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S. 3223 (is) To amend the Food Security Act of 1985 to establish the conservation security program. [Introduced in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 3222

  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
provide assistance through States to eligible weed management entities 
to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private 
                                 land.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

            October 19 (legislative day, September 22), 2000

Mr. Craig (for himself, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Baucus, Mr. Burns, Mr. Crapo, 
 Mr. Johnson, and Mr. Smith of Oregon) introduced the following bill; 
   which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
  To require the Secretary of the Interior to establish a program to 
provide assistance through States to eligible weed management entities 
to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private 
                                 land.

    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 ``Harmful Nonnative Weed Control Act 
of 2000''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
            (1) public and private land in the United States faces 
        unprecedented and severe stress from harmful, nonnative weeds;
            (2) the economic and resource value of the land is being 
        destroyed as harmful nonnative weeds overtake native 
        vegetation, making the land unusable for forage and for diverse 
        plant and animal communities;
            (3) damage caused by harmful nonnative weeds has been 
        estimated to run in the hundreds of millions of dollars 
        annually;
            (4) successfully fighting this scourge will require 
        coordinated action by all affected stakeholders, including 
        Federal, State, and local governments, private landowners, and 
        nongovernmental organizations;
            (5) the fight must begin at the local level, since it is at 
        the local level that persons feel the loss caused by harmful 
        nonnative weeds and will therefore have the greatest motivation 
        to take effective action; and
            (6) to date, effective action has been hampered by 
        inadequate funding at all levels of government and by 
        inadequate coordination.
    (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
            (1) to provide assistance to eligible weed management 
        entities in carrying out projects to control or eradicate 
        harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private land;
            (2) to coordinate the projects with existing weed 
        management areas and districts;
            (3) in locations in which no weed management entity, area, 
        or district exists, to stimulate the formation of additional 
        local or regional cooperative weed management entities, such as 
        entities for weed management areas or districts, that organize 
        locally affected stakeholders to control or eradicate weeds;
            (4) to leverage additional funds from a variety of public 
        and private sources to control or eradicate weeds through local 
        stakeholders; and
            (5) to promote healthy, diverse, and desirable plant 
        communities by abating through a variety of measures the threat 
        posed by harmful, nonnative weeds.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee'' 
        means the advisory committee established under section 5.
            (2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (3) State.--The term ``State'' means each of the several 
        States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the 
        Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the 
        Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other 
        territory or possession of the United States.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.

    The Secretary shall establish in the Office of the Secretary a 
program to provide financial assistance through States to eligible weed 
management entities to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on 
public and private land.

SEC. 5. ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish in the Department of 
the Interior an advisory committee to make recommendations to the 
Secretary regarding the annual allocation of funds to States under 
section 6 and other issues related to funding under this Act.
    (b) Composition.--The Advisory Committee shall be composed of not 
more than 10 individuals appointed by the Secretary who--
            (1) have knowledge and experience in harmful, nonnative 
        weed management; and
            (2) represent the range of economic, conservation, 
        geographic, and social interests affected by harmful, nonnative 
        weeds.
    (c) Term.--The term of a member of the Advisory Committee shall be 
4 years.
    (d) Compensation.--
            (1) In general.--A member of the Advisory Committee shall 
        receive no compensation for the service of the member on the 
        Advisory Committee.
            (2) Travel expenses.--A member of the Advisory Committee 
        shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of 
        subsistence, at rates authorized for an employee of an agency 
        under subchapter I of chapter 57 of title 5, United States 
        Code, while away from the home or regular place of business of 
        the member in the performance of the duties of the Advisory 
        Committee.
    (e) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The Federal Advisory Committee 
Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.

SEC. 6. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO STATES.

    (a) In General.--In consultation with the Advisory Committee, the 
Secretary shall allocate funds made available for each fiscal year 
under section 8 to States to provide funding in accordance with section 
7 to eligible weed management entities to carry out projects approved 
by States to control or eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public 
and private land.
    (b) Amount.--The Secretary shall determine the amount of funds 
allocated to a State for a fiscal year under this section on the basis 
of--
            (1) the seriousness of the harmful, nonnative weed problem 
        or potential problem in the State, or a portion of the State;
            (2) the extent to which the Federal funds will be used to 
        leverage non-Federal funds to address the harmful, nonnative 
        weed problems in the State;
            (3) the extent to which the State has made progress in 
        addressing harmful, nonnative weed problems in the State;
            (4) the extent to which weed management entities in a State 
        are eligible for base payments under section 7; and
            (5) other factors recommended by the Advisory Committee and 
        approved by the Secretary.

SEC. 7. USE OF FUNDS ALLOCATED TO STATES.

