SPEAKERS CONTENTS INSERTS
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THE FISCAL YEAR 2000 BUDGET REQUEST OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES CONSERVATION, WILDLIFE AND OCEANS
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
MARCH 4, 1999, WASHINGTON, DC
Serial No. 10613
Page 2 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCPrinted for the use of the Committee on Resources
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house
Committee address: http://www.house.gov/resources
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES
DON YOUNG, Alaska, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey
ELTON GALLEGLY, California
JOHN J. DUNCAN, Jr., Tennessee
JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado
JOHN T. DOOLITTLE, California
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
KEN CALVERT, California
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
BARBARA CUBIN, Wyoming
HELEN CHENOWETH, Idaho
GEORGE P. RADANOVICH, California
WALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
WILLIAM M. (MAC) THORNBERRY, Texas
Page 3 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCCHRIS CANNON, Utah
KEVIN BRADY, Texas
JOHN PETERSON, Pennsylvania
RICK HILL, Montana
BOB SCHAFFER, Colorado
JIM GIBBONS, Nevada
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
GREG WALDEN, Oregon
DON SHERWOOD, Pennsylvania
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MIKE SIMPSON, Idaho
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
GEORGE MILLER, California
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
DALE E. KILDEE, Michigan
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
OWEN B. PICKETT, Virginia
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CALVIN M. DOOLEY, California
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELÓ, Puerto Rico
Page 4 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, Guam
PATRICK J. KENNEDY, Rhode Island
ADAM SMITH, Washington
WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
CHRIS JOHN, Louisiana
DONNA CHRISTIAN-CHRISTENSEN, Virgin Islands
RON KIND, Wisconsin
JAY INSLEE, Washington
GRACE F. NAPOLITANO, California
TOM UDALL, New Mexico
MARK UDALL, Colorado
JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
LLOYD A. JONES, Chief of Staff
ELIZABETH MEGGINSON, Chief Counsel
CHRISTINE KENNEDY, Chief Clerk/Administrator
JOHN LAWRENCE, Democratic Staff Director
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans
JIM SAXTON, New Jersey, Chairman
W.J. (BILLY) TAUZIN, Louisiana
JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah
WAYNE T. GILCHREST, Maryland
RICHARD W. POMBO, California
Page 5 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCWALTER B. JONES, Jr., North Carolina
MARK E. SOUDER, Indiana
ROBIN HAYES, North Carolina
MIKE SIMPSON, Idaho
ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American Samoa
BRUCE F. VENTO, Minnesota
PETER A. DeFAZIO, Oregon
NEIL ABERCROMBIE, Hawaii
SOLOMON P. ORTIZ, Texas
FRANK PALLONE, Jr., New Jersey
CARLOS A. ROMERO-BARCELÓ, Puerto Rico
ADAM SMITH, Washington
HARRY BURROUGHS, Staff Director
DAVE WHALEY, Legislative Staff
JEAN FLEMMA, Democratic Legislative Staff
C O N T E N T S
Hearing held March 4, 1999
Statement of Members:
Faleomavaega, Hon. Eni, a Delegate in Congress from American Samoa, prepared statement of
Pallone, Hon. Frank, Jr. a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey, prepared statement of
Page 6 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOCSaxton, Hon. Jim, a Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey, prepared statement of
Young, Hon. Don, a Representative in Congress from the State of Alaska, prepared statement of
Statement of Witnesses:
Ceccucci, Gary V., Chief, Division of Budget, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, backgound of
Clark, Jamie, Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior
Prepared statement of
Additional material supplied:
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON THE FISCAL YEAR 2000 BUDGET REQUEST OF THE U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
THURSDAY, MARCH 4, 1999
House of Representatives,
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation,
Wildlife and Oceans,
Committee on Resources,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m., in Room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Jim Saxton (chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Members present: Representatives Hansen, Gilchrest, Souder, Calvert, Gilman, Faleomavega, and Underwood.
Page 7 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. Good morning. The Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans will come to order.
Today, we are discussing the fiscal year 2000 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service has principal responsibility and authority over migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and certain marine mammals.
The Fish and Wildlife Service currently manages about 93 million acres encompassing a system of 516 national wildlife refuges, 50 coordination areas, 32 waterfowl production areas, and 66 fish hatcheries located throughout the United States.
Over the last 4 years, this Subcommittee has spent a great deal of time working on National Wildlife Refuge operations, maintenance and management issues.
I am pleased to see that the Administration's request for Refuge Operation, and Maintenance this year reflects not only the increase provided by Congress for the current fiscal year, but a fairly significant increase for 2000.
I also strongly support the Administration's request to spend $1.5 million to implement the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act. Volunteers have become an integral part of the refuge system. These seven coordinators will help to ensure that the Nation receives the maximum benefit from the labors of those hard-working Americans.
I remain disappointed, however, that the Administration's request for implementation of the North American Wetlands Conservation Plan.
During the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in the last Congress, this Subcommittee agreed to an Administration request to increase the authorization level from $15 million to $30 million per year.
When I agreed to that recommendation, I made it clear that I expected the Administration to ask for more money in fiscal year 1999 and in fiscal year 2000.
Page 8 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Sadly, I am still waiting and look forward to hearing why a $15 million authorization ceiling is detrimental to the program, but a $15 million budget request is not. I am anxious to hear the Administration's presentation.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Saxton follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. JIM SAXTON, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Today, we are discussing the Administration's Fiscal Year 2000 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has principal responsibility and authority for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and certain marine mammals. The Fish and Wildlife Service currently manages about 93 million acres encompassing a system of 516 National Wildlife Refuges, 50 coordination areas, 32 waterfowl production areas, and 66 fish hatcheries located throughout the United States.
Over the last four years, this Subcommittee has spent a great deal of time working on National Wildlife Refuge operation, maintenance and management issues. I am pleased to see that the Administration's request for Refuge Operation and Maintenance this year reflects not only the increase provided by Congress for the current fiscal year, but a further significant increase for 2000.
I also strongly support the Administration's request to spend $1.5 million to implement the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act. Volunteers have become an integral part of the Refuge System, and these seven coordinators will help to ensure that this Nation receives the maximum benefit of the labors of these hard-working Americans.
I remain disappointed in the Administration's request for implementation of the North American Wetlands Conservation Plan. During the reauthorization of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act in the last Congress, this Subcommittee agreed to an Administration request to increase the authorization level from $15 million to $30 million per year. When I agreed to that recommendation, I made it clear that I expected the Administration to ask for more money in FY 1999 and FY 2000. Sadly, I am still waiting, and I look forward to hearing why a $15 million authorization ceiling is detrimental to the program, but a $15 million budget request is not.
Page 9 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I am anxious to hear the Administration's presentation and would like to welcome the distinguished Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ms. Jamie Clark, to our Subcommittee today.
Mr. SAXTON. I would like to welcome the distinguished Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jamie Clark.
Welcome aboard here to our Subcommittee.
I now would recognize the Ranking Member.
Do any of the other members have short opening statements?
With that, Ms. Clark, the floor is yours. Thank you for being with us.
STATEMENT OF JAMIE CLARK, DIRECTOR, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Ms. CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and good morning. Good morning to the other members of this Subcommittee.
President Clinton's fiscal year 2000 budget request for the Fish and Wildlife Service is over $1.5 billion, including $950 million in annual appropriations, and over $632 million in permanent appropriations.
This is the largest budget ever proposed for the Service, and provides us with a great opportunity to further the Nation's commitment to conserving fish and wildlife resources.
While we have many individual program initiatives, they are focused on three major policy areas. Endangered species after harm, by providing more flexible assistance to private land owners, and communities in dealing with the pressures that arise from having listed species and at-risk species on their property.
Page 10 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The National Wildlife Refuge System. Building on our commitments, those of the Administration and your Subcommittee, to assure that our 516 refuges provide protective habitats for wildlife, can be enjoyed by future generations, and maintain safe environments for our employees and visitors.
Expanding our partnerships. Working with Federal agencies, States, local governments, private land owners, and international organizations to conserve species and their habitats, to combat invasive species, and to protect migratory birds and mammals.
Over the past 6 years, the Administration and the Congress have made great progress in protecting and restoring our environment, and the natural resources, while sustaining the longest period of economic growth in our history.
We have learned that we do not have to choose between a strong economy and a healthy environment. Our budget builds upon our recent successes in making the Endangered Species Act work better by balancing the Nation's devotion to the environment and its entrepreneurial spirit.
The Service request $114.9 million to implement the Endangered Species Act. Our reforms for habitat conservation plans, Safe Harbor agreements, and Candidate Conservation agreements encourage public and private land owners to work with us in helping to restore declining and listed species.
The President's Land Legacy Initiative proposes an additional $66 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund to provide new tools to State and local governments, including $10 million to develop and implement new habitat conservation plans; $18 million to implement Candidate Conservation agreements and Safe Harbor agreements for protecting candidate and listed species; $15 million for land acquisition by the states to implement species recovery plans; and $20 million in additional grants to states for HCP land acquisition.
The Nation will celebrate its Centennial Anniversary of the National Wildlife Refuge System in 2003. Both the Administration and the Congress want to assure that our refuge visitors and volunteers enjoy safe facilities.
Page 11 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC With your support, we have invested an additional $76 million in refuge operations and maintenance during fiscal years 1998 and 1999.
Our 2000 budget request totals $264 million; an increase of $27 million above the fiscal year 1999 in active level, including $18 million to support projects on 167 refuges, including projects to !bat invasive species, protect our coral reefs, and conserve the tender habitat in Alaska, and the tropical habitats in Hawaii; and $9 million to address deferred maintenance and equipment replacement needs.
Currently, we have a $433 million backlog in priority maintenance needs. The special Title V appropriations, the 1999 appropriations, and our 2000 budget request will reduce this backlog by nearly 26 percent.
We all know that the Federal Government must have support from State, local, and Tribal governments, private organizations, individuals, and even the international community to protect and enhance the natural resources that we all share. Our fiscal year 2000 budget requests additional resources to strengthen our partnerships, including restoring habitat and species in the populous Mississippi River Basin, the Southwestern Deserts in Arizona and New Mexico, the Mojave Desert in California and Nevada, and the grasslands in the High Plains Region.
Working cooperatively with hydropower applicants to design economically viable projects that provide fish passage and protect habitat and watershed health, improves passage and aquatic habitats for native fish in seven watersheds, strengthens international protection for the Asian elephants, rhinoceros, tigers, migratory birds, marine mammals, and the Monarch butterfly.
It improves our permanent process to better support international trade and to provide more effective protection against the importation of harmful invasive species.
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would like to take the opportunity to invite members of this Subcommittee to visit our National Wildlife Refuges, our fish hatcheries, and our partnership projects to see first-hand how we leverage our appropriations to accomplish more than otherwise would be possible.
Page 12 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you might have.
[The prepared statement of Ms. Clark may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much.
I would just like to recognize briefly the Ranking Member.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I apologize for my lateness in coming. We were told that we were going to make speeches to honor our former colleague Moe Udall. It is on right now at the same time we are having the hearing. So, we had a little mix-up there in the scheduling.
I do want to, for the essence of time, would like ask unanimous consent that my statement be made a part of the record. I certainly would like to offer my personal welcome to Ms. Clark and Mr. Ceccucci this morning.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Faleomavaega follows:]
STATEMENT OF HON. ENI FALEOMAVAEGA, A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM AMERICAN SAMOA
Mr. Chairman, thank you for calling this hearing. The Fish and Wildlife Service provides an important function by assuming stewardship of many of the animals, along with their habitat, that contribute to this nation's strong natural resource base. I look forward to hearing from the Administration about their request for funding for programs for the coming year and particularly want to learn more about programs requesting increases in funding levels. I strongly support the fine work done by the Service, but also recognize the need for fiscal responsibility.
Thank you Mr. Chairman, and I yield back the balance of my time.
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Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman.
Incidently, this necklace that I have on is from American Samoa. The gentleman to my left, Mr. Faleomavaega, brought a set of these back apparently for every Subcommittee member or every Full Committee member.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. All of the Full Committee.
Mr. SAXTON. All of the members.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. All of the members, Mr. Chairman. I certainly would like to extend the same invitation to you, hopefully, and members of our Subcommittee would come and visit my humble Islands. It is a part of America.
The American flag flies there. I think you would not find more patriotic Americans anywhere, if you, sir, and members of our Subcommittee, would like to have them come and visit us.
Mr. SAXTON. Well, the staff sitting at my right just said he is ready to go.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Let us do it.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you very much. Thank you for the generous gifts. They are beautiful and we appreciate it.
Ms. Clark, with regard to the maintenance backlog, we talk about this every year. It continues to be a mind-boggling problem.
It gave rise to a volunteer bill that we were able to pass and get signed into law, which hopefully will have some modest effect on the problem. What are your priorities in terms of reducing the maintenance backlog which faces our refuge system?
Ms. CLARK. First, Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you and members of this Subcommittee for being so generous over the past few years.
Page 14 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Our work in addressing the maintenance backlog in our system is really moving forward with a pretty impressive pace. The combination, as I said earlier, of the 1999 appropriation, Title V allocation, and our fiscal year 2000 request, we believe will reduce our maintenance backlog by about 26 percent.
We are continuing to target critical health and safety needs to ensure safe visits for not only our volunteers, but the public that enjoys our refuges and hatcheries. We are addressing critical mission needs and critical resource protection needs that have to get done to accomplish our refuge priority objectives.
We believe what is most important and we are continuing to work on it, but are proud of our progress to-date has been our accountability and tracking system for the dollars that you have so generously given us.
We are able to provide fully accountability for the maintenance appropriation that has been provided by the Appropriations Committee.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. An issue that we have talked about for a very long period of time has to do with snow geese.
Frankly, there are some members of Congress who I have tied their hands behind them in order to try to give you folks every opportunity to issue the regulations that need to be issued to solve this devastating problem; particularly in the central flyway.
Would you discuss with us the results of your efforts and what you anticipate the results of those new regulations will be?
Ms. CLARK. Certainly, I will be happy to discuss what I hope the results of those new regulations will be. Last month in mid-February, we did publish regulations that, for want of a better word, liberalized the opportunity to takelesser snow geese.
We have developed a conservation order that allows for an expanded opportunity to reduce the population of snow geese through things like unplugged shotguns and electronic calls.
Page 15 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have also expanded the opportunity during the hunting season, as long as it does not conflict with other migratory bird seasons. So, we are hopeful that will begin to reduce the overwhelming devastation that is being caused by these birds, especially through the central flyway, as you mentioned. We have in the fiscal year 2000 request, requested an additional $200,000 in our migratory bird appropriation so that we can monitor the results of this conservation order.
