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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Biosafety Protocol for Genetically Modified Organisms: Overview
The Biosafety Protocol to the 1992 Convention on biological Diversity, adopted in early 2000, addresses the safe handling, transfer, and trade of biological organisms. The Protocol sets forth procedures and rules concerning trade in biological products, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have engendered controversy, especially when they are used as agricultural crops. These rules are of key importance to U.S. economic interests in agriculture as well as those dealing in other genetically modified organisms. This report provides a brief summary of the key provisions of the Protocol and the major issues associated with them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1271/
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/
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/
Biotechnology, Indigenous Peoples, and Intellectual Property Rights
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8176/
Brief Summaries of Federal Animal Protection Statutes
This report contains summaries of federal animal protection statutes, listed alphabetically. It does not include treaties, although it does include statutes enacted to implement treaties. It includes statutes concerning animals that are not entirely, or not at all, animal protection statutes. For example, it includes a statute authorizing the eradication of predators, because one of the statute's purposes is to protect domestic and "game" animals; and it includes statutes to conserve fish, although their ultimate purpose may not be for the fishes' benefit. It also includes statutes that allow the disabled to use service animals, and even includes statutes aimed at acts of animal rights advocates (the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, and the Recreational Hunting Safety and Preservation Act of 1994). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26053/
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/
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/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83941/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93835/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93832/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93831/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93834/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93836/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. Congressional readers with questions about an issue discussed in this report should contact the author or authors of the section discussing that issue. The authors are identified by footnote at the start of each section. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93833/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, including sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered species; and increased military operations in the region. It includes background information on the region and on a variety of issues for which Congress may want to consider legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc97986/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103088/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report gives an overview of the situation in the Arctic region. The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87154/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report discusses the diminishment of Arctic sea ice, the ensuing increase in human activities in the Arctic, and concerns about the region's future. It provides overviews of: Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122198/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31354/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened concerns about the region's future. Issues such as Arctic sovereignty claims; commercial shipping through the Arctic; Arctic oil, gas, and mineral exploration; endangered Arctic species; and increased military operations in the Arctic could cause the region in coming years to become an arena of international cooperation, competition, or conflict. This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29585/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
The diminishment of Arctic sea ice has led to increased human activities in the Arctic, and has heightened interest in, and concerns about, the region's future. The United States, by virtue of Alaska, is an Arctic country and has substantial interests in the region. The Arctic has increasingly become a subject of discussion among political leaders of the nations in the region. In varying degrees, the Arctic coastal states have indicated a willingness to establish and maintain a military presence in the high north. U.S. military forces, particularly the Navy and Coast Guard, have begun to pay more attention to the region. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83942/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress, and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific Arctic-related issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227666/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282294/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc282307/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287985/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332908/
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc333007/
China's Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States
Over the past few years, the Chinese government has implemented a number of policies to tighten its control over the production and export of "rare earths"-a unique group of 17 metal elements on the periodic table that exhibit a range of special properties, such as magnetism, luminescence, and strength. Rare earths are important to a number of high technology industries, including renewable energy and various defense systems. This report examines the economic and trade implications of China's rare earth policies for the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85418/
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/
Clearcutting in the National Forests
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs34/
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/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8785/
Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita
Prior to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had been seeking congressional approval for a $1.1 billion multi-year program to both construct five projects that would help to restore specified sites in the coastal wetland ecosystem in Louisiana, and to continue planning several other related projects. The state of Louisiana and several federal agencies have participated in the development of this program. This report introduces this program and restoration options that are being discussed in the wake of the hurricanes. It also discusses whether this program, if completed, might have muted the impacts of these hurricanes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9020/
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/
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enacted in 1985, which provides payments to farmers to take highly erodible or environmentally-sensitive cropland out of production for ten years or more to conserve soil and water resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287922/
Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enacted in 1985, which provides payments to farmers to take highly erodible or environmentally-sensitive cropland out of production for ten years or more to conserve soil and water resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98116/
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: Its Past and Future
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs96/
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/
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/
Deforestation: An Overview of Global Programs and Agreements
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs35/
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/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs2681/
The Department of Energy's Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) is one of the largest energy conservation programs in the nation. The DOE program is implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Native American Tribes. It weatherizes an average of 70,000 dwellings per year. The program strives to increase the energy efficiency of dwellings occupied by low-income persons in order to reduce their energy consumption and lower their fuel bills. It targets vulnerable groups including the elderly, people with disabilities, and families with children. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1678/
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/
Disaster Tax Relief for the Midwest
The Midwestern Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008 is intended to assist with the recovery from the severe weather that affected the Midwest during the summer of 2008. The Jobs, Energy, Families, and Disaster Relief Act of 2008 includes some similar provisions, but these are not limited to the Midwest disaster. The disaster relief in the three bills is similar to that provided to assist with the recovery from the 2005 hurricanes and the 2007 Kansas tornadoes. This report broadly discusses the disaster relief provisions in other relevant legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10785/
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/
Ecosystems, Biomes, and Watersheds: Definitions and Use
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs70/
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/
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/