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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...

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  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.



                             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,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Puerto Rico Karst Conservation Act 
of 2003''.


    (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 
            (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.


    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.


    (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, 
                    (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 
            (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 


    (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; 
            (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.


    (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 
            (3) Applicable law.--Public Law 95-442 (7 U.S.C. 2269) 
        shall apply to donations accepted by the Secretary under this 
    (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.


    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary 
to carry out this Act.

Pages: 1

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