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                                                  Union Calendar No. 42

106th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                H. R. 39

                          [Report No. 106-80]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL

  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
 provide assistance in the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.

_______________________________________________________________________

                             April 12, 1999

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed





                                                  Union Calendar No. 42
106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                 H. R. 39

                          [Report No. 106-80]

  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
 provide assistance in the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 6, 1999

Mr. Young of Alaska (for himself, Mr. Saxton, and Mr. George Miller of 
 California) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
                         Committee on Resources

                             April 12, 1999

           Additional sponsors: Mr. Greenwood and Mrs. Kelly

                             April 12, 1999

  Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole 
       House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed
 [Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed 
                               in italic]
[For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on January 
                               16, 1999]

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
 provide assistance in the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Neotropical Migratory Bird 
Conservation Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Neotropical migratory bird populations in nations 
        within the range of neotropical migratory birds have continued 
        to decline to the point that the long-term survival of various 
        species in the wild is in jeopardy.
            (2) 90 North American bird species are listed as endangered 
        species or threatened species under section 4 of the Endangered 
        Species Act of 1973, and 124 species of migratory birds are 
        currently on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service's List 
        of Migratory Nongame Birds of Management Concern.
            (3) The United States, through 4 bilateral treaties, has 
        responsibility of maintaining healthy populations of 778 
        species of migratory nongame birds and 58 species of migratory 
        game birds that migrate between the Caribbean, Latin America, 
        and North America.
            (4) The Government of Mexico presently lists approximately 
        390 bird species as endangered, threatened, vulnerable, or 
        rare.
            (5) Healthy bird populations provide important economic 
        benefits, such as control of detrimental insects on 
        agricultural crops, thus preventing the loss of millions of 
        dollars each year to farming and timber interests.
            (6) Neotropical migratory birds travel across many 
        international borders, therefore the conservation of these 
        species requires that safeguards be established at both the 
        beginning and end of the migration routes, as well as at 
        essential stopover areas along the way.
            (7) Because the challenges facing the conservation of 
        neotropical migratory birds are so great, resources to date 
        have not been sufficient to cope with continued loss of habitat 
        and the consequent reduction of neotropical migratory bird 
        populations.
            (8) To reduce, remove, or otherwise effectively address 
        these threats through the long-term viability of populations of 
        neotropical migratory birds in the wild will require the joint 
        commitment and efforts of nations within the range of 
        neotropical migratory birds and the private sector.
            (9) A Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation fund would 
        provide much-needed support for projects aimed at protecting 
        critical habitat for declining migratory bird species, in an 
        innovative way that promotes conservation partnerships and cost 
        sharing through joint Federal and non-Federal support 
        mechanisms.

SEC. 3. PURPOSES.

    The purposes of this Act are the following:
            (1) To perpetuate healthy populations of neotropical 
        migratory birds.
            (2) To assist in the conservation and protection of 
        neotropical migratory birds by supporting conservation 
        initiatives in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
            (3) To provide financial resources and to foster 
        international cooperation for those initiatives.

SEC. 4. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Account.--The term ``Account'' means the Neotropical 
        Migratory Bird Conservation Account established by section 
        9(a).
            (2) Conservation.--The term ``conservation'' means the use 
        of methods and procedures necessary to bring a species of 
        neotropical migratory bird to the point at which there are 
        sufficient populations in the wild to ensure the long-term 
        viability of the species, including--
                    (A) protection and management of neotropical 
                migratory bird populations;
                    (B) maintenance, management, protection, and 
                restoration of neotropical migratory bird habitat;
                    (C) research and monitoring;
                    (D) law enforcement; and
                    (E) community outreach and education.
            (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.

