Congressional Research Service Reports - 413 Matching Results

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Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses issues debated in the 107th Congress while is considering various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, changing the role of critical habitat, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated including significant changes to ESA regulations made during the Clinton Administration in the law itself.
Endangered Species: Difficult Choices
This report discusses issues debated in the 107th Congress while is considering various proposals to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA). Major issues in recent years have included changing the role of science in decision-making, changing the role of critical habitat, reducing conflicts with Department of Defense activities, incorporating further protection for property owners, and increasing protection of listed species, among others. In addition, many have advocated including significant changes to ESA regulations made during the Clinton Administration in the law itself.
The Northern Goshawk: Future Endangered Species?
No Description Available.
Sustainable Agriculture
No Description Available.
Biosphere Reserves: Fact Sheet
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). This report presents a background on the criteria for Biosphere Reserves, designation process and the policy implications of designation/recognition.
The Chip Mill Industry in the South
Chip mills turn trees into chips for paper, particle-boards, and exports. While the federal government does not collect data on a chip mill industry, chip production in the South has apparently been expanding. The timber supply appears sufficient to allow some increased harvests, but could be depleted by continued industrial expansion. The federal government does not directly regulate timber cutting but could become engaged if requirements of the Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts were triggered. The government also has export promotion programs and export tax incentives. Recently, concerns have been expressed to Congress about the possible effects of clear-cutting for chip exports on water quality and wildlife habitat. This report will not be updated.
Pacific Salmon and Anadromous Trout: Management Under the Endangered Species Act
No Description Available.
Forest Service Accountability in Administering Its Trust Funds
The USDA Forest Service has numerous permanently appropriated trust funds and special funds that provide substantial funding independent of the annual appropriations process. Critics have alleged abuse of the funds and have sought greater congressional oversight, and the General Accounting Office has testified on the agency’s management of some of these accounts. While the Administration has offered few responses to the criticisms of these funds, it has, in its FY2001 budget request, proposed creating two new trust funds and combining several existing funds into a new fund with expanded purposes. This report provides an overview of the permanently appropriated Forest Service accounts and concerns over their use and proposed alternative structures that could provide greater public and congressional oversight and control over permanently appropriated funds.
Endangered Species: Continuing Controversy
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) has been one of the most controversial of all environmental laws. Undoubtedly, the controversy stems from the strict substantive provisions of this law compared to many other environmental laws which tend to be more procedurally oriented or to permit greater administrative discretion. As a result of the ESA’s standards, the Act often plays a role in disputes in which all sides agree that a given species is not the center of the debate.
Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines: Process and Timing of FERC Permit Application Review
This report provides an overview of the federal certification process for interstate natural gas pipelines. It discusses the length of the review for recent interstate gas pipeline applications--a topic of specific interest to Congress and industry. In this context, the report discusses the key provisions in H.R. 1900 and their implications for gas pipeline certificate approval.
The Specialty Metal Provision and the Berry Amendment: Issues for Congress
In order to protect the U.S. industrial base during periods of adversity and war, Congress passed a set of domestic source restrictions which became known as the Berry Amendment. Specialty metal represented one of fourteen items previously covered under the Berry Amendment. Congress took action in the FY2007 National Defense Authorization Act to move the specialty metal provision from the Berry Amendmgent into a separate section of Title 10. This report examines the specialty metal provision, potential oversight issues for Congress, and options that Congress may choose to consider.
Wildfires: CRS Experts
The following table provides access to names and contact information for CRS experts on policy concerns relating to wildfires. Policy areas identified include federal wildfire policy; long-term land use management; federal firefighting assistance; federal emergency management policy; federal preparedness system and response plan; hazard mitigation; armed forces and national guard assistance; supplemental disaster funding; and disaster insurance.
Rare Earth Elements in National Defense: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress
This report covers concerns that Congress has expressed over U.S. acquisition of rare earth elements, particularly those used in various components of defense weapon systems. Specific concerns are the acquisition of these elements, especially from foreign sources such as China; how dependence of foreign sources affects national security; and methods for decreasing the relationship between reliance on foreign sources and national security.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea: Living Resources Provisions
This report describes provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (LOS Convention) relating to living marine resources and discusses how these provisions comport with current U.S. marine policy.
The 2010 Oil Spill: MMS/BOEMRE and NEPA
This report reviews the environmental procedures required following the explosion of an oil well on a tract leased by BP from the federal government.
The Helium-3 Shortage: Supply, Demand, and Options for Congress
The world is experiencing a shortage of helium-3, a rare isotope of helium with applications in homeland security, national security, medicine, industry, and science. Federal officials have testified that the shortage is acute and, unless alternatives are found, will affect federal investments in homeland security, scientific research, and other areas. This report discusses the nature of the shortage; federal actions undertaken so far to address it; current and potential sources of helium-3 and options for increasing the supply; current and projected uses of helium-3 and options for reducing the demand; and options for allocating the supply if it continues to fall short of demand.
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) the Department of Defense (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.
Hemp as an Agricultural Commodity
This report discusses the various industrial uses for Hemp, a variety of Cannabis sativa and is of the same plant species as marijuana. The report compares Hemp with Marijuana and discusses global production, legal status, and recent legislative activity.
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.
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."
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.