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S. 1257 (is) To prohibit the Secretary of the Interior from permitting oil and gas leasing, exploration, or development activity off the coast of North Carolina unless the Governor of the State notifies the Secretary that the State does not object to the...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1256 To protect the critical aquifers and watersheds that serve as a principal water supply for Puerto Rico, to protect the tropical forests of the Karst Region, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES June 12, 2003 Mr. Harkin (for himself and Mr. Lugar) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To protect the critical aquifers and watersheds that serve as a principal water supply for Puerto Rico, to protect the tropical forests of the Karst Region, 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 ``Puerto Rico Karst Conservation Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. (a) Findings.--Congress finds that-- (1) in the Karst Region of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico there are-- (A) some of the largest areas of tropical forests in Puerto Rico, with a higher density of tree species than any other area in the Commonwealth; and (B) unique geological formations that are critical to the maintenance of aquifers and watersheds that constitute a principal water supply for much of the Commonwealth; (2) the Karst Region is threatened by development that, if unchecked, could permanently damage the aquifers and cause irreparable damage to natural and environmental assets that are unique to the United States; (3) the Commonwealth has 1 of the highest population densities in the United States, which makes the protection of the Karst Region imperative for the maintenance of the public health and welfare of the citizens of the Commonwealth; (4) the Karst Region-- (A) possesses extraordinary ecological diversity, including the habitats of several endangered and threatened species and tropical migrants; and (B) is an area of critical value to research in tropical forest management; and (5) coordinated efforts at land protection by the Federal Government and the Commonwealth are necessary to conserve the environmentally critical Karst Region. (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are-- (1) to authorize and support conservation efforts to acquire, manage, and protect the tropical forest areas of the Karst Region, with particular emphasis on water quality and the protection of the aquifers that are vital to the health and wellbeing of the citizens of the Commonwealth; and (2) to promote cooperation among the Commonwealth, Federal agencies, corporations, organizations, and individuals in those conservation efforts. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. In this Act: (1) Commonwealth.--The term ``Commonwealth'' means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. (2) Forest legacy program.--The term ``Forest Legacy Program'' means the program established under section 7 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 2103c). (3) Fund.--The term ``Fund'' means the Puerto Rico Karst Conservation Fund established by section 5. (4) Karst region.--The term ``Karst Region'' means the areas in the Commonwealth generally depicted on the map entitled ``Karst Region Conservation Area'' and dated March 2001, which shall be on file and available for public inspection in-- (A) the Office of the Secretary, Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources; and (B) the Office of the Chief of the Forest Service. (5) Land.--The term ``land'' includes land, water, and an interest in land or water. (6) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of Agriculture. SEC. 4. CONSERVATION OF THE KARST REGION. (a) Federal Cooperation and Assistance.--In furtherance of the acquisition, protection, and management of land in and adjacent to the Karst Region and in implementing related natural resource conservation strategies, the Secretary may-- (1) make grants to and enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with the Commonwealth, other Federal agencies, organizations, corporations, and individuals; and (2) use all authorities available to the Secretary, including-- (A) the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1641 et seq.); (B) section 1472 of the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 3318); and (C) section 12 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. 3710a). (b) Funding Sources.--The activities authorized by this section may be carried out using-- (1) amounts in the Fund; (2) amounts in the fund established by section 4(b) of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1643(b)); (3) funds appropriated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund; (4) funds appropriated for the Forest Legacy Program; and (5) any other funds made available for those activities. (c) Management.-- (1) In general.--Land acquired under this Act shall be managed, in accordance with the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 1641 et seq.), in a manner to protect and conserve the water quality and aquifers and the geological, ecological, fish and wildlife, and other natural values of the Karst Region. (2) Failure to manage as required.--In any deed, grant, contract, or cooperative agreement implementing this Act and the Forest Legacy Program in the Commonwealth, the Secretary may require that, if land acquired by the Commonwealth or other cooperating entity under this Act is sold or conveyed in whole or part, or is not managed in conformity with paragraph (1), title to the land shall, at the discretion of the Secretary, vest in the United States. (d) Willing Sellers.--Any land acquired by the Secretary in the Karst Region shall be acquired only from a willing seller. (e) Relation to Other Authorities.--Nothing in this Act-- (1) diminishes any other authority that the Secretary may have to acquire, protect, and manage land and natural resources in the Commonwealth; or (2) exempts the Federal Government from Commonwealth water laws. SEC. 5. PUERTO RICO KARST CONSERVATION FUND. (a) Establishment.--There is established in the Treasury an interest bearing account to be known as the ``Puerto Rico Karst Conservation Fund''. (b) Credits to Funds.--There shall be credited to the Fund-- (1) amounts appropriated to the Fund; (2) all amounts donated to the Fund; (3) all amounts generated from the Caribbean National Forest that would, but for this paragraph, be deposited as miscellaneous receipts in the Treasury of the United States, but not including amounts authorized by law for payments to the Commonwealth or authorized by law for retention by the Secretary for any purpose; (4) all amounts received by the Administrator of General Services from the disposal of surplus real property in the Commonwealth under subtitle I of title 40, United States Code; and (5) interest derived from amounts in the Fund. (c) Use of Fund.--Amounts in the Fund shall be available to the Secretary until expended, without further appropriation, to carry out section 4. SEC. 6. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS. (a) Donations.-- (1) In general.--The Secretary may accept donations, including land and money, made by public and private agencies, corporations, organizations, and individuals in furtherance of the purposes of this Act. (2) Conflicts of interest.--The Secretary may accept donations even if the donor conducts business with or is regulated by the Department of Agriculture or any other Federal agency. (3) Applicable law.--Public Law 95-442 (7 U.S.C. 2269) shall apply to donations accepted by the Secretary under this subsection. (b) Relation to Forest Legacy Program.-- (1) In general.--All land in the Karst Region shall be eligible for inclusion in the Forest Legacy Program. (2) Cost sharing.--The Secretary may credit donations made under subsection (a) to satisfy any cost-sharing requirements of the Forest Legacy Program. SEC. 7. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act. <all>
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