As I am sure you know, it is going to take a lot more than population control. We are beginning to look at alternatives to address habitat manipulation, including our National Wildlife Refuges throughout the flyways that the snow geese use.
Hopefully, with the combination of population management and habitat manipulation, we are going to begin to see dramatic declines in the populations.
Mr. SAXTON. Can you discuss what tpAgl1tF#x8I*6&
D%ZuCD7W&Rv&VgVvW27W&RR6WG&FRBfb&VgVvRf''V'2bW''w&F'&&B&VgVvW2vRfRFWfVVB&FB''&W7F&VB&FB7V6W2VBFv2g&heir migratory pathway. We have done a great job and, in many places, too good of a job.
We have developed pockets of these birds that have begun to cause some serious habitat problems and some serious interactions with the public; not only refuge, but off refuge. So, we are in the process of exploring some pretty aggressive habitat alteration schemes on our refuges, and working with the states, the flyway councils, and the bird communities to look at opportunities to work off-refuge to discourage some of these long-term stop-overs that are occurring throughout their flyways.
Mr. SAXTON. You are worried about the damage that they do to habitat in the lower 48? Is that correct?
Ms. CLARK. Yes. Well, a lot of what we have done in the lower 48 has contributed to these massive numbers that are causing the devastation in their Northern nesting areas.
Page 16 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. In other words, we have made the habitat so nice, so productive, and so conducive to healthy birds that they live longer and populate.
Ms. CLARK. Live longer, produce more, and it has just really contributed to the population explosion. If you have not seen the video, you should, some of the videos on snow geese. It is overwhelming what is happening in the nesting grounds up North.
Mr. SAXTON. That is what obviously seems to me, at least, that the lesser problem is what is occurring in the states. The huge problem is what is occurring in the Tundra, which obviously does not recover very quickly, et cetera. It is a huge problem.
I take it from your comments that you have less than full confidence that the new regulations, which have been promulgated in order to try to promote population control, I take it you have less than full confidence that, that is going to be highly successful.
Ms. CLARK. Well, Mr. Chairman, I have a high degree of confidence and a lot of hope that it is going to be a significant contribution to the solution, but I do not think it is a solution by itself.
Mr. SAXTON. Are you contemplating other methods of population control?
Ms. CLARK. We are exploring any and all methods. There is a continuing dialogue within the bird community, the flyway councils, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the states. We are looking for other opportunities to begin to control them.
Mr. SAXTON. Did you run into any problems with any conservation environmental friendly groups to animal types?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, we have, Mr. Chairman. We have gotten terrific support from the bird community in general. Ducks Unlimited has provided a lot of science support to this.
The Audubon Society, the American Bird Conservancy, you know, that kind of collection of groups has overall been tremendously supportive of the conservation order. We do, however, have a litigation challenge from the Humane Society asking us to withdraw the rule or suspend it. In fact, they have filed for a temporary restraining order here in the DC Courts. We expect it to be heard either late this week or early next week.
Page 17 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We have no intention of changing course, unless the Courts direct us to. We have been asked to voluntarily withdraw the rule or suspend it. That is not a course of action that we are interested in taking.
Mr. SAXTON. Have you had an opportunity to sit with the representatives from the Humane Society and understand their point of view?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, we have, on numerous occasions.
Mr. SAXTON. What alternative might they have in mind? Obviously, they must recognize the devastation that is occurring the Northern part of the flyway.
Ms. CLARK. Well, they do; multiple issues. They would like to see less ''invasive'' techniques like egg gathering; going up to the Arctic nesting grounds, shaking the eggs off the nests, doing nest kinds of controlling, trying to control at the end point.
The problem is this is not an end point problem. It is a multi-faceted problem. So, egg gathering is one example of the kinds of techniques. They are very concerned about expanded hunting and expanded population control at this problem because they do believe there are other alternatives.
The bird scientists have been debating this for a long time. We are beyond the point where we need to initiate it. We need to start looking at ways to bring these population numbers down because it is not only affecting the snow geese and the habitat in the lower 48, it is beginning to affect other species as well.
The $200,000 in the fiscal year 2000 budget in our request, I think, will go a long way to help us understand the role and the contribution of the conservation order.
Mr. SAXTON. Thank you. I will not take further time now. I think what we may do, however, is ask you or your folks to come back for a hearing on this issue.
Ms. CLARK. Certainly.
Page 18 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. SAXTON. It is obviously very, very serious. Mr. Faleomavaega.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I certainly want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this being my first Subcommittee hearing dealing with the authorization aspects of the several pieces of legislation that are being considered.
I do have a couple of questions I want to ask Ms. Clark. Under the provisions of the Endangered Species Act, do you currently have a threatened list now being utilized? For the record, is it available?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, it is. We would be happy to provide that. We do maintain a list.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. How many are considered threatened species that are categorized?
Ms. CLARK. I can ballpark it. We have on our threatened and endangered species list today on the domestic side somewhere in the neighborhood of about 1,200 species.
I am not clearly sure how many are considered threatened and how many are endangered. The numbers keep shifting. I would be happy to provide that for the record.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Can you provide that for the record please?
Ms. CLARK. Certainly.
[The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I was very happy to learn from my good friend, the gentleman from California, some of the experiences that he had with these endangered species. Maybe he will share with us the experiences he has had having to deal with this situation.
Page 19 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I understand there was a $20 million appropriation last year to provide for the Salmon Recovery Program for Washington State. How are we doing in that program?
Ms. CLARK. It is going great. We have transferred the $20 million through to the State, or at least $19,750,000 of it. We have retained $250,000 to provide the technical assistance and the linkage with the State of Washington. That has gone quite well.
We have developed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Fish and Wildlife Service and the State. The State is working through their priorities with the dollars as we speak.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I take it that another important aspect of the Fish and Wildlife Service is to provide a sense of exactly where the seafood industry is here in our country. Are you involved in that situation or are you just basically for conservation?
What I am getting at is what is the consumption of the seafood industry here in the U.S.
Ms. CLARK. Well, I know I eat a lot. But I cannot answer that question. It is really not within our jurisdiction to track.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I understand that we are going to have the National Marine Fisheries Service next week.
Ms. CLARK. They would be probably better equipped to answer that.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. How is our Jobs in the Woods Program?
Ms. CLARK. Going well. That is one of our great success stories in the Northwest. It has gone a long way to helping loggers re-tool. We have gotten terrific habitat restoration projects as a result of it.
We have developed a lot of habitat restoration techniques and a lot of habitat restoration projects on the ground as a result of the appropriations. We would be glad to provide you some examples for the record, if you would like.
Page 20 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Please.
[The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. As you know, recently we have just made a sale of $480 million for 10,000 acres of the Sequoia Redwood. Do you think that was worth every penny? I understand that it may be difficult even for public access to this.
Ms. CLARK. I have not been there and I am not an appraiser. Certainly, from every indication and from every indication that I have heard about this area, it truly is one of the special places of California. It is certainly an area that is worth conserving for our natural heritage. But I have not seen it first-hand.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Neither have I. I look forward to seeing it. I understand that in section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, there always seems to be controversy involved with the interagency squabbles that always seem to go on.
I know my good friend from Guam, Bob Underwood, is going to be coming here and will be presenting a list of questions and the concerns that he has expressed with the Fish and Wildlife Service activity in his District.
I wonder if you could help me along this area where I believe initially the need was only maybe for about 70 acres or something. Now, the Fish and Wildlife Service is claiming 21 percent of the whole Island to be used under the refuge or something of that sort. Are you familiar with the case in Guam?
Ms. CLARK. I am somewhat familiar with the Guam Refuge, but I cannot speak to the percentages. I am sorry; could you?
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. It was huge. Let me just say it was quite a number of acres that were just grabbed out of theI do not know if it was grabbed out of a hat, but the fact that you have 150,000 people living there.
Page 21 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It comes to the point where I am expressing a sense of concern. Which is more important, the little beetle out there our the lives of the people living on that Island?
Ms. CLARK. I do know that the refuge was developed as an overlay over the military lands there. We have been working with the local Guam folks to try to balance that need for species protection, endangered species restoration, and the needs of the economy.
Any specifics, I would be happy to get back to yourself or Mr. Underwood on.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr. Chairman, I will ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from Guam will be allowed to submit a list of questions, in case he is not able to make the hearing this morning.
My time is up. I will pass for now for the next round.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. SAXTON. Without objection, thank you.
[The questions of referred to by Mr. Underwood may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. SAXTON. The gentleman from Utah.
Mr. Hansen: Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I have not sat on this Subcommittee in my 19 years here. I appreciate the privilege of doing that. I was looking over these lists of potential questions to ask and wondered which one would be relevant. I would just ask this.
I appreciate the gentleman from American Samoa's question about the threatened species list. I would sure like to have a copy of that; if you would make that available.
Page 22 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC How do you get on your threatened species list? How would I put something on the threatened species list or how does anybody?
Ms. CLARK. There are a number of ways. We in the Fish and Wildlife Service identify candidates for inclusion on the list based on the five factors that are in the Endangered Species Act today.
Present or threatened destruction, inadequate regulatory mechanisms, disease importation; things like that. So, they become candidates for listing when we believe their numbers are in such decline status that they are in danger of extinction.
So, we self-generate species onto the list. The other way, and perhaps lately the more overt way, is through the petition process.
Any citizen can in fact petition the Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Service, with backup administrative documents, to add a species to the list. That initiates a process that requires a science review by us.
Mr. HANSEN. Then who makes the decision after that citizen goes through that petitioning process? Who makes the decision whether or not that was correct?
Ms. CLARK. The ultimate decision of whether or not to add a species to the list lies with the Secretary of Interior as delegated to the Director of the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mr. HANSEN. Are many of them rejected?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, they are. In fact, in my time as Director since July of 1997, we have rejected many petitions to add species to the list. We have also added quite a few species.
Mr. HANSEN. Once it goes on the list, is there a certain area designated as habitat for that threatened species or does it have to become endangered before there is habitat listed for it?
Page 23 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. When we add a species to the list, in the regulation adding the species to the list, we often times describe the important habitats. In fact, almost always we describe the habitat necessary. There is also an additional process that is in the law, the critical habitat designation process. We are obliged by the law to designate critical habitat when it is both prudent, meaning it is beneficial to the species, and it is determinable.
We can determine those areas that are essential to the recovery of the species. It is for both threatened and endangered species. It is not one or the other. It is for either one.
Mr. HANSEN. To the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it is immaterial whether it is private property, Federal property, state property, county property, city property, just as long as the species is there. Is that right?
Ms. CLARK. When we are describing the habitat needs of the species, we are describing them based on the biological requirements of the species, if we are describing in narrative form.
When we are in fact declaring critical habitat, critical habitat only has legal weight, if you will, or enforcement weight, if you will, if there is a Federal nexus or a Federal connection to the project.
So, the ultimate designation of critical habitat does not necessarily have an effect on private property. A short answer to your question, which I should have started with I guess
Mr. HANSEN. It probably is not one thing that you would bother yourself with. Probably John Leshey would be more concerned with that issue than you would. It bothers me when I see people like Bruce Babbitt coming into Iron County, Utah, and people who have held ground for five or six generations, the ground has gone from $200 an acre or maybe up to $30,000 or $40,000 an acre because many people want to reside there.
Page 24 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Babbitt then says, well yes, that is the appraised value of it. However, to us, it is worth $600 an acre. You pay taxes on it. You cannot use it.
In your mind, does the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution say that you have to pay for that ground if you are going to take it? In your mind, does that constitute a taking?
Ms. CLARK. I cannot speak to the specific fact pattern, but I do not believe the Endangered Species Act constitutes a taking. No, sir, I do not.
Mr. HANSEN. You do not consider it a taking if someone owns property that they cannot use because there is an endangered species on it. They pay taxes on it. They have owned it for maybe five generations, but all they can do is pay taxes. They cannot use the ground. You do not consider that a taking?
Ms. CLARK. We have worked over the last 6 years to stretch the flexibility of the Endangered Species Act. I know in Iron County, I know in many places, especially out West, we have worked with the habitat conservation planning process. We have worked to find incentives in the Endangered Species Act. We have worked to increase our appropriations to provide monetary incentives for land owners to work with endangered species.
I do not know of any ''condemned taking'' of a land as the result of an endangered species that I would put in that Fifth Amendment. I am also not an attorney.
Mr. HANSEN. That is kind of a legal question, I guess. How come you have more folks in the West than you do the East? Is there not as many endangered species in the East as there is in the West?
Ms. CLARK. No, there actually are not. That is an ecological answer. If you are dealing with conservation biology, and you are dealing with the whole sense of ecological hot spots, it is clearly documented that some of the most fantastic biological hot spots are through the Southwest, in the State of California, and through the Southeast: Alabama, Mississippi, and into the Florida area.
Page 25 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC All of that is a result of the evolution and geologic time. So, you would not expect to find the kinds of biological diversity in places like Alaska, the Upper mid-West, and New England that you would find as you get closer to the equator.
We deploy our resources to the areas that either support the greater biological diversity or we find it necessary to try to address the potential conflicts between species conservation and economic development.
Mr. HANSEN. Mr. Chairman, I was just curious. In the last statistics I saw, it was 3:1 in the West, the 11 western States, compared to the East. Your answer is that there is more out there.
Ms. CLARK. There is certainly more biological diversity.
Mr. HANSEN. Thank you.
Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman.
I would just comment that the members of this Subcommittee on this issue have tried to reach a consensus over the last 4 or 5 years on many of these issues. Mr. Pombo spent an extraordinary amount of time studying, understanding, and working to try to find a way to reach a consensus.
On the other hand, Mr. Gilchrest and I spent, on almost a daily basis, a better part of 2 years working with various groups, including logging interests, green folks, et cetera, trying to come to a position where we could get together with the folks from the West.
We have just been unable to do that. It is really frustrating to me. The only issue that I know that we have not been able to form consensus on, other than endangered species, has to do with abortion.
We just have not been able to get there. I am still anxious to continue the process. I cannot think of anything that has been more frustrating to me than to continue to have a situation where we have been unable to deal with a major issue that confronts our Subcommittee.
Page 26 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The law continues to go unauthorized. I guess I would like to say at this point that I would like to try it again, but that is where we are. Mr. Gilchrest.
Mr. GILCHREST. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
You expressed my sentiments exactly. Ms. Clark, you have an enormous responsibility; part of which is to understand the nature of the living web, or the web of life, on planet earth.
Yours in particular are the United States and its Territories, and how that interfaces; understanding the web of life and how that interfaces with human beings, whether they be in the West or the East.
We have a better idea of the needs for the infrastructure of humans than we do for the infrastructure necessary to support that entire web of life, which includes human beings.
