Conservation

H.R.865 – Emergency Forest Restoration Act

Short Titles as Introduced:

Emergency Forest Restoration Act

Official Title as Introduced:

To make a categorical exclusion available to the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to develop and carry out a forest management activity on National Forest system lands derived from the public domain or public lands to address insect or disease infestation declared as an emergency in a State by the Governor of such State, and for other purposes.

Summary:

Introduced in House (02/03/2017)

Emergency Forest Restoration Act

This bill allows the Department of Agriculture (USDA), regarding National Forest System lands, or the Department of the Interior, regarding public lands, to develop and carry out a forest management activity on lands of the department concerned in a state when the activity’s primary purpose is to address an insect or disease infestation that has been declared an emergency by the state governor.

With specified exceptions, a categorical exclusion shall be available to USDA or Interior for these purposes.

A “categorical exclusion” is an exception to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 for a project or activity relating to the management of National Forest System lands or public lands that would otherwise be considered a major federal action.

Beginning in FY2019, USDA shall identify the amount of funds, if any, appropriated in the previous fiscal year pursuant to the authorization of appropriations specified in this bill.

Within five years of the end of the fiscal year in which an identification is made, USDA shall sell an amount of timber the sale of which is sufficient to recoup the identified amount and any associated costs.

The bill prescribes requirements for the deposit of sales proceeds.

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