SEC. 5. FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a program to provide 
financial assistance for projects outside of the United States to 
promote the conservation of neotropical migratory birds.
    (b) Project Applicants.--A project proposal may be submitted by--
            (1) an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, 
        association, or other private entity;
            (2) an officer, employee, agent, department, or 
        instrumentality of the Federal Government, of any State, 
        municipality, or political subdivision of a State, or of any 
        foreign government;
            (3) a State, municipality, or political subdivision of a 
        State;
            (4) any other entity subject to the jurisdiction of the 
        United States or of any foreign country; and
            (5) an international organization (as defined in section 1 
        of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 
        288)).
    (c) Project Proposals.--To be considered for financial assistance 
for a project under this Act, an applicant shall submit a project 
proposal that--
            (1) includes--
                    (A) the name of the individual responsible for the 
                project;
                    (B) a succinct statement of the purposes of the 
                organization that will conduct the project and of the 
                project;
                    (C) a description of the qualifications of 
                individuals conducting the project; and
                    (D) an estimate of the funds and time necessary to 
                complete the project, including sources and amounts of 
                matching funds;
            (2) demonstrates that the project will enhance the 
        conservation of neotropical migratory bird species in Latin 
        America, the Caribbean, or the United States;
            (3) includes mechanisms to ensure adequate local public 
        participation in project development and implementation;
            (4) contains assurances that the project will be 
        implemented in consultation with relevant wildlife management 
        authorities and other appropriate government officials with 
        jurisdiction over the resources addressed by the project;
            (5) demonstrates sensitivity to local historic and cultural 
        resources and complies with applicable laws;
            (6) describes how the project will promote sustainable, 
        effective, long-term programs to conserve neotropical migratory 
        birds;
            (7) provides any other information that the Secretary 
        considers to be necessary for evaluating the proposal; and
            (8) provides assurances of the financial viability of the 
        applicant and the project by providing financial information to 
        prove the applicant's ability to complete the project.
    (d) Project Reporting.--Each recipient of assistance for a project 
under this Act shall submit to the Secretary such periodic reports as 
the Secretary considers to be necessary. Each report shall include all 
information required by the Secretary for evaluating the progress and 
outcome of the project.
    (e) Cost Sharing.--
            (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the cost of each 
        project shall be not greater than 33 percent.
            (2) Non-federal share.--
                    (A) Source.--The non-Federal share required to be 
                paid for a project shall not be derived from any 
                Federal grant program.
                    (B) Form of payment.--The non-Federal share of the 
                costs of a project carried out with assistance under 
                this Act may be paid in cash or in kind.
    (f) Purchase of Land Only From Willing Sellers.--Amounts of 
financial assistance provided under this Act shall not be used to 
acquire any land or interest in land except from a willing seller.

SEC. 6. DUTIES OF THE SECRETARY.

    In carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall--
            (1) develop guidelines for the solicitation of proposals 
        for projects eligible for financial assistance under section 5;
            (2) encourage submission of proposals for projects eligible 
        for financial assistance under section 5, particularly 
proposals from relevant wildlife management authorities;
            (3) select proposals for financial assistance that satisfy 
        the requirements of section 5, giving priority to proposals 
        that address conservation needs not adequately addressed by 
        existing efforts and that are supported by relevant wildlife 
        management authorities; and
            (4) generally implement this Act in accordance with its 
        purposes.

SEC. 7. COOPERATION.

    (a) In General.--In carrying out this Act, the Secretary shall--
            (1) support and coordinate existing efforts to conserve 
        neotropical migratory bird species, through--
                    (A) facilitating meetings among persons involved in 
                such efforts;
                    (B) promoting the exchange of information among 
                such persons;
                    (C) developing and entering into agreements with 
                other Federal agencies, foreign, State, and local 
                governmental agencies, and nongovernmental 
                organizations; and
                    (D) conducting such other activities as the 
                Secretary considers to be appropriate; and
            (2) coordinate activities and projects under this Act with 
        existing efforts in order to enhance conservation of 
        neotropical migratory bird species.
    (b) Advisory Group.--
            (1) In general.--The Secretary may establish an advisory 
        group in accordance with this subsection to advise the 
        Secretary regarding the implementation of this Act.
            (2) Membership.--An advisory group established under this 
        subsection shall consist of individuals who represent public 
        and private organizations that are actively involved in the 
        conservation of neotropical migratory birds.
            (3) Public participation.--
                    (A) Meetings.--An advisory group established under 
                this subsection shall--
                            (i) ensure that each meeting of the 
                        advisory group is open to the public; and
                            (ii) provide, at each meeting of the 
                        advisory group, an opportunity for interested 
                        persons to present oral or written statements 
                        concerning items on the agenda for the meeting.
                    (B) Notice.--The Secretary shall provide to the 
                public timely notice of each meeting of the advisory 
                group.
                    (C) Minutes.--The Secretary shall keep and make 
                available to the public minutes of each meeting of the 
                advisory group.
            (4) Exemption.--The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 App. 
        U.S.C.) shall not apply to the establishment and activities of 
        an advisory group in accordance with this subsection.

SEC. 8. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

    Not later than October 1, 2002, the Secretary shall submit to 
Congress a report on the results and effectiveness of the program 
carried out under this Act, including recommendations concerning how 
the Act might be improved and whether the program should be continued 
in the future.

SEC. 9. NEOTROPICAL MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION ACCOUNT.

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