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NFC: Fw: [Updates] River Policy Update -- Special Summary Issue

BILLS!! http://www.amrivers.org/policynew.html
American Rivers Policy Update
For the week of November 29, 1999


Note – this is the last regular Policy Update until Congress reconvenes


With appropriations finally finished, Congress has adjourned for winter
recess and will not return until January. This week’s policy update is a
review of major river-related legislation of the first session of the


Agriculture-Rural Development-Related Agencies Appropriations Bill:
	Congress passed the FY’00 funding bill for Agriculture and Related
in early October, and President Clinton signed it into law on October 22
106-78). Discretionary spending in the bill, not including emergency
spending, totaled $14 billion, $0.5 billion below the Administration’s
request. The Natural Resources Conservation Service received $813
including $661 for conservation operations, $10 million for watershed
planning, $99 million for watershed and flood prevention operations, $35
million for resource conservation and development, and $6 million for a
forestry incentives program. The measure limited the Wetlands Reserve
Program to 150,000 acres and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program
$174 million. The House and Senate bills were H.R. 1906 and S. 1233

VA-HUD-Independent Agencies Appropriations Bill:
	President Clinton signed the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies funding bill
FY’00 on October 20 (PL 106-74). The bill includes $7.6 billion for the
Environmental Protection Agency, up from $7.5 billion in FY’99. Of the
total, $3.5 billion is for EPA’s operating budget, $1.4 billion for
superfund programs, $5 million for the Office of Science and Technology,
$3 million for the Office of Environmental Quality. The measure provides
$1.35 billion for the clean water state revolving loan fund and $820
for the safe drinking water revolving loan fund.

Energy and Water Development Appropriations Bill:
	On September 29, President Clinton signed the FY’00 appropriations bill
Energy and Water Development (PL 106-60). In conference, Congressional
negotiators agreed to a total funding level of $21.3 billion for the
including $4.14 billion for civil works programs by the Army Corps of
Engineers – flood control, shoreline protection, and navigation. The
$246.5 million more than requested by the Administration, includes $309
million for flood control on the Mississippi River and its tributaries. .
The Bureau of Reclamation received $769.4 million, $87.3 million below
Administration’s recommendation, and the Energy Department received $16.7
billion, $441.4 million below the Administration’s request. Of the total,
power-marketing administrations received $262 million. The final version
also includes $608 million for water and related resources under the
of Reclamation, $60 million for California Bay-Delta ecosystem
and $42 million for the Central Valley project restoration fund.

Commerce, Justice, State, and the Judiciary Appropriations Bill:
	President Clinton vetoed the first FY’00 appropriations bill for
Justice, State, and the Judiciary on October 25 because of steep budget
cuts, blockage of payment of United Nations arrears, and failure to
funding for 100,000 new police officers. The revised $38 billion measure,
which was rolled into the $390 billion consolidated bill (H.R. 3194)
by President Clinton on November 29, delinked UN funding from
on family planning aid and increased funding for police officers, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Pacific salmon
programs. Under the revised bill, programs to restore habitat for Pacific
salmon and to implement last summer’s US-Canada salmon treaty received
million. The bill also included $10 million each for northern and
boundary river salmon programs, a down payment on a contribution of $140
million over four years specified under the US-Canada agreement. The $58
million will be divided among the states -- $18 million for Washington,
million for Alaska, $9 million each for Oregon and California, and $8
million for Native American tribes. The Administration had recommended
million for the states. Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) tried to push though
amendment that would have exempted from Endangered Species Act protection
any “incidental take” of salmon in Alaskan waters, but the rider was
rejected in the end. Instead, the Secretary of Commerce must undertake a
series of actions before considering reductions in salmon catch and give
Pacific Salmon Commission a “reasonable opportunity” to implement the
US-Canada treaty.

