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SPECIAL REPORT: Interior Appropriations Conference Report and California Implications  --  October 25, 2001


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On October 17, 2001, the House (by a vote of 380-28) and the Senate (by a vote of 95-3) approved the conference report for to accompany H.R. 2217, the FY 2002 Appropriations Bill for the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies. The report is H.Rept. 107-234. This California Institute analysis is online at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02c.htm , and a printable version in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format is available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02s.pdf .

The Senate had passed its version of H.R. 2217 on July 12. It had passed the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 28 by unanimous consent, after having been approved on a voice vote by the Interior Subcommittee earlier that same day. The Committee Report is S.Rept. 107-36. The Senate bill analysis is available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02s.htm . A printable version in pdf format is also available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02s.pdf .

The House passed its version of the bill on June 21, 2001, by a vote of 376 to 32. A California Institute analysis of that bill is available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02.htm and a pdf version is available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int02.pdf .

The following represents a quick analysis of the bill from a California perspective as prepared by the California Institute. We apologize for any errors or omissions in our discussion of these documents, and would appreciate any input/feedback on how to make improving corrections. The ordering of items generally reflects their presence in the bill and does not mean to imply any relative importance.

 

CONFERENCE REPORT ON FY02 APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND RELATED AGENCIES

On October 17, the House and Senate passed the Conference Report to accompany the FY02 Appropriations for the Departments of Interior and Related Agencies (H.R. 2217). The bill provides $19.1 billion in total funding, an increase of $1 billion over the President’s request, and includes $400 million in emergency funding for wildfire. Details of the funding contained in the final bill of particular interest to California are outlined below.

Bureau of Land Management

Land Resources

Mojave Desert conservation $3,100,000

Headwaters Forest Reserve $500,000

Howe Creek Ranch (Forest Legacy Program) $500,000

UC Davis Urban Forestry Research Project $125,000

Land Acquisition

Catellus $3,100,000

Cosumnes River Preserve $650,000

El Dorado (rare plants) $3,000,000

King Range National Conservation Area $1,900,000

Otay Mountain/Kuchamaa $2,000,000

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mtns. National Monument (CA) $1,000,000

Construction

Lone Pine visitor center $100,000

Torres-Martinez Settlement

Santa Rosa and San Jacinto National Monument $1,540,000

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

Resource Management

$2 million is provided for local governments in southern California for planning associated with the Natural Communities Conservation Planning (NCCP) program.

 

Ecological Services

Central Valley & So. Cal. Habitat Conservation Plan $250,000

Construction

Habitat for the California Condor (CA & ID) - recovery facility $1,750,000

Humboldt Bay NWR (seismic safety rehabilitation) $190,000

San Pablo Bay NWR (renovate office) $2,500,000

Land Acquisition

San Diego National Wildlife Refuge $5,000,000

National Park Service

Land Acquisition

Golden Gate Park (Mori Point) $2,500,000

Santa Monica Mountains (Upper Ramirez Canyon) $1,000,000

Los Padres (Big Sur) $7,660,000

Pacific Crest Trail (CA/OR/WA) $2,000,000

San Bernardino National Forest $1,500,000

Construction

Golden Gate Park (Immigration Museum Study) $450,000

Golden Gate Park (Structural Upgrade) $13,000,000

Point Reyes (lighthouse access, utilities) $1,285,000

Restoration of the Historic CA Thayer $4,639,000

Big Bear Center $1,000,000

Lava Beds NM, CA (replace visitor center) $4,131,000

Mojave N Pres, CA (Kelso exhibits) $750,000

Redwood NP, CA (remove failing roads) $2,552,000

Sequoia NP, CA (complete restoration of Giant Forest) $1,480,000

USDA National Forest Service

Land Acquisition - $1,069,000 for land acquisition in the Angeles, San Bernardino, Sequoia, and Cleveland National Forests in California.

Forest and Rangeland Research - $250,000 is provided for urban forestry research at Syracuse, NY and Davis, CA.

Forest Legacy - The conference report includes the following language: The [conference] managers are aware of Treepeople’s proposed Center for Community Forestry in Los Angeles, CA, and its value as a national resource. The managers encourage the Forest Service to consider supporting this important urban forestry program.

Lake Tahoe - The bill provides $19.7 million total for Lake Tahoe restoration. Included in this funding is $3.5 million for erosion control grants, $2 million for hazardous fuels funding, and $500,000 for the South Lake Tahoe MTBE study. $455,000 is also provided for the Eagle Falls rehabilitation, and $800,000 for Lake Tahoe roads. It provides $4 million in Forest Service land acquisition funds for Lake Tahoe Basin MU (High Meadows), $1.7 million for Tahoe NF (North Fork of the American River) and $2.6 million for urban lots in the Lake Tahoe NF.

Quincy Library Group project - $26,000,000 in funding is provided for the Quincy Library project, including $16 million for hazardous fuels funding.

 

Bureau of Indian Affairs

$250,000 is provided for enhancements to the Pomo Indian exhibits at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California.

General Provisions

The conference report continues to ban offshore preleasing, leasing and related activities placed under restriction in the President’s moratorium statement of June 12, 1998, in the areas of

northern, central, and southern California.

The bill allows competition for watershed restoration project contracts as part of the Jobs in the Woods’’ Program to be limited to individuals and entities in historically timber-dependent areas in the States of Washington, Oregon, northern California and Alaska that have been affected by reduced timber harvesting on Federal lands.

The bill also allows competition for fire and fuel treatment and watershed restoration contracts in the Giant Sequoia National Monument and the Sequoia National Forest. Preference for employment shall be given to dislocated and displaced workers in Tulare, Kern and Fresno Counties for work associated with the establishment of the Giant Sequoia National Monument.

Under wildfire management, the conference report states, "The managers direct the Forest Service to provide technical assistance to the Tule River Tribal Reservation with its ground fuels mitigation program, the acquisition of appropriate fire suppression equipment, and the training of a tribal hot-shot crew."

Minerals Management Service -

- In Section 331, the conference report retains the text of section 333 as proposed by the House that prohibits oil, natural gas and mining related activities within current National Monument boundaries. It notes that the Senate had proposed similar language in section 128 under General Provisions, Department of the Interior. The conferenced language states, "No funds provided in this Act may be expended to conduct preleasing, leasing and related activities under either the Mineral Leasing Act (30 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) or the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq.) within the boundaries of a National Monument established pursuant to the Act of June 8, 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431 et seq.) as such boundary existed on January 20, 2001, except where such activities are allowed under the Presidential proclamation establishing such monument."


DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Elk Hills School Lands Fund - The bill recommends $36,000,000 for the Elk Hills school lands fund, the same as the budget request and the fiscal year 2001 level. The Committee report notes that it has not derived these funds by transfer as proposed by the House Interior Appropriations bill. The funds will become available on October 1, 2002, according to the report.

In 1996, Congress authorized the sale of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve and created a process by which to pay California for its claims to two sections of land within the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve. As part of the $3.65 billion sale of Elk Hills, a total of $324 million was set aside for California State Teachers Retirement System. These funds are being paid to STRS at a rate of $36 million per year.

 

 

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