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The Weekly Preview - House Committee on Natural Resources: June 16 – 20, 2008

The Weekly Preview - House Committee on Natural Resources: June 16 – 20, 2008

Can’t make it to our hearings or markups in person? Stay connected with our live video and audio webcasts, available at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov.

On the House Floor:

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives is expected to consider under suspension of the rules the following 7 bills under the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee:
o       H.R. 2964 (E.B. Johnson): To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to treat nonhuman primates as prohibited wildlife species under that Act, to make corrections in the provisions relating to captive wildlife offenses under that Act, and for other purposes.


o       H.R. 1423 (Visclosky): Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center Lease Act.

o       H.R. 3702 (Rehberg): Montana Cemetery Act of 2007.

o       H.Res. 1247 (David Davis): Supporting the goals and ideals of "American Eagle Day", and celebrating the recovery and restoration of the American bald eagle, the national symbol of the United States.

o       H.Res. 1199 (Loretta Sanchez): Commending the Orange County Water District and its employees for their sound financial management and innovative groundwater management, water quality, water efficiency, and environmental programs, on its 75th anniversary.

o       H.R. 5710 (T. Udall): Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act.

o       H.R. 5511 (Lamborn): Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Remediation Act of 2008.

This Week’s Hearings:

On Wednesday, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands and the Subcommittee on Water and Power will hold a joint oversight hearing on "Paying to Play: Implementation of Fee Authority on Federal Lands." Since the passage of the Fee Demonstration Program (Fee Demo) in 1997 and the subsequent the Federal Land Recreation Enhancement Act in 2005 (FLREA), the charging of various types of entrance and recreational fees on federal lands and sites administered by the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and USDA Forest Service has become increasingly controversial.  While fees collected under Fee Demo and FLREA have generated considerable revenue to benefit recreational facilities and visitor services and to remedy many deferred maintenance projects in an era of tight federal budgets, critics contend that the fees are a double tax on the recreating public; that the fee system is unfair, inconsistent, and confusing; and that fees discriminate against lower income visitors, rural residents, and low-impact recreational users.  This hearing seeks to clarify these concerns and help identify which issues require further action.
Visit the Committee’s Web site to access witness testimony following the conclusion of the hearing.  (June 18, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building)

Also on Wednesday, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans will hold an oversight hearing on the reauthorization of the National Marine Sanctuaries Act.  This is the second oversight hearing to gather recommendations to assist in the reauthorization and strengthening of the Act.  The Subcommittee will hear from federal witnesses and stakeholders to continue its efforts to delve into the existing role and future potential of marine sanctuaries in promoting ecosystem-based approaches to marine resource management.
Visit the Committee’s Web site to access witness testimony following the conclusion of the hearing.  (June 18, 2008, at 2:00 p.m., Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building)

On Thursday, the Committee on Natural Resources will hold an oversight hearing on the Utah Navajo Trust Fund.  In 1933, Congress enacted legislation directing the State of Utah to receive certain mineral royalties from land that is now part of the Navajo Nation and to use such royalties for the benefit of individual Navajos living in Utah.  The State of Utah no longer desires to administer the Trust Fund.  The Committee will receive testimony on the future management of the Utah Navajo Trust Fund.
Visit the Committee’s Web site to access witness testimony following the conclusion of the hearing.  (June 19, 2008, at 10:00 a.m., Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building)

In Case You Missed It:

On June 9, the House of Representatives approved the following 4 bills under the jurisdiction of the House Natural Resources Committee:
o       H.R. 3022 (Costa): To designate the John Krebs Wilderness in the State of California, to add certain land to the Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park Wilderness, and for other purposes.

o       H.R. 2632 (T. Udall): To establish the Sabinoso Wilderness Area in San Miguel County, New Mexico, and for other purposes.

o       H.R. 3682 (Bono Mack): To designate certain Federal lands in Riverside County, California, as wilderness; to designate certain river segments in Riverside County as a wild, scenic, or recreational river; to adjust the boundary of the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument; and for other purposes.

o       H.Res. 1158 (Boozman): Recognizing the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.

On June 11, the Committee on Natural Resources approved the following 8 bills:
o       H.R. 3981 (B. Miller): To authorize the Preserve America Program and Save America's Treasures Program, and for other purposes. "Preserve America and Save America's Treasures Act"

o       H.R. 4199 (Turner): To amend the Dayton Aviation Heritage Preservation Act of 1992 to add sites to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, and for other purposes.

o       H.R. 2964 (E.B. Johnson): To amend the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 to treat nonhuman primates as prohibited wildlife species under that Act, to make corrections in the provisions relating to captive wildlife offenses under that Act, and for other purposes. "Captive Primate Safety Act"

o       H.R. 5741 (Bordallo): To amend the High Seas Driftnet Fishing Moratorium Protection Act and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to improve the conservation of sharks. "Shark Conservation Act of 2008"

o       H.R. 1423 (Visclosky): To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease a portion of a visitor center outside the boundary of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Porter County, Indiana, and for other purposes. "Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center Lease Act"

o       H.R. 3702 (Rehberg): To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to convey certain land in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana, to Jefferson County, Montana, for use as a cemetery. "Montana Cemetery Act of 2007"

o       H.R. 5710 (T. Udall): To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority for the planning, design, and construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System, and for other purposes. "Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act"

o       H.R. 5511 (Lamborn): To direct the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to remedy problems caused by a collapsed drainage tunnel in Leadville, Colorado, and for other purposes. "Leadville Mine Drainage Tunnel Remediation Act of 2008".  Visit the Committee’s Web site to view the markup report.

In an effort to compel oil and gas companies to produce on the 68 million acres of federal lands, both onshore and offshore, that are leased but sitting idle, Chairman Rahall introduced legislation on June 12, 2008 that gives Big Oil one option - either "use it or lose it."  Chairman Rahall’s Responsible Federal Oil and Gas Lease Act of 2008 (H.R. 6251) is a direct response to the facts outlined in the recent House Natural Resources Committee Majority Staff report, "The Truth About America's Energy: Big Oil Stockpiles Supplies and Pockets Profits", that illustrate how energy companies are not producing from the federal lands and waters that are already open to drilling.  The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), and John Yarmuth (D-KY).  Visit the Committee’s Web site to view the press release with additional information about the legislation.

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