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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Wilderness: Overview and Statistics

Wilderness: Overview and Statistics

Date: March 18, 2005
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Description: The U.S. Forest Service established the first protected "wilderness area" under its own discretion in 1924. In 1964, the Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, reserved to Congress the authority to designate wilderness areas, and directed the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to review certain lands for their wilderness potential. The Act also designated 54 wilderness areas with 9 million acres of Forest Service land. Congress began expanding the Wilderness System in 1968, and today, there are 631 wilderness areas, totalling nearly 104 million acres, in 44 States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wildfire Protection Funding

Wildfire Protection Funding

Date: May 2, 2005
Creator: Gorte, Ross W
Description: The severe 2000 fire season prompted a significant rise in funding for wildfire protection that has been sustained; wildfire appropriations in FY2005 were more than $2.9 billion. Most of the funds ($2.8 billion in FY2005) are to protect federal lands, with funds for reducing fuel loads, for equipment and training, for fighting fires, and for restoring burned sites. Federal funding ($98 million in FY2005) also supports state efforts to protect nonfederal lands. Some wildfire funding ($74 million in FY2005) is used for fire research, fire facilities, and programs to improve forest health. Congress continues to debate wildfire funding levels, with a growing focus on the cost of wildfire suppression.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

Date: April 24, 2001
Creator: McHugh, Lois B
Description: On March 6, 2001, Congressman Don Young introduced H.R. 883, the American Land Sovereignty Act. H.R. 883 requires congressional approval to add any lands owned by the United States to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. In related legislation, P.L. 106-429, in which H.R. 5526, the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs appropriations act for 2001 was referenced, contained language prohibiting funding from this bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. The World Heritage Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

Date: November 13, 2000
Creator: McHugh, Lois B
Description: P.L. 106-429, in which H.R. 5526, the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs appropriations act for 2001 was referenced, contained language prohibiting funding from this bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. This Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. On May 20, 1999, the House passed (by voice vote) the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 883), which requires congressional approval to add any additional U.S. national parks and monuments to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

Date: July 17, 2000
Creator: McHugh, Lois B
Description: On July 13, 2000, the House passed H.R. 4811, the FY 2001 Foreign Operations bill, containing language prohibiting the use of any funds in the bill for the United Nations World Heritage Fund. This Fund provides technical assistance to countries requesting help in protecting World Heritage sites. On May 20, 1999, the House passed (by voice vote) the American Land Sovereignty Protection Act (H.R. 883), which requires congressional approval to add any additional U.S. national parks and monuments to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO-administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and will be updated periodically.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

World Heritage Convention and U.S. National Parks

Date: September 19, 1997
Creator: McHugh, Lois B
Description: During the 105th Congress, the House considered H.R. 901, legislation which would give Congress a role in designating any new U.S. national parks and monuments of world significance added to the World Heritage List, a UNESCO administered list established by the 1972 World Heritage Convention. Sponsors of the bill are concerned that designation of a U.S. site to the U.N. list, which is currently done under Executive Branch authority, does not protect the rights of private property owners or the States. The Administration and opponents of the bill argue that the designation has no affect on property rights and does not provide the United Nations with any legal authority over U.S. territory. H.R. 901 passed the House on October 8, 1997. This paper describes the operation of the UNESCO Convention and H.R. 901. It will be updated as the legislation progresses through the House and Senate. Similar language concerning the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program has become law. For information on that legislation, see CRS Report 96-517 ENR, Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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