    (a) In General.--A State that receives an allocation of funds under 
section 6 for a fiscal year shall use--
            (1) not more than 25 percent of the allocation to make a 
        base payment to each weed management entity in accordance with 
        subsection (b); and
            (2) not less than 75 percent of the allocation to make 
        financial awards to weed management entities in accordance with 
        subsection (c).
    (b) Base Payments.--
            (1) Use by weed management entities.--
                    (A) In general.--Base payments under subsection 
                (a)(1) shall be used by weed management entities--
                            (i) to pay the Federal share of the cost of 
                        carrying out projects described in subsection 
                        (d) that are selected by the State in 
                        accordance with subsection (d); or
                            (ii) for any other purpose relating to the 
                        activities of the weed management entities, 
                        subject to guidelines established by the State.
                    (B) Federal share.--Under subparagraph (A), the 
                Federal share of the cost of carrying out a project 
                described in subsection (d) shall not exceed 50 
                percent.
            (2) Eligibility of weed management entities.--To be 
        eligible to obtain a base payment under paragraph (1) for a 
        fiscal year, a weed management entity in a State shall--
                    (A) be established by local stakeholders--
                            (i) to control or eradicate harmful, 
                        nonnative weeds on public or private land; or
                            (ii) to increase public knowledge and 
                        education concerning the need to control or 
                        eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public or 
                        private land;
                    (B)(i) for the first fiscal year for which the 
                entity receives a base payment, provide to the State a 
                description of--
                            (I) the purposes for which the entity was 
                        established; and
                            (II) any projects carried out to accomplish 
                        those purposes; and
                    (ii) for any subsequent fiscal year for which the 
                entity receives a base payment, provide to the State--
                            (I) a description of the activities carried 
                        out by the entity in the previous fiscal year--
                                    (aa) to control or eradicate 
                                harmful, nonnative weeds on public or 
                                private land; or
                                    (bb) to increase public knowledge 
                                and education concerning the need to 
                                control or eradicate harmful, nonnative 
                                weeds on public or private land; and
                            (II) the results of each such activity; and
                    (C) meet such additional eligibility requirements, 
                and conform to such process for determining 
                eligibility, as the State may establish.
    (c) Financial Awards.--
            (1) Use by weed management entities.--
                    (A) In general.--Financial awards under subsection 
                (a)(2) shall be used by weed management entities to pay 
                the Federal share of the cost of carrying out projects 
                described in subsection (d) that are selected by the 
                State in accordance with subsection (d).
                    (B) Federal share.--Under subparagraph (A), the 
                Federal share of the cost of carrying out a project 
                described in subsection (d) shall not exceed 50 
                percent.
            (2) Eligibility of weed management entities.--To be 
        eligible to obtain a financial award under paragraph (1) for a 
        fiscal year, a weed management entity in a State shall--
                    (A) meet the requirements for eligibility for a 
                base payment under subsection (b)(2); and
                    (B) submit to the State a description of the 
                project for which the financial award is sought.
    (d) Projects.--
            (1) In general.--An eligible weed management entity may use 
        a base payment or financial award received under this section 
        to carry out a project relating to the control or eradication 
        of harmful, nonnative weeds on public or private land, 
        including--
                    (A) education, inventories and mapping, management, 
                monitoring, and similar activities, including the 
                payment of the cost of personnel and equipment; and
                    (B) innovative projects, with results that are 
                disseminated to the public.
            (2) Selection of projects.--A State shall select projects 
        for funding under this section on a competitive basis, taking 
        into consideration (with equal consideration given to economic 
        and natural values)--
                    (A) the seriousness of the harmful, nonnative weed 
                problem or potential problem addressed by the project;
                    (B) the likelihood that the project will prevent or 
                resolve the problem, or increase knowledge about 
                resolving similar problems in the future;
                    (C) the extent to which the payment will leverage 
                non-Federal funds to address the harmful, nonnative 
                weed problem addressed by the project;
                    (D) the extent to which the entity has made 
                progress in addressing harmful, nonnative weed 
                problems;
                    (E) the extent to which the project will provide a 
                comprehensive approach to the control or eradication of 
                harmful, nonnative weeds;
                    (F) the extent to which the project will reduce the 
                total population of a harmful, nonnative weed within 
                the State; and
                    (G) other factors that the State determines to be 
                relevant.
            (3) Scope of projects.--
                    (A) In general.--A weed management entity shall 
                determine the geographic scope of the harmful, 
                nonnative weed problem to be addressed through a 
                project using a base payment or financial award 
                received under this section.
                    (B) Multiple states.--A weed management entity may 
                use the base payment or financial award to carry out a 
                project to address the harmful, nonnative weed problem 
                of more than 1 State if the entity meets the 
                requirements of applicable State laws.
            (4) Land.--A weed management entity may use a base payment 
        or financial award received under this section to carry out a 
        project to control or eradicate weeds on any public or private 
        land with the approval of the owner or operator of the land, 
        other than land that is devoted to the cultivation of row 
        crops, fruits, or vegetables.
            (5) Prohibition on projects to control aquatic noxious 
        weeds or animal pests.--A base payment or financial award under 
        this section may not be used to carry out a project to control 
        or eradicate aquatic noxious weeds or animal pests.
    (e) Administrative Costs.--Not more than 5 percent of the funds 
made available under section 8 for a fiscal year may be used by the 
States or the Federal Government to pay the administrative costs of the 
program established by this Act, including the costs of complying with 
Federal environmental laws.

SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary 

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