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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Week of August 9, 1999

BILLS!! http://www.amrivers.org/policynew.html
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of August 9, 1999


Senate Unable to Finish Interior Funding:
	The Senate adjourned for summer recess before completing work on the
funding bill for Interior and Related Agencies, leaving a number of
to be resolved when Congress returns in September. The Interior funding
measure, S. 1292, includes $13.924 billion in discretionary spending and
includes a number of environmental riders. Because of the riders and the
level of funding for some of the programs included in the
FY’00 funding request, President Clinton has threatened to veto the bill.
special concern to the White House is the $263 million appropriated by
Senate for the Lands Legacy program, developed by the Administration to
bring $1 billion in additional funds for land acquisition, state
conservation programs, endangered species protection, and other
	Among the objectionable riders were amendments to reverse the Interior
Solicitor’s opinion to restrict mill site limits to five acres per mining
claim, extend the life of grazing permits while the Bureau of Land
Management reviews them, deny funding of national forest management plan
revisions until permanent planning regulations are completed, and impose
120-day comment period for a report on the Interior Columbia Basin
Management Project.
	More amendments may be offered in September when discussion of the bill
resumes. Possible additions include adding $30 million to the state side
the Land and Water Conservation Fund, providing $4 million for the Urban
Park and Recreation Recovery program, and cutting $33.6 million from the
Forest Service's timber sale program and the roads
reconstruction/construction account and redirecting the money toward debt
reduction, road maintenance, and fish and wildlife restoration.
	A number of environmental organizations have expressed concern that the
Senate’s delay in approving the Interior funding bill will result in a
repeat of last year’s omnibus spending measure, in which many bills were
rolled into one $500 billion package. Their concern centers on the fact
individual provisions, including anti-environmental riders, receive less
attention in a huge omnibus measures.
	Following are funding levels for select programs in the Senate bill.
numbers are in parentheses.
	Bureau of Land Management: Overall -- $1.217 billion ($1.216 billion);
Soil, water, and air -- $32 million ($32 million); Riparian management --
$21 million ($21 million); Wildlife habitat and fisheries -- $34 million
($35 million); Threatened and endangered species -- $18 million ($19
million); Recreation management -- $51 million ($51 million); Land and
Conservation Fund -- $17 million ($20 million).
	US Fish and Wildlife Service: Overall -- $829 million ($840 million);
wildlife, and ecological services -- $684 million ($711 million); Refuges
and wildlife -- $310 million ($327 million); Fisheries -- $82 million
million); Land and Water Conservation Fund – $55 million ($42 million);
Cooperative endangered species conservation fund -- $21 million ($15
million); North American wetlands conservation fund -- $15 million ($15
	National Park Service: Overall l-- $1.723 billion ($1.721 billion);
Operations -- $1.355 billion ($1.387 billion); Land and Water
Fund -- $85 million ($102 million); Urban Park and Recreation Fund -- $0
Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement: Abandoned mine
reclamation fund -- $186 million ($196 million).
	US Forest Service: Overall -- $2.672 billion ($2.644 billion); Wildlife
fisheries habitat management -- $100 million ($104 million); Soil, water,
and air management -- $57 million ($61 million); Land and Water
Fund -- $37 million ($41 million).
	For more information on the Interior FY’00 spending bill, see

