[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 119 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 119

  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

                            January 7, 2003

  Mr. Hefley 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 Invasive Weed Control Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) There exists no dedicated, coordinated Federal effort 
        to address, control, or eradicate harmful, invasive weeds.
            (2) Public and private land in the United States faces 
        unprecedented and severe stress from harmful, invasive weeds.
            (3) The economic and resource value of the land is being 
        destroyed as harmful invasive weeds overtake native vegetation, 
        making the land unusable for forage and for diverse plant and 
        animal communities.
            (4) Damage caused by harmful invasive weeds has been 
        estimated to run in the hundreds of millions of dollars 
        annually.
            (5) 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.
            (6) The fight must begin at the local level, since it is at 
        the local level that persons feel the loss caused by harmful 
        invasive weeds and will therefore have the greatest motivation 
        to take effective action.
            (7) 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 the following:
            (1) To direct the Secretary to coordinate with the Federal 
        Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic 
        Weeds to develop a dedicated program to combat harmful, 
        invasive weeds.
            (2) To provide assistance to eligible weed management 
        entities in carrying out projects to control or eradicate 
        harmful, invasive weeds on public and private land.
            (3) To coordinate projects with existing weed management 
        entities, areas, districts, and ongoing partnerships.
            (4) 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.
            (5) To leverage additional funds from a variety of public 
        and private sources to control or eradicate weeds through local 
        stakeholders.
            (6) To promote healthy, diverse, and desirable plant 
        communities by abating through a variety of measures the threat 
        posed by harmful, invasive weeds.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
            (1) Committee.--The term ``Committee'' means the Federal 
        Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic 
        Weeds established through a memorandum of agreement entered 
        into in August 1994 to implement the requirements of section 15 
        of the Federal Noxious Weed Act of 1974 (7 U.S.C. 2814).
            (2) 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).
            (3) 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, tribal, or private 
                landowner.
            (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary 
        of the Interior.
            (5) 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.
            (6) Weed.--The term ``weed'' means any parasitic or other 
        kind of plant at any living stage (including seeds and 
        reproductive parts of such a plant), that--
                    (A) is of foreign origin;
                    (B) is new or not widely prevalent in a region, 
                State, or the United States; and
                    (C) can directly or indirectly impact other useful 
                plants, livestock, wildlife resources, or the public 
                health.
            (7) Weed management entity.--The term ``weed management 
        entity'' means an entity that--
                    (A) is recognized by the State in which it is 
                established;
                    (B) is established by and includes local 
                stakeholders;
                    (C) is established for the purpose of controlling 
                or eradicating harmful, invasive weeds on public or 
                private land and increasing public knowledge and 
                education concerning the need to control or eradicate 
                harmful, invasive weeds on public or private land; and
                    (D) is multijurisdictional and multidisciplinary in 
                nature.

SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF PROGRAM.

    The Secretary, in coordination with the Committee, 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, invasive weeds on public and private 
land.

SEC. 5. ALLOCATION OF FUNDS TO STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES.

    (a) Allocation.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), in consultation 
        with the Committee, the Secretary shall allocate funds made 
        available for each fiscal year under section 12 to States and 
        Indian tribes to provide funding in accordance with sections 6 
        and 7 to weed management entities to carry out projects 
        approved by States and Indian tribes to control or eradicate 
        harmful, invasive weeds on public and private land.
            (2) Federal allocation to indian tribes.--Of the funds made 
        available for allocation under section 12 for each fiscal year, 
        5 percent shall be--
                    (A) reserved for allocation to Indian tribes; and
                    (B) administered by the 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, invasive weed problem in the 
State or portion of the State, or on land or in water under the 
jurisdiction of the Indian tribe, on the basis of--
            (1) the severity or potential severity of the harmful, 
        invasive weed problem;
            (2) the extent to which the Federal funds will be used to 
        leverage non-Federal funds to address the harmful, invasive 
        weed problem;
            (3) the extent to which the State or Indian tribe has made 
        progress in addressing harmful, invasive weed problems; and
            (4) other factors recommended by the Committee and approved 
        by the Secretary.

SEC. 6. USE OF FUNDS ALLOCATED TO STATES.

