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  2d Session
                                S. 2575

To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct research, monitoring, 
 management, treatment, and outreach activities relating to sudden oak 
 death syndrome and to convene regular meetings of, or conduct regular 
   consultations with, Federal, State, tribal, and local government 
    officials to provide recommendations on how to carry out those 



                             June 24, 2004

 Mrs. Boxer (for herself and Mr. Smith) introduced the following bill; 
  which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Agriculture, 
                        Nutrition, and Forestry


                                 A BILL

To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct research, monitoring, 
 management, treatment, and outreach activities relating to sudden oak 
 death syndrome and to convene regular meetings of, or conduct regular 
   consultations with, Federal, State, tribal, and local government 
    officials to provide recommendations on how to carry out those 

    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 ``Sudden Oak Death Syndrome Control 
Act of 2004''.


    Congress finds that--
            (1) tan oak, coast live oak, Shreve's oak, and black oak 
        trees are among the most beloved features of the topography of 
        California and the Pacific Northwest and efforts should be made 
        to protect those trees from disease;
            (2) the die-off of those trees, as a result of the exotic 
        fungal pathogen Phytophthora ramorum, is approaching epidemic 
            (3) native plants and forests must be protected from 
        Phytophthora ramorum;
            (4) more information is needed on--
                    (A) Phytophthora ramorum, including the existence 
                of Phytophthora ramorum throughout the United States; 
                    (B) sudden oak death syndrome, including--
                            (i) the causes;
                            (ii) the methods of transmittal; and
                            (iii) the best methods of treatment;
            (5) the host list for Phytophthora ramorum includes 60 
        plant species in 32 genera, including--
                    (A) some of the most popular and economically 
                important landscape and garden plants in the United 
                States; and
                    (B) wild huckleberry plants, potentially 
                endangering the commercial blueberry and cranberry 
            (6) sudden oak death syndrome threatens to create major 
        economic and environmental problems in California, the Pacific 
        Northwest, and other regions, including--
                    (A) the increased threat of fire and fallen trees;
                    (B) the cost of tree removal and a reduction in 
                property values; and
                    (C) loss of revenue due to--
                            (i) restrictions on the movement of forest 
                        products and nursery stock; and
                            (ii) the impact on the commercial nursery 
                        and small fruit industries;
            (7) in 2002, the Secretary of Agriculture imposed a 
        quarantine on the exportation from 10 counties in northern 
        California and Curry County, Oregon, of oak trees and nursery 
        plants that serve as hosts for Phytophthora ramorum;
            (8) on April 9, 2004, after the discovery of Phytophthora 
        ramorum in 2 nurseries in southern California--
                    (A) restrictions were placed on the interstate 
                movement of species that could potentially serve as 
                hosts to Phytophthora ramorum; and
                    (B) new restrictions were implemented on the 
                interstate movement of host plants and potential host 
                plants from all commercial nurseries in the State of 
                California that are outside the 10 quarantined 
            (9) on April 22, 2004, the restrictions referred to in 
        paragraph (8)(B) were expanded to include--
                    (A) all plants in the same genus as host and 
                potential host plants; and
                    (B) plants growing within 10 meters of a host or 
                potential host plant; and
            (10) several States and Canada have placed restrictions on 
        the importation of nursery plants from California.