I read recently that if you pick up a handful of dirt anywhere on earth, it could be your backyard, the complexity of the structure of that handful of direct is more complex than all the land mass on all the planets in this solar system. We start with single cell organisms, molecules, and we go through the living web, which is the food web of life. We are included in that.
So, how much of the infrastructure of other living things can we fragment, occupy, destroy, eliminate, or become extent before that has an impact directly on us, as people, because we are a part of the living web?
It is difficult. It is complex. It is not easy to understand. Maybe it was not meant to be understood or easily understood, but it is complex. So, we, as laymen, members of Congress struggle to do what is best, as far as our frame of reference allows or our constituents.
Then you come in here and have to deal with each of our perspectives, as do other people in Fish and Wildlife. So, I just wanted to applaud you on that. I wish you well on all of you decisions.
Page 27 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We will struggle with our goals to try to do what we feel is best. Now, a parochial question, Ms. Clark. My colleague from California says I cannot ask parochial questions.
I would say that when Jim asked how do we become endangered, I thought he was mentioning about the next election. Not enough money in the campaign is a threat.
Mr. HANSEN. Threatened.
Mr. GILCHREST. Oh, threatened. You asked threatened. So, you are not endangered; 19 years in Congress, you are doing the Lord's work, Jim; public service.
Anyway, very quickly, Mr. Clark, Fish and Wildlife said in 1996, they concluded that non-indigenous species was one of the, if not the most, important thing for threatening our species; whether they were not threatened or whether they were threatened.
Invasive alien species were recognized as a very significant threat to large populations of our natural resources. Now, in my District we have Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Blue Herrings, Muskrats, Delmarva Fox, squirrels, and many, many different kinds of ducks, probably too many snow geese now. The Canada geese are coming.
The point is we have an invasive species called Nutria, which is about 20 pounds and it looks like a rat. We ate some the other day on Black Water Refuge. I will tell you that if you want to know what it tastes likeErica had some. Actually, Erica liked it, I think. She ate more of it than I did.
Mr. SAXTON. Does the gentleman have a question?
Mr. GILCHREST. Let me finish. Yes. I am going to ask a question. They might be interested, Jim, in what Nutria tastes like.
Add a little humor to the seriousness of this; a little levity here in the Subcommittee. Try to imagine what the hair of a rat would taste like. That is what the meat of Nutria tastes like. I thought maybe Alpo would be interested in it. We might consider that.
Page 28 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Here is the question. Fish and Wildlife consider this a very important issue. Yet, there was nothing in the Administration's budget to deal with this particular problem. We authorized $2.9 million last year.
We have put together a pretty good team of the private sector, the State and the Federal Government to reach into the pilot program and get these Nutria out in Maryland, and eradicate them completely.
Is there anything in the Fish and Wildlife vision or budget to do this in 21 other states that have the same pretty major problem?
Ms. CLARK. I will talk a little bit about Nutria in a the bigger picture. I am having a hard time going there with thinking of tasting them.
The whole issue of invasive and exotic species is incredibly insidious. It is something that we should all be watching out for because it is taking over our natural environment.
We have identified it in the Fish and Wildlife Service as one of our major priorities for the coming years. It is causing the endangerment of species. The war on weeds are just marching across our refuge system.
Everything from, in the Great Lakes to Zebra Mussels, Asiatic Clams, to Lamprey down into the Southeast. So, this whole kind of program or this issue about invasive species and exotic species is an area we should all be very concerned about.
It is altering our natural environment in big ways. As Nutria, being one of those kinds of species that are altering our environment, and I am aware of what is happening over at Black Water, we are very concerned about it, Congressman.
In fact, we are conducting an evaluation about the effect and the impact of Nutria on all of our refuges along the Atlantic Coast. So, we know it is a big deal.
At Black Water, in particular, I know that the Regional Director and our Refuge Manager are using their appropriated operational dollars to begin to address the habitat destruction as a result of the Nutria invasion there.
Page 29 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, we are applying dollars to the problem right now. When you look at a program that has a $123 billion a year impact nationally, the whole invasive species issue, we are almost in the position of just fighting fires.
In our 2000 budget, we do have requests that scatter through the budget of about a $5.2 million increase to not only address the invasive exotic species issues on our own lands, but to begin to deal with some of the prevention and monitoring issues that are so important to protecting our environment.
Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman from Maryland.
Let me ask unanimous consent that Mr. Calvert be permitted to sit and ask questions, if I may. Kenney has an appointment that he has to get to. Mr. Calvert.
Mr. CALVERT. Thanks, Richard.
I represent Riverside County, the 43rd Congressional District in Southern California, that you mentioned. I do not know if the Subcommittee knows this, but 1/3 of the endangered species in the entire Country, including the Territories as I understand it, are located in Southern California; 1/3.
A substantial amount of the endangered species are located in my District. We have had to deal with the Stevens Kangaroo Rat. We have had the least Bell's Vireo, and now the Delhi Flower-Loving Sandfly. We have just had another listing.
So, I am trying to, and constantly strive, to find a balance between the rights of land owners and the reasonable enforcement of this Act. The Secretary of Interior, Bruce Babbitt, on February 17th of last year, announced his no-surprises and five point initiative to strengthen Endangered Species Conservation Partnerships.
He noted that more than 80 percent of endangered species inhabit private property. We need to come up with incentives that enable land owners, developers, farmers, even timber and mining companies to preserve and protect wildlife habitat by taking simple, flexible, inexpensive and, above all, scientifically sound steps.
Page 30 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC My goal is to conserve in accordance with the ESA, or endangered wildlife. However, my Office, as of now, is receiving a dramatic increase in the number of Congressional inquiries from my constituents; specifically in this last year.
With this high degree of public involvement, it is imperative that we ensure consistent implementation of section 7 of this Act. On January 25th, the Service issued a protocol survey for the Quino Checkerspot Butterfly, which impacts most of Southern California.
For those of you who are not aware of this, the highest assessed value in the United States of land is in Southern California. The Quino Checkerspot Butterfly survey, as the map was put out, basically takes all of the land from Ventura County all the way to Mexico.
The Service recommends that land owners in Southwestern Riverside and San Diego Counties survey their properties during the butterfly season to avoid killing the insect.
On March 1, 1999, the Service issued a no-flight season letter in Riverside County that potentially stalls land owners from developing properties that may contain host plants on which the butterfly feeds. Land owners may not be able to survey for the species, since the larvae can remain dormant if drought prevents their primary food source from growing.
As a result, all projects in my District and potentially in all of Southern California are currently on hold indefinitely. The Supreme Court has said that the enforcement of the ESA is to avoid needless economic dislocation produced by agency officials.
With this in mind, I have a grave concern about the procedures and policies followed by Fish and Wildlife in Southern California. With that, I have a couple of questions.
In March of 1998, a national policy entitled, Endangered Species Consultation Handbook, was released to staff members of the Fish and Wildlife Service, as a policy streamlining the processing of section 7 and section 10(a) of the Act.
Ms. CLARK. The handbook that you are referring to, Congressman, was jointly developed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
Page 31 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Its expressed intent was to ensure consistency in how we apply section 7 of the Endangered Species Act across all of our field stations. We believe it has gone a long way towards achieving that.
Mr. CALVERT. I am concerned that your Sacramento and Carlsbed Offices are not following the handbook. In fact, I am not convinced they have ever read it.
Ms. CLARK. Well, that certainly is disappointing. I would be happy to look into that for you.
Mr. CALVERT. I would appreciate it. It was my understanding that the Sacramento Office was opened and staffed at the discretion of the Secretary in order to facilitate resolution of the problems in California, as you recognized are probably the most significant problems you face enforcing this Act.
My personal experience in contacting the Sacramento Office often results in being referred to Portland. I am unfamiliar with the chain of command in Fish and Wildlife. What is the purpose, responsibilities, and goals of the Sacramento Office?
Ms. CLARK. In fact, I am happy to explain that because I know there has been some confusion in the transition. We have our Western Region, which is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.
It includes all of the costal States, including California, Nevada, Idaho, the Hawaiian Islands, and Trust Territories. The Sacramento Office that you are referring towe have the Sacramento Field Office. Then we have what we call the California-Nevada Operations Office, which is staffed by a Senior Executive Service person, Mike Spear, and eight other folks who provide that mid-level, on-site support, and technical assistance to the States of California and Nevada.
While it continues to be a part of Region 1 and a lot of policy oversight, and technical assistance is coming out of Portland because we did not create a new region.
Page 32 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mike Spear, as the person in Sacramento, has a tremendous amount of delegated authority to solve the conflicts in California. So, he has a good bit of authority. I deal with Mike routinely, as I am sure you imagine.
Mr. CALVERT. So do I.
Ms. CLARK. I am sure you do, too. The California office has now finally been fully staffed and has made the transition.
I was just out in Sacramento a few weeks ago with all of the California and Nevada project leaders. I hope, I believe, that you will see a lot better service in the near future.
Mr. CALVERT. I hope so. I have to wrap this up. But we are in crisis in Southern California right now. Primarily the Quino has brought this to a head. We also have the Delhi Flower-Loving Sandfly.
We have some Federal money going into an interstate highway. The last memo I received is that Fish and Wildlife is requiring basically all of the money out of ISTEA into the interstate highway for this one intersection. They want all of the money to go into habitat acquisition for the Sandfly. That is not a reasonable solution to the problem.
Ms. CLARK. Right.
Mr. CALVERT. This is time, and time, and time again. I have to spend 1/3 of my time, and my staff time, trying to resolve issues regarding endangered species, I do admit, because I have more endangered species than anyone else.
It is to the point of crisis in Southern California. I suspect that you are going to be hearing a lot more about it, if in fact, if you enforce basically a freeze of development in Southern California for the next year. It is going to be a significant, significant problem.
Ms. CLARK. Well certainly, Congressman, it is not our intent to freeze development in Southern California. In fact, the Incentives Program and the foundation on which that land's legacy, part of the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund increase request is based, is to provide those incentives, and to allow for pass-through grants to the states and local communities to help them do their jobs, as it relates to endangered species.
Page 33 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are very sensitive, especially in places like California, and Riverside County, in particular, where we know that there is a terrific conflict issue that we need to continue to work on. That was the thrust behind our operational consultation budget increase.
The Cooperative Endangered Species Fund increase is aimed at just that; to get more technical assistance and to provide opportunities.
Mr. CALVERT. If I had the time, I could go on and on. We have a problem with the Big Horn Sheep in the mountain land right now.
Ms. CLARK. Right.
Mr. CALVERT. Mountain lions are devouring 2/3 of the Big Horn Sheep. There is nothing we can do to take mountain lions. All of the Big Horn Sheep will be gone within 2 years if you do not do something about the mountain lion.
Ms. CLARK. That is a huge problem. In fact, I spoke to the State and to our folks about it. I would be happy to come up and chat with you on a list of issues, if you would like.
Mr. POMBO. [presiding] I would like to ask unanimous consent that Congressman Underwood be allowed to sit in with the Subcommittee and ask questions.
Mr. POMBO. Hearing no objections. I am going to ask my questions. Then I will go to you when you are ready.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. POMBO. Ms. Clark, going through your budget request, there are a lot of interesting and curious things that I am trying to put together and try to follow along with exactly what you are trying to do.
To start off with, in terms of your budget justifications, you are anticipating publishing proposed rules to de-list or down-list 10 species, and to finalize rules on de-listing and down-listing 15 species.
Page 34 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Can you provide the Subcommittee which species that you are looking at for de-listing and reclassification? I do not expect you to remember all of those off the top of your head.
Ms. CLARK. I will be glad to provide. Some of the species include, of course, the falcon, the Bald Eagle, the Gray Wolf, the Columbian Whitetail Deer, and a number of plants. For the record, we would be happy to get you the full list.
Mr. POMBO. In that list, can you also provide the Subcommittee with the justification for why they are being down-listed, such as extinction or technical errors in terms of listing?
Ms. CLARK. Certainly. I would be glad to.
[The species list referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. POMBO. I would also like to ask you about the CALFED budgeting process. The Service is requesting $1.3 million for its share of the CALFED process.
The request is very vague in terms of it says for technical assistance. Can you provide to the Subcommittee some kind of an idea what you expect to do with that money?
That is an obviously very touchy issue in the District I represent; the CALFED process to begin with. When they see Fish and Wildlife asking for money to spend on technical assistance, everybody gets real nervous about that.
Ms. CLARK. I would be glad to provide you specifics for the record. Certainly, it is for our responsibility, the science evaluation, and for the monitoring of some of the activities in the CALFED area, and to support technical assistance in some of the decision-making that is going on as it relates to fish and wildlife conservation issues. I can get you a detailed response for the record.
[The information referred to may be found at end of hearing.]
Page 35 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC
Mr. POMBO. Also, there is a request for $5.3 million for the International Wildlife Trade Program. Particularly, it mentions that you want to participate in the Eleventh Conference of the Partiesas you know, I attended the Tenth Conference on CITES.
I am intending on going to the next conference. I would like to request that you keep me, and other members of the Subcommittee that are interested, fully aware and involved with the process in terms of developing positions and what you expect to do at CITES.
Ms. CLARK. I would be happy to. We are beginning to gear that process up now. We would be happy to keep you informed of our progress as we start developing the proposals.
Mr. POMBO. Thank you. On ESA, in your budget, you request a funding increase on ESA listings. At the same time, there is a significant cut in funding for recovery.
Can you explain to the Subcommittee why that would be?
Ms. CLARK. Certainly. We have requested a little over a $1 million increase in listing. That is to address a backlog of 160-plus candidate species, to continue to evaluate proposed and final rules to deal with the critical habitat issue in the current law, and just to continue that program, which has not seen any kind of increase in the last few years.
The recovery budget is a little bit of a shell game, if you will. In fiscal year 1999, we had a one-time $20 million funding for the Washington State Salmon Enhancement Program pass-through to the State, which we talked about earlier.
We have proposed in 2000, since it was a one-time deal, that is a decrease to be joined by an additional sum of money to address the Safe Harbor Program's responsibilities and requirements, to address the backlog of recovery plans, to provide for individual species recovery habitat initiatives.
Page 36 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That is where we fund our De-Listing and Reclassification Program. So, it is a shifting of money within the Recovery Program. It clearly is, from an operational standpoint, a generous increase request on behalf of the Administration for recovery.
Mr. POMBO. I will take your answer and re-look at the numbers that were given to me. In following along with this, one of the things in your budget request is a change in language, legislative language, which is a cap on $1 million for any activity regarding the designation of critical habitat, pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.
That involves processing petitions, developing and issuing proposed rules and final regulations, making determinations regarding prudence or determinability, and evaluating environmental economics and other impacts.
Ms. CLARK. Now, maybe I am following you.
I can explain that. We are actually requesting a double cap. It is almost a cap within a cap. We are requesting, as we did in 1999, a cap on the listing budget.