Interior-Related Agencies Appropriations Bill:
	Largely due to disputes over mining and oil royalty riders and low
levels for Administration priority programs, the FY’01 funding bill did
pass as a stand-alone bill but had to be rolled into the $390 billion
consolidated funding package (H.R. 3194) signed by President Clinton on
November 29. The $14.9 billion measure added to the consolidated package
included an additional $220 million for land acquisition, grants to
for conservation and planning, urban parks, the cooperative endangered
species fund, urban and community forestry, and the forest legacy
as well as another $30 million for energy conservation programs.
	In the final version, Senators agreed to shorten a moratorium on an
Administration rule on oil royalty valuation and to restrict exemptions
an Interior Department ruling that would limit the amount of public land
available for mining waste disposal.  The Congressional moratorium
the Administration rule to increase the amount companies extracting oil
public lands must pay in royalties passed, but was shortened to March 15,
2000. Also, Members of Congress dropped language granting the Forest
and Bureau of Land Management broad discretion over whether to conduct
wildlife population surveys before making management decisions.
	Of the $1.24 billion for the Bureau of Land Management, $37 million is
wildlife habitat and fisheries, $19 million for threatened and endangered
species, $34 million for resource protection and maintenance, and $16
million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Of the $878 million for
the US Fish and Wildlife Service, $190 is for fish wildlife, and
services. Of that $190 million, $109 is for endangered species, $72
is for habitat conservation, and $86 is for fisheries. The National Park
Service received $1.81 billion, including $54 million for national
recreation and preservation and $121 million for the Land and Water
Conservation Fund. Conservation grants for planning assistance and the
Park and Recreation Fund did not receive any funding for FY’00. The
of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement received $196 million for
Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The US Forest Service received $2.83
billion, including $109 million for wildlife and fisheries habitat
management, $40 million for land management planning, and $80 million for
the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Senate Moves Critical Habitat Bill:
	In June, the Senate Environment Committee approved a redrafted version
of a
bill co-sponsored by the late Senator John Chafee (R-RI) to amend the
procedures for designating critical habitat for endangered and threatened
species. As introduced, the legislation (S. 1100) would require federal
agencies to shift the designation of critical habitat from the time of
listing to the recovery planning process and mandate that recovery plans
completed within three years after a species is listed. The bill would
eliminate all timelines for providing critical habitat to species that
already have approved recovery plans. Currently, nine percent of all
threatened and endangered species have critical habitat, while
percent already have recovery plans. In addition, any lawsuit challenging
the designation of critical habitat would have to challenge the recovery
plan upon which the designation was based.
	The committee adopted by voice vote a substitute offered by Senator
to double the time period for appointment of a recovery planning team to
days, integrate critical habitat designation with recovery planning, and
direct the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries
Service to develop a priority ranking system describing how the agencies
plan to decide which species already on the ESA list should receive
for critical habitat designation and recovery planning.
	A number of environmental groups contend that S. 1100 could do more harm
than good by causing further delay and adding to the costs of critical
habitat designation. Among the criticisms are that S. 1100 would not
the loopholes that have contributed to the backlog of more than 1,000
species without designated habitats, would not require recovery goals or
improve implementation, and would not require the Secretary of the
to protect survival habitat during the 3-year recovery planning process.
Only 10 percent of the 1,200 species listed under the Endangered Species
currently have critical habitat designation.

Endangered Salmon:
	The salmon issue remained hot throughout the year in Congress. President
Clinton vetoed the FY’00 Commerce, Justice, and State funding bill in
because of a rider attached to the bill that would have exempted Alaskan
salmon fishing operations from Endangered Species Act requirements (see
above write-up under Appropriations).
In July, the House Resources Committee approved a controversial
expressing the sense of Congress in opposition of removing four federal
on the Lower Snake River, which is one of the options under consideration
the Administration to restore decimated runs of Snake River salmon and
steelhead. In response, more than 100 Members of the House from both
wrote to President Clinton urging him to keep dam removal on the table.
	The House also passed a bill authorizing $25 million a year for projects
such as fish screens, fish passage devices, and other strategies to keep
juvenile salmon, steelhead, bull trout, and other fish out of irrigation
canals (H.R. 1444).


Conservation Funding Bill Moves in House:
	At the close of the session, the House Resources Committee voted 37-12
favor of sweeping legislation to create an off-budget fund worth more
$3 billion annually from federal offshore oil and gas revenues for land
conservation, wildlife and recreation programs, and impact aid to coastal
states. As approved, the bill (H.R. 701 -- the Conservation and
Act Fund) combines features from bills offered by Representatives Don
(R-AK) and George Miller's (D-CA). The bill provides some $900 million
the Land and Water Conservation Fund, $150 million for conservation
easements and species recovery, $1 billion for coastal impact assistance,
$350 million for stateside wildlife conservation, and some $600 million
urban parks and recreation, historic preservation, and a variety of other
programs. The compromise draft bill removes many earlier restrictions on
federal land acquisition that had created stumbling blocks for
	Despite of all its benefits, some environmental groups are uneasy about
bill. They worry that the bill includes unacceptable incentives for
off-shore drilling, could serve to open sensitive new areas to oil
does not have adequate restrictions on how the coastal impact money could
spent, and could allow the money to be spent on infrastructure and other
environmentally damaging coastal development.
	Although Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Frank Murkowski (R-AK), among
others, introduced similar legislation (S. 25), they were unable to gain
enough support in the Senate Energy Committee and decided against taking
their bill to markup.

