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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: Continuing Controversy

Description: The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) has been one of the most controversial of all environmental laws. Undoubtedly, the controversy stems from the strict substantive provisions of this law compared to many other environmental laws which tend to be more procedurally oriented or to permit greater administrative discretion. As a result of the ESA’s standards, the Act often plays a role in disputes in which all sides agree that a given species is not the center of the debate.
Date: November 21, 2000
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues

Description: This report focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress and related issues and legislation. Over more than two decades, Congress has established 40 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote areas that include important natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources.
Date: June 4, 2013
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy & Comay, Laura B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses

Description: This report focuses on options for protecting structures and for protecting wildlands and natural resources from wildfires. It begins with a brief overview of the nature of wildfires, followed by a discussion of protecting structures. Then, it discusses wildfire damages to wildlands and natural resources, fuel treatment options and their benefits and limitations, and public involvement in federal decisions.
Date: May 23, 2013
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and 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: April 14, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: This report covers concerns that Congress has expressed over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
Date: December 23, 2013
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

Description: The world is experiencing a shortage of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium with applications in homeland security, national security, medicine, industry, and science. Federal officials have testified that the shortage is acute and, unless alternatives are found, will affect federal investments in homeland security, scientific research, and other areas. This report discusses the nature of the shortage; federal actions undertaken so far to address it; current and potential sources of helium-3 and options for increasing the supply; current and projected uses of helium-3 and options for reducing the demand; and options for allocating the supply if it continues to fall short of demand.
Date: December 22, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
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

Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity

Description: This report discusses the various industrial uses for Hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. The report compares Hemp with Marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
Date: March 21, 2013
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Land Ownership: Overview and Data

Description: Numerous issues affecting federal land management are before Congress. They include the extent of federal ownership, and whether to decrease, maintain, or increase the amount of federal holdings; the condition of currently owned federal infrastructure and lands, and the priority of their maintenance versus new acquisitions; the optimal balance between land use and protection, and whether federal lands should be managed primarily to produce national or local benefits; and border control on federal lands along the southwest border.
Date: February 8, 2012
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.; Hardy Vincent, Carol; Hanson, Laura A. & Rosenblum, Marc R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Funding for Wildfire Control and Management

Description: This report looks at four issues dominating wildfire funding debates: the high cost of fire management, funding for fuel reduction, the federal role in protecting nonfederal lands, and post-fire rehabilitation. The Forest Service (FS) and the Department of the Interior (DOI) are responsible for protecting most federal lands from wildfires, however, many in Congress are concerned that wildfire costs are spiraling upward without a reduction in damages.
Date: July 5, 2011
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress

Description: The world is experiencing a shortage of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium with applications in homeland security, national security, medicine, industry, and science. Federal officials have testified that the shortage is acute and, unless alternatives are found, will affect federal investments in homeland security, scientific research, and other areas. This report discusses the nature of the shortage; federal actions undertaken so far to address it; current and potential sources of helium-3 and options for increasing the supply; current and projected uses of helium-3 and options for reducing the demand; and options for allocating the supply if it continues to fall short of demand.
Date: September 21, 2010
Creator: Shea, Dana A. & Morgan, Daniel
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues

Description: This report focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress and related issues and legislation. Over more than two decades, Congress has established 40 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote areas that include important natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources.
Date: September 5, 2008
Creator: Vincent, Carol Hardy & Whiteman, David L.
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

Federal Land Ownership: Acquisition and Disposal Authorities

Description: This report describes the primary authorities of the following agencies for acquiring and disposing of federal land. These four federal agencies--the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), all in the Department of the Interior (DOI), and the U.S. Forest Service (FS) in the Department of Agriculture--administer about 95% of those lands.
Date: May 19, 2015
Creator: Vincent, Carol H.; Corn, M. L.; Comay, Laura B. & Hoover, Katie
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

Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress

Description: Some Members of Congress have expressed concern over U.S. acquisition of rare earth materials composed of rare earth elements used in various components of defense weapon systems. On March 13, 2012, President Obama announced that the United States had joined with Japan and the European Union to bring a World Trade Organization joint dispute resolution case against China because of China's restrictive policies on rare earths and other minerals. Congress may encourage DOD to develop a collaborative, long-term, well-thought-out strategy designed to identify any material weaknesses and vulnerabilities associated with rare earths and to protect long-term U.S. national security interests.
Date: April 11, 2012
Creator: Grasso, Valerie Bailey
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses

Description: Wildfires are getting more severe, with more acres and houses burned and more people at risk. This results from excess biomass in the forests, due to past logging and grazing and a century of fire suppression, combined with an expanding wild land-urban interface-more people and houses in and near the forests-and climate change, exacerbating drought and insect and disease problems. This report looks at the causes of wildfires, and the pros and cons of their treatment.
Date: March 12, 2012
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department