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H.R. 84 (ih) To establish or expand existing community prosecution programs. [Introduced in House] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 849 To authorize the Regional Foresters to exempt tree-thinning projects, which are necessary to prevent the occurrence of wildfire likely to cause extreme harm to the forest ecosystem, from laws that give rise to legal causes of action that delay or prevent such projects. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES February 13, 2003 Mr. Shadegg introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committee on Resources, 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 authorize the Regional Foresters to exempt tree-thinning projects, which are necessary to prevent the occurrence of wildfire likely to cause extreme harm to the forest ecosystem, from laws that give rise to legal causes of action that delay or prevent such projects. 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 ``Rodeo-Chediski Economic and Forest Health Recovery Act''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds the following: (1) National Forest System lands in the United States are in poor ecological health because of the present of fire damaged trees. (2) During 2002, wildfires, devastated 650,000 acres in Arizona. (3) It has been scientifically established that trees damaged by fire are more susceptible to insect infestation than healthy, undamaged trees, and experts agree that fire damaged trees must be removed to improve forest health and that such removal must occur within six to twelve months if the fire damaged trees are to have any commercial value. (4) Under current Federal law, forest management projects designed to remove fire damaged trees are subject to challenge and appeal by groups and individuals. (5) Use of existing administrative and legal processes will not enable the Forest Service to take the immediate action necessary to remove fire damaged trees. SEC. 3. REGIONAL FORESTER AUTHORITY TO EXEMPT WILDFIRE PREVENTION TREE- THINNING PROJECTS FROM CERTAIN LAWS. (a) Exemption Authority.--The Regional Forester for Region 3 may exempt a Forest Service project described in subsection (b) from any provision of law including, but not limited to, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and the National Forest Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and the project shall proceed immediately and to completion. In addition, the project shall not be subject to the notice, comment, and appeal requirements of section 322 of Public Law 102-381 (commonly known as the Appeals Reform Act; 16 U.S.C. 1612 note) or to judicial review by any court of the United States. Such exemption shall supersede all legal actions affecting a project described in subsection (b). (b) Covered Project.--A Forest Service project referred to in subsection (a) is a project located in the area of the Rodeo-Chediski Fire on the Apache-Stigreaves or Tonto National Forests that involves the removal of trees that the Regional Forester determines are dead or severely damaged from fire as part of a salvage timber effort. (c) Authority of the Regional Forester.--The Regional Forester shall have the discretionary authority to make all determinations specified in this section regarding covered projects. SEC. 4. CONTRACTING AUTHORITY OF THE REGIONAL FORESTER. The Regional Forester may enter into contracts for the purpose of conducting covered projects. Payments under such contracts may be on a fee for service basis. SEC. 5. CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY. The constitutional authority on which this Act rests is the authority of Congress to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper, as enumerated in article I, section 8, of the United States Constitution, as well as the authority of Congress to make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States, as enumerated in article IV, section 3 of the United States Constitution. <all>
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