[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 1462 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1462

  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 HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                             April 4, 2001

  Mr. Hefley (for himself, Mr. Otter, Mr. Cannon, and Mr. Kennedy of 
Rhode Island) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
      Committee on Resources, and in addition to the Committee on 
Agriculture, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, 
 in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
                jurisdiction of the committee concerned

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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 2001''.

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, which may 
        include 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) Agricultural commodity.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``agricultural 
                commodity'' has the meaning given the term in section 
                102 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 1978 (7 U.S.C. 
                5602).
                    (B) Exclusions.--The term ``agricultural 
                commodity'' does not include--
                            (i) livestock (as defined in section 602 of 
                        the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1471));
                            (ii) insects; or
                            (iii) any animal- or insect-based product.
            (3) Indian tribe.--The term `Indian tribe' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination 
        and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).
            (4) Local stakeholder.--
                    (A) In general.--The term ``local stakeholder'' 
                means an interested party that participates in the 
                establishment of a weed management entity in a State.
                    (B) Inclusions.--The term ``local stakeholder'' 
                includes a Federal, State, local, or private landowner.
            (5) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (6) 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--
            (1) the annual allocation of funds to States and Indian 
        tribes under section 6; and
            (2) 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 AND INDIAN TRIBES.

    (a) Allocation.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), in consultation 
        with the Advisory Committee, the Secretary shall allocate funds 
        made available for each fiscal year under section 11 to States 
        and Indian tribes to provide funding in accordance with 
        sections 7 and 8 to eligible weed management entities to carry 
        out projects approved by States and Indian tribes to control or 
        eradicate harmful, nonnative weeds on public and private land.
            (2) Allocation to indian tribes.--Of the funds made 
        available for allocation under section 11 for each fiscal year, 
        5 percent shall be--
                    (A) reserved for allocation to Indian tribes; and
                    (B) administered by the Advisory Committee.
    (b) Amount.--The Secretary shall determine the amount of Federal 
funds allocated to a State or Indian tribe for a fiscal year under this 
section to be used to address a harmful, nonnative weed problem in the 
State or portion of the State, or on land under the jurisdiction of the 
Indian tribe, on the basis of--
            (1) the severity of the harmful, nonnative weed problem;
            (2) the extent to which the Federal funds will be used to 
        leverage non-Federal funds to address the harmful, nonnative 
        weed problem;
            (3) the extent to which the State or Indian tribe has made 
        progress in addressing harmful, nonnative weed problem; and
            (4) 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 an 
        incentive 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) Incentive Payments.--
            (1) Use by weed management entities.--
                    (A) In general.--Incentive payments under 
                subsection (a)(1) shall be used by weed management 
                entities--
                            (i) to encourage the formation of new weed 
                        management entities; or
                            (ii) to carry out 1 or more projects 
                        described in subsection (d) to improve the 
                        effectiveness of weed management entities that 
                        are least effective in controlling or 
                        eradicating harmful, nonnative weeds on public 
                        and private land.
                    (B) Duration of payments.--A weed management entity 
                may be eligible to receive an incentive payment under 
                subparagraph (A) for not more than 5 years in the 
                aggregate.
                    (C) Federal share.--
                            (i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), under subparagraph (A), the 
                        Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
                        project described in subsection (d) shall not 
                        exceed 50 percent.
                            (ii) Adjustment.--The Governor of a State 
                        that makes incentive payments under subsection 
                        (a)(1) may increase, to a maximum of 100 
                        percent, the Federal share of the cost of 
                        carrying out a project described in subsection 
                        (d) that the Governor determines is necessary 
                        to meet the needs of an underserved area.
                            (iii) Form of matching funds.--Under 
                        subparagraph (A), the non-Federal share of the 
                        cost of carrying out a project described in 
                        subsection (d) may be provided--
                                    (I) in cash or in kind; or
                                    (II) in the form of Federal funds 
                                made available under a Federal law 
                                other than this Act.
            (2) Eligibility of weed management entities.--To be 
        eligible to obtain an incentive payment under paragraph (1) for 
        a fiscal year, a weed management entity in a State shall--
                    (A) be recognized by the State;
                    (B) 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;
                    (C)(i) for the first fiscal year for which the 
                entity receives an incentive 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 an incentive 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
                    (D) 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.--
                            (i) In general.--Under subparagraph (A), 
                        the Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
                        project described in subsection (d) shall not 
                        exceed 50 percent.
                            (ii) Form of matching funds.--Under 
                        subparagraph (A), the non-Federal share of the 
                        cost of carrying out a project described in 
                        subsection (d) may be provided--
                                    (I) in cash or in kind; or
                                    (II) in the form of Federal funds 
                                made available under a Federal law 
                                other than this Act.
            (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 an 
                incentive 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 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) other activities, the results of which 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;
                    (G) the extent to which the project uses the 
                principles of integrated vegetation management; and
                    (H) 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 an incentive payment or financial award 
                received under this section.
                    (B) Multiple states.--A weed management entity 
                shall not use any incentive payment or financial award 
                to carry out a project to address the harmful, 
                nonnative weed problem in more than 1 State.
            (4) Land.--A weed management entity may use an incentive 
        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 of the land, other 
        than land that is used for production of an agricultural 
        commodity.
            (5) Prohibition on projects to control aquatic noxious 
        weeds or animal pests.--An incentive payment or financial award 
        under this section may not be used to carry out a project to 
        control or eradicate submerged or floating aquatic noxious 
        weeds or animal pests.
    (e) Administrative Costs.--Not more than 5 percent of the funds 
made available under section 11 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.
    (f) Report.--As a condition of the receipt of an incentive payment 
or financial award under this Act, not later than October 30 of each 
year, a weed management entity in a State that received such a payment 
or award in the preceding fiscal year shall submit to the Advisory 
Committee a report that describes, for that preceding fiscal year, the 
purposes for which the payment or award was used.

