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It does not do enough to respond to the urgent need for protecting open space threatened by growth, sprawl and development. It does not do enough to properly manage our Federal lands and the fish, wildlife, and ecosystems that they support. It does not do enough to meet our national responsibilities to

[Page: H10660]  GPO's PDF
our Native Americans. It does not do enough to support arts and arts education. And it does not do enough to help us make progress in making more efficient use of our valuable energy supplies.

   But in other areas, it does too much. It does too much to revise certain parts of the mining law of 1872 through the appropriations process. Instead of letting the Mill site issue be considered in the context of other aspects of that 125-year-old law, including the question of whether the taxpayers get a fair return for mineral development on our and their public lands. It does too much to block efforts to reform the accounting methods to determine how taxpayers and our public schools will share in the proceeds from oil and gas taken from Federal lands, and it does too much to legislatively interfere with sound and orderly management of Federal natural resources and the protection of the environment.


[Time: 16:15]

   It would undermine the established processes for a rising national forest plan, for managing the public lands managed by the BLM and for protecting the peace and quiet of the national parks.

   It would unduly restrict our efforts to work with other countries, to work on the problems of global warming and climate change and would weaken our commitment to those communities that want to work hard to make sure that the natural, environmental, and cultural resources found along America's heritage rivers are preserved.

   Mr. Speaker, I have great respect for the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. REGULA), the gentleman from Washington (Mr. DICKS), and the other House conferees. I recognize there are important and good things in this bill but, on balance, it falls short and so I cannot support it.

   Interior Bill--Objectionable Riders


   Conference Agreement: Continues the moratorium for an additional 6 months while GAO studies the regulations proposed by the Department. This would be the fourth moratorium on these regulations. As requested by the Congressional supporters of the moratorium, the Minerals Management Service has conducted extensive outreach to the industry during the prior moratoria.


   Conference Agreement: Prevents the Department from implementing for many mining operations a provision of the Mining Law of 1872 that limits the mine operator to one 5 acre millsite per mining claim. Millsites are typically used to dump mine waste.


   Conference Agreement: Imposes a one year moratorium on issuance of regulations to improve environmental compliance in the operation of hardrock mines. Requires that the 2001 budget include legislative, regulatory and funding proposals to implement recent recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences concerning surface management of hardrock mines.


   Conference Agreement: Makes the FY 2000 grant to Florida for land acquisition in support of Everglades restoration contingent on a binding agreement between the Federal Government, the State and the South Florida Water Management District providing an assured supply of water to the natural system of the Everglades and water supply systems for urban and agricultural users.


   Conference Agreement: Gives the Forest Service and BLM discretionary authority to conduct wildlife surveys before offering timber sales.


   Conference Agreement: Suspends for one year the authority of the Secretary of the Interior to segregate or withdraw land in the Mark Twain National forest from hardrock mining. Also prohibits issuance of permits for hardrock mineral exploration in the Forest for one year. Funds a study to assess the impact of lead and zinc mining in the Forest.


   Conference Agreement: Prohibits reintroduction of grizzly bears into the Selway-Bitteroot Mountains in Idaho and Montana during FY 2000. The Fish and Wildlife Service has been working for several years on an innovative, collaborative process with local stakeholders.


   Conference Agreement: For FY 2000, automatically renews expiring grazing permits for which NEPA has not been completed for new 10 year terms.


   Conference Agreement: Requires publication of a report describing goods and services in the 144 million acre Interior Columbia River Basin prior to the release of the final environmental impact statement on the Administration's effort to develop a coordinated strategy for management of Federal lands in eastern Washington and Oregon, Idaho, and western Montana.


   Conference Agreement: Prevents agencies and offices funded in the bill from using funds to support the American Heritage Rivers program administered through the Executive Office of the President and the Council on Environmental Quality.


   Conference Agreement: Continues the 1999 moratorium on tribes assuming additional duties through new or expanded P.L. 93-638 contracts, grants and self-governance compacts. The continued moratorium applies only to contracting and compacting by BIA and HIS and exempts two programs: education construction and IHS programs to Alaska Tribes.


   Conference Agreement: Prohibits the Department from spending funds to implement sound thresholds or standards in the Grand Canyon until 90 days after the NPS provides a report to Congress.

[Current BA in millions of dollars]
  1999 enacted*  2000 President's budget request  2000 conf. estimate  2000 estimate difference from 1999 enacted  2000 estimate difference from 2000 pres. budg. request 
        Millions of dollars  Percent  Millions of dollars  Percent 
Total, Interior & Related Agencies   6,940   7,769   7,277   +366   +4.8   -492   -6.3  
BIA;/Indian Trusts Total   1,786   2,002   1,912   +126   +7.0   -90   -4.5  
Land Management Operations composed of   2,665   2,856   2,825   +159   +6.0   -32   -1.1  
BLM Operations   716   743   743   +27   +3.8   +1   +0.1  
FWS Operations   661   724   716   +55   +8.3   -8   -1.1  
NPS Operations   1,288   1,390   1,365   +77   +6.0   -25   -1.8  
Wildland Fire Management   287   306   292   +5   +1.9   -14   -4.4  
Interior Science   798   838   824   +26   +3.3   -15   -1.7  
Interior Land Acquisition composed of   211   295   187   -24   -11.3   -108   -36.7  
BLM Land Acquisition   15   49   16   +1   +6.2   -33   -68.3  
FWS Land Acquisition   48   74   51   +2   +5.2   -23   -31.4  
NPS Land Acquisition   148   172   121   -27   -18.4   -52   -30.0  
Interior Construction composed of   415   420   437   +23   +5.5   +17   +4.1  
BLM Construction   11   8   11   +0   +3.9   +3   +36.8  
FWS Construction   50   44   55   +4   +8.2   +11   +25.3  
NPS Construction   230   194   224   -5   -2.3   -30   -15.7  
BIA Construction   123   174   147   +23   +19.0   -27   -15.7  
Departmental Offices (w/o OST)   214   229   222   +9   +4.1   -6   -2.8  
All Other Funds   689   997   725   +36   +5.2   -272   -27.3

*Does not include supplemental funds, special apporpriation for King Cover, Glacier Bay, subsistence. Does not include Y2K mitigation transfers.

