Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill
Wetlands protection efforts have been a major concern for agricultural interests since Congress enacted so-called swampbuster provisions in the 1985 Food Security Act. Under these provisions, all producers who alter wetlands risk losing certain farm program benefits. Determining which sites are wetlands and enforcement of penalties remain contentious issues. Controversy has been heightened by confusion over how this program is related to the principal Federal regulatory program to protect wetlands, section 404 of the Clean Water Act, and how wetland determinations affect land values and private property rights. Because the 103rd Congress did not reauthorize the Clean Water Act, some of the wetland issues raised in that debate might be raised in the farm bill. Another wetland protection program, the Wetland Reserve (WRP), was enacted in the 1990 farm bill. This program, which pays farmers to place wetlands under long-term or permanent easements, has been far less controversial. This paper reviews the swampbuster and WRP, as well as controversies surrounding delineation of wetlands and relationships between private property rights and wetland protection efforts.
Federal Timber Harvests: Implications for U.S. Timber Supply
No Description Available.
Salvage Timber Sales and Forest Health
No Description Available.
Softwood Lumber Imports: The 1996 U.S.-Canada Agreement
No Description Available.
Wildfire Protection in the 108th Congress
The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons were, by most standards, among the worst in the past 50 years. Many argue that the threat of severe wildfires has grown in recent years because of unnaturally high fuel loads (e.g., dense undergrowth and dead trees), raising concerns about damage to property and homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — forests near or surrounding homes. Debates about fire control and protection, including funding and fuel treatments (e.g., thinning and prescribed burning), have focused on national forests and other federal lands, but nonfederal lands are also at risk.
Wildfire Protection in the 108th Congress
The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons were, by most standards, among the worst in the past 50 years. Many argue that the threat of severe wildfires has grown in recent years because of unnaturally high fuel loads (e.g., dense undergrowth and dead trees), raising concerns about damage to property and homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — forests near or surrounding homes. Debates about fire control and protection, including funding and fuel treatments (e.g., thinning and prescribed burning), have focused on national forests and other federal lands, but nonfederal lands are also at risk.
Wildfire Protection in the 108th Congress
The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons were, by most standards, among the worst in the past 50 years. Many argue that the threat of severe wildfires has grown in recent years because of unnaturally high fuel loads (e.g., dense undergrowth and dead trees), raising concerns about damage to property and homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — forests near or surrounding homes. Debates about fire control and protection, including funding and fuel treatments (e.g., thinning and prescribed burning), have focused on national forests and other federal lands, but nonfederal lands are also at risk.
Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview
The Forest Service sells some timber at prices that are less than the agency costs to administer the timber program. This report discusses these "below-cost" timber sales that have been debated by Congress for more than a decade, but no policy to address the issue has been adopted legislatively or administratively.
Biological Diversity: Issues Related to the Convention on Biodiversity
This report discusses treaty on biodiversity, issues, history and current status.
Agricultural Wetlands: Current Programs and Legislative Proposals
Amending Federal laws to protect wetlands, especially agricultural wetlands, is a contentious issue for the 104th Congress. Critics contend that current programs are excessive in their reach and unfairly restrict private landowners. Supporters counter that these programs are critical if the Nation is to achieve the stated goal of no-net-loss of wetlands. The two major statutes under which agricultural wetlands are protected are swampbuster, enacted in the Agriculture, Food, Trade, and Conservation Act of 1985, and section 404, enacted in the 1972 Clean Water Act. This report describes both programs, emphasizing how they relate to each other. It explains how each program works, especially on agricultural wetlands, and the likely effect of proposed revisions to swampbuster. Also, it briefly considers other legislative proposals that would amend the section 404 program, which, if enacted, would further affect how agricultural wetlands are protected.
Federal Land Management Agencies: Background on Land and Resources Management
No Description Available.
Wildfire Protection in the 108th Congress
The 2000 and 2002 fire seasons were, by most standards, among the worst in the past 50 years. Many argue that the threat of severe wildfires has grown in recent years because of unnaturally high fuel loads (e.g., dense undergrowth and dead trees), raising concerns about damage to property and homes in the wildland-urban interface (WUI) — forests near or surrounding homes. Debates about fire control and protection, including funding and fuel treatments (e.g., thinning and prescribed burning), have focused on national forests and other federal lands, but nonfederal lands are also at risk.
The National Forest Roadless Area Initiative
No Description Available.
The National Forest System Roadless Areas Initiative
No Description Available.
The National Forest System Roadless Areas Initiative
No Description Available.
The National Forest System Roadless Areas Initiative
No Description Available.
