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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Wetlands Coverage of the Clean Water Act is Revisited by the Supreme Court: Rapanos and Carabell
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The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 109th Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices
The 109th Congress is considering proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA; P.L. 93-205, 16 U.S.C. §§1531-1543). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, modifying critical habitat (CH) procedures, incorporating further protection and incentives for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated enacting as law some ESA regulations promulgated during the Clinton Administration. This report identifies other bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address specific concerns related to how the ESA is implemented and how endangered species are managed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8379/
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
The 109th Congress is considering issues related to the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the national forests managed by the Forest Service (FS). The Administration is addressing issues through budgetary, regulatory, and other actions. Several key issues of congressional and administrative interest are covered here. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8548/
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
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South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
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Energy and Mineral Issues in the FY2006 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Several resource issues that are designed to generate revenue for the federal Treasury have been proposed for the FY2006 budget reconciliation bill. The most controversial of these provisions recommended by the House Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development. The House panel also approved a provision that would allow coastal states to “opt out” of the current offshore oil and gas development moratoria, increase fees for hardrock mining and patents, dispose of certain federal lands, and begin an oil shale and tar sands leasing program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10130/
Forestry in the Farm Bill
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Green Payments in U.S. and European Union Agricultural Policy
This report compares current United States and European Union (EU) efforts in the area of green payments. Green payments refer to "payments made to agricultural producers as compensation for environmental benefits that accrue at levels beyond what producers might otherwise achieve under existing market and regulatory conditions" (summary). The report gives an overview of policies, programs, financing, and various other aspects of comparison related to the topic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9126/
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
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Energy and Mineral Issues in the FY2006 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Several resource issues that are designed to generate revenue for the federal Treasury have been proposed for the FY2006 budget reconciliation bill. The most controversial of these provisions recommended by the House Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development. The House panel also approved a provision that would allow coastal states to “opt out” of the current offshore oil and gas development moratoria, increase fees for hardrock mining and patents, dispose of certain federal lands, and begin an oil shale and tar sands leasing program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7960/
Funding Plant and Animal Health Emergencies: Transfers from the Commodity Credit Corporation
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The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources
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Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
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Hurricane Katrina and the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration
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Grazing Regulations: Changes by the Bureau of Land Management
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Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway's Ecosystem
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Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
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Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway’s Ecosystem
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Wildfire Protection Funding
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7620/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration: The Recommended Corps Plan
The Corps estimates that this entire package of recommended activities would cost a total of $1,996 million. Included in this package are recommendations for immediate authorization ($1,123 million), further authorized investigation ($145 million), and projects that could be authorized in the future ($728 million). This CRS short report is limited to a summary of this Corps report and the next steps in implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9108/
Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
The agencies that implement the Endangered Species Act (ESA) regard the designation of critical habitat (CH) as providing only very limited benefits beyond those achieved through the listing of species and the avoidance of jeopardy to them. Several courts have now held that the relevant regulation and interpretation that result in this conclusion are erroneous and do not carry out the intent of Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10094/
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9669/
The Endangered Species Act: A Primer
The Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 receives significant congressional attention. The associated power and reach of its comprehensive protection for species identified as endangered or threatened with extinction has ignited concern that there be appropriate bounds on this power. The following discussion provides an overview and background on the various features of the ESA that contribute to its stature and yet spark an ongoing debate over its implementation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9678/
Regulation of Plant-Based Pharmaceuticals
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Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
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Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
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The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Background and Issues
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has been ratified by 167 nations, including the United States. It regulates the international trade in animals and plants that may be threatened by trade. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9261/
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
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Mining on Federal Lands
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Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
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Wildfire Protection in the 108th Congress
The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons were, by most standards, among the worst in the past 50 years. Many argue that the threat of severe wildfires has grown in recent years because of unnaturally high fuel loads (e.g., dense undergrowth and dead trees), raising concerns about damage to property and homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — forests near or surrounding homes. Debates about fire control and protection, including funding and fuel treatments (e.g., thinning and prescribed burning), have focused on national forests and other federal lands, but nonfederal lands are also at risk. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10033/
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
In the second session, Congress continues to confront an array of issues related to the public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the national forests managed by the U.S. Forest Service (FS). The Administration continues to address public lands and national forests through budgetary, regulatory, and other actions. Several key issues of ongoing congressional and administrative interest are covered in this report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6014/
Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses issues debated in the 108th Congress while is considering various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, changing the role of critical habitat, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated including significant changes to ESA regulations made during the Clinton Administration in the law itself. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5734/
Coastal Louisiana: Attempting to Restore an Ecosystem
Congress continues to consider legislative options to address wetlands loss in coastal Louisiana. Some legislative proposals would dedicate some federal revenues from offshore oil and gas development to restoration efforts. Other proposals would authorize specific restoration projects or activities, or further examination of the causes and effects of loss. These projects are neutralizing conditions that lead to loss at some sites, and are reestablishing some wetlands. These projects are expected to have many ecological, economic, and social benefits. A July 2004 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report, a draft ecosystem restoration study, identifies more than 150 possible remedies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8893/
Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Paleontological Resources Preservation Act: Proposal for the Management and Protection of Fossil Resources Located on Federal Lands
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The Role of Designation of Critical Habitat under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
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Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses issues debated in the 108th Congress while is considering various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, changing the role of critical habitat, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated including significant changes to ESA regulations made during the Clinton Administration in the law itself. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10040/
Forestry Assistance Programs
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The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), and Department of Defense (DOD) Readiness Activities: Background and Current Law
This report provides a brief overview of how the Endangered Species Act (ESA)1 and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)2 and their relevant regulations may apply to military training and readiness activities of the Department of Defense (DOD). Military activities may “take” protected creatures directly (e.g,. killing with ordnance during rifle, gunnery or assault drills), or might destroy habitat (e.g., artillery or bombing practices), even if these results are not the purpose of the activities. The applicability of the MBTA and ESA to military readiness activities has been controversial recently and legislation has been enacted in both the 107th and 108th Congresses on these topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10071/
Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management
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Soil and Water Conservation Issues
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Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
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Upper Mississippi River - Illinois Waterway Navigation Expansion: An Agricultural Transportation and Environmental Context
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Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
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Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management
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