Agriculture Funding Moves to Conference:
	On August 4, the Senate approved by voice vote S. 1233, its FY’00
bill for Agriculture-Rural Development and Related Agencies. Only $14
billion of the $60 billion-plus measure available for discretionary
programs, with the rest going to mandatory programs such as food stamps
a farm aid emergency spending provision. Funding levels for conservation
accounts in the Senate and House versions of the bill were similar, with
only significant exception being a Natural Resources Conservation Service
forestry incentives program. The Senate provided the program with $6
while the House did not provide it with any money. As a result,
discussion over the bill in September will revolve largely around the
emergency spending provision for farmers. Also, the Senate bill called
180,000 acres to be enrolled in the Wetlands Reserve Program, but the
version called for 120,000.
	In the Senate bill, conservation operations would receive $656 million,
compared to $654 million in the House bill (H.R. 1906) and $641 million
provided in FY'99. Both bills would fund the Environmental Quality
Incentives Program at $174 million and the resource conservation and
development account at $35 million.
	Following are funding levels for select programs in the Senate
funding bill for FY’00. House figures are in parentheses:
	Conservation programs, Office of Undersecretary Natural Resources and
Environment: $1 million ($1 million)
	Natural Resources Conservation Service: Conservation operations -- $656
million ($654 million); Watershed surveys and planning -- $10 million
million); Watershed and flood prevention operations -- $99 million ($99
million); Resource conservation and development -- $35 million ($35
million); Forestry incentives program -- $6 million ($0)
	Agricultural Research Service: $811 million ($836 million)

Discrepancies Over NOAA Funding :
	The House passed its funding bill for the National Oceanic and
Administration for FY’00 on Thursday, setting the stage for a battle with
the Senate in conference when Congress returns in September. The House
provided the agency with about 25 percent less funding than the Senate.
2670 includes $35.8 billion in total discretionary spending, including
billion for NOAA, compared with the Senate’s $35.3 billion in total
discretionary spending and $2.5 billion for NOAA. The House NOAA funding
level is $574 million below the Administration’s request.
	Within NOAA, the House bill would provide the National Marine Fisheries
Service with $350.5 million, well below the $420 million requested by the
Clinton Administration and $442 included in the Senate bill. H.R. 2670
cut conservation and management operations programs cut from $139
FY’99 to $133.2 million, fisheries management programs from $61.8 million
$58.3 million, and protected species management programs from $51.9
to $48.2 million.

For information on other appropriations bills, see


House Resources Committee Approves Lands Bills:
Before adjourning for recess, the House Resources Committee approved a
number of public lands bills, including:
H.R. 795, sponsored by Representative Rick Hill's (R-MT), to authorize
million over the next four years to develop water supplies for the Rocky
Boy's Reservation of the Chippewa Cree Tribe in Montana;
H.R. 970, sponsored by Representative John Thune (R-SD), to develop water
supplies and establish a federal-local cost share for Perkins County in
South Dakota;
H.R. 1231, introduced by Representative Jim Gibbons (R-NV), to direct the
Agriculture secretary to convey national forest lands to Elko County,
Nevada, for continued use as a cemetery;
H.R. 1444, sponsored by Representative Peter DeFazio's (D-OR), to allow
development and use of fish screens, fish passage devices and other
aimed at protecting fish from adverse impacts from irrigation system
diversions, particularly in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. The
authorizes $25 million for FY '00 and each year thereafter. For projects
non-federal lands, a 35 percent non-federal cost share is required; and
H.R. 1619, sponsored by Representative Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), to expand
Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor in
Connecticut to include eight adjacent towns in Massachusetts.
	Senator Gordon Smith’s bill, S. 416, to direct the Agriculture Secretary
to convey a parcel of land to Sisters, Oregon, for use as a sewage
facility, was dropped. A Forest Service official raised two major
about the bill – that the Townsite Act already makes land available to
Sisters and the transfer would occur without any compensation to the

House Parks Subcommittee Approves Lands Bills:
On August 5, the House Resources Subcommittee on Parks approved a number
public lands bills, including:
H.R. 2339, introduced by Representative Doug Bereuter (R-NE), to
the national discovery trail category under the National Trails System
defined as continuous, interstate trails with natural, cultural, and
historic resource significance. The bill also would designate the
American Discovery Trail, from Cape Henlopen State Park in Delaware to
Reyes National Seashore in California as the first route in the category.
Senate Frank Murkowski’s (R-AK) companion bill, S. 734, awaits Senate
H.R. 1615, sponsored by Representative John Sununu (R-NH), to amend the
and Scenic Rivers Act to include another river segment in the
part of the Lamprey River in New Hampshire as a recreational river;
H.R. 2140, introduced by Representative Nathan Deal (R-GA, to authorize
inclusion of land in the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in
Georgia and direct a revised management plan including the participation
the state, private landowners, public officials, residents, and other
groups; and
H.R. 20, introduced by Representative Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), to allow
Secretary of the Interior to construct and operate a visitor center for
Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River on land owned by New York.