The National Forest System Roadless Areas Initiative
No Description Available.
The President's Forest/Roadless Area Initiative
No Description Available.
Oil and Gas Exploration and Development on Public Lands
No Description Available.
Timber Harvesting and Forest Fires - Memorandum
No Description Available.
Energy and Mineral Issues in the FY2006 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Several resource issues that are designed to generate revenue for the federal Treasury have been proposed for the FY2006 budget reconciliation bill. The most controversial of these provisions recommended by the House Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development. The House panel also approved a provision that would allow coastal states to “opt out” of the current offshore oil and gas development moratoria, increase fees for hardrock mining and patents, dispose of certain federal lands, and begin an oil shale and tar sands leasing program.
Forest Fire Protection
No Description Available.
Forest Fire/Wildfire Protection
No Description Available.
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
No Description Available.
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
No Description Available.
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration and the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
No Description Available.
Energy and Mineral Issues in the FY2006 Budget Reconciliation Bill
Several resource issues that are designed to generate revenue for the federal Treasury have been proposed for the FY2006 budget reconciliation bill. The most controversial of these provisions recommended by the House Resources Committee and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil and gas development. The House panel also approved a provision that would allow coastal states to “opt out” of the current offshore oil and gas development moratoria, increase fees for hardrock mining and patents, dispose of certain federal lands, and begin an oil shale and tar sands leasing program.
Roadless Areas: The Administration's Moratorium
No Description Available.
Wildfire Protection Funding
The severe 2000 fire season prompted a significant rise in funding for wildfire protection that has been sustained; wildfire appropriations in FY2005 were more than $2.9 billion. Most of the funds ($2.8 billion in FY2005) are to protect federal lands, with funds for reducing fuel loads, for equipment and training, for fighting fires, and for restoring burned sites. Federal funding ($98 million in FY2005) also supports state efforts to protect nonfederal lands. Some wildfire funding ($74 million in FY2005) is used for fire research, fire facilities, and programs to improve forest health. Congress continues to debate wildfire funding levels, with a growing focus on the cost of wildfire suppression.
Federal Lands and Natural Resources: Overview and Selected Issues for the 113th Congress
This report introduces some of the broad themes and issues Congress considers when addressing federal land policy and resource management. Federal land policy includes questions about the extent and location of the federal estate.
The Endangered Species Act: Consideration of Economic Factors
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the listing and protection of species that are found to be “endangered” or “threatened” – species that might become extinct. The listing of a species as endangered triggers the prohibitions in the Act against “taking” (killing or harming) individuals of the protected species, unless a permit is obtained to take individuals incidental to an otherwise lawful proposed action, or an exemption for the proposed action is obtained. Unauthorized taking of a listed species can result in civil or criminal penalties. These prohibitions and potential penalties can affect various activities, including development and use of land, with attendant economic impacts.
The Endangered Species Act: Consideration of Economic Factors
The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides for the listing and protection of species that are found to be “endangered” or “threatened” – species that might become extinct. The listing of a species as endangered triggers the prohibitions in the Act against “taking” (killing or harming) individuals of the protected species, unless a permit is obtained to take individuals incidental to an otherwise lawful proposed action, or an exemption for the proposed action is obtained. Unauthorized taking of a listed species can result in civil or criminal penalties. These prohibitions and potential penalties can affect various activities, including development and use of land, with attendant economic impacts.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Changes in the Arctic: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an in-depth overview of Arctic-related issues for Congress and refers readers to more in-depth CRS reports on specific relevant topics.
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.
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.
Green Payments in U.S. and European Union Agricultural Policy
This report compares current United States and European Union (EU) efforts in the area of green payments. Green payments refer to "payments made to agricultural producers as compensation for environmental benefits that accrue at levels beyond what producers might otherwise achieve under existing market and regulatory conditions" (summary). The report gives an overview of policies, programs, financing, and various other aspects of comparison related to the topic.
The Lacey Act: Protecting the Environment by Restricting Trade
This report looks at the history and applications of the Lacey Act. As it stands now the Act, via a 2008 amendment, allows the U.S. to enforce the laws of other countries as well. One currently proposed legislation would limit application of the law to specific wood products, while another would eliminate any reference to violations of foreign laws and end criminal prosecutions for violating the act.
Phosphorus Mitigation in the Everglades
This report discusses the FY2004 appropriations provisions that condition federal funding for Everglades restoration on compliance with water quality standards, provides a side-by-side analysis of pending appropriations legislation, and provides background and a timeline of efforts to address Everglades phosphorus pollution (from Summary).
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.