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SPECIAL REPORT:  FY 2006 Interior/Environment Appropriations Conference Report and California Implications -- January 2006


[click for pdf version]


On July 28, 2005, the House of Representatives passed the Conference Report for the FY2006 Appropriations for the Department of Interior and Environment (H.R. 2361) by a vote of 410-10. The Senate approved the Report on July 29 by a vote of 99-1. The Conference Report to accompany the bill is H. Rpt. 109-188. The bill was signed into law as P.L. 109-54 on August 2, 2005.

The following is a quick analysis of the Appropriations from a California perspective, prepared by the California Institute. We apologize for errors or omissions in our discussion, and would appreciate any input or feedback on how to make improvements. The ordering of items generally reflects their appearance in the bill and does not imply relative importance.

This appropriations analysis is available at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int06c.htm and in printable pdf format at http://www.calinst.org/pubs/int06c.pdf .

DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

The Conference Report provides $860,791,000 for the management of lands and resources. This is about $15 million more than what the House initially requested, and about $7 million less than what the Senate proposed.

Resource Protection and Maintenance

California desert conservation plans will face a cut of $250,000, as included by the House.

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT

The Conference Committee allots $766,564,000 for wildland fire management, as initially proposed by the Senate. The House had requested $5 million less.

State and Local Fire Assistance – The change to the House level for State and local fire assistance is an increase of $5,000,000. Both the Senate and House concur that the funding level for the National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis should be maintained at or above the enacted FY 05 level.

OREGON AND CALIFORNIA LAND GRANTS

As proposed by both the House and the Senate, the conference agreement includes $110,070,000 for Oregon and California grant lands.

LAND ACQUISITION

Appropriations for land acquisitions amount to $8,750,000 -- an increase of $4,933,000 from the House version and a decrease from the Senate version of $3,500,000. Included in this amount is $500,000 earmarked for the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains.

UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

The agreement by the Conference Committee includes $1,008,880,000 for resource management instead of $1,005,225,000 requested by the House or the Senate’s proposed $993,485,000.

Ecological Services

The Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge will receive $540,000 for conservation work, as provided in the conference report.

CONSTRUCTION

Construction appropriations are set at $45,891,000. This is $4,685,000 more than the House request and $14,080,000 more than the Senate’s request. Of this funding, $1,000,000 has been earmarked for the Klamath Basin NWR Complex for Water Supply and Management.

LAND ACQUISITION

Land acquisition and state assistance totaling $28,408,000 is provided in the conference report. The House and Senate had initially requested $14,937,000 and $40,827,000 respectively. The conference report includes $450,000 for the San Joaquin River NWR.

GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

The Conference Committee allots $976,035,000 for costs associated with geological surveys, investigations, and research. This amount is greater than the House’s proposed $974,586,000 and the Senate’s $963,057,000.

The water resource investigation funds for the San Pedro partnership will be decreased by $450,000.

The Report states that "if the San Francisco South Bay salt ponds project is a priority for the Survey, additional funding should be requested in future budgets

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Approximately $1.744 billion was appropriated for the operation of the national park system by the Conference Committee.

The conference agreement provides $354,141,000 for resource stewardship, instead of $354,116,000 as proposed by the House and $354,841,000 as proposed by the Senate. Changes to the House level include a reduction of $1,000,000 for inventory and monitoring and increases of $225,000 for the International Center for Science and Learning at Mammoth Cave NP, $500,000 for air tour management and $300,000 for Vanishing Treasures.

Within the amount provided for repair and rehabilitation, $300,000 is for Death Valley NP (Cow Creek).

HISTORIC PRESERVATION FUND

The conference report provides $73,250,000 for historic preservation purposes. Of this, California will receive funding for the following sites:

Calfax Depot.....................................................................................................................$50,000

Campo De Cahuenga.........................................................................................................$75,000

Mission San Miguel..........................................................................................................$300,000

Murray Schoolhouse......................................................................................................... $30,000

Plaza House and Vickrey-Brunswig Complex................................................................. $200,000

Shafter Research Center...................................................................................................$200,000

Tule Lake Interment Camp...............................................................................................$200,000

Walker Eisen Building......................................................................................................$150,000

CONSTRUCTION

A total of $301,291,000 is included in the conference report for construction, an increase of $10,061,000 from the initial House request and $2,090,000 from the Senate proposal. Included in that amount are the following California projects:

Redwood NP (protect park resources by removing failing roads) – $2,169,000

San Francisco Maritime NHP (repair Sala Burton Maritime Museum bldg.) – $4,350,000

Yosemite NP (replace haz. gas disinfect. sys., El Portal waste plant) – $2,176,000

LAND ACQUISITION AND STATE ASSISTANCE

The conference agreement provides $64,909,000 for land acquisition and State assistance instead of $9,421,000 proposed by the House or $86,005,000 proposed by the Senate. This figure includes $525,000 for the Golden Gate NRA and $3,000,000 for Pinnacles NM.