Congress Passes WRDA 1999:
Last week, members of the House-Senate conference passed the Water
Development Act of 1999, which authorizes new projects and set policy for
the US Army Corps of Engineers. WRDA, traditionally a biennial package,
been held up since 1998 largely due to conflicts over flood protection
measures for Sacramento and a water supply project for Representative
Doolittle’s (R-CA) nearby district. WRDA 1999, which will provide $4.3
billion in federal funds for $6.3 billion worth of projects, includes a
flood program and 45 other projects. Under Challenge 21, the new flood
control program, the Corps will receive $200 million over five years for
watershed-based flood protection program focused on nonstructural and
riverine ecosystem projects.  The bill now goes to the White House for
President Clinton's signature.
	Specifically, WRDA 1999 authorizes 30 new projects, 15 projects pending
favorable reports by the Corps by the end of the year, and more than 200
project modifications and other provisions. House-Senate conferees
House language to increase the federal subsidy for deep harbor dredging
maintained the revision of the federal/local cost share ration for beach
renourishment to 50-50.
Environmental provisions included in the bill were:
*Increased annual spending for Upper Mississippi River habitat
to $33 million;
*A new $30 million Missouri River restoration program and expansion of an
existing program to buy 118,650 acres of floodplain land;
*A new 5-year, $200 million floodplain relocation and restoration
*Planning reforms to aid consideration of non-structural flood control
*Removal of Embrey Dam on the Rappahannock River;
*The Rio Salado restoration project in Phoenix;
*No dam on the American River in California;
*New ecosystem restoration projects for the Indian River (FL), Little
River (FL), Grand Batture Island (MS), River Des Peres (MO), Reelfoot
(TN), Hudson River (NY), Blackstone River (RI), and others; and
*New watershed management projects in California, Florida, Illinois, New
York, Nevada, Oregon, North Carolina, and other states.
	To view the Water Resources Development Act of 1999, visit
and type in H.R. 1480 or S. 507.

CZMA Reauthorization Approved by House Panel:
	On August 5, the House Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation,
Wildlife, and Oceans approved legislation to reauthorize the Coastal Zone
Management Act, through which states can receive grants from the federal
government to combat pollution. Members of the panel approved H.R. 2669,
Representative Jim Saxton’s (R-NJ) Coastal Community Conservation Act of
1999, by voice vote after rejecting property rights language. Originally,
Representative Saxton wanted mandate that states apply 20 percent of
306 grants to nonpoint source pollution sources, but the Coastal States
Organization opposed the measure as too prescriptive and opening the door
for more federal interference. The final bill includes an amendment
by Representative Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) to shift the 20 percent earmark
the smaller Section 306 (A) grant program.
	H.R. 2669 includes language authorizing grants to study possible
restrictions on the use of personal watercraft in shallow coastal areas.
studies will focus on identifying the impact of noise and leaking fuel on
wildlife, aquatic vegetation, suspended sediments and shoreline erosion.
bill expands Section 306 to include new coastal community conservation
grants with funding levels beginning at $30 million in FY'00 and
to $45 million in FY'04.


No hearings – Congress is on recess until September.

August 2: http://www.amrivers.org/policy8-2.html
July 26: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-26.html
July 19: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-19.html
July 12: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-12.html
July 5: http://www.amrivers.org/policy7-5.html
June 28: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-28.html
June 21: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-21.html
June 14: http://www.amrivers.org/policy6-14.html
May 31: http://www.amrivers.org/policy5-31.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

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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