Because of the enormous amount of litigation surrounding this program, which I know you are painfully aware of, we want to be able to kind of control the amount of litigation surrounding it.
So, we have asked for a cap on our listing sub-activity so that we are able to just target that amount of money to dealing with the listing program; the adding species to the list, the critical habitat, the overdue statutory deadlines because of the sheer magnitude of the program today in response to the petitions.
We have requested a cap on the listing program, but within that cap, we have now also asked for a sub-cap. The proliferation of litigation surrounding critical habitat is incredible and it is growing.
Critical habitat we do not believe provides any significant conservation benefit to the species and it involves an incredible lengthy process. It is clearly misunderstood by the public.
Page 37 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC It is, quite frankly, getting far beyond the worth of its designation. Given the litigation surrounding that, we have asked for a cap within the listing sub-activity so that no more than $1 million of the listing appropriation will be spent on critical habitat designation.
Mr. POMBO. There is a specific problem with doing that, that I see. Mr. Calvert talked about the new butterfly that is going to be listed or has been listed in Southern California.
I happen to have seen the listing documents that were passed out from Fish and Wildlife. That includes a map of historic habitat, potential habitat. I do not know which one you chose to label it as, but it includes a map.
If you are not going to do critical habitat, the map that is going to be used by Fish and Wildlife is that map. So, anybody who falls within that area is now subject to the full whim of the Fish and Wildlife Service on any project that happens within that map.
I think you would have to agree. It is arbitrary somewhat and preliminary at best in the map that was drawn up because no critical habitat map is done. This is requesting a cap be put on that.
The result of this is going to be that you will have Southern California, Riverside County, a group of people; someone will have to get together and have to pay for this out-of-pocket because Fish and Wildlife is capping what they are willing to spend.
So, you are shifting the cost of this program now onto the private person. If they want to do anything, you are going to have to get something out of them. They are going to have to pay for the biological work. They are going to have to pay for the critical habitat.
They are going to have to pay for everything because you are requesting that we cap you and that you not be required to spend more than $1 million on any critical habitat listing.
Page 38 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Southern California has several agency pieces. Riverside County has their agency piece; San Diego. There are several that are setup. These have always been sold as being voluntary.
It is voluntary. It is a way to move on the process. We will get something out of you and you have to pay into this fund in order for you to continue. You have always said that was voluntary.
They were voluntarily going into that. They were voluntarily entering into these programs. I would question whether it is voluntary. Recently, I saw an article that ran in the Contra-Costa Times, February 28th of this year.
It talks about the famous Headwaters Forest Deal. It quotes an Administration official as saying, ''And a Federal official promised extremely, stringent, enforcement of the Endangered Species Act beginning Tuesday, and that was because the agreement had fallen apart. The deal included a habitat conservation plan.''
Now remember, this is supposed to be voluntary, ''drafted by Federal biologists in response to pressure from environmental groups that would have limited logging for 50 years on all of the companies 211,000 acres in Humbolt County.
Many of the limits were attempts to protect endangered cohostSpotted Owls, and Marbled Muroletts. Now, this is a voluntary habitat conservation plan.
When they did not agree with what was being dictated they agreed to, what was being promised from both the State and the Federal environmental officials was extremely stringent enforcement.
Now, your cap in what your expense is, you are requesting that at the same time, if they do not agree to go into this voluntary agreement, you promise extremely stringent enforcement. Is that how we have a voluntary program?
Ms. CLARK. I think I actually followed that whole thing. So, let me see if I can respond.
Page 39 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The discussion about critical habitat and the cap, and the Keynote Checkerspot Survey Protocol Map, which I have not seen, but I can imagine what it looks like, is clearly what is wrong with the public's perception of what critical habitat is all about. This is whey we are trying to deal and address the whole public perception that we believe is wrong about critical habitat. The law requires us to designate where prudent and determinable critical habitat for a threatened or endangered species. That is habitat considered essential to the conservation of the species.
That does not put, and it does not remove the protective mechanisms of habitat that the species occupy. So, for the species that have designated critical habitat today, that does not mean that, that is the only place that they live.
So, the survey protocol, which is not a critical habitat designation, which is not a listing designation, I think, is just a display of the historic habitat and really has no connection to critical habitat or connection to the listing issue.
In fact, we are obliged to enforce the Endangered Species Act wherever the species occurs. The notion of capping the listing sub-activity to try to control the proliferation of litigation on critical habitat designation really does not have a connection to our responsibility to protect and recover the species and its habitat throughout its range.
It is really all about litigation. That is a part of why we are trying to reopen the debate on habitat. Species are going to blink out, if they do not have the habitat that they need to survive and recover. I think everybody might agree with that.
The notion of critical habitat designation as a regulatory mechanism, I believe as a biologist and ecologist, can be brought into serious question.
It is not doing anything good for the public. It is not doing anything good for the species. The discussion and the public debate on habitat needs for a species is quite legitimate.
Page 40 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The habitat conservation plan that you were discussing for the Headwaters is not about critical habitat either. It is about a plan that was developed between the applicant and the Federal Government to mitigate for the take of listed species on Pacific Lumber's land.
We have been chastised positively and negatively for our kind of law enforcement, our enforcement, of the Endangered Species Act. I am not the Administration official that was quoted. I do not know who was.
We have an obligation to prevent the extinction of species. We have an obligation to enforce the law. I would imagine what the person was saying is that absent a deal, or absent appropriate mitigation to offset the take of the listed species anticipated by the proposal, that the Administration is obliged to enforce the law and prevent the extinction of the species on those lands.
So, it is a long-winded answer, Mr. Chairman, but it is a part of the confusion of what habitat is all about for species, what critical habitat is, and what the relationship is to the habitat conservation planning process. I would be happy to continue to engage that debate.
If we could fix that piece, I think we would be home free for addressing the conservation issues and the economic issues surrounding the Endangered Species Act.
Mr. POMBO. Well, I would like to continue the discussion with you on this issue because I think that this does point out what is wrong with the way the Act is being implemented.
Ms. CLARK. I agree.
Mr. POMBO. Mr. Underwood.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you for the opportunity to ask a question that is of interest to the people of Guam.
As you know, Ms. Clark, I guess Mr. Ceccuccithere is a great deal of controversy on Guam about the establishment of the Refuge Headquarters in Guam.
Page 41 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For many years, it has been acknowledged that the source of the problems with the endangered species is due to the Brown Tree Snake, which unfortunately has become synonymous with Guam in many media reports that are wildly exaggerated.
The issue that comes to mind in dealing with this particular issue, of course, is that the people of Guam find it a bit of an outrage that in spite of the fact that the problem is with the Brown Tree Snake, that the solution that was decided upon was the establishment of a refuge and the building of these Headquarters, with very little effort, I think, on Fish and Wildlife's part to deal with the root problem.
Even today, as Fish and Wildlife continues to make plans for the permanent establishment of a Headquarters there, and different kinds of activities designed to make it attractive to the public, I think by and large the vast majority of the people of Guam still find the fact of establishment as offensive.
What we are concerned about is that in the Office of Insular Affairs' budget, which is also in DOI, which is designed primarily as a budget to help coordinate and provide technical assistance to the Territories. Some $2.6 million has been budgeted to deal with the Brown Tree Snake.
The Department of Defense also budgets about $1 million for Brown Tree Snake control and eradication activities. I find that in your budget, precious little is devoted to dealing with this issue.
Mr. POMBO. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Sure.
Mr. POMBO. Can you explain to the members if the Brown Tree Snake is indigenous to Guam?
Mr. UNDERWOOD. No. It is an invasive species and was brought to Guam in military cargo, presumably from either Northern Australia or the Solomon Islands.
Page 42 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Now, the snakes number anywhere between 700,000 and a million. Now, we still find that Fish and Wildlife, in my estimation, has been less than responsive in terms of taking the particular responsibility of dealing with this issue.
Is there any objection on the part of your agency to taking on the responsibility, and the financial responsibility in particular, to deal with the Brown Tree Snake problem?
That is really the source of the cause of the demise of these endangered species. It is not lack of habitat, as I understand it. There is still ample habitat in Guam. What the net effect of establishing this refuge has been to basically provide a cafeteria for the snakes to continue to feast on endangered species.
Is there any objection on your part or on the agency's part to take on this responsibility so that these resources, as limited as they are for Territories, go to Territories in the way which was originally conceptualized, which is not to deal with the Brown Tree Snake, but to deal with overall economic and political development.
Ms. CLARK. Congressman, at the Fish and Wildlife Service, we believe we have taken an appropriate level of responsibility for addressing the Brown Tree Snake.
The issue of invasive species and of exotic species is not just a Fish and Wildlife Service challenge. It is a challenge for all of us. It is much bigger than the Federal Government.
It should be of concern to all of us. As I mentioned earlier, it is a $123 billion a year economic impact on this country. The Brown Tree Snake is insidious. We are very concerned about it.
We are working with the Department of Defense and other colleagues to try to address, control, and prevent the spread of the Brown Tree Snake.
So, at least one of our priorities, within our nationwide list of priorities, is to address invasive species and exotic species, not only across our own lands, but to address kind of the regulatory responsibilities that we have for our Trust species.
Page 43 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The refuge, and the habitat protection of the refuge that was created as the result of a military overlay, has always been to ensure that there is available habitat to bring these endangered species back that are currently in captivity; the endangered birds that are so concentrated, or were used to be concentrated in your part of the world.
We could do a better job of interacting with Guam. I would agree with you. We could certainly do a better job in communicating and coordinating our efforts.
I would be happy to work with you to do that. The notion that the Fish and Wildlife Service has not taken its responsibility for the Brown Tree Snake is something I would disagree with.
Mr. UNDERWOOD. Well, I respectfully disagree with you in that regard. Moreover, the point of reintroducing the species is ridiculous because until you deal with the Brown Tree Snake, whatever recovered species are reintroduced into Guam will basically suffer the same fate.
I would further point out that not only are these resources being denied, not to just Guam, but to American Samoa and other insular areas. The fact of the matter is that most of the research that is being done on Fish and Wildlife property, as it stands now, is designed not even to deal with eliminating the Brown Tree Snake, but just to keep it in Guam.
They have elaborate experiments designed with various kinds of fencing to keep it on Guam and to keep it out of cargo that may go to Hawaii, or Sappan, or other areas. I hate to sound like we are just whining about this.
Believe me, it is very aggravating when resources, which are supposed to go to the insular areas for general, political, and economic development are denied for that purpose. Then secondarily, whenever research is done, it is merely designed just to keep it in Guam.
Certainly, I am going to work hard to try to provide a little bit more direction to the resources that are allocated for that. Fish and Wildlife is not the appropriate place to deal with this invasive species. It certainly is clear that the Office of Insular Affairs is clearly not appropriate either.
Page 44 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Thank you.
Mr. POMBO. Mr. Souder.
Mr. SOUDER. I thank the Chairman.
I want to say that I think it is terrible that you have been packaging up these endangered species and sending them down to Congressman Calvert's District.
I have a couple of general comments. I am new to this Subcommittee and Committee. I really do not have many affected things in my District. So, I have just kind of been listening.
I wanted to make it clear from Congressman Hansen's comments that we are not looking for more endangered species agents to come into the mid-West; when he said there were three times as many in the West.
There are a couple of concerns I think were raised that I think it is just important for you to hear somebody who was not invested in this to give you a little bit of feedback on a couple of comments. One was this taking question. I am one who would be empathetic to expanding land and that type of thing. I think we have a deepening political problem in this country regarding the takings. Particularly as more people move into areas that are environmentally sensitive or desiring to be preserved by other people. Particularly, as we move in a society where recreation is valued more or certain locations are valued more.
This issue is not going to go away. We are going to have to put in our budgets adequate funding if indeed there are going to be expansions in preservations of these areas. One is when you restrict use, I would argue that is a taking.
It is not just taking of the land, but if you in effect devalue someone's land, there needs to be some sort of a consideration. That is probably a fairly new concept in this field, but it becomes really dramatic in some of the examples that we heard.
I also disagree, while I understand your position has to be the official position, and I am not even arguing whether it was a deserved threat or not a threat. But I think it is impossible to argue that what Mr. Pombo read was not a threat to say strict enforcement.
Page 45 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC All of us are adult enough to know that there is regular enforcement, strict enforcement, and less strict. You cannot possibly have enough agents to do a strict enforcement everywhere because the Act is too complicated. Now, you can argue that the ends justify the means.
I think in cases where the government has a strong interest, they probably do bully certain types of agreements. I just wanted to say for the record that while I understood you had an official position, I did not buy that answer. I also was very confused, but we do not have the time to pursue it here.
While, the Chairman's long question on critical and other habitat and its relationship to that was complicated, you really confused me in what is critical and not critical in your internal answer. That is one thing I will seek later.
I did have a couple of actual budget questions that when I was going through the material were also in the potential questions here in overlap. One is possibly relatively a simple answer.
It was in the Sport Fish Restoration Program, you have a huge jump in the amount of income projected, $62.9 million more in one year. Why is that? You have it both in the specific budget.
It says that in the Sport Fish Restoration Program, it is estimated $324 million will come in, compared to I think it was 260-something the previous from excise taxes and other things.
Mr. CECCUCCI. As I recall, there is an additional $40 million that the Treasury is estimating from the various excise taxes that are deposited into the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund.
Mr. SOUDER. Are they new taxes? Is everybody fishing. I mean, that is a huge jump.
Page 46 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. CECCUCCI. It has been a growing fund.
Mr. SOUDER. That is 25 percent in one year.
Mr. CECCUCCI. There was, I believe, last year an increase in the motorboat fuel tax. I do not recall the actual amount.
Mr. SOUDER. It would be helpful to get that.
Ms. CLARK. The bulk of this is a carry over from fiscal year 1998. It just is a transition in the fiscal year. We can get you the specifics for the record. It is not an increase in tax issue to accommodate that kind of number. We can get you some specifics.
[The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. CECCUCCI. The Director is correct. Technically, for this year we are receiving only 10 months of receipts in the Aquatic Trust Fund. Next year, we will receive a full 12 months.
Mr. SOUDER. So, that is an accounting question.
Mr. CECCUCCI. Accounting.
Mr. SOUDER. Does that happen often?
Mr. CECCUCCI. That was a one-time adjustment made in the tax law last year.
Mr. SOUDER. I was also confused in reading this in the acquisitions, not that you have a lot of time here to explain this as a whole, but two things jumped off.
One was $2.7 million for 6 acres in Archie Carr National Wildlife, which is $450,000 an acre. What is that? It was considered a high priority. Is LAPS the ranking system of the priorities?
Page 47 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. LAPS stands for Land Acquisition Priority System. It is a ranking system for how we achieve our land acquisition priorities.
