proposed reservoir was not necessary
Newport News Waterworks overestimated by a factor of two the water
consumption needs, because of the cumulative impacts including
justice considerations relating to the Mattaponi Indian Tribe, and
the reservoir would inundate more than 400 acres of forested wetlands.


For more information or to see the text of any of the bills listed below,
to the Thomas website at http://thomas.loc.gov/ and enter the bill

S. 1148: Introduced by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), the Yankton Sioux
and Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska Development Trust Fund Act would
for the Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska
benefits of the Missouri River Basin Pick-Sloan project. The Pick-Sloan
Missouri River Basin program, passed as part of the Flood Control Act of
1944, impounded waters for the Fort Randall and Gavins Point projects and
inundated fertile, wooded bottom lands along the Missouri River that
constituted the most productive agricultural and pastoral lands, as well
the homelands of, the members of the Yankton Sioux and Santee Sioux
The US Army Corps of Engineers took the Indian lands used for the Fort
Randall and Gavins Point projects by condemnation proceedings, and the
federal government did not provide the tribes with an opportunity to
compensation for direct damages from the Pick-Sloan program. If passed,
1148 would provide the tribes with compensation for increases in property
values over the years between the date of taking and the date of the
condemnation settlement, as well as $34,323,743 for the Yankton Sioux
for the loss value of more than 3,200 acres and $8,132,838 for the Santee
Sioux Tribe for the loss value of more than 1,400 acres. The bill was
referred to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

S. 1167: Introduced by Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA), S. 1167 would amend
Pacific Northwest Electric Power Planning and Conservation Act to expand
scope of the Independent Scientific Review Panel. The bill directs the
to review and comment on Columbia Basin fish and wildlife projects,
programs, or measures proposed in a federal agency budget that would be
reimbursed by the Bonneville Power Administration or paid through a
finding agreement with BPA. The bill calls upon the Council to fully
consider the recommendations of the Panel when making its final
recommendations, which would then be submitted to Congress. The annual
of the provision is limited to $750,000 in 1997 dollars. S. 1167 was
referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

S.1178: Introduced by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), the Blunt Reservoir and
Pierre Canal Land Conveyance Act of 1999 would direct the Secretary of
Interior to convey certain parcels of land acquired for the Blunt
and Pierre Canal features of the Oahe Irrigation Project, South Dakota,
the Commission of Schools and Public Lands of the State of South Dakota
the purpose of mitigating lost wildlife habitat, on the condition that
current preferential leaseholders (original landowners or their
shall have an option to purchase the parcels from the Commission. The
would also deauthorize the Blunt Reservoir. The Oahe Irrigation Project
passed as part of the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin program (see S.
above) to provide irrigation above Sioux City, Iowa. The land to
the Pierre Canal and Blunt Reservoir (included in the Pick-Sloan program)
was purchased from willing sellers between 1972 and 1977, when
on the Oahe Irrigation Project was halted. The two largest reservoirs
created by the Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin Program, Lake Oahe and
Sharpe, caused the loss of approximately 221,000 acres of fertile, wooded
bottomland in South Dakota that constituted some of the most productive,
unique, and irreplaceable wildlife habitat in the state. The bill was
referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.


Floor action is possible in the Senate at any time on the following
S. 109: To improve protection and management of the Chattahoochee River
National Recreation Area in Georgia.
S. 323: To elevate the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument to
national park status and create several other conservation areas near
Montrose, Colorado.
S. 416: To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the city of
Sisters, Oregon, 160-240 acres of land for use in connection with a
treatment facility.
S. 766: To authorize the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility
study for the preservation of the Loess Hills in western Iowa. The bill
would authorize $275,000 for a one-year study of the 600,000-acre area.

Tuesday, June 15
11:00 a.m.: Senate Appropriations Agriculture Subcommittee markup of its
FY'00 funding bill for the Department of Agriculture. Location: 124
Senate Office Building.

2:30 p.m.: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing on
Department of Interior's decision to change interpretation of the 1872
General Mining Law's regulations regarding the ratio of lode claims to
sites. Location: 366 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Wednesday, June 16
9:30 a.m.: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee mark up a number
lands bills, including: S. 734: To create a new category of trail and
authorize the 6,000-mile American Discovery Trail as the first route in
new category; S. 762: To direct the National Park Service to consider the
feasibility of adding a pre-historic site discovered in downtown Miami to
the Biscayne National Park; H.R. 938: To allow the National Park Service
buy or exchange land to add to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Location:
Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Thursday, June 17
10:00 a.m.: House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks and Public
hearing on procedures required before designation of national monuments
under the 1906 Antiquities Act. Location: 1324 Longworth House Office

10:00 a.m.: House Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power hearing on
Clinton Administration's plan for deregulating the electric power
Location: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

Saturday, June 19
11:00 a.m.: Field hearing regarding how Bureau of Land Management
affect ranchers, property owners, environmentalists, and recreationalists
Owyhee County, Idaho. Location: Nampa City Hall, Nampa, Idaho.

May 31: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-14.html
May 24: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-24.html
May 10: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-10.html
May 3: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-3.html
April 26: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-26.html
April 19: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-19.html
April 12: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-12.html
April 5: http://www.amrivers.org/policy4-5.html
March 29: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-29.html
March 22: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-22.html
March 15: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-15.html
March 8: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-8.html
March 1: http://www.amrivers.org/policy3-1.html
February 22: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-22.html
February 15: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-15.html
February 8: http://www.amrivers.org/policy2-8.html

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QUESTIONS? Contact Suzy McDowell, Conservation Outreach Coordinator, at
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Legislative information taken from many sources including Thomas,
Congressional Greensheets, Greenwire, and Roll Call.

Suzy McDowell
Outreach Coordinator
American Rivers
1025 Vermont Ave, NW, #720
Washington, DC 20005
202-347-7550 x3040
smcdowell at amrivers_org