Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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U.S. Tree Planting for Carbon Sequestration
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.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
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.
Wildfire Damages to Homes and Resources: Understanding Causes and Reducing Losses
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.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
Renewable Energy Policy in the 2007 Farm Bill
This report discusses the renewable energy policy initiatives that have been included in almost every 2007 farm bill proposal in both the House and Senate.
Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Grazing Fees: An Overview
This report briefly discusses charging fees for grazing private livestock on federal lands, which is a long-standing but contentious practice. Generally, livestock producers who use federal lands want to keep fees low, while conservation groups and others believe fees should be raised to approximate "fair market value."
Congressional Efforts to Reduce Restrictions on Growing Industrial Hemp
This report briefly discusses U.S. agricultural policies regarding the industrial use of hemp.
Mining on Federal Lands
This report discusses the General Mining Law of 1872, which is the law that grants free access to individuals and corporations to prospect for minerals in public domain lands, and allows them, upon making a discovery, to stake (or “locate”) a claim on that deposit.
Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation
This report discusses issues surrounding "conflict diamonds" -- i.e., diamonds that have been mined and sold to support armed conflict -- as well as resulting U.S. policy responses. Policy makers' attention has also increasingly focused on the possible role that diamonds may play in the financing of terrorist operations.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which provides payments to agricultural producers to take highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land out of production and install resource conserving practices for 10 or more years. CRP was first authorized in the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198, 1985 farm bill) and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Farm Service Agency (FSA) with technical support from other USDA agencies.
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues
This report discusses the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which provides payments to agricultural producers to take highly erodible and environmentally sensitive land out of production and install resource conserving practices for 10 or more years. CRP was first authorized in the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198, 1985 farm bill) and is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) with technical support from other USDA agencies.
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.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Lands and National Forests
This brief focuses on several issues affecting Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (FS) lands that are of interest to the 109th Congress, and does not comprehensively cover issues primarily affecting other federal lands.
Renewable Energy Policy in the 2007 Farm Bill
This report provides a summary of major legislative proposals for change in the farm bill energy title (Title IX) and compares current law with energy provisions from the recently approved House 2007 farm bill.
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.
The Availability of Nonfuel Minerals on Federal Lands: Background on the Issue
The following report reviews the laws and practices that govern the extraction of non-fuel minerals from federal lands, and the restrict ions against such extract ions. Moreover, the federal land management agencies that regulate such activities are identified, and their responsibilities discussed.
Conservation and the 2007 Farm Bill
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.
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.
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.
Upper Mississippi River System: Proposals to Restore an Inland Waterway's Ecosystem
No Description Available.
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
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
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.
Restricting Softwood Log Exports: Policy and Legal Implications
No Description Available.
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.
Survey of Grazing Programs in Western States
No Description Available.
Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resource Management
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
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.
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.
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.
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. This report discusses several key issues of congressional and administrative interest.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Heritage Areas: Background, Proposals, and Current Issues
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.
Public (BLM) Lands and National Forests
No Description Available.
Forest Fires and Forest Health
No Description Available.