SEC. 8. USE OF FUNDS ALLOCATED TO INDIAN TRIBES.

    (a) In General.--The requirements for the use of funds allocated to 
States described in section 7 shall apply to the use of funds allocated 
to Indian tribes under section 6(a)(2).
    (b) Insufficient or Excess Funds.--
            (1) Insufficient funds.--If, in any fiscal year, the funds 
        allocated to Indian tribes under section 6(a)(2) are not 
        sufficient to provide incentive payments or financial awards to 
        each weed management entity of an Indian tribe, an Indian tribe 
        may seek additional funds by participating as a local 
        stakeholder in the establishment of a weed management entity 
        that receives assistance under section 7.
            (2) Excess funds.--Any excess funds remaining after the 
        provision of incentive payments or financial awards to weed 
        management entities of Indian tribes shall be reserved by the 
        Advisory Committee for use in carrying out this Act in the 
        following fiscal year.
    (c) Report.--As a condition of the receipt of an incentive payment 
or financial award under this Act, not later than October 30 of each 
year, a weed management entity of an Indian tribe that received such a 
payment or award in the preceding fiscal year shall submit to the 
Advisory Committee a report that describes, for that preceding fiscal 
year, the purposes for which the payment or award was used.

SEC. 9. LAND-RELATED CONDITIONS.

    (a) Consent of Landowner.--Any activity involving real property may 
be carried out under this Act only with the consent of the landowner.
    (b) No Effect on PILT Payments.--The provision of funds to any 
entity under this Act shall have no effect on the amount of any payment 
received by a county from the Federal Government under chapter 69 of 
title 31, United States Code (commonly known as ``payments in lieu of 
taxes'').

SEC. 10. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS.

    Any activity carried out under this Act shall comply with all other 
Federal laws (including regulations), including the Endangered Species 
Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).
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