PAYMENTS IN LIEU OF TAXES

The conference agreement provides $236,000,000 for payments in lieu of taxes instead of $242,000,000 as proposed by the House and $235,000,000 as proposed by the Senate.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 122 of the conference agreement retains a provision in section 120 of the Senate bill, continuing a provision making funds available to the tribes within the California Tribal Trust Reform consortium and others on the same basis as funds were distributed in fiscal year 2003 and separates this demonstration project from the Department of the Interior’s trust reform organization. The House had a similar provision in section 124 of the House bill.

Sec. 125 of the conference agreement retains a provision in section 127 of the House bill, continuing a provision regarding special use grazing permits on the Mojave National Preserve. The Senate had no similar provision.

Sec. 131. The conference agreement modifies a provision in section 430 of the Senate bill that authorizes the National Park Service to assess a fee on overnight lodging guests at leased Fort Baker buildings in Golden Gate National Recreation Area to pay the operating expenses associated with the utilities and shuttle system of those facilities at Fort Baker. The House had no similar provision.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

FOREST SERVICE

Forest and Rangeland Research

The conference agreement sets aside $283,094,000 for forest and rangeland research. This amount is $1,906,000 less than the House’s request and $2,202,000 more than the proposal by the Senate.

The forest inventory and analysis program will be funded at $60,267,000, per the conference report. This is an increase of $4,341,000 above the FY 05 funding level.

STATE AND PRIVATE FORESTRY

The Conference Committee provides $283,577,000 for State and private forestry. This figure is an increase of $28,702,000 above the House’s proposal and $28,962,000 above the Senate’s request.

Cooperative Fire Assistance – The conference agreement includes $33,422,000 for State fire assistance instead of $35,422,000 as proposed by the House and $26,500,000 as proposed by the Senate. This allocation includes $2,500,000 as proposed by the House for urgent work near the San Bernardino National Forest.

Cooperative Lands Forest Health Management

A total of $54,236,000 is included in the conference report for Federal lands forest health management.

The Conference Committee provides $47,629,000 for cooperative lands forest health management, a difference of $371,000 less than what was requested by the House and over $25,021,000 more than what was proposed by the Senate.

Cooperative Fire Protection/ State Fire Assistance

The conference agreement includes $33,422,000 for State fire assistance. This figure provides $2,500,000 for urgent work in the San Bernardino National Forest.

Forest Legacy Program

The Conference Committee sets aside $57,380,000 for forest legacy programs instead of the $25,000,000 the House proposed or the Senate’s $62,632,000. These funds are derived from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The conference report includes the following distribution of funds for the forest legacy program in California:

Baxter Ranch......................................................................................................................$1,000,000

Six Rivers to the Sea Phase II ...........................................................................................$1,000,000

Economic Action Programs

A total of $9,679,000 is reserved for economic action programs. Initial requests by the House and Senate were $7,979,000 and $14,200,000, respectively.

NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM

Allocations totaling $1,424,348,000 is included in the conference report for the national forest system. This is a decrease from the House’s $1,417,920,000 provision and an increase over the Senate’s $1,377,656,000.

WILDLAND FIRE MANAGEMENT

A wildland fire management allocation of $1,779,395,000 is provided in the conference report instead of the $1,790,506,000 figure proposed by the House or the $1,745,531,000 proposed by the Senate.

Hazardous Fuels

The conference agreement includes $286,000,000 for hazardous fuels treatment as proposed by the House. This amount is an increase of $23,461,000 above the FY 05 level. Included in this allocation is $5,000,000 dedicated to the San Bernardino National Forest.

State and Volunteer Fire Assistance

State and community fire assistance is provided $46,500,000. The conference committee concurred with the Senate’s proposal of $7,889,000 for volunteer fire assistance.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT AND MAINTENANCE

Earmarked for capital improvement and maintenance by the Conference Committee is

$441,178,000 instead of the House and Senate requests of $468,260,000 and $409,751,000 respectively.

