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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Alternative Sources of Wood for Japan
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs143/
Mahoganies: International Protection?
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Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill
Wetlands protection efforts have been a major concern for agricultural interests since Congress enacted so-called swampbuster provisions in the 1985 Food Security Act. Under these provisions, all producers who alter wetlands risk losing certain farm program benefits. Determining which sites are wetlands and enforcement of penalties remain contentious issues. Controversy has been heightened by confusion over how this program is related to the principal Federal regulatory program to protect wetlands, section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and how wetland determinations affect land values and private property rights. Because the 103rd Congress did not reauthorize the Clean Water Act, some of the wetland issues raised in that debate might be raised in the farm bill. Another wetland protection program, the Wetland Reserve (WRP), was enacted in the 1990 farm bill. This program, which pays farmers to place wetlands under long-term or permanent easements, has been far less controversial. This paper reviews the swampbuster and WRP, as well as controversies surrounding delineation of wetlands and relationships between private property rights and wetland protection efforts. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs146/
Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs145/
An Overview of NASA's Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE)
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Ecosystem Management Tools and Techniques: Proceedings of a CRS Workshop
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10004/
Deep Seabed Mining: U.S. Interests and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs230/
Natural Resource "Subsidy" Issues
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Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity
This report discusses treaty on biodiversity, issues, history and current status. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs235/
Biological Diversity Treaty: Fact Sheet
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26102/
The Rural Abandoned Mine Program - A Fact Sheet
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Habitat Modification and the Endangered Species Act: The
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International Forest Agreements: Current Status
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Sustainable Agriculture
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Forest Service Timber Sale Practices and Procedures: Analysis of Alternative Systems
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs233/
Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6360/
Agreements to Promote Fishery Conservation and Management in International Waters
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs341/
An Introduction to Major Natural Resource Issues in the 104th Congress
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Survey of Grazing Programs in Western States
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Mining in National Parks and Wilderness Areas: Policy, Rules, Activity
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs353/
The "Timber Rider": Section 2001 of the Rescissions Act
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs347/
Grazing Fees: An Overview
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Forest Fires and Forest Health
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Salvage Timber Sales and Forest Health
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Softwood Lumber Imports: The 1996 U.S.-Canada Agreement
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6357/
The Salvage Timber Sale Rider: Overview and Policy Issues
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New World Gold Mine and Yellowstone National Park
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Amtrak and Energy Conservation in Intercity Passenger Transportation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs364/
The Federal Helium Program: The Reaction Over an Inert Gas
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Federal Land Management: Appeals and Litigation
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The Abandoned Mine Land Fund: Grants Distribution and Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs398/
Non-Indigenous Species: Government Response to the Brown Tree Snake and Issues for Congress
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Wildlife Restoration Projects Fund
Since 1937, a cooperative program between the federal and state governments has existed for wildlife restoration. This program provides federal grants-in-aid to state agencies for conservation through land and water management for wild birds and mammals. While up to 8% of the collected revenues from excise taxes dedicated to the program may be retained by the federal government for administration, all remaining funds are apportioned to the states and territories for use either in wildlife restoration or hunter safety and education programs. Wildlife restoration programs receive all funds generated from the excise tax on firearms other than pistols and revolvers and all funds collected from shells and cartridges. Additionally, one-half of the excise taxes collected from pistols, revolvers, and archery equipment goes for wildlife restoration purposes. Hunter safety and education programs are funded from the remaining half of excise taxes collected on pistols, revolvers, and archery equipment. The states have been authorized by law to use hunter safety and education funds for wildlife restoration projects. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs386/
African Elephant Issues: CITES and CAMPFIRE
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs388/
Wetland Mitigation Banking: Status and Prospects
Wetland protection is controversial because the federal government regulates activities on private lands and because the natural values at some of these regulated sites are being debated. This controversy pits property owners and development interests against environmentalists and others who seek to protect the remaining wetlands. Mitigation banking, which allows a person to degrade a wetland at one site if a wetland at another site is improved, has been identified as a potential answer to this shrill and seemingly intractable debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs474/
Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs472/
Endangered Species List Revisions: A Summary of Delisting and Downlisting
This report outlines the process and reasons for delisting or downlisting, and summarizes the 27 species delisted due to extinction, recovery, or data revision, and the 22 species that have been downlisted from endangered to threatened status due to stabilized or improving populations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs531/
Endangered Species Act Amendments: An Analysis of S. 1180 and H.R. 2351
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs530/
Federal Timber Harvests: Implications for U.S. Timber Supply
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs749/
Forest Health: Overview
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The Chip Mill Industry in the South
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs750/
The Department of Energy's Tritium Production Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs752/
Marine Dead Zones: Understanding the Problem
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Grazing Fees and Rangeland Management
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs519/
Federal Sales of Natural Resources: Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms (1998)
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs751/
Federal Land and Resource Management: A Primer
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Amtrak and Energy Conservation: Background and Selected Public Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1034/
Federal Land Ownership: Constitutional Authority; the History of Acquisition, Disposal, and Retention; and Current Acquisition and Disposal Authorities
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Roadless Areas: The Administration's Moratorium
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Biosphere Reserves and the U.S. MAB Program
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 digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1013/