Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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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

Grazing Fees: An Overview and Current Issues

Description: 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."
Date: February 8, 2005
Creator: Vincent, Carol H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Grazing Fees: An Overview

Description: 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."
Date: May 21, 1996
Creator: Cody, Betsy A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mining on Federal Lands

Description: 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.
Date: January 11, 2005
Creator: Humphries, Marc
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Diamonds and Conflict: Background, Policy, and Legislation

Description: 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.
Date: July 16, 2003
Creator: Cook, Nicolas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: August 29, 2014
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP): Status and Issues

Description: 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.
Date: March 18, 2013
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
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: August 16, 2007
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Renewable Energy Policy in the 2007 Farm Bill

Description: 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.
Date: October 1, 2007
Creator: Schnepf, Randy
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: September 11, 2008
Creator: Cowan, Tadlock
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

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

Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity

Description: This report discusses the various industrial uses for hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa that is of the same plant species as marijuana. It compares hemp with marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
Date: March 10, 2017
Creator: Johnson, Renée
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): A Primer for the 112th Congress

Description: 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.
Date: June 15, 2011
Creator: Corn, M. Lynne; Ratner, Michael & Alexander, Kristina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department