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 Decade: 1990-1999
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues

The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues

Date: March 26, 1997
Creator: Bamberger, Robert L.
Description: The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA, P.L. 95-87), enacted in 1977, established reclamation standards for all coal surface mining operations, and for the surface effects of underground mining. It also established the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) program to promote the reclamation of sites mined and abandoned prior to the enactment of SMCRA. To finance reclamation of abandoned mine sites, the legislation established fees on coal production. These collections are divided into federal and state shares; subject to annual appropriation, AML funds are distributed annually to states with approved reclamation programs. This report describes the distribution of these funds and the various issues that arise from said distribution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
African Elephant Issues: CITES and CAMPFIRE

African Elephant Issues: CITES and CAMPFIRE

Date: August 5, 1997
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne & Fletcher, Susan R.
Description: The conservation of African elephants has been controversial recently on two fronts: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, to which the United States is a party), and a Zimbabwean program for sustainable development called CAMPFIRE, which is partially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Two controversies have sprung up recently about the African elephant. One is the changing status of this species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), of which the United States is a signatory. The other is over a program in Zimbabwe called "CAMPFIRE." The partial funding of this program by the U.S. Agency for International Development has been criticized by animal welfare groups and some conservation groups, though it has been supported by other conservation groups as well as many hunting organizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters

Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters

Date: January 5, 1996
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.
Description: Declining fish populations threaten an important food source. Natural catastrophes, pollution, habitat destruction, and overfishing contribute to the depletion of fish stocks. Overexploitation of fishery resources often occurs when management allows expanding and increasingly efficient fishing fleets to continue harvesting dwindling supplies. Although prevalent, overexploitation is not universal and its extent varies among areas, species, and fisheries. This report discusses the issue of overfishing and its possible consequences, as well as domestic and international efforts to combat overfishing.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals

Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals

Date: January 4, 1996
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A & Copeland, Claudia
Description: Amending Federal laws to protect wetlands, especially agricultural wetlands, is a contentious issue for the 104th Congress. Critics contend that current programs are excessive in their reach and unfairly restrict private landowners. Supporters counter that these programs are critical if the Nation is to achieve the stated goal of no-net-loss of wetlands. The two major statutes under which agricultural wetlands are protected are swampbuster, enacted in the Agriculture, Food, Trade, and Conservation Act of 1985, and section 404, enacted in the 1972 Clean Water Act. This report describes both programs, emphasizing how they relate to each other. It explains how each program works, especially on agricultural wetlands, and the likely effect of proposed revisions to swampbuster. Also, it briefly considers other legislative proposals that would amend the section 404 program, which, if enacted, would further affect how agricultural wetlands are protected.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Alternative Sources of Wood for Japan

Alternative Sources of Wood for Japan

Date: August 25, 1994
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Description: Japan is one of the world's largest wood importers, with two-thirds of its imports as logs (unprocessed timber). Southeast Asia has been the largest log supplier, but supplies (and exports to Japan) have been declining. The United States has become a more important supplier, but concerns about declining domestic timber supplies have led to proposals to prohibit or to tax log exports. Opponents suggest that Japan would simply turn to other sources to replace U.S. logs. One question in this debate is where the alternative sources of logs or wood products might be.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Amtrak and Energy Conservation: Background and Selected Public Policy Issues

Amtrak and Energy Conservation: Background and Selected Public Policy Issues

Date: January 19, 1999
Creator: Thompson, Stephen J
Description: A rationale for federal financial support to Amtrak has been that rail service conserves energy, compared to other forms of intercity passenger transportation. The numbers discussed in this report suggest that the rationale might not be valid with regard to autos and buses. The report discusses some public policy implications that could follow from that conclusion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Amtrak and Energy Conservation in Intercity Passenger Transportation

Amtrak and Energy Conservation in Intercity Passenger Transportation

Date: September 3, 1996
Creator: Thompson, Stephen J
Description: A rationale for federal financial support to Amtrak has been that rail service conserves energy, compared to other forms of intercity passenger transportation. The numbers presented in this report suggest that the rationale might not be valid with regard to some alternative modes of transportation, and the report discusses some public policy implications that could follow from that conclusion.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview

Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview

Date: December 20, 1994
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Description: The Forest Service sells some timber at prices that are less than the agency costs to administer the timber program. This report discusses these "below-cost" timber sales that have been debated by Congress for more than a decade, but no policy to address the issue has been adopted legislatively or administratively.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity

Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity

Date: May 15, 1995
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R
Description: This report discusses treaty on biodiversity, issues, history and current status.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet

Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet

Date: May 16, 1995
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R.
Description: As human activity continues to change and modify natural areas, widespread extinctions of plants, animals, and other types of species result. In 1992, negotiations conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) were completed on a comprehensive global treaty to protect biological diversity (biodiversity). In June 1993, President Clinton signed the treaty and sent it to the Senate for advice and consent. It is not pending in the Senate. The treaty entered into force on December 29, 1993. As of May 15, 1995, 118 nations had ratified the treaty.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Biosphere Reserves and the U.S. MAB Program

Biosphere Reserves and the U.S. MAB Program

Date: June 4, 1999
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R
Description: Since 1972, the United States has participated in the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB), coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In addition to the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act this report also discusses the legislation that would affect U.S. participation in the World Heritage Convention, under which World Heritage sites are recognized, and which include some of the sites recognized as biosphere reserves
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Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet

Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet

Date: October 3, 1997
Creator: Fletcher, Susan R
Description: Since 1972, the United States has participated in the Man and the Biosphere Program (MAB), coordinated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This report presents a background on the criteria for Biosphere Reserves, designation process and the policy implications of designation/recognition.
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Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights

Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights

Date: April 16, 1993
Creator: Axt, Josephie R; Lee, Margaret Mikyung & Ackerman, David M
Description: This report examines intellectual property right in pharmaceuticals in a particular context, namely, medicinal products and processes derived from the biodiversity resources of areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. This report discusses the international law regarding intellectual property rights in traditional knowledge and the American laws regarding traditional knowledge.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Chip Mill Industry in the South

The Chip Mill Industry in the South

Date: June 10, 1998
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Description: Chip mills turn trees into chips for paper, particle-boards, and exports. While the federal government does not collect data on a chip mill industry, chip production in the South has apparently been expanding. The timber supply appears sufficient to allow some increased harvests, but could be depleted by continued industrial expansion. The federal government does not directly regulate timber cutting but could become engaged if requirements of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were triggered. The government also has export promotion programs and export tax incentives. Recently, concerns have been expressed to Congress about the possible effects of clear-cutting for chip exports on water quality and wildlife habitat. This report will not be updated.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clearcutting in the National Forests

Clearcutting in the National Forests

Date: July 29, 1992
Creator: Backiel, Adela & Gorte, Ross W
Description: Congressional interest in clearcutting has increased in the past few years. Several bills have been introduced in the current and preceding Congresses to ban the use of clearcutting and/or all even-aged management systems in the national forests. The issue, however, transcends the use of clearcutting and focuses on how to assure the choice of a silvicultural system and the implementation of the management practices that will achieve the stated goals for public land and resource management.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clearcutting in the National Forests: Background and Overview

Clearcutting in the National Forests: Background and Overview

Date: November 6, 1998
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Description: This report provides background and an overview on clearcutting use in the National Forests and effects.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: Its Past and Future

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: Its Past and Future

Date: August 24, 1994
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne
Description: This report discusses the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It is divided into six sections: Introduction, Background, CITES and the Endangered Species Act, Implementation, Upcoming Events, and Appendices.
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Deep Seabed Mining: U.S. Interests and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

Deep Seabed Mining: U.S. Interests and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea

Date: April 7, 1995
Creator: Mielke, James E
Description: On July 29, 1994, the United States signed the Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982. This agreement substantially reforms the seabed mining provisions of the 1982 Convention, which the United States found objectionable. In signing the Agreement, President Clinton accepted provisional application of it which enables the United States to participate in the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and its organs and bodies. On November 16, 1994, the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention entered into force without accession by the United States.The treaty document was referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations late in the 103d Congress and awaits committee action in the 104th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements

Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements

Date: October 21, 1992
Creator: Lyke, Julie & Fletcher, Susan R
Description: In recent years, global environmental concerns have figured prominently on the American political agenda. In particular, tropical deforestation and its implications for global climate change and biological diversity loss have prompted public outcry. Concerns have since grown to include other forest types as well. The Congress has considered a variety of legislation to stem the tide of increasing deforestation and the United States has supported a number of bilateral and multilateral initiatives to assist other countries in managing their forest resources.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program

The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program

Date: September 10, 1998
Creator: Rowberg, Richard E & Lau, Clifford
Description: Tritium is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen used to enhance the explosive yield of every thermonuclear weapon. Tritium has a radioactive decay rate of 5.5% per year and has not been produced in this country for weapons purposes since 1988.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Ecosystem Management Tools and Techniques: Proceedings of a CRS Workshop

Ecosystem Management Tools and Techniques: Proceedings of a CRS Workshop

Date: March 27, 1995
Creator: Morrissey, Wayne A
Description: The House Subcommittee on Technology, Environment, and Aviation of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (103rd Congress) requested that Congressional Research Service (CRS) hold a workshop on the tools and techniques of ecosystem management. The purposes of this workshop were to demonstrate tools and techniques used in scientific research on ecosystems and to address technological aspects of developing and administering a national policy for ecosystem management.
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Ecosystems, Biomes, and Watersheds: Definitions and Use

Ecosystems, Biomes, and Watersheds: Definitions and Use

Date: July 14, 1993
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne
Description: This paper describes the meaning and applications of ecosystem and of the related terms watershed and biome. It discusses the pros and cons of all three as organizing principles for land management, and the major issues that are likely to arise in the debate over ecosystem management.
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Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351

Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351

Date: March 2, 1998
Creator: Baldwin, Pamela & Corn, M. Lynne
Description: Because of wide-spread interest in possible amendments to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), CRS has received numerous requests for an analysis and critique of S.1180 and H.R. 2351. This report analyzes those bills. HR. 2351 was introduced on July 31, 1997 and S. 1180 on September 16, 1997. Each bill is discussed under various topic headings. The Senate bill will be described first, since it has been reported.
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The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

The Endangered Species Act and Private Property

Date: March 7, 1993
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: If the 103rd Congress embarks upon an effort to reauthorize the Endangered Species Act (ESA), it will run into an old acquaintance: the property rights issue. As now written, the ESA has at least the potential to curtail property rights (whatever its actual impact as implemented may be). This report explores the legal repercussions of those impacts, especially whether they constitute takings of property under the fifth amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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