Mr. SOUDER. It leads me to the question of why would that 6 acres at $2.7 million be such a high priority and where is it? I do not have any idea. The second thing is Silvio Conte. Is that in Massachusetts?
Ms. CLARK. Through the river. It is a river system in New England.
Mr. SOUDER. That is listed as 109. Everything else was at least a top 17. That was 109. Could you explain a little bit of how you made these decisions?
Ms. CLARK. Certainly. We have land acquisition priorities scattered throughout the country. We have a number of criteria that allows them to achieve these laps, ranks, if you will.
We acquire and prioritize our land acquisition based on a number of factors; contribution to biological diversity; for migratory birds, wetlands; for endangered species recovery it is kind of conservation objectives.
They are ranked within our regions. We have seven regions. Then they achieve national ranking. Then we also balance that with opportunities for land acquisition.
The Archie Carr Refuge, to answer your question, is along the coast of Florida. You can imagine just the price of real estate along the coast of Florida.
Mr. SOUDER. Where about in Florida?
Ms. CLARK. East coast Florida, middle to south.
Mr. SOUDER. Is there already a refuge area there?
Ms. CLARK. Archie Carr is an existing refuge.
This is an expansion within the approved acquisition boundary of Archie Carr. Archie Carr supports one of the largest sea turtle nesting beaches along the South Atlantic coast.
Page 48 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC We are trying to shore it up to address some critically endangered species issues. So, that is the round out of Archie Carr. The Silvio Conte Refuge represents a tremendous opportunity that we have been working on in conjunction with Champion, the big Champion land sale in the Northeast.
It is one of our kind of newer refuges, but Silvio Conte is a current refuge as well. It is a part of our Northern Forest Initiative.
Mr. SOUDER. Why would not that ranking have changed from 109? In other words, if it is such a great opportunity, why would it be ranked 109?
Ms. CLARK. Projects will jump because of clear opportunity. That does not change necessarily their biological or conservation ranking. All of our land acquisition priorities, all of our land acquisition projects that are on this list are important for overall conservation.
Depending on their contribution to biodiversity, migratory birds, wetlands, endangered species, whatever that is how they achieve the one through whatever.
Mr. SOUDER. The danger here, I am speaking as a complete neophyte, but if you have a ranking system and then opportunity, it seems like, just from a business perspective, that then you would weigh your opportunities and give us another ranking system. Otherwise, it looks like a whim. An individual Congressman could put tremendous pressure on and then that gets in the budget; not that, that would ever happen.
Ms. CLARK. Certainly, not. Opportunities do come up throughout the year and off budget cycle. We always try to take advantage of those opportunities. That is a Silvio Conte Northern Forest issue.
We certainly try to take advantage, if you will, or take the opportunities when we have the right combination of partners, the right financing, and the right willing sellers to be able to achieve the deal that is contained within the project proposal.
Page 49 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC I could see the confusion. We have it ourselves sometimes. The opportunities, which change all the time, do not necessarily change the biological ranking. What it does is allow some projects to hop ahead of others, given the one time deal opportunity.
Mr. SOUDER. I thank the Chairman for his generosity of time. You just need to know that I am a person who actually sent Chairman Regula of the Appropriationsone year when I told him we actually went through the Interior Appropriations bill, lined up the different parks with members' Districts on his committee who had close elections, who did not have close elections, because we were trying to see how much this kind of stuff moved around, based on non-logical explanations. So, expect that kind of scrutiny from time-to-time.
Ms. CLARK. Certainly.
Mr. SOUDER. Thank you.
Mr. POMBO. The gentleman from Utah.
Mr. HANSEN. In Utah, we have four endangered fish that when I was a kid we called them trash fish and tried to kill them out with Rotenon and they could not do it. I was talking to one of the old boys who used to be with the Utah Fish and Wildlife who said it was impossible to kill them off.
The Humpback Chub, the Colorado Squaw Fish the Razorback Chub, and I cannot remember the other one. Right now, the State of Utah has to come up with $100 million to build a fish ladder, like Glen Canyon Recreation Area, to take care of this.
We built one on the Gunnison, which cost a million something. I called those people. They said one Humpback Chub used it in a whole year's time; one. We got a guy up there from Erie. We got two guys at $80,000 to keep them there. That is pretty expensive.
I also have people from the University of Utah, the Utah State University, and BYU or fish biologists who say there is no way on God's earth you should list those fish.
Page 50 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC If I wrote you a letter, signed by all members of the Utah Delegation, backed up by the technology from these biologists, would you consider taking those four fish off the list?
Ms. CLARK. I would certainly be happy to receive the letter. I am certainly to give technology whatever technology or science you have to support the recommendation to take them off the list serious consideration. I do, quite frankly, have a hard time believing that we cannot make those species go extinct.
We have been watching their eventual decline over the years. We are certainly happy to engage in that science debate. For those four Colorado fishes, there has been a tremendous amount of science debate. If there is additional science to bear on the issue, it certainly warrants considering.
Mr. HANSEN. Short of going to court and putting somebody on the stand and who do you believe? One guy says, oh this person has a 50 percent medical permanent disability. The next guy comes along and says he is a malingerer.
So, who do you believe? We can line up probably one-for-one everybody you have got to say that you cannot take this out. History is on the side that the fish have remained there and have since the first pioneers walked in that valley.
So, I think that should be a consideration. It is also like all of the money we spent over in Washington County on our HCP under the Desert Tortoise.
When I was a kid, they used to sell those at service stations down there for $5 apiece. They would drill a hole in the thing. I went down there the other day and there are still a gillion of them with a whole in it.
They are as healthy as can be. Your people tell me that in the Mojave, they are sick with respiratory diseases. Why do we have to go through all of that money to keep them in two different places? I cannot understand. I will not ask for an answer.
Page 51 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC One thing I do want to ask though is talking to Bruce Babbitt and I have been to Yellowstone, and Chairing the Committee on Parks and Lands, they say that the wolf that they introduced is not indigenous to the area.
That it was introduced into Yellowstone. I was kind of a history buff. I read that there is an Eastern Timber Wolf that was indigenous to the area. Now, why do we not reintroduce that in New York, New Jersey, and those areas?
It seems to me that if we can introduce it out in Yellowstone, which is not indigenous to the area, we could introduce it in the East. I have gone to the trouble to find out that they are available. We would have to get them from a different area. Now, if I put a bill in to do that, would you support that bill?
Ms. CLARK. No, sir, I would not. I will tell you why. The wolves that were reintroduced into Yellowstone were right from north of the border, Canada. In fact, they are taxonomically, evolutionarily, and ecologically the same wolves that once inhabited the Yellowstone National Park area in the Yellowstone ecosystem.
I am happy to debate that science all day long as well. The Eastern Timber Wolves that occupy the Upper mid-West are certainly thriving well and are actually a part of our objective to promote for de-listing this year in the Northeastern area.
We are not looking to reintroduce wolves into the New England area. It is not a recovery priority objective. It is not an endangered species initiative that we are looking at entertaining.
It makes no sense for me to push wolves into New England because it is not essential for the recovery of the populations that we are working on today.
Mr. HANSEN. Well, if it is good for out in Montana, Idaho, and the Wyoming area when they were originally there, and history makes it abundantly clear that they were, why would you not be looking to do that?
Page 52 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. Well, there are many that are in fact looking to do that. There is a fairly strong contingent of environmental organizations that are looking to restore wolves to the New England area. It is just not a priority for the Fish and Wildlife Service, given all of our endangered species priorities. You are correct, in that Canis Lupis, the wolf did historically occur in the New England area.
Mr. HANSEN. You mentioned, when you first started speaking that there was not pressure from the environmental community. Do they dictate to you how you run your organization?
Ms. CLARK. No, they do not, which is why I have told you that it is not a priority for us, and we do not have an intention of reintroducing them into the New England area any time in the future that I can foresee.
Mr. POMBO. Would the gentleman yield for just a second?
Mr. HANSEN. Yes.
Mr. POMBO. Ms. Clark, I think you can probably see why many members of the Subcommittee think there may be somewhat of a disparity between enforcement of the Endangered Species Act between regions of the country when, by all accounts, the wolf in the West is not endangered.
It may be in the lower 48 States, but obviously there is a large number in Canada and in Alaska. That is a high priority for Fish and Wildlife to do that reintroduction.
Mr. Hansen brings out the fact that there are no wolves in the New England States and you dismiss that as not a priority.
Ms. CLARK. I am not dismissing it as not a priority. It is not a priority for us at this time. The decision to restore wolves to the Yellowstone ecosystem was one that was decided based on the restoration of the last remaining link, or the last remaining piece, of that system to ensure and to promote a fully-functioning ecosystem in the Greater Yellowstone area.
Page 53 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC So, that was after many years of public debate, many years of science, and a decision by the previous Administration and this one to go forward and restore that missing piece.
Yellowstone, today, is now considered one of the great functioning ecosystems of the United States. It has all of the pieces that were historically contained in that system now back.
Mr. POMBO. Do you think the fact that you have hundreds of biologists studying these problems in the West, and 4 or 5 in the Northeastyou have less than a couple of dozen in the entire Northeast that are studying the problems.
Do you think if you had hundreds of biologists studying the ecosystem and biodiversity of the Northeast, that you may find things similar to what you are finding with your hundreds of biologists in the West?
Ms. CLARK. No, I do not, Mr. Chairman, because the ecological basis is not there in the New England area or in the mid-West.
Mr. POMBO. Ms. Clark, I do not want this to turn into an ESA debate. I mean, we have gone through this. I do not know if you have seen this or not. It was put together by the Nature Conservancy in Massachusetts.
It talks about the literally hundreds endangered species that are listed on their list in Massachusetts. It says that one of the major problems that they have is almost no Federal help with any of this.
There is no money and no science that goes into it. There is nothing there. They spend next to nothing in the State of Massachusetts on enforcement of their Endangered Species Act.
The State of California spends millions and millions of dollars on enforcement of the most strict Endangered Species Act of any state.
Page 54 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Yet, you still spend, I think the figure was $38 million in California on enforcement, or at least in the Western Region, on enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, on top of the millions that the states out there are spending.
Little or no attention is paid to the Northeast. I mean, we have had this debate before. Every time you come in with your budget, it is going to happen again. It is because when we look at these issues, we see butterflies that are discovered that nobody knew they existed before. Now, the last place in the world they exist is in Riverside.
We see a plant that was just discovered in my District that it is the only place in the world it has ever been. That is because you have people out there looking. If you had people out there looking in New England, you would find stuff too that you did not know was there. You just do not have the people doing it.
Ms. CLARK. Remember, we are not the only ones that are always looking.
Mr. POMBO. Unfortunately, I know that.
Ms. CLARK. What you call enforcement, I call implementation. We continue to believe, and I know it is frustrating for this Subcommittee, that our available resources are deployed where the biological need is throughout the country.
Mr. POMBO. They are not deployed based upon lawsuits?
Ms. CLARK. No, they are not.
Mr. POMBO. Oh, come on.
Ms. CLARK. Certainly the litigation is ripe for conflict. It is not a surprise to see litigation where you see population conflict with ecological sensitivity. It is not surprising to see litigation where we have water allocation issues and water conflict issues, which is primarily in the West.
We just do not see the conflict in the East. I work on the allocation every year myself. It is not allocated based on litigation. It is allocated based on biological need.
Page 55 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. POMBO. Mr. Hansen.
Mr. HANSEN. I just wondered why all of the folks out at the Columbia River have the Colorado Squaw Fish and it is a predator. It is endangered in Colorado.
Now, they tell me that they are very close. Actually, it is not exactly the same fish, they tell me. I quizzed a biologist on this. He said they are extremely close.
Why is one endangered and the other is a predator, because one has got an extra two or three spines in its fin somewhere? I cannot understand that.
The rationale on that bothers me. Probably you do not want to answer that. I would not want your job, frankly. I have to leave. Thank you.
Mr. POMBO. Mr. Faleomavaega.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Ms. Clark, I am going to be a little easy on you. Let us talk about fish for a change.
Ms. CLARK. Okay.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I plead ignorance on the subject matter simply because this is my first opportunity in serving on this Subcommittee.
I do have a very, very tremendous interest on the issue. I noticed that we have some 66 national fish hatcheries, which is fine. Is this primarily for salmon and trout?
Ms. CLARK. It is for a whole host of species. Certainly, out in the Northwest it is for salmon. We do have mitigation hatcheries with trout.
A number of our hatcheries are dedicated to endangered species recovery; captive propagation techniques; restoration of native species back into State and Federal waters; so, a whole host of different reasons. Some of our hatcheries are for mitigation or Trust responsibilities.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. One word that I seem to be finding somewhat absent in our whole fisheries program, and maybe you can educate me on this again. It is aquaculture. Where are we with that? Are we in any way involved with aquaculture development in our country; the fisheries program?
Page 56 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. Yes, we are. We are involved in some of the biological monitoring and certainly some of the research that is going on. In addition to our 66 hatcheries, we have fish technology centers and fish health labs, fish health centers, that are working.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I noticed you have six fish technology centers. Where are they located?
Ms. CLARK. I knew you were going to test me on that. I would be happy to provide that.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I am not trying to test you.
Ms. CLARK. No, I know. I would be happy to get you the entire list for the record.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Please, by all means, and not only for the record, but for my knowledge. Please send it to my office; also nine fish health centers.
Ms. CLARK. Health centers. We will be glad to get you those.
[The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. You maintain the health of the fish?
Ms. CLARK. Try to.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. My gosh. Then we have 64 Fish and Wildlife Assistant Offices all over the country.
Ms. CLARK. Those are field offices scattered across the country to provide on-site assistance to the local community.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I noticed on recreational fishing, it is a $38 billion industry in our country.
Ms. CLARK. And growing.
Page 57 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Just recreational fishing alone. Now what about aquaculture? What kind of an industry is that in our country?
Ms. CLARK. Did you say agriculture or aquaculture?
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Aquaculture.
Ms. CLARK. I am sorry. I got confused.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Do we produce fish, shrimp, or whatever we do out of the aquaculture industry?
Ms. CLARK. I did not follow your question. I am sorry.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Aquaculture development.
Ms. CLARK. Right.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Is there such an industry in producing shrimp, fish, or a variety of fish?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, yes, sir, there is.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. What is the approximate amount of dollar value in that industry alone, aquaculture, if you will?
Ms. CLARK. That, I do not know. That is probably better directed at the Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service. I do not have that number. I would be happy to try to find that for you.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I really am very, very interested in knowing more about the aquaculture development in your program. I will definitely intend to introduce legislation that will improve the technology that we now have.
It seems that every time I talk about aquaculture, Mr. Chairman, it seems to be failing. We tried it with shrimp. I hear all kinds of diseases going around the country.