    (a) In General.--A State that receives an allocation of funds under 
section 5 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 established in 
        the State, in accordance with subsection (b); and
            (2) not less than 75 percent of the allocation to make 
        financial awards to weed management entities established in the 
        State, 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 existing weed management 
                        entities or programs.
                    (B) Duration of payments.--A weed management entity 
                is eligible to receive an incentive payment under 
                subparagraph (A) for not more than 3 years in the 
                aggregate.
                    (C) Federal share.--
                            (i) In general.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), for purposes of subparagraph (A), 
                        the Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
                        project described in subsection (d) shall not 
                        exceed 50 percent.
                            (ii) Adjustment.--After consultation with 
                        the Secretary, the Governor of a State that 
                        makes either an incentive payment or financial 
                        award under subsection (a) may increase, to a 
                        maximum of 100 percent, such Federal share of a 
                        project 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)(i) for the first fiscal year for which the 
                entity receives an incentive payment under this 
                subsection, provide to the State in which it is 
                established a description of--
                            (I) the purposes for which the entity was 
                        established; and
                            (II) any projects to be 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, invasive weeds on public or 
                                private land; or
                                    (bb) to increase public knowledge 
                                and education concerning the need to 
                                control or eradicate harmful, invasive 
                                weeds on public or private land; and
                            (II) the results of each such activity; and
                    (B) 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.--Except as provided in 
                        clause (ii), for purposes of subparagraph (A), 
                        the Federal share of the cost of carrying out a 
                        project described in subsection (d) shall not 
                        exceed 50 percent.
                            (ii) Adjustment.--After consultation with 
                        the Secretary, the Governor of a State that 
                        makes either an incentive payment or financial 
                        award under subsection (a) may increase, to a 
                        maximum of 100 percent, such Federal share of a 
                        project 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 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.--A weed management entity may use a 
        financial award received under this section to carry out a 
        project to control or eradicate harmful, invasive 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 that 
                promote such control or eradication; and
                    (B) other activities to promote such control or 
                eradication, if the results of the activities 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--
                    (A) the seriousness of the harmful, invasive 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, invasive weed 
                problem addressed by the project;
                    (D) the extent to which the recipient weed 
                management entity has made progress in addressing 
                harmful, invasive weed problems;
                    (E) the extent to which the project will provide a 
                comprehensive approach to the control or eradication of 
                harmful, invasive weeds;
                    (F) the extent to which the project will reduce the 
                total population of a harmful, invasive weed within the 
                State;
                    (G) the extent to which the project uses the 
                principles of integrated vegetation management and 
                sound science; 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, invasive 
                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 may 
                use an incentive payment or financial award under this 
                section to carry out a project to address the harmful, 
                invasive weed problem of more than 1 State only if the 
                entity meets the requirements of all applicable State 
                laws.
            (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 land, 
        or on any private land with the approval of the owner or 
        operator of the land.
            (5) Prohibition on use of funds.--An incentive payment or 
        financial award under this Act may not be used to carry out a 
        project--
                    (A) to control or eradicate animal pests; or
                    (B) to protect an agricultural commodity (as 
                defined in section 102 of the Agricultural Trade Act of 
                1978 (7 U.S.C. 5602)) other than--
                            (i) livestock (as defined in section 602 of 
                        the Agricultural Trade Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 
                        1471); or
                            (ii) an animal- or insect-based product.
    (e) Administrative Costs.--Not more than 5 percent of the funds 
made available under section 12 for a fiscal year may be used by 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, a weed management entity in a State 
that received such a payment or award shall submit to the Committee a 
report that describes the purposes and results of each project for 
which the payment or award was used, by not later than 6 months after 
completion of the projects.

SEC. 7. USE OF FUNDS ALLOCATED TO INDIAN TRIBES.

    (a) In General.--The requirements for the use of funds allocated to 
States described in section 6 shall apply to the use of funds allocated 
to Indian tribes under section 5(a)(2).
    (b) Insufficient or Excess Funds.--
            (1) Insufficient funds.--If, in any fiscal year, the funds 
        allocated to Indian tribes under section 5(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 6.
            (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 
        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 
Committee a report that describes, for that preceding fiscal year, the 
purposes for which the payment or award was used.

SEC. 8. FUNDING RECOMMENDATIONS.

    The Secretary of Agriculture and the Committee shall make 
recommendations to the Secretary regarding--
            (1) the annual allocation of funds to States and Indian 
        tribes under section 5; and
            (2) other issues related to funding under this Act.

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.).

SEC. 11. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER PROGRAMS.

    Assistance authorized under this Act is intended to supplement, and 
not replace, assistance available to weed management entities, areas, 
and districts for control or eradication of harmful, invasive weeds on 
public lands and private lands, including funding available under the 
Pulling Together Initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation.

SEC. 12. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    To carry out this Act there is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary $100,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2003 through 2007.
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