Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Mexican Spotted Owls: Federal Protection
No Description Available.
Mexican Wolf: Federal Protection
No Description Available.
Wetland Mitigation Banking: Status and Prospects
Wetland protection is controversial because the federal government regulates activities on private lands and because the natural values at some of these regulated sites are being debated. This controversy pits property owners and development interests against environmentalists and others who seek to protect the remaining wetlands. Mitigation banking, which allows a person to degrade a wetland at one site if a wetland at another site is improved, has been identified as a potential answer to this shrill and seemingly intractable debate.
African Elephant Issues: CITES and CAMPFIRE
The conservation of African elephants has been controversial recently on two fronts: the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES, to which the United States is a party), and a Zimbabwean program for sustainable development called CAMPFIRE, which is partially funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Two controversies have sprung up recently about the African elephant. One is the changing status of this species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), of which the United States is a signatory. The other is over a program in Zimbabwe called "CAMPFIRE." The partial funding of this program by the U.S. Agency for International Development has been criticized by animal welfare groups and some conservation groups, though it has been supported by other conservation groups as well as many hunting organizations.
Alternative Sources of Wood for Japan
Japan is one of the world's largest wood importers, with two-thirds of its imports as logs (unprocessed timber). Southeast Asia has been the largest log supplier, but supplies (and exports to Japan) have been declining. The United States has become a more important supplier, but concerns about declining domestic timber supplies have led to proposals to prohibit or to tax log exports. Opponents suggest that Japan would simply turn to other sources to replace U.S. logs. One question in this debate is where the alternative sources of logs or wood products might be.
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.
Endangered Species List Revisions: A Summary of Delisting and Downlisting
This report outlines the process and reasons for delisting or downlisting, and summarizes the 27 species delisted due to extinction, recovery, or data revision, and the 22 species that have been downlisted from endangered to threatened status due to stabilized or improving populations.
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
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.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
No Description Available.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
No Description Available.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the LOS Convention relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
Mercury in the Environment: Sources and Health Risks
No Description Available.
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.
Forestry in the Farm Bill
No Description Available.
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources
No Description Available.
The Impact of Hurricane Katrina on Biological Resources
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Mining on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Biosafety Protocol for Genetically Modified Organisms: Overview
This report presents a background on Biosafety Protocol for genetically modified organisms and an overview of Biosafety Protocol negotiations, key provisions and related issues.
Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Forest Service (FS): Issues for the 110th Congress
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.
Paleontological Resources Preservation Act: Proposal for the Management and Protection of Fossil Resources Located on Federal Lands
No Description Available.
Federal Sales of Natural Resources: Pricing and Allocation Mechanisms (1998)
No Description Available.
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 112th Congress
In the ongoing energy debate in Congress, one issue has been whether to approve energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR or Refuge) in northeastern Alaska or whether to continue to prohibit development to protect the area's biological, recreational, and subsistence values. ANWR is rich in fauna, flora, and oil and natural gas potential. Its development has been debated for more than 50 years, but sharp increases in energy prices from late 2000 to early 2001, in 2004-2008, and in 2011 from a variety of causes (e.g., terrorist attacks, oil spills, and energy infrastructure damage from hurricanes), have repeatedly intensified the debate. This primer provides background for analyzing the various claims through an examination of its history, and an analysis of its geological, biological, human, and economic resources.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
This report provides a discussion of the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements (REEs), their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
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.
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
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.
Rare Earth Elements: The Global Supply Chain
This report provides a discussion on the major issues and concerns of the global supply chain for rare earth elements, their major end uses, and legislative and other policy proposals that Congress may consider to improve the U.S. rare earth position.
Ocean Acidification
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.
Ocean Acidification
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.
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
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.
Wildfire Protection in the Wildland-Urban Interface
This report describes the growth of the wildland-urban interface, wildfire suppression efforts, post-fire responses, and especially the programs and options for protecting the interface before the next wildfire strikes.
Ocean Acidification
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.
China's Mineral Industry and U.S. Access to Strategic and Critical Minerals: Issues for Congress
This report will examine China's position in the global mineral and metal markets; its growth in mineral reserves; the growth of supply, demand, and imports; and the role of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The report takes a look at U.S. mineral import dependence, U.S. import dependence on China, and selected policy options. There are Appendices on mineral end-use applications, and selected critical minerals legislation in the 113th Congress.
China's Mineral Industry and U.S. Access to Strategic and Critical Minerals: Issues for Congress
This report will examine China's position in the global mineral and metal markets; its growth in mineral reserves; the growth of supply, demand, and imports; and the role of China's state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The report takes a look at U.S. mineral import dependence, U.S. import dependence on China, and selected policy options.
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
Congress continues to face questions about forestry practices, funding levels, and the federal role in wildfire protection. Recent fire seasons have been, by most standards, among the worst in the past half century. This report looks at factors contributing to wildfires as well as active and preventative treatments for wildfires.
Issues Affecting Tidal, Wave, and In-Stream Generation Projects
This report discusses policy guidance on energy sources that generates electricity from ocean waves, tides, and river currents. The report provides background information and legislation regarding these energy sources and technologies.
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).
Reform of U.S. International Taxation: Alternatives
This report describes and assesses the principal prescriptions that have been offered for broad reform of the international system. It begins with an overview of current law and possible revisions. It then sets the framework for considering economic efficiency as well as tax shelter activities. Finally, it reviews alternative approaches to revision in light of those issues.
Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management
This report provides an overview of how federal lands and resources are managed, the agencies that manage the lands, the authorities under which these lands are managed, and some of the issues associated with federal land management. The report is divided into nine sections.
Federal Grazing Regulations: Public Lands Council v. Babbitt
This report discusses new regulations on livestock grazing on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management became effective August 21, 1995. Many aspects of the new regulations were challenged in Public Lands Council v. Babbitt. A federal district court upheld many of the regulations, but struck down four of them and enjoined their implementation. At the appellate level, only the new regulation allowing conservation use to the exclusion of livestock grazing for the full term of a permit was held invalid. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case and argument has been set for March 1, 2000.