I do not know if Louisiana appreciates further development of the technology as far as shrimp farming is concerned. I understand that the demand for shrimp is always greater than the supply, so much so that we have to import shrimp from other countries.
Page 58 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC That just kind of bothers me. Why should we be importing when we should be producing it for ourselves. Let me ask you this. Do we have the technology on shrimp farming?
Ms. CLARK. I cannot answer that, Congressman. I am sorry. I just do not know.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. This is a different program then.
Ms. CLARK. It is certainly not ours. We do not do shrimp farming.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Well, I am sorry. I see fisheries here. I just thought maybe you might have all of those questions.
I noticed $10.3 million for international affairs. I thought the State Department was involved in that. Is this attendance of meetings, memberships?
Ms. CLARK. We have a very strong international program. As the Chairman was mentioning earlier, we are not only the scientific authority, but the management authority to implement the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species.
So, we have a very strong role in dealing with that. Plus, we have quite a strong role in education, training, and collaboration on projects North and South of our border, down in South and Central America, and across in Africa and other places.
We also oversee the Multi-National Species Fund to address, rhinos, tigers, and the Asian and African elephants, working in conjunction with those countries to restore those species.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Are those countries also contributing their fair amount of resources in protecting the tiger and the elephant?
Ms. CLARK. Yes, they are.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. We are not doing it for them; are we?
Page 59 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. We are not doing it for them. In actuality, the grant monies that we are providing to those countries go a tremendous distance in really helping those countries achieve conservation. It is a great program.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. I apologize if the questions were notI just saw the word fisheries. I thought maybe it all is encompassing.
Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. I do look forward in getting that information from you.
Ms. CLARK. Great. I would be happy to.
Mr. POMBO. There is some overlap. Your questions were not totally out of line. In my other Committee, in the Agriculture Committee, we have jurisdiction on aquaculture, but there is some overlap with the Fish and Wildlife Service, particularly in research.
I would be happy to provide some information to you on what we are doing on that. I had a couple of questions just before we wrapped up, Ms. Clark.
We recently had a hearing on the whole issue of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport and what went through. There were 7,000 flights per month out of that airport, estimated flights per month out of that airport. The fly away was over wildlife refuge. The Fish and Wildlife Service signed off on that, in exchange for a $26 million payment that would be made to Fish and Wildlife.
I recently had a letter that was given to me by another member of Congress who has a small airport within his District.
The Fish and Wildlife Service has informed them that they are going to have to cancel flights of model airplanes out of this particular airport, or near this particular airport, because there is a wildlife refuge in the area.
Can you explain to me the disparity between why it would be okay for 7,000 commercial flights per month to fly over a wildlife refuge in one case, but in another case it would not be okay for model airplanes to fly near a wildlife refuge?
Page 60 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. I can try and then I will probably have to get back to you. The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge-Minneapolis Airport issue is, I know, one that was the subject of a former hearing.
In fact, the mitigation package was to allow for additional habitat acquisition and additional visitors facilities to offset the impact of the overflights over a portion of the National Wildlife Refuge.
The model airplane issue and the refuge, I believe, in New York has everything to do with compatibility, and the compatible use as outlined in the Refuge Improvement Act passed in late 1997. In fact, as it has become a National Wildlife Refuge, we were obliged to evaluate uses of the refuge to ensure compatibility with the primary purposes for which the refuge was established.
The model use, historical airplane use, of that refuge is one that is undergoing the compatibility determination. I had talked with Chairman Young about that and agreed to look into it for him. I have not resolved the issue, but I will be glad to follow-up for you.
Mr. POMBO. Is there any way that, as you are looking into this you can give me a figure as to how much money, I believe it is the Academy of Model Aeronautics would have to come up with in order to have the same kind of treatment as the folks in Minneapolis had?
Ms. CLARK. First of all, I do not believe I am qualified to do that. I also want to clarify that they are two different issues.
I think what I need to do for you is to clarify why the Minneapolis Airport and the mitigation package for the overflights of the refuge is different than the use of a refuge for model airplane flying. I will be happy to do that.
Mr. POMBO. That is not the way I understood it. I did not understand they were actually using the refuge. They were using an airport that was located near the refuge.
Page 61 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. CLARK. I was just confirming it with our Assistant Director. They are in fact using the refuge on the refuge property, which is where they base out of to fly the model airplanes. Let me confirm that for you.
[The information referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. POMBO. I would like you to because the two cases I do not think are that much different. I know what you are trying to say. I would be concerned about that.
Obviously, we have a whole bunch more questions that we could get into. Unfortunately, they just called a vote on the floor. I will submit my further questions in writing to you.
[The questions referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. POMBO. Again, I thank you for coming up here for the hearing. Unlike some of your colleagues, I always look forward to having you testify before the hearing and answer questions.
Ms. CLARK. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your time.
Mr. POMBO. Thank you.
Mr. FALEOMAVAEGA. Mr, Chairman, I, too, would like to submit a list of questions for the record.
[The questions referred to may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. POMBO. Without objection, all members will have the ability to forward questions. Before I adjourn, we have a very short time span in terms of our budget request and the fights that we are going to go through with the Budget Committee.
Page 62 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC All of the questions and all of the information you have promised to get back to us, if you could do that as quickly as possible.
Ms. CLARK. Certainly.
Mr. POMBO. It is going to be very difficult for us. The Budget Committee is supposed to have their budget out in about 2 weeks. So, we do not have a lot of time to have these debates amongst ourselves. So, if you could do that as quickly as possible, it would make it a lot easier.
Ms. CLARK. Absolutely.
Mr. POMBO. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Ceccucci may be found at the end of the hearing.]
[The prepared statement of Mr. Young may be found at the end of the hearing.]
[The prepared statement of Mr. Pallone may be found at the end of the hearing.]
Mr. POMBO. The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 11:55 a.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
[Additional material submitted for the record follows.]
STATEMENT OF JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK, DIRECTOR, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Good morning, Mr. Chairman. and thank you for the opportunity to present the President's Fiscal Year 2000 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Page 63 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Service's mission is, working with others, to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. Our challenge is to find ways to accomplish our mission without unduly hampering people's ability to use their land for productive activity. The Administration has made major progress toward this with the development of Habitat Conservation Plans, Candidate Conservation Agreements, and Safe Harbor Agreements. However, the growing nationwide demand for the Service's assistance in drafting these plans has overburdened our existing resources. Further, we often find that a little extra help for these plans will go a long way toward developing a more comprehensive conservation strategy to better meet the needs of species. Some plans would benefit from additional land set aside for species habitat, others would be enhanced by funds for habitat restoration, and others require technical assistance during development and implementation. ln the past, we have not been able to fully meet these growing needs of communities and states across the Nation.
With our budget proposal this year, we hope to meet them. We have proposed a programmatic increase of $24 million for endangered species programs in Resource Management and an increase of $66 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund for technical assistance and grants to states for HCP development, land acquisition, and other innovative programs. I hope to win your support for these increases, because I truly believe they are necessary to reconcile species needs with the economic desires of landowners and communities.
We could not accomplish our goals without the help of others. We do much of our work through partnerships with other Federal agencies, state and local governments, tribal governments, international organizations, private organizations, and individual landowners. We are grateful for the contributions and commitment of these groups.
We recognize that much of our public support stems from the fact that the Nation's fish and wildlife resources provide the American people with a wide-range of cultural, recreational, educational, and economic benefits. Under Federal trust responsibilities, the Service manages 516 National Wildlife Refuges, 66 National Fish Hatcheries, 38 Wetland Management Districts with waterfowl production, and 50 Coordination Areas, all of which encompasses over 93 million acres. Nearly 34 million visitors to the National Wildlife Refuge System enjoy unique opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching, hunting, and fishing. More than 290 refuges are open for hunting and 307 refuges are open for fishing. The National Fish Hatcheries annually distribute 163 million fish and 140 million fish eggs that help restore and enhance fish resources in partnership with state, local, and tribal governments. Nationwide, over 77 million outdoor enthusiasts spend over $101 billion annually on their recreational activities, including an estimated 35 million anglers, 14 million hunters, and 63 million who engage in wildlife watching and photographing.
Page 64 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For FY 2000, the Service requests over $1.5 billion, including more than $950 million in current appropriations and over $632 million in permanent appropriations. This is the largest amount ever requested for the Service. The request for direct appropriations is 18.4 percent over the FY 1999 enacted level.
The FY 2000 request for the Resource Management appropriation, the Service's largest account, is $724 million. This is an increase of $62.9 million, or 9.5 percent, over the FY 1999 enacted level. The additional funding includes $46.6 million for operational priorities, $16 million for Federal pay and retirement adjustments and other mandatory cost increases, and a $300,000 transfer from the U.S. Geological Survey for operation and maintenance of the San Marcos National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center. The major increases are requested for our Endangered Species Act programs, partnership programs, refuge operations and maintenance, fish and wildlife assistance, and international conservation programs. Several cross program initiatives support Secretarial priorities, such as Restoring Habitat and Passage for Native Fish. Tundra to Tropics, and Coral Reef Protection Strategies.
For our Ecological Services programs, we are requesting $198.8 million. a net increase of $14.8 million over the FY 1999 enacted level. Within this increase, $3.9 million is for scheduled Federal pay and retirement adjustments, and $11.1 million is for enhanced program operations. The major program increases will support a more effective Endangered Species Act, the most comprehensive of this Nation's environmental laws.
The Clinton Administration has used the flexibility of the ESA to work in cooperation with other public and private landowners to balance species protection with a strong economy. Our Candidate Conservation agreements assure non-Federal landowners that they will not have to incur additional conservation measures if species are listed in the future. Our Safe Harbor agreements enable landowners to pursue economic development without jeopardizing critical habitat of threatened and endangered species. Both of these tools are designed to provide private landowners with incentives to work collaboratively with the Service towards the restoration of declining and listed species.
Page 65 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC The Service is requesting an additional $23 million to expand these successful ESA reforms. We have entered into 60 Candidate Conservation agreements with states, local governments and private landowners that have prevented the listing of 12 species. The additional $2 million requested will help implement another 50 agreements that will help preclude the listing of 10 new species. For the Listing program, we need an additional $1.2 million to address the increasing number of listing actions and litigation caseloads. Currently, we have 24 Notices of Intent to Sue, involving 151 species. We expect another 100 species will be listed during FY 2000.
The additional $7.3 million requested for the Consultation and Habitat Conservation Planning program in FY 2000 will help support as many as 500 HCPs that will allow economic development to proceed while protecting species. The HCPs in implementation and planning stages encompass over 11 million acres and cover 300 species. The Service also provides technical assistance to other Federal agencies for resolving potential conflicts with listed and proposed species. The Service expects to review over 40,500 Federal actions and conduct over 2,000 programmatic consultations through its streamlined consultation process.
For the Recovery program, we request an additional $9 million to expand our Safe Harbor agreements, accelerate the development of recovery plans, and advance reclassification and delisting actions for listed species. Over 80 percent of the 1,136 listed species in the United States occur on private lands. Our innovative Safe Harbor agreements provide private landowners with assurances that voluntary conservation actions will enable economic development projects to be initiated or continued. Currently, we have 38 agreements, which cover 1.3 million acres. Another 26 agreements are pending. Our FY 2000 budget request will help enroll another 100 private landowners. About two-thirds of the listed species in the Unites States are covered by approved recovery plans. With our request, we will help to develop recovery plans for the remaining species, complete 10 proposals to downlist or delist species, and issue 15 final rules.
Page 66 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Other program increases that will protect species and their habitats are: $2 million to reduce the conflicts over endangered species conservation and land use in the southwestern states of Arizona and New Mexico, $100,000 to work with public and private landowners to develop candidate conservation plans to preclude the listing of species in the High Plains region, $500.000 to expand protections for manatees in Florida: $500.000 to enhance our support to tribal governments in developing resource management plans: and $500.000 to help develop habitat conservation plans for 90 species in the Mojave Desert.
The Service also needs to expand our partnership work with public and private landowners on improving habitats for fish and wildlife. We are requesting $1.5 million to support collaborative, cost-shared, and on-the-ground projects to restore habitat for imperiled wildlife and native fish; $1.5 million to expand coastal expertise in Alaska, Hawaii, Texas, and the Great Lakes region, and work with partners to improve coastal habitats, $650,000 in partnership assistance to restore riverine habitats and wetlands in the Mississippi River Basin area; and $400,000 to restore grasslands in the High Plains region.
To complete an improved national wetlands status and trends report by December 2000, we need $1.5 million. We also intend to provide with this funding accurate and timely information for watershed planning by Federal, state, and local government agencies.
The Service also requests an additional $1.7 million for work with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensees to improve fish passage and wildlife habitat for hydroelectric power developments at 250 dams. We need an additional $1.3 million to assess planned restoration and water development projects in the San Franciso Bay-Delta area that affect 23 listed and 12 candidate species. Another $600,000 is requested to provide technical assistance to the Forest Service on species management issues within the Tongass National Forest in Alaska.
For the Environmental Contaminants program, we request an additional $500,000 to assess the impacts of contaminants on the rapidly declining population of amphibians, and $100,000 to address pollutant problems in the Mississippi River basin.
Page 67 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For Refuges and Wildlife, our FY 2000 request totals $287.2 million to support refuge operations and maintenance, Salton Sea bioremediation and recovery, and migratory bird management. This is an increase of $29.9 million over the FY 1999 enacted level, and represents a continuation of our commitment to restore and protect Federal lands. This includes an additional $24.3 million for program increases and $5.7 million for Federal pay and retirement adjustments.
Our budget proposes nearly $264.3 million for the National Wildlife Refuge System, including $211.6 million for refuge operations and $52.7 million for refuge maintenance. For refuge operations, the proposed $13 million increase will support 164 new projects at 167 refuges, including actions to combat invasive species, protect coral reefs, and conserve unique species and habitats in Alaska and Hawaii. The projects will help restore or improve nearly 42,000 acres of habitat, expand partnerships with public and private organizations, serve 150,000 additional visitors, and hire 87 refuge management, biological, and maintenance personnel and seven volunteer coordinators. The project priorities have been developed with the Refuge Operating Needs System, which ranks local projects against nation-wide goals and objectives.
For refuge maintenance, the additional $9 million will support 337 deferred maintenance projects at over 200 refuges, based on nation-wide priorities identified within the Maintenance Management System and as part of the Department's Five Year Plan. The full refuge maintenance request will significantly reduce the backlog of priority maintenance projects, currently estimated at $433 million for health, safety, natural resource protection, and other priority projects. The maintenance outlays for FY 1999 and FY 2000 combined will reduce the targeted backlog by 26 percent.
