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S. 1840 (rs) To provide for the transfer of public lands to certain California Indian Tribes. [Reported in Senate] ...
108th CONGRESS 1st Session S. 1840 To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm and ranch land to voluntarily make their land available for access by the public under programs administered by States. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES November 7, 2003 Mr. Conrad (for himself, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Dayton, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Enzi, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Harkin, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Reid, and Mr. Nelson of Nebraska) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm and ranch land to voluntarily make their land available for access by the public under programs administered by States. 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 ``Voluntary Public Access and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Act of 2003''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS. Congress finds that-- (1) according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2001, 82,000,000 individuals in the United States aged 16 years and older participated in wildlife-related recreation, including 34,000,000 individuals who hunted, and more than 66,000,000 who engaged in wildlife-related recreation such as observing, feeding, or photographing wildlife, in the United States; (2) individuals who participated in wildlife-related activities in 2001 spent an estimated $108,000,000,000, including-- (A) more than $35,000,000,000 on fishing; (B) nearly $21,000,000,000 on hunting; and (C) more than $28,000,000,000 on food, lodging, and transportation; (3) the growing public demand for outdoor recreational opportunities is increasingly constrained by the limits on both public and private land resources; (4) limited public access on private land has often frustrated and disappointed hunters and other naturalists, and undermined the relationship between land owners and the general public; (5) several States have established successful but modest walk-in programs to encourage public access on private farm and ranch land, yet the demand for such voluntary access programs remains largely unfulfilled; (6) traditional agricultural markets have in recent years offered limited income opportunities for farm and ranch land owners and operators; and (7) current proposals to reform world agricultural trade favor the development of new methods to support the income of agricultural producers that have minimal impact on agricultural production and prices. SEC. 3. VOLUNTARY PUBLIC ACCESS AND HABITAT INCENTIVE PROGRAM. (a) In General.--Chapter 5 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``SEC. 1240Q. VOLUNTARY PUBLIC ACCESS AND HABITAT INCENTIVE PROGRAM. ``(a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a voluntary public access program under which States may apply for grants to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm and ranch land to voluntarily make that land available for access by the public under programs administered by the States. ``(b) Applications.--In submitting applications for a grant under the program, a State shall describe-- ``(1) the benefits that the State intends to achieve by encouraging public access on private farm and ranch land, through such activities as hunting, fishing, bird watching, and related outdoor activities; and ``(2) the methods that will be used to achieve those benefits. ``(c) Priority.--In approving applications and awarding grants under the program, the Secretary shall give priority to States that propose-- ``(1) to maximize participation by offering a program the terms of which are likely to meet with widespread acceptance among landowners; ``(2) to ensure that land enrolled under the State program has appropriate wildlife habitat; ``(3) to strengthen wildlife habitat improvement efforts on land enrolled in a special conservation reserve enhancement program described in 1234(f)(4) by providing incentives to increase public access on that land; and ``(4) to use additional Federal, State, or private resources in carrying out the program. ``(d) Relationship to Other Laws.--Nothing in this section preempts a State law (including any State liability law). ``(e) Regulations.--The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.''. (b) Funding.--Section 1241(a) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following: ``(8) The voluntary public access program under section 1240Q, using, to the maximum extent practicable, $50,000,000 in each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007.''. SEC. 4. PREVENTION OF EXCESS BASE ACRES. Section 1101(g)(2) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 7911(g)(2)) is amended by striking subparagraph (C). <all>
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