Facilities

The conference agreement provides $51,522,000 for maintenance and $56,194,000 for capital improvement costs. Below are the Congressional priority projects for California:

San Bernardino National Forest.........................................................................................$2,000,000

Redwood Science Lab seismic retrofit...............................................................................$2,000,000

Meeks Bay Campground.................................................................................................... $778,000

Turtle Rock fire station relocation..................................................................................... $1,200,000

Trails

Of $76,000,000 provided for trails maintenance and capital improvements in the conference report, $1,000,000 is allocated for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (CA, OR, WA).

LAND ACQUISITION

A Land acquisition allocation of $42,500,000 is contained in the conference agreement instead of the $15,000,000 proposed by the House or the $44,925,000 proposed by the Senate. Included are the following California earmarks:

- Goose Creek-Smith River, Six Rivers NF (CA) ................................... 1,000,000

- Middle Yuba-Barker Pass, Tahoe NF (CA) ......................................... 500,000

- Pacific Crest Trail, multiple NFs (CA/OR/WA) ................................... 500,000

PRESIDIO TRUST

Presidio Trust Fund

The Conference Committee concurs with the House allocation of $20,000,000 for the Presidio Trust fund, instead of $19,722,000 as proposed by the Senate.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Science and Technology

The Committee provides $741,722,000 for science and technology instead of the House’s proposed $765,340,000 and the Senate’s proposal of $730,795,000.

Of this amount, earmarks for the following CA projects are made: $375,000 for the Central California Ozone Study, San Joaquin Valley Valleywide Air Pollution Study Agency; and $1.2 million for the Irrigation Training and Research Center, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Flow Rate Measurement.

Environmental Management and Programs

The conference report allocates $2.38 billion for environmental programs. This amount is $7.74 million less than the House’s request and $48.3 million more than what was proposed by the Senate.

Brownfields – There is an increase of $362,000 for brownfields support.

State and Tribal Assistance Grant

The Committee appropriates $3.26 billion for State and Tribal assistance and a rescission of $80 million from expired grants, contracts, and interagency agreements.

Brownfields – There is a decrease of $7,500,000 for brownfields projects.

Of the $200 million set aside for infrastructure grants/congressional priorities, the following is a list of CA projects funded under this section:

- $2.5 million for Arcadia- Sierra Madre Joint Water Infrastructure;

- $1.5 million for Bakersfield Rexland Acres Wastewater Treatment Project;

- $378,000 for Bellflower Drinking Water Infrastructure Improvement;

- $500,000 for Cathedral City Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvement;

- $600,000 for Colfax Colfax Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvement;

- $1.5 million for Georgetown Greenwood Lake Water Treatment Facility;

- $250,000 for Lake Arrowhead Lake Arrowhead Groundwater Development;

- $375,000 for Martin Slough interceptor project in the City of Eureka;

- $750,000 for Monterey Monterey County Development and Implementation of Water Management Plan;

- $375,000 for Perchlorate treatment in the City of Pasadena;

- $500,000 for Riverside Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements;

- $1 million for San Bernardino Lakes and Streams Projects;

- $2 million for San Jose Perchlorate Assistance Santa Clara Valley Water District;

- $1 million for Solano Beach Solano Beach Wastewater System Improvement;

- $4 million for Southern California Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Improvements (Mission Springs Water District - $1.6 million; Banning’s Brinton Reservoir- $1 million; Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency- $500,000; SAWPA SARI- $450,000; Yucca Valley- $350,000; and Dunlap- $100,000)

- $375,000 for Wastewater treatment plant expansion in Crescent City;

- $500,000 for water and wastewater infrastructure improvement projects for the San Francisco, Public Utilities Commission in CA;

- $375,000 for water facility project in the City of Santa Paula.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

INDIAN HEALTH FACILITIES

Allocations amounting to $358,485,000 for Indian health facilities are contained in the conference agreement. This figure is $12,289,000 less than the House’s request and $22,842,000 more than the Senate’s proposal.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 429 of the conference agreement retains the House recommended language concerning a land exchange in San Bernardino, which was in House section 428. The Senate had no similar provision.

The conference agreement does not include a provision in section 431 of the House bill prohibiting the Fish and Wildlife Service to use land acquisition funds for the purchase of water rights in the Klamath Basin.

 


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