    (a) In General.--The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this 
Act as the ``Secretary'') shall carry out a sudden oak death syndrome 
research, monitoring, and regulation program to develop methods to 
control, manage, or eradicate sudden oak death syndrome from--
            (1) trees and shrubs on both public and private land; and
            (2) host plants and potential host plants from commercial 
    (b) Research, Monitoring, and Regulation Activities.--In carrying 
out the program under subsection (a), the Secretary may--
            (1) conduct open space, roadside, and aerial surveys;
            (2) provide monitoring technique workshops with respect 
                    (A) Phytophthora ramorum in wildland and urban 
                areas; and
                    (B) Phytophthora ramorum infestations in nurseries;
            (3) conduct a comprehensive and biologically sound national 
        survey of forests, plant nurseries, and landscapes that may 
        have been exposed to Phytophthora ramorum, with priority given 
        to surveying and inspecting plants at commercial nurseries and 
        adjacent wildlands throughout the United States;
            (4) develop a comprehensive risk assessment of the threat 
        posed by Phytophthora ramorum to natural and managed plant 
        resources in the United States, including modes of transmission 
        and the risk of infestation;
            (5) conduct a study of a representative sample of nursery 
        plants imported into the United States from Europe, where 
        Phytophthora ramorum is known to be found;
            (6) develop baseline information on the distribution, 
        condition, and mortality rates of oaks with Phytophthora 
        ramorum infestation;
            (7) maintain a geographic information system database of 
        Phytophthora ramorum occurrences;
            (8) conduct research on Phytophthora ramorum ecology, 
        pathology, and management in wildland, urban, and nursery 
            (9) evaluate the susceptibility of oak and other vulnerable 
        species in the United States, with priority given to evaluating 
        the susceptibility of commercially important nursery species;
            (10) conduct assessments of trees that could pose a hazard 
        due to infestation of Phytophthora ramorum; and
            (11) provide diagnostic services.


    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct sudden oak death 
syndrome management, treatment, and fire prevention activities.
    (b) Management, Treatment, and Fire Prevention Activities.--In 
carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary shall--
            (1) carry out activities to reduce the threat of fire and 
        fallen trees killed by sudden oak death syndrome;
            (2) increase and improve firefighting and emergency 
        response capabilities in areas where fire hazard has increased 
        due to tree die-off;
            (3) treat vegetation to prevent fire in areas heavily 
        infected with sudden oak death syndrome; and
            (4) provide grants to local units of government for hazard 
        tree removal, disposal and recycling, assessment and management 
        of restoration and mitigation projects, green waste treatment 
        facilities, reforestation, and resistant tree breeding.


    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct education and outreach 
activities to make information available to the public on sudden death 
oak syndrome.
    (b) Education and Outreach Activities.--In carrying out subsection 
(a), the Secretary may--
            (1) develop and distribute educational materials for 
        homeowners, arborists, urban foresters, park managers, public 
        works personnel, recreationists, nursery workers, landscapers, 
        naturists, firefighting personnel, and other individuals, as 
        the Secretary determines appropriate;
            (2) design and maintain a website to provide information on 
        sudden oak death syndrome; and
            (3) provide financial and technical support to States, 
        local governments, and nonprofit organizations providing 
        information on sudden oak death syndrome.


    (a) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that close 
communication between the affected agencies at all levels of government 
is required for the programs authorized under this Act to be effective.
    (b) Regular Meetings or Consultations.--
            (1) In general.--In accordance with section 204(a) of the 
        Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1534(a)), the 
        Secretary shall convene regular meetings of, or conduct regular 
        consultations with, Federal, State, tribal, and local 
        government officials for the purpose of providing a means of 
        exchanging information and recommendations on how to carry out 
        this Act effectively.
            (2) Requirements.--Meetings or consultations conducted 
        under paragraph (1) shall--
                    (A) be conducted in a manner that ensures that the 
                various regions of the United States are represented; 
                    (B) include--
                            (i) representatives from the Animal and 
                        Plant Health Inspection Service;
                            (ii) representatives from the Agriculture 
                        Research Service;
                            (iii) representatives from the Cooperative 
                        State Research, Education, and Extension 
                            (iv) representatives from the Forest 
                            (v) representatives from State forester 
                        offices; and
                            (vi) State representatives from the 
                        National Plant Board.


    There are authorized to be appropriated for each of fiscal years 
2005 through 2009--
            (1) to carry out section 3, $25,000,000;
            (2) to carry out section 4, $18,500,000; and
            (3) to carry out section 5, $700,000.

Pages: 1

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