Our budget request provides an additional $2.8 million for migratory bird management, including program increases of $1.8 million to monitor and conserve a number of declining species; $500,000 to fully implement recent amendments to the U.S.-Canada Migratory Bird Treaty regarding subsistence harvests for Alaska natives, as part of the Tundra to Tropics Initiative; $300,000 as part of the Southwest Ecosystem Restoration, $375,000 to support the Mississippi River Basin Partnership; and $200,000 for controlling the over-abundance of Snow Geese populations, which are causing wide-spread habitat and agricultural damages. We are also requesting an additional $288,000 to administer the increasing number of requests for migratory bird permits.
Page 68 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For Law Enforcement, the Service requests a total of $39.9 million for FY 2000, nearly $3 million more than the FY 1999 enacted level. The request includes $1.7 million in program increases and $1.3 million for scheduled Federal pay and retirement adjustments. We need to strengthen our investigation and inspection capabilities, and work with private industries to reduce migratory bird losses from contaminants and electrocution.
The Service requests $79.8 million for the Fisheries programs, a net increase of $6.2 million over the FY 1999 enacted level. Our request will provide an additional $2.5 million to help prevent and control the spread of non-indigenous aquatic nuisance species, such as zebra mussels, ruffe, round
goby, Asian mitten crab, and brown tree snakes. Invasive alien species are causing wide spread ecological and economic damages. Other program increases include: $1,175,000 for partnership projects for improving fish passage to spawning areas in the Mississippi River Basin and several other watersheds; $700,000 for the conservation and recovery of native fish species in Arizona and New Mexico; $600,000 to support the Atlantic Salmon Recovery Plan in Maine; and $300,000 to determine the causes of sea otter declines around the Aleutian Islands.
For General Administration programs, the Service requests $118.3 million for FY 2000, including $5.1 million in program increases and $3.6 million in Federal pay and retirement adjustments and other mandatory cost increases. We request an additional $3.4 million for International Affairs programs to strengthen the development and implementation of policies, agreements and projects to conserve wildlife across international boundaries. Our initiatives include involving states and tribal governments in CITES activities, streamlining our permits process to better support international trade, and enhancing international protections for neo-tropical migratory birds. We plan to work with other countries to identify potential invasive species and establish a permit program to preclude or control importation of such species. Other proposals will expand our cooperative agreements with Mexico and Russia. As part of our Restoring Habitat and Passage for Native Fish initiative, we request an additional $1 million for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support its dams and rivers challenge grant program. Other program increases include $600,000 for National Conservation Training Center operations and maintenance, $200,000 for recruitment initiatives to attract a more diverse workforce, and $100,000 to assure more timely resolution of EEO complaints.
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The FY 2000 request for the Construction appropriation totals $S43.6 million, a net reduction of $6.8 million below the FY 1999 enacted level. Our request will provide $35.5 million for 40 priority projects, such as dam and bridge improvements, at national wildlife refuges, fish hatcheries, and law enforcement facilities. The rehabilitation and replacement projects will address our most critical health, safety, and resource protection needs in our Five-Year Construction Plan, consistent with the Department's Safe Visits to Public Lands Initiative. The $8.1 million for Nationwide Engineering Services includes an additional $526,000 for Federal pay and retirement adjustments.
For FY 2000, the Service requests $73.6 million for Land Acquisition, a net increase of $25.6 million above the FY 1999 enacted level. Our request will provide $60.9 million to acquire an estimated 118,400 acres on over 30 National Wildlife Refuges. Special focus areas include refuges in New England and along the Lewis and Clark Trail. Another $3 million is requested for land exchanges, inholding acquisitions, and emergency acquisitions. The $9.8 million for management includes $526,000 for Federal pay and retirement adjustments.
Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund
For FY 2000, the Service requests $80 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, an increase of $66 million above the FY 1999 enacted level. As part of the President's Lands Legacy initiative, the additional $66 million is proposed to be made available from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and will make new tools available to states and local governments to help resolve conflicts between species needs and economic growth. The additional grant assistance will provide $10 million to develop new Habitat Conservation Plans; $18 million to develop and implement Candidate Conservation Agreements and Safe Harbor Agreements for protecting candidate, proposed, and listed species: and $15 million for land acquisition to implement species recovery plans. Federal grant assistance to states for HCP land acquisition will increase to $26 million, from $6 million in FY 1999. The Service will provide technical assistance to states, helping them to develop HCPs. Candidate Conservation Agreements, and other species programs. The funding will also allow the Service to administer the grant programs and provide assistance to the states asking to apply for grants.
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Our FY 2000 request for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund totals $15 million, the same as the FY 1999 enacted level. The Federal funds will generate an estimated $30 million from partners to enable about 250,000 acres of wetlands to be acquired, restored, or enhanced in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
For the Multinational Species Conservation Fund, we request $3 million for FY 2000, an additional $1 million above the FY 1999 enacted level, to provide cost-sharinLy grant assistance to African and Asian nations for conserving elephants, rhinoceros, and tigers. The program increases will provide an additional $500.000 for Asian elephant conservation programs and $500.000 for rhinoceros and tiger conservation programs.
Our FY 2000 request for the National Wildlife Refuge Fund is $10 million, a reduction of $779,000 below the FY 1999 enacted level, for payments to counties in which national refuge and hatchery lands are located.
For the Wildlife Conservation and Appreciation Fund, we request $800,000, the same level as enacted in FY 1999. The Fund provides matching grants to states for studies, education, recreation, and other activities related to the conservation of fish and wildlife species and their habitats.
In conclusion, the Service's FY 2000 budget reflects enhanced commitments by President Clinton and Secretary Babbitt to conserve and protect the Nation's fish and wildlife resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations of Americans. I would be pleased to answer any questions you may have.
JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK
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Jamie Rappaport Clark was confirmed as Director of the Department of the Interior's U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) by the United States Senate on July 31, 1997.
Prior to being named Director, Clark was the Assistant Director for Ecological Services for the Service, a position she was named to in 1994. As the Assistant Director, she oversaw Service responsibilities for the Endangered Species Act; wetland and upland habitat restoration activities; Federal permit coordination and reviews; environmental contaminants; and the nationwide wetlands mapping program. In this capacity, Ms. Clark took the Service lead in developing and implementing national policy in the areas of wetlands, environmental contaminants, and endangered species and has represented the Department in White House and inter-agency working groups.
During her career with the Service, Ms. Clark also served as the Chief of Endangered Species, where she was responsible for the overall direction and management of the Service's program for threatened and endangered species and as Deputy Assistant Regional Director for the Service's Southwest Regional headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Southwest region encompasses the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. In this position, she was the principal advisor on all aspects of the Endangered Species Act, including policy development and implementation, budget execution, public outreach, and coordination. For two years beginning in 1989, she was the senior staff biologist for the Endangered Species Division of the Service in Washington, D.C., with primary liaison responsibilities for the Pacific Northwest Region.
Beginning in 1988, Ms. Clark served as the Fish and Wildlife Administrator for the Department of the Army where she was the lead technical authority for fish and wildlife management on Army installations worldwide. From 1984-1988 she held the position of Natural/Cultural Resources Program Manager for the National Guard Bureau. Prior to that, she was a Research Biologist for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for 1 1/2 years.
Page 72 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Ms. Clark received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Towson State University, and a M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maryland, College Park where her graduate work studies focused on the white-tailed deer. After completing her undergraduate degree in 1979, she worked for two years as a wildlife biologist for the National Institute for Urban Wildlife. She has also completed post-graduate work towards an M.A. in Environmental Planning at Towson State University.
Ms. Clark is from Clarksville, Maryland and currently resides in Leesburg, Virginia with her husband, Jim Clark.
GARY V. CECCUCCI, CHIEF, DIVISION OF BUDGET, U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
Mr. Ceccucci was named Chief, Division of Budget, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in October 1996. In this capacity, he serves as Budget Officer and provides advice and assistance to the Director and other senior officials on all aspects of the Service's budget planning, formulation, and execution activities.
As Deputy Director, Office of Audit and Evaluation, during 1995-96, Mr. Ceccucci advised the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs on budgetary issues, strategic planning, program performance measurement, and program audits and evaluations. During 1992-95, he served as Chief, Division of Program Development and Implementation, Bureau of Indian Affairs. As BIA's Budget Officer, he advised the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs, the Deputy Commissioner for Indian Affairs, and the BIA's program managers on budget policy, formulation, presentation, and execution requirements. In this capacity, he was a principal witness at annual budget hearings before the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees, House Committee on Natural Resources and Native American Affairs, and Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. He joined the BIA in 1990 as Chief, Branch of Planning and Budget Formulation.
Page 73 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Mr. Ceccucci began his Federal career as a Management Intern with the U.S. Department of Transportation in 1973. He served in a variety of policy, program, management, and budget analysis positions with the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. His research and special studies ranged over transportation demographics, transit grant allocation formulas. air traffic control cost allocations, transportation energy consumption, transportation financing, and DOT reorganization proposals. His awards include an FRA Special Achievement Award (Bronze Medal) for leadership in conducting program reviews and evaluations. He supervised FRA's budget formulation and execution activmes during 1986-90.
Mr. Ceccucci received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Political Science from Purdue University in 1967 and 1971. He held research and teaching assistantships in the Department of Political Science, State University of New York at Bingamton, while completing additional graduate studies in government and public adndnistration during 1971-73.
Mr. Ceccucci served in the U.S. Army during 1967-69, including an assignment with the Americal Division in the Republic of South Vietnam.
Mr. Ceccucci resides with his wife and children in Reston, Virginia. He and his family are active in several school and community organizations.
STATEMENT OF HON. DON YOUNG, A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA
I compliment you for scheduling this oversight hearing on the FY 2000 funding request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Like many other Federal programs, the Clinton Administration has asked for generous increases for the Endangered Species Act and the 516 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Page 74 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Since the Full Resources Committee will be conducting ESA oversight hearings, I will only comment on the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund. While there have been successful grants under this program, I am startled by the Administration's 471 percent increase for this program. I would like to hear a justification for this $80 million dollar request and how these funds will be spent.
I am pleased that the Administration has asked for an additional $32.8 million for our refuge system. As a result of four years of Republican leadership, we are finally beginning to reduce the system's staggering maintenance backlog. Nevertheless, there are still 9,296 projects that have not been completed and are pending in the Maintenance Management System. It is essential we move forward on these infrastructure needs before the system celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2003.
I also note that the Administration has requested an additional $25.6 million for land acquisition which is consistent with their obsession with acquiring private property. Regrettably, once the Federal Government obtains title to private lands, they fail to adequately maintain them. I am particularly interested in hearing the justification for spending $2.7 million to acquire just six acres for inclusion in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge. These lands have apparently been assessed at $458,000 per acre which is $228,000 more than the agency paid for adjacent lands just in FY '99.
In terms of policy, I urge the Service to settle the ongoing dispute involving the Academy of Model Aeronautics. At a time when the Service has not opposed the expansion of an airport over the Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge, it is ridiculous to even suggest that somehow model airplanes will adversely effect wildlife. It is my understanding that modelers have used the Galeville Airport for over 30 years without any adverse consequences. Furthermore, the Academy has offered to maintain the grounds, to hire a professional to monitor the impacts and to limit their flights. It is time for the Service to resolve this matter in a positive way.
Page 75 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, it is my hope that the Service will never again subject a group of law-abiding citizens to the same type of treatment experienced by 240 elk hunters in New Mexico. The questionnaire they received was intimidating, heavy handed and wrong. While I appreciate the personal involvement of the Director, I am amazed that the Chief of the Office of Law Enforcement would even suggest that the language of the questionnaire could be viewed or ''accusatory and confrontational.'' What other conclusion could a reasonable person reach and how was the investigation of the shooting of a Mexican gray wolf advanced by asking ''Did you feel afraid while completing this form?'' What I fear is that there are still law enforcement agents that believe all hunters are criminals. The leadership of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must ensue that this does not happen again in the future.
I look forward to hearing from the representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on their FY 2000 budget request.
STATEMENT OF HON. FRANK PALLONE, JR. A REPRESENTATIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this oversight hearing on the FY 2000 Budget Request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Administration's FY 2000 total budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is $1.58 billion, of which $950 million will fund U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service programs through annual appropriations, and an additional $632.2 million will be allocated from its permanently appropriated accounts.
I support the $147.8 million increase in annual appropriations, and the $56.4 million increase in permanent appropriated accounts in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget request. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is mainly responsible for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and certain marine mammals. Currently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages over 93 million acres of land througout the U.S., including 516 National Wildlife Refuges, 38 wetland management and waterfowl production areas, 50 coordinated areas, and 66 National Fish Hatcheries.
Page 76 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC A large portion of the budget for annually appropriated accounts, $724 million, will be used to fund accounts for resource management. This includes programs for ecological services, refuges and wildlife, fisheries, and general administration. The remaining portion of the annual appropriations budget will be used to fund accounts for construction, land acquisition, the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, and the Multinational Species Conservation Fund.
The remaining portion of the total budget, $632.2 million will be allocated to the Fish and Wildlife Service's permanent accounts, which include the Migratory Bird Conservation Account, the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, the National Wildlife Refuge Fund, the Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund, and the Sport Fish Restoration Program.
At 10 a.m. on March 4, 1999, in Room 1334 Longworth House Office Building, the Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans will hold a hearing on the Administration's FY 2000 budget request for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Testifying will be Ms. Jamie Clark, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior.
U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has principal responsibility and authority for migratory birds, threatened and endangered species, fish and wildlife and their habitats, and certain marine mammals. The USFWS currently manages over 93 million acres encompassing a system of 516 National Wildlife Refuges, 38 wetland management and waterfowl production areas, 50 coordination areas, and 66 National Fish Hatcheries located throughout the United States.
Page 77 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC For FY 2000, the Administration has requested that $950 million be allocated for USFWS programs, subject to annual appropriations. This is a $147.8 million increase above the FY '99 appropriated level, which was $802.1 million. Among the highlights of this year's budget request for the USFWS are: $265.3 million for Refuge Operation and Maintenance; $114.9 million for the Endangered Species Account; $80 million for the Cooperative Endangered Species Fund; $73.6 million for Land Acquisition; $43.5 million for Construction; $17.3 million for the Pacific Northwest Initiatives; $15 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund; and $11 million for Everglades Watershed Restoration.
The USFWS has also indicated that it will request that $632.2 million be allocated from its permanently appropriated accounts, such as the Sport Fish Restoration Account, Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration, and Migratory Bird Conservation Account. This represents $56.4 million more than what was collected in FY '99.
The total budget request for the USFWS for FY 2000 is $1.58 billion. At the end of FY '98, the Service's total employment was 7,770 positions.
