Congressional Research Service Reports - 15 Matching Results

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Conservation Reserve Program: Policy Issues for the 1995 Farm Bill

Description: The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, enables producers to bid to retire highly erodible or environmentally sensitive crop land for 10 years (or longer under certain circumstances). Successful bidders receive annual rental payments, and cost-sharing and technical assistance to install approved plantings. The program was to enroll between 40 and 45 million acres before 1996. Program goals are to reduce erosion and excess production, and more recently, to provide other environmental benefits. To date, about 36.5 million acres have been enrolled.
Date: December 19, 1994
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Clean Water Issues in the 104th Congress

Description: For the 104th Congress, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act would seem likely to be a priority, since the Act was last amended in 1987 and authorizations expired on September 30, 1990. But legislative prospects in the 104th Congress are uncertain. Clean water also was a priority for the 103rd Congress, but, in 1994, Congress ran out of time and did not act on comprehensive amendments. Many of the issues proved to be too complex and controversial to be resolved easily, while Congress also was considering a large agenda of environmental and other bills. Controversies arose in connection with issues specific to the Clean Water Act and a trio of regulatory relief issues that became barriers to a number of bills in the 103rd Congress.
Date: December 1, 1994
Creator: Copeland, Claudia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wilderness: Overview and Statistics

Description: The U.S. Forest Service established the first protected "wilderness area" under its own discretion in 1924. In 1964, the Wilderness Act established the National Wilderness Preservation System, reserved to Congress the authority to designate wilderness areas, and directed the Secretaries of Agriculture and of the Interior to review certain lands for their wilderness potential. The Act also designated 54 wilderness areas with 9 million acres of Forest Service land. Congress began expanding the Wilderness System in 1968, and today, there are 631 wilderness areas, totalling nearly 104 million acres, in 44 States.
Date: December 2, 1994
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Below-Cost Timber Sales: An Overview

Description: 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.
Date: December 20, 1994
Creator: Gorte, Ross W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wetlands and Agriculture: Policy Issues in the 1995 Farm Bill

Description: 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.
Date: December 19, 1994
Creator: Zinn, Jeffrey A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dispute Settlement Under the WTO and Trade Problems with Japan

Description: Under the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United States may use the dispute settlement mechanism to resolve certain trade problems with Japan. As compared with the mechanism under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the WTO offers expanded coverage and nearly automatic approval for panel requests and reports.
Date: December 23, 1994
Creator: Nanto, Dick K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Environmental Reauthorizations and Regulatory Reform: Recent Developments

Description: If general regulatory reform bills were enacted, debates on statute-specific reauthorizations could shift from regulatory reforms to the substantive regulatory requirements of each Act. In this case, regulatory reform could consist of proposals to modify statutory requirements to reduce costs to the private sector and State and local governments, to increase flexibility, and to reduce or compensate regulatory impacts on the value of private property. At issue would be a series of potential tradeoffs, for example among efficiency of environmental regulations, national consistency versus local flexibility, protection of private property rights, and degrees of health and environmental protection.
Date: December 19, 1994
Creator: Blodgett, John E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department