Alaskan Issues in Congress:
	Congress grappled with several issues related to parks and public lands
Alaska this session. At the end of the session, the Senate passed a bill
501) to direct the National Park Service to allow subsistence fishing and
gathering in Glacier Bay National Park, as well as commercial fishing in
outer waters of the park. The bill also requires the NPS to study
throughout the park and consider the impact of commercial fishing on
Bay and other national park resources. Earlier in the year, the Senate
approved two bills to allow the Kake (S. 430) and the Huna Totem (S. 426)
tribal corporations to each trade land tracts containing the watersheds
provide their villages with water to the US Forest Service in exchange
lands that could be logged or mined. The Senate will take up a
bill introduced by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) to grant up to 500,000
acres of federal land to the University of Alaska.
	On November 9, the House approved a bill (H.R. 3090) to allow the Elim
Native Corporation to select up to 50,000 acres near Norton Bay, Alaska,
make up for land taken out of their control in a 1929 decision by
Herbert Hoover.

Parks and Public Lands Bills Awaiting President Clinton’s Signature:
H.R. 2632 to designate the 9,200-acre Dugger Mountain Wilderness in the
Talladega National Forest in Alabama.
H.R. 15 to designate the 185,00-acre Otay Wilderness on BLM land in
S. 416 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey to the city of
Sisters, Oregon, a certain parcel of land for a sewage treatment
H.R. 2737 to provide 39 acres of federal land to Illinois for an
interpretive center near the beginning of the 1804 Lewis and Clark

Parks and Public Lands Bills Passed by House:
H.R. 898 to designate the 18,000-acre Spanish Peaks Wilderness in the San
Isabel National Forest in Colorado.
H.R. 468 to establish the St. Helena Island National Scenic Area in Lake
H.R. 359 to allow private groups to maintain several small dams and weirs
California’s Emigrant Wilderness.

Parks and Public Lands Bills Passed by Senate:
S. 776 to authorize the National Park Service to conduct a feasibility
for the preservation of the Loess Hills in western Iowa.
S. 1030 to ensure that land being traded by the BLM in Wyoming remains
for mining.
S. 1349 to authorize the National Park Service to study 12 areas for
possible inclusion in the national park system.
S. 1288 to allow the US Forest Service to make grants to encourage forest
restoration projects on national forest and other public lands in New


This year, Congress enacted one bill to add parts of three Massachusetts
rivers – the Sudbury, the Assabet, and the Concord – to the National Wild
and Scenic Rivers System (H.R. 193). President Clinton signed the bill
law on April 9. Congress also approved H.R. 2140 to expand the
River National Recreation Area in Georgia. The bill now awaits President
Clinton’s signature.
Two other Wild and Scenic Rivers bills also moved in Congress this year.
House passed H.R. 1615 to protect an additional 12 miles of the Lamprey
River in New Hampshire as a recreational river in the Wild and Scenic
System. The Senate also passed a bill (S. 1296) to protect 65.6 miles of
lower Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania as part of the
and Scenic Rivers System and a bill (S.1569) calling for a study of 40
of the Taunton River in Massachusetts for possible inclusion in the


WRDA Passed After Much Delay:
On August 17, President Clinton signed the Water Resources Development
of 1999, which authorizes new projects and set policy for the US Army
of Engineers. WRDA, traditionally a biennial package, had been held up
1998 largely due to conflicts over flood protection measures for
and a water supply project for Representative John Doolittle’s (R-CA)
district. WRDA 1999, which will provide $4.3 billion in federal funds for
$6.3 billion worth of projects, includes a new flood program and 45 other
projects. Under Challenge 21, the new flood control program, the Corps
receive $200 million over five years for a watershed-based flood
program focused on nonstructural and riverine ecosystem projects.
	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.

Coastal Protection Bills:
	The House and Senate moved on a number of coastal and marine protection
bills this session. The House approved H.R. 1431, which would reauthorize
the law that restricts federally subsidized development within the
barrier resources system. Another similar bill (H.R. 1243), which also
passed the House, would reauthorize the system of marine sanctuaries
at preserving significant conservation, recreational, ecological, or
aesthetic values in the marine environment. The House Resources Committee
approved a bill to reauthorize the coastal zone management program – H.R.
2669, the Coastal Community Conservation Act – with two property rights
amendments some Representatives believe will doom the bill in the full
House. The amendments would bar the federal government from mandating
states “take any action that would constitute a use of non-federal
for a public purpose without payment of just compensation” as a condition
any grant. The second amendment would strike several provisions regarding
nonpoint source pollution.
	The House also passed the Beaches Environmental Awareness, Cleanup, and
Health Act to require states to update water quality standards to include
pathogens and other microorganisms that pose a health threat. The Senate
passed a bill (S. 1119) to continue funding authorization for the Coastal
Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act.

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
September 6: http://www.amrivers.org/policy9-6.html
August 9: http://www.amrivers.org/policy8-9.html
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

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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