Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 3338 (ih) To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement for employment in the coastwise trade for the vessel R'ADVENTURE II. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 3338 (ih) To authorize the Secretary of Transportation to issue a certificate of documentation with appropriate endorsement for employment in the coastwise trade for the vessel R'ADVENTURE II. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 3337

   To give livestock operators holding a grazing permit or lease on 
  Federal lands in the State of Arizona the opportunity to relinquish 
  their grazing permit or lease in exchange for compensation, and for 
                            other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            October 17, 2003

  Mr. Grijalva (for himself, Mr. Shays, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Hastings of 
Florida, Mr. George Miller of California, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Blumenauer, 
 Mr. Markey, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, and Mr. Holt) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources, and 
  in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be 
subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration 
  of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee 
                               concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
   To give livestock operators holding a grazing permit or lease on 
  Federal lands in the State of Arizona the opportunity to relinquish 
  their grazing permit or lease in exchange for compensation, and for 
                            other purposes.

    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 ``Arizona Voluntary Grazing Permit 
Buyout Act of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The Congress finds the following:
            (1) The grazing of livestock on Federal lands in Arizona is 
        an increasingly difficult undertaking for grazing permittees 
        and lessees due to growing conflicts with other legitimate uses 
        of the same lands, such as environmental protection and 
        burgeoning recreational use.
            (2) Sustained drought in the arid Southwest, foreign 
        competition, changing domestic markets, industry restructuring, 
        and individual ranch situations have combined to result in 
        grazing permits and leases becoming stranded investments for 
        many grazing permittees and lessees in Arizona.
            (3) Attempts to resolve grazing conflicts with other 
        multiple uses of Federal lands often require extensive range 
        developments and monitoring that greatly increase costs to both 
        grazing permittees and lessees and taxpayers, far out of 
        proportion to the benefit received.
            (4) Certain grazing allotments on Federal lands in Arizona 
        have, or are likely to become, unsuitable for livestock 
        production as a result of the combined effect of the 
        aforementioned factors.
            (5) The cost of the Federal grazing program in Arizona 
        greatly exceeds revenues to the Federal treasury from grazing 
        fee receipts.
            (6) Many grazing permittees and lessees in Arizona have 
        indicated their willingness to end livestock grazing on their 
        Federal grazing allotments in exchange for a one-time payment 
        to reasonably compensate them for the effort and investment 
        that they have made in such allotments.
            (7) A broad coalition of ranchers and environmental and 
        conservation groups in Arizona have agreed that a voluntary 
        program to buyout grazing permits and leases would provide the 
        best solution to the aforementioned problems.
            (8) Compensating grazing permittees and lessees to end 
        livestock grazing on Federal lands would help recapitalize an 
        ailing sector of rural Arizona by providing economic options to 
        grazing permittees and lessees that do not presently exist, 
        thus allowing them to restructure their grazing operations or 
        start new businesses.
            (9) Reasonable compensation will help alleviate the need 
        for grazing permittees and lessees to sell or subdivide their 
        private lands.
            (10) A voluntary buyout program in Arizona would resolve 
        growing conflicts between livestock grazing and other multiple 
        uses in Arizona, and would also be fiscally prudent and 
        socially just.
            (11) The operation of a voluntary buyout program in Arizona 
        would provide Congress with critical information concerning the 
        possible expansion of such a program nation-wide.

SEC. 3. ARIZONA VOLUNTARY GRAZING PERMIT AND LEASE BUYOUT PROGRAM.

    (a) Definitions.--In this section:
            (1) The term ``Secretary concerned'' means the Secretary of 
        Agriculture, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of 
        Energy, or the Secretary of Defense, as appropriate, who has 
        administrative jurisdiction over the Federal lands and the 
        grazing permit or lease at issue.
            (2) The terms ``grazing permit or lease'' and ``grazing 
        permit and lease'' mean any document authorizing the use, for a 
        term of at least five years, of Federal lands in Arizona for 
        the purpose of grazing domestic livestock.
            (3) The terms ``permittee or lessee'' and ``permittees and 
        lessees'' refer to a livestock operator who holds, or livestock 
        operators who hold, a valid term grazing permit or lease.
            (4) The term ``grazing allotment'' means a designated 
        portion of Federal land upon which domestic livestock are 
        permitted to graze by a term grazing permit or lease.
            (5) The term ``animal unit month'' means the amount of 
        forage needed to sustain one animal unit for one month. Animal 
        unit is defined by the Secretary concerned issuing the permit 
        or lease.
            (6) The term ``range developments'' means structures, 
        fences and other permanent fixtures placed on Federal lands for 
        the furtherance of the purpose of grazing domestic livestock, 
        and specifically not including rolling stock, livestock and 
        diversions of water from Federal lands onto non-Federal lands.
    (b) Waiver of Existing Grazing Permit or Lease.--A permittee or 
lessee may at any time waive to the Secretary concerned a valid 
existing grazing permit or lease authorizing livestock grazing on 
Federal land in Arizona.
    (c) Cancellation of Waived Grazing Permit or Lease.--The Secretary 
concerned shall cancel grazing permits or leases waived under 
subsection (b) and permanently retire the associated grazing allotments 
from domestic livestock grazing use, notwithstanding any other 
provision of law.
    (d) Compensation.--A permittee or lessee who waives a permit or 
lease to the Secretary concerned under subsection (b) shall be 
compensated at $175 per animal unit month based on the average over the 
last 10 years of the numbers of animal unit months permitted to the 
permittee or lessee or the predecessors of the permittee or lessee, not 
including suspended animal unit months. In the case of an ephemeral 
grazing permit or lease, the permittee or lessee shall be compensated 
for the average over the last 10 years of the actual animal unit months 
of grazing use. If a permittee or lessee is in arrears of Federal 
grazing fees, the amount of fees in arrears shall be deducted from the 
amount of compensation otherwise due the permittee or lessee under this 
subsection.
    (e) Effect of Waiver on Range Developments.--A permittee or lessee 
that waives a permit or lease to the Secretary concerned under 
subsection (b) and receives compensation under subsection (d) shall be 
deemed to have waived any claim to all range developments on the 
subject grazing allotment or allotments, notwithstanding any other 
provision of law.
    (f) Relation to Other Authority.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to affect the authority of the Secretary concerned to 
otherwise modify or terminate grazing permits or leases without 
compensation. Nothing in this section shall be construed to create a 
property right in any grazing permit or lease on Federal lands.
    (g) Retirement of Certain Land.--The Secretary concerned shall not 
issue grazing permits or leases for grazing allotments for which no 
valid current grazing permit or lease exists as of the date of the 
enactment of this Act and shall retire such grazing allotments from 
livestock use as provided in subsection (c).
    (h) Effect of Nonuse or Reduced Use.--Notwithstanding any other 
provision of law, a permittee or lessee may opt not to graze a grazing 
allotment or to graze the grazing allotment at less than the minimum 
permitted level and still retain the grazing permit or lease for the 
remainder of its term. The Secretary concerned shall not take into 
consideration such non-use or reduced use of a grazing allotment when 
considering a request for the renewal of the grazing permit or lease.
    (i) Relation to Eminent Domain.--Nothing in this section shall be 
construed to authorize the use of eminent domain for the purpose of 
acquiring a grazing permit or lease.
    (j) Relation to Other Valid Existing Rights.--Nothing in this 
section shall affect the allocation, ownership, interest, or control, 
in existence as of the date of the enactment of this Act, of any water, 
water right, or any other valid existing right held by the United 
States, an Indian tribe, State or local government, or private 
individual, partnership, or corporation.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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