**Does not incluode any billwide reduction.

[In millions of dollars]
Bureau  1999 Estimate  2000 Request  Con. Estimate Amount  Outcome change from 1999*  Percent change  Outcome change from req.*  Percent change 
Bureau of Land Management   1,190   1,269   1,234   +44   +3.7   -35   -2.8  
Minerals Management Service   124   116   117   -7   -5.6   1   0.9  
Office of Surface Mining Recl'n & Enforcemer   279   306   287   +8   +2.9   -19   -6.2  
U.S. Geological Survey   798   838   824   +26   +3.3   -14   -1.7  
Fish and Wildlife Service   802   950   871   +69   +8.6   -79   -8.3  
National Park Service   1,748   2,059   1,809   +61   +3.5   -250   -12.1  
Bureau of Indian Affairs   1,746   1,902   1,817   +71   +4.1   -85   -4.5  
Departmental Office:  
Departmental Management (99 comp.)   60   63   63   +3   +5.0   0   0  
Insular Affairs   87   89   88   +1   +1.1   -1   -1.1
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Office of the Solicitor   37   42   40   +3   +8.1   -2   -4.8  
Office of the Inspector General   25   28   26   +1   +4.0   -2   -7.1  
Office of Special Trustee   39   100   95   +56   +143.6   -5   -5.0  
NRDAR   4   8   5   +1   +25.0   -3   -37.5  
Departmental Office   252   330   317   +66   +26.2   -13   -3.9  
Subtotal, Interior Bill (current BA)   6,939   7,769   7,277   +337   +4.9   -492   -6.3  
Bureau of Reclamation   781   857   769   -12   -1.5   -88   -10.3  
Central Utah Project Completion Act   42   39   39   -3   -7.1   0   0  
Adjustments for Mandatory Current Accr   -57   -57   -57   0   0   0   0  
Adjustment for Discretionary Offsets   -100   -47   -47   +53   0   0   0  
Total Net Discretionary BA   7,605   8,560   6,981   +376   +4.0   -580   -6.8  
Total Current BA   7,763   8,665   8,085   +323   +4.2   -580   -6.7

Note: Does not include 1999 supplemental, appropriations or transfers, Glacier Bay funds, subsistence funds.

   Anti-Environmental Riders on the FY 2000 Interior Appropriations Bill as of 10/19/99

   This list was compiled by Defenders of Wildlife using write-ups received from numerous groups in the conservation community.

   (*) indicates a provision that has been deleted or amended and no longer objectionable.

    X indicates new provisions added in conference.


   (1) Sec. 122: Special Deal For Washington Grazing Interests--would renew and extend livestock grazing within the popular Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area in Washington. This provision undercuts a National Park Service decision that livestock grazing was not an authorized activity within the Recreation Area, and benefits 10 ranchers at a cost to the thousands of visitors using the National Recreation Area. Unlike the Senate provision the House language places no limits on how long the renewals could last. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is a popular destination spot for water-sports enthusiasts and recreationists along the Columbia River in Washington. The National Park Service found that livestock grazing should not be authorized within the Recreation Area in 1990, and gave the existing ranchers using the National Park Service lands several years to transition out of the use of this area. In 1997, all livestock grazing ceased within the National Recreation Area. The rider re-instates the grazing practices to the benefit of a small handful of ranchers on 1000 acres of National Park System lands within the National Recreation Area.

   Status: Unchanged as passed by the full Senate on 9/24/99 and negotiated by the House-Senate conference committee as of 10/18/99.

   (2) Sec. 123: Allow Grazing Without Environmental Review--requires the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to renew expiring grazing permits (or transfer existing permits) under the same terms and conditions contained in the old permit. Expanded by Senator Domenici (R-NM) in full Committee, this automatic renewal will remain in effect until such time as the BLM complies with ``all applicable laws.'' There is no schedule imposed on the Agency, therefore necessary environmental improvements to the grazing program could be postponed indefinitely. This rider affects millions of acres of public rangelands that support endangered species, wildlife, recreation, and cultural resources. The rider's impact goes far beyond the language contained in the FY 1999 appropriations bill, in which Congress allowed a short-term extension of grazing permits which expired during the current fiscal year. As written, this section undercuts the application of any environmental law, derails both litigation and administrative appeals, and hampers application of the conservation-oriented grazing ``standards and guidelines'' that were developed under the ``rangeland reform'' effort. Because BLM will be required to reissue (transfer) grazing permits under the old terms and conditions, the agency will have no reason to consider public comments or to allow administrative appeals of permit-related decisions. As written, the language covers permits that expire ``in this or any fiscal year'' and may therefore undercut existing litigation and administrative appeals brought by the conservation community to protect wildlife and improve rangeland protection. To make