[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 273 Introduced in House (IH)]







108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 273

 To provide for the eradication and control of nutria in Maryland and 
                               Louisiana.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                            January 8, 2003

  Mr. Gilchrest (for himself and Mr. Tauzin) introduced the following 
         bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
 To provide for the eradication and control of nutria in Maryland and 
                               Louisiana.

    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 ``Nutria Eradication and Control Act 
of 2003''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
            (1) Wetlands and tidal marshes of the Chesapeake Bay and in 
        Louisiana provide significant cultural, economic, and 
        ecological benefits to the Nation.
            (2) The South American nutria (Myocastor coypus) is 
        directly contributing to substantial marsh loss in Maryland and 
        Louisiana on Federal, State, and private land.
            (3) Traditional harvest methods to control or eradicate 
        nutria have failed in Maryland and have had limited success in 
        the eradication of nutria in Louisiana. Consequently, marsh 
        loss is accelerating.
            (4) The nutria eradication and control pilot program 
        authorized by Public Law 105-322 is to develop new and 
        effective methods for eradication of nutria.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Secretary 
of the Interior to provide financial assistance to the State of 
Maryland and the State of Louisiana for a program to implement measures 
to eradicate or control nutria and restore marshland damaged by nutria.

SEC. 3. NUTRIA ERADICATION PROGRAM.

    (a) Grant Authority.--The Secretary of the Interior (in this Act 
referred to as the ``Secretary''), subject to the availability of 
appropriations, may provide financial assistance to the State of 
Maryland and the State of Louisiana for a program to implement measures 
to eradicate or control nutria and restore marshland damaged by nutria.
    (b) Goals.--The goals of the program shall be to--
            (1) eradicate nutria in Maryland;
            (2) eradicate or control nutria in Louisiana and other 
        States; and
            (3) restore marshland damaged by nutria.
    (c) Activities.--In the State of Maryland, the Secretary shall 
require that the program consist of management, research, and public 
education activities carried out in accordance with the document 
published by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service entitled 
``Eradication Strategies for Nutria in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay 
Watersheds'', dated March 2002.
    (d) Cost Sharing.--
            (1) Federal share.--The Federal share of the costs of the 
        program may not exceed 75 percent of the total costs of the 
        program.
            (2) In-kind contributions.--The non-Federal share of the 
        costs of the program may be provided in the form of in-kind 
        contributions of materials or services.
    (e) Limitation on Administrative Expenses.--Not more than 5 percent 
of financial assistance provided by the Secretary under this section 
may be used for administrative expenses.
    (f) Authorization of Appropriations.--For financial assistance 
under this section, there is authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary $4,000,000 for the State of Maryland program and $2,000,000 
for the State of Louisiana program for each of fiscal years 2004, 2005, 
2006, 2007, and 2008.

SEC. 4. REPORT.

     No later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary and the National Invasive Species Council shall--
            (1) give consideration to the 2002 report for the Louisiana 
        Department of Wildlife and Fisheries titled ``Nutria in 
        Louisiana'', and the 2002 document entitled ``Eradication 
        Strategies for Nutria in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay 
        Watersheds''; and
            (2) develop, in cooperation with the State of Louisiana 
        Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the State of Maryland 
        Department of Natural Resources, a long-term nutria control or 
        eradication program, as appropriate, with the objective to 
        significantly reduce and restore the damage nutria cause to 
        coastal wetlands in the States of Louisiana and Maryland.
                                 <all>