Fish and Wildlife Service: Accounts
(A) RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: The Administration has requested $724 million for this account, which comprises the vast majority of the Service's budget. This is an increase of $62.8 million from FY '99. It includes:
*Ecological Services: Consists of the Endangered Species Program, the Habitat Conservation Program, and the Environmental Contaminants Program. The proposed FY 2000 budget request for Ecological Services is $198.7 million, a $14.8 million increase above the FY '99 appropriation. This figure includes a $4.1 million increase for the Endangered Species Account, a $9.8 million increase for Habitat Conservation, and a small addition for environmental contaminants.
Page 78 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In terms of the Endangered Species Act, the Service has asked that $8.3 million be allocated for ''candidate conservation'' which the Service needs to develop 50 candidate agreements ''precluding'' the need to list 10 species. As of September 30, 1998, 162 plant and animal species were candidates for listing. It is interesting to note that 128 of the candidate species are located west of the Mississippi River. In fact, there are 44 candidates in Region 6 and 117 candidates in Region 1. In terms of distribution, 51 percent of the candidate species are plants and 49 percent are defined as animal groups of which 65 percent are invertebrates.
The Service has asked for $7.5 million for the listing of threatened or endangered species, $37.3 million for consultation, $56.7 million for recovery efforts for more than 1,107 species that are currently listed, and $5 million for the landowner incentive program. The USFWS has indicated that it expects 160 Safe Harbor agreements to be in the same stage of development in FY 2000. These agreements encourage landowners to improve endangered species habitat on their land.
By contrast, the FY '99 Interior Appropriations Act appropriated $6.7 million for candidate conservation, $5.7 million for listing, $27.2 million for consultation, and $66 million for recovery efforts. In short, the Administration is asking for only a nominal increase for the Endangered Species Account.
*Refuges and Wildlife: Includes the operation and maintenance of the 516 units of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the enforcement of Federal wildlife laws, and migratory bird management. The proposed FY 2000 budget request for this account is $327.1 million, which is an increase of $32.8 million above the FY '99 appropriated level. The Service is requesting $264.3 million for refuge operations and maintenance ($26.1 million more than FY '99); $39.9 million for law enforcement operations; and $21.8 million, or $2.7 million more than FY '99 for migratory bird management.
Page 79 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC According to the USFWS, the infrastructure of our Refuge System includes over 4,000 buildings, 6,500 miles of roads, 2,700 miles of dikes, thousands of water control structures, and a wide diversity of vehicles and equipment. The replacement value is estimated to exceed $4.5 billion.
In 1998, 34 million people visited one or more National Wildlife Refuges. Approximately 90 percent of refuge visitors will participate in wildlife-dependent recreational and educational activities. In fact, most refuges welcome those people who want to hunt, fish, or study and learn about wildlife and their needs. Currently, 290 refuges are open for hunting and 307 units are open for fishing. This represents more than 90 percent of all the refuge acreage.
It is also interesting to note that a total of 58 refuges have been established specifically to protect threatened and endangered species, and 36 refuges contain areas designated as critical habitat for endangered species. Over 400 units have at least one threatened or endangered species during some part of the year. Of the 1,154 U.S.-listed species, approximately 232 species are in habitats within the Refuge System.
The Refuge System has also witnessed a surge in the number of people who are volunteering their time to assist our refuges in education, habitat management, maintenance, research, and public use. From the inception of the volunteer program in 1982, the number of volunteers has increased from 4,251 to 32,387 individuals in FY '98. The hours of service have also grown over 900 percent from 128,440 hours to 1.5 million hours in FY '98. The Service has requested $1.5 million in Refuge operations to implement the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act. These funds will be used to hire an additional seven volunteer coordinators at the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife Refuge, Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Texas Chenier Plain National Wildlife Refuge, Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge, Rhode Island National Wildlife Refuge, Sand Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In addition, Refuge education programs will be developed and more volunteerism will be encouraged.
Page 80 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Finally, last year, the Congress appropriated $238.2 million for refuge operation and maintenance. This represented an increase of $18 million over FY '98, which was the largest amount appropriated for the Refuge System and the largest ever targeted for the operation and maintenance programs.
The Service also requested an additional $2.5 million for Refuge operations to support 50 priority projects at 48 refuges to eradicate or control the spread of invasive plants and feral animals. While the Service mentions saltcedar, leafy spurge, Brazilian pepper, Australian pine and other invasive plants, they do not identify the need to eradicate nutria from the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. During the last Session, Congress authorized money to eliniinate these semi-aquatic rodents that are native to South America and which have caused severe damage to the wetlands habitat at Blackwater.
It is interesting to note that the Administration's submitted budget represents an additional $27.1 million for refuge operation and maintenance. At this time, there are 9,296 projects ($526 million) pending in the Maintenance Management System, which identifies those infrastructure problems that need to be fixed.
The USFWS has also requested that $1 million be allocated to support ongoing and planned Salton Sea clean-up and recovery construction next year. The Service noted that in 1996, 14,000 birds, including over 1,400 endangered brown pelicans and 10-12 percent of the West Coast American white pelican population, died from avian botulism caused by a bacterial infection in Salton Sea fish.
Finally, the Fish and Wildlife Service has requested $21.8 million for migratory bird management. This is an increase of $2.7 million over FY '99. These funds will be used to assist refuge managers in evaluating the effectiveness of lesser snow goose population control measures, to finalize a management plan to deal with the growing population of double-crested cormorants, implement new bird conservation plans, continue waterfowl harvest surveys, and establish a network of long-term monitoring programs in grassland and riparian habitat.
Page 81 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC *Fisheries: Includes fish hatchery operations and maintenance and the management of anadromous, inland Great Lakes, and international fishery resources. The Service currently manages 66 National Fish Hatcheries, six fish technology centers, nine fish health centers, 8 river coordinators, and 64 fish and wildlife assistance offices. The proposed FY 2000 budget request for this account is $79.8 million, an increase of $6.2 million above the FY '99
During the past four years, the Service has transferred about a dozen National Fish Hatcheries to the States. There are no additional transfers contemplated in the Administration's FY 2000 budget document.
It has been estimated that the 66 remaining National Fish Hatcheries will produce and distribute 163 million fish and 140 million fish eggs this year, valued at over $5 billion, while enhancing partnerships with State, local, and tribal governments. Recreational fishing annually contributes about $38 billion to the national and regional economies.
On a specific basis, the Service has requested $40.5 million to operate and maintain the hatchery program, which is $1 million more than last year; $11.7 million, or level funding, for the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan; and $27.5 million for Fish and Wildlife Management Assistance, which is an increase of $5.1 million above the FY '99 appropriated level.
During FY 2000, National Fish Hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest will produce approximately 66 million fish in support of the Service's efforts to restore and recover Pacific salmon and Steelhead trout in the Columbia River Basin, Puget Sound, and coastal Washington and Oregon. The Service will continue measures to prevent the introduction of non-indigenous species in Prince William Sound and expand efforts to control aquatic nuisance species in the Great Lakes.
Page 82 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC *General Administration: The Administration has requested that $118.3 million be allocated for this account, which represents an increase of $8.9 million from FY '99. The highlights of this account are: $14.9 million for the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, West Virginia; $7 million for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation; and $10.3 million for international affairs. Under this account, funds will be spent to streamline the permits process, to participate in the upcoming CITES conference in Nairobi, Kenya and to evaluate trade in U.S. species.
(B) CONSTRUCTION: This account provides funds for construction of bridges, dams, fish hatcheries, and wildlife refuges, The FY 2000 budget request for this account is $43.5 million, which is $6.8 million less than last year.
The largest construction projects included in the FY 2000 budget are: $3.9
million to replace various infrastructure facilities at the Little White Salmon National Fish Hatchery in the State of Washington; $3.4 million to rehabilitate a dam at the Necadoh National Wildlife Refuge in Wisconsin; $3.1 million to rebuild the work station and visitor center at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts; $1.8 million to plan, design and repair a crumbling seawall at the Tern Island National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii; $1.7 million to rehabilitate the water supply system at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin; and $1.5 million to replace and rehabilitate 23 bridges at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.
(C) LAND ACQUISITION: This account provides funding for acquisition of lands to protect fish and wildlife habitat. The FY 2000 budget request for this function is $73.6 million, which is $25.6 million more than FY '99. The Fish and Wildlife Service has recommended the following land acquisitions for our National Wildlife Refuge System: $4 million to purchase 160 acres for the J.N. ''Ding'' Darling National Wildlife Refuge complex (LAPS Rank 13); $4 million for 2,666 acres for the Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge in Texas (LAPS Rank 15); $3.6 million for 2,800 acres for the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii (LAPS Rank 18); $3.2 million for 10,000 acres for inclusion in the Silvio O. Conte National Wildlife Refuge complex (LAPS Rank 109); $3.1 million for 620 acres at the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California (LAPS Rank 17); $3 million for 165 acres for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge in Maine (LAPS Rank 16); $2.75 million for 6 acres for the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in Florida (LAPS Rank 6); and $2.7 million for 250 acres for the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Massachusetts (LAPS Rank 1).
Page 83 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC In total, the Service has recommended that 118,425 acres be acquired at a cost of $73.6 million for inclusion within 29 National Wildlife Refuge units. These lands are acquired under the Emergency Wetlands Resources Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956, and separate legislative statutes.
(D) NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION FUND: This Fund is designed to conserve wetland ecosystems and the species they support. It provides the financial assistance necessary for the implementation of the North American Wetlands Management Plan, an agreement signed in 1986, to reverse the loss of wetlands throughout the continent. To date, over 900 partners have worked together on more than 600 projects in 46 States, 10 Canadian provinces, and 17 Mexican states. It has been estimated that the Fund has been able to protect more than 3.6 million acres of wetlands.
The Administration has requested $15 million for the North American Wetlands Conservation Fund, which is level funding with the FY '99 appropriated amount. In 1998, Congress approved legislation that reauthorized the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) at $30 million per year. The Administration supported this legislation (Public Law 105-312).
(E) MULTINATIONAL SPECIES CONSERVATION FUND: In FY '99, Congress established this new fund that incorporates appropriations for the African Elephant Conservation Act, the Asian Elephant Conservation Act, and the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service intends to maintain separate subaccounts for the African elephant, Asian elephant, rhino, tiger and wild bird conservation programs. It is interesting to note that the Clinton Administration has never requested any money for the Wild Bird Conservation Act of 1992.
*African Elephant Conservation Fund: Established by the African Elephant Conservation Act of 1988, which authorizes up to $5 million each year for meritorious elephant conservation projects. The FY 2000 request is $1 million, which was the amount appropriated in FY '99. The authorization for this Fund expires on September 30, 2002. Since its creation, Congress has appropriated more than $9 million to the African Elephant Conservation Fund. This money has been allocated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 64 conservation projects in 21 range states throughout Africa. These projects have included: elephant population surveys, anti-poaching equipment for wildlife rangers, and translocation of elephants from certain drought regions.
Page 84 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC *Asian Elephant Conservation Fund: Established by the Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-96). This Fund is authorized at $5 million per year until September 30, 2002. The Administration has requested $1 million for this fund in FY 2000. While no projects have been funded, the Service has indicated that priority will be given to research, management, community outreach and education, law enforcement, genetic studies, and traditional elephant training. The World Wildlife Fund estimates that, to date, fewer than 10 Asian elephant populations of more than 1,000 individuals in a contiguous zone exist.
*Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund: This Fund was created with the enactment of the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-91). This law authorizes Congress to appropriate up to $10 million each year for this Fund until September 30, 2002. To date, Congress has appropriated $1.5 million to the Fund, which has been used to finance 52 conservation projects in 13 countries. The Service is currently reviewing a number of additional projects. Federal assistance has been spent on conservation projects including: an adopt-a-warden program in Indonesia, aerial monitoring of white rhinos in Zaire, and investigation of tiger poaching in India. In FY 2000, the Administration has requested $1 million for the Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, which is twice the amount appropriated in FY '99.
(F) PERMANENT ACCOUNTS: The FY 2000 budget request also includes $632.2 million in permanently appropriated funds, which is $56.4 million more than last year. The following Fish and Wildlife Service programs will receive these funds:
*Migratory Bird Conservation Account: Funds land acquisition for migratory waterfowl habitat and various conservation efforts with receipts from the sale of ''duck stamps,'' import duties collected on arms and ammunition, and wildlife refuge entrance fees. The USFWS anticipates collecting $43.3 million in FY 2000, which is less than $22 million for the same period last year. This includes: $24 million from the purchase of duck stamps; $19 million in import duties on arms and ammunition; and $350,000 in refuge entrance fees. During FY 2000, the Service anticipates that the Migratory Bird Commission will acquire 123,750 acres of refuge lands and waterfowl production areas for migratory waterfowl.
Page 85 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC *Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson): Provides funding to States to carry out wildlife restoration projects. First enacted in 1937, the Fund is financed by an 11 percent excise tax on firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment, and a 10 percent excise tax on pistols and revolvers. The Act prescribes a formula that distributes 50 percent of the funds based on the area of the States and 50 percent based on the number of paid hunting license holders in each State. It is estimated that $212 million will be collected for distribution to the States in FY 2000. This is $13.2 million more than what the Service expects to collect this year.
*National Wildlife Refuge Fund: Provides payments to counties in which Fish and Wildlife lands are located to compensate for the tax revenue that would have been generated if the lands had remained in private hands. Funding for the program is derived from net revenues from the sale of grazing rights, mineral resources, timber, and other products from Service lands. The Administration is requesting that $10 million be distributed to countries under the Refuge Revenue Sharing Act. This is decrease of $779,000.
*Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund: This Fund provides grants to States and Territories for participation in a wide array of conservation and recovery programs for candidate, proposed, and listed species. In FY 2000, the Service has requested that $80 million, which is $66 million more than FY '99, be allocated for this Section 6 ESA program. This huge increase is a component of the Administration's Lands Legacy Initiative. This money allocated from the Land and Water Conservation Fund would be provided to States and local governments to conserve open space for wildlife habitat and public recreation.
*Sport Fish Restoration Program (Wallop-Breaux): Provides funding to States to implement sport fish restoration and enhancement projects. These can include: acquisition of sport fish habitat, stocking of sport fish, research into fishery resource problems, surveys of sport fish populations, operation and maintenance of facilities, and aquatic resource education. The Fund is financed from a 10 percent excise tax on sportfishing tackle and equipment, a 3 percent excise tax on electric trolling motors and fishfinders, a portion of gasoline taxes paid by motorboat users, taxes from gasoline used in small engines, and interest earned on the investment of these funds. It is estimated that $324 million will be collected in taxes and duties for distribution to the States in FY 2000. This is a significant increase of $62.9 million in revenues. Funds from this account ($11.2 million) will also be used for the Coastal Wetlands Grants Program.
Page 86 PREV PAGE TOP OF DOC Attached are several charts that summarize these accounts.
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