Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress

Description: The report starts out with a brief overview and analysis of Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Other issues discussed briefly include roadless areas in the National Forest System, national forest planning, national forest county payments, BLM land sales, and grazing management.
Date: August 27, 2008
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.; Vincent, Carol Hardy; Humphries, Marc & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues

Description: 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.
Date: January 3, 2008
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection

Description: This report provides historical background on wildfires, and describes concerns about the wildland-urban interface and about forest and rangeland health. The report discusses fuel management, fire control, and fire effects. The report then examines federal, state, and landowner roles and responsibilities in protecting lands and resources from wildfires, and concludes by discussing current issues for federal wildfire management.
Date: January 29, 2009
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the specialty metal provision which was originally part of the Berry Amendment; the potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may wish to consider. The debate over the specialty metal provision may also renew interest in the debate over the viability of other domestic source restrictions. There is congressional interest in the specialty metal provision because: (1) the specialty metal restriction affects major defense contractors who produce components for commercial airplanes; (2) some prime defense contractors as well as subcontractors on the second, third, and fourth tiers have stated that they were unable to comply with the Berry Amendment specialty metal requirement; (3) the Department of Defense (DOD) has authorized the use of waivers to purchase non-compliant items (non-compliant specialty metal are metal that do not meet the 100% domestic source requirement of the Berry Amendment); and (4) the long-term impact of the specialty metal provision on the costs of defense equipment and programs, particularly on the requirement that weapon system components be certified as made in the United States.
Date: May 14, 2008
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
Date: May 27, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress

Description: This report examines the specialty metal provision which was originally part of the Berry Amendment; the potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may wish to consider. The debate over the specialty metal provision may also renew interest in the debate over the viability of other domestic source restrictions. There is congressional interest in the specialty metal provision because: (1) the specialty metal restriction affects major defense contractors who produce components for commercial airplanes; (2) some prime defense contractors as well as subcontractors on the second, third, and fourth tiers have stated that they were unable to comply with the Berry Amendment specialty metal requirement; (3) DOD has authorized the use of waivers to purchase non-compliant items (non-compliant specialty metal are metal that do not meet the 100% domestic source requirement of the Berry Amendment); and (4) the long-term impact of the specialty metal provision on the costs of defense equipment and programs, particularly on the requirement that weapon system components be certified as made in the United States.
Date: September 2, 2008
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ocean Acidification

Description: This report discusses the increasing concern, within the scientific community, that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could detrimentally alter marine ecosystems. The report discusses how ocean acidification happens, its possible outcomes, as well as natural and human responses that could possibly limit or reduce the rate of the process.
Date: April 2, 2009
Creator: Buck, Eugene H. & Folger, Peter
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Tree Planting for Carbon Sequestration

Description: This report briefly discusses one of the widely discussed options for domestic carbon dioxide offsets: tree planting. Two terms are generally used for tree planting: reforestation, for planting trees in areas recently cleared of forest through timber harvesting or natural disaster; and afforestation, for planting trees on sites that have long been cleared of forests, such as crop, pasture, and brush lands.
Date: May 4, 2009
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the lllth Congress

Description: This report discusses actions that Congress is considering, which could affect the various uses and management of federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service, such as: legislation, administrative or regulatory proposals, and litigation and judicial decisions. Issue areas include onshore energy resources, administration of hardrock mining, wildfire protection, management of wild horses and burros, designation of the National Landscape Conservation System, wilderness designation, management of national forest roadless areas, and Forest Service implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Date: February 20, 2009
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.; Hardy Vincent, Carol; Alexander, Kristina & Humphries, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species Act (ESA) Issues Regarding Columbia Basin Salmon and Steelhead

Description: The construction and operation of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) have reduced salmon and steelhead populations in the Columbia Basin. This report discusses the federal regulation of this system under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Date: January 26, 2009
Creator: Alexander, Kristina & Buck, Eugene H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill

Description: This report introduces some of the issues that are influencing the development of a conservation title. It then reviews the contents of the House-passed bill, H.R. 2419. Some alternative proposals that the House considered are summarized in an appendix. The House-passed bill includes some elements of the alternative proposals (usually in modified form). This report is limited to the conservation title. However, conservation topics in recent farm bills have been increasingly addressed in other titles, and that trend continues with the House-passed version, which contains conservation provisions in the energy, forestry, and research titles, and others as well.
Date: August 27, 2007
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress

Description: This report discusses actions the 110th Congress is considering that affect the various uses and management of federal lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. These actions include legislation, administrative or regulatory proposals, and litigation and judicial decisions. Issues areas include access to energy resources on federal lands, especially implementation of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; development of hardrock minerals; roadless area management and protection; management, protection, and disposal of wild horses and burros; wilderness designation and management; and wildfire management and protection. Many of these issues have been of interest to Congress and the nation for decades.
Date: October 26, 2007
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.; Vincent, Carol H.; Humphries, Marc & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests

Description: 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. This report discusses several key issues of congressional and administrative interest.
Date: October 26, 2005
Creator: Gorte, Ross W. & Vincent, Carol H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues

Description: Over the past 20 years, Congress has established 24 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote important areas that include natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources. This report focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress, and related issues and legislation.
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy & Whiteman, David
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress

Description: The missions of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS) are similar, and many issues, programs, and policies affect both agencies. This report focuses on several issues affecting both agencies’ lands that are likely to be of interest to the 110th Congress, including energy resources, hardrock mining, FS roadless areas, wild horses and burros, wilderness, wildfire protection, and others.
Date: May 9, 2008
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.; Vincent, Carol H.; Humphries, Marc & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Forest Service Accountability in Administering Its Trust Funds

Description: The USDA Forest Service has numerous permanently appropriated trust funds and special funds that provide substantial funding independent of the annual appropriations process. Critics have alleged abuse of the funds and have sought greater congressional oversight, and the General Accounting Office has testified on the agency’s management of some of these accounts. While the Administration has offered few responses to the criticisms of these funds, it has, in its FY2001 budget request, proposed creating two new trust funds and combining several existing funds into a new fund with expanded purposes. This report provides an overview of the permanently appropriated Forest Service accounts and concerns over their use and proposed alternative structures that could provide greater public and congressional oversight and control over permanently appropriated funds.
Date: March 8, 2000
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species: Difficult Choices

Description: This report discusses various measures being considered by Congress that propose to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have focused on whether to incorporate further protection for property owners and reduce regulatory impacts, whether to increase the protection afforded listed species, or whether to modify various aspects of the ESA, such as the role of science in decision-making.
Date: December 9, 2003
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L. & Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Endangered Species: Difficult Choices

Description: This report discusses various measures being considered by Congress that propose to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have focused on whether to incorporate further protection for property owners and reduce regulatory impacts, whether to increase the protection afforded listed species, or whether to modify various aspects of the ESA, such as the role of science in decision-making.
Date: June 14, 2004
Creator: Buck, Eugene H.; Corn, M. L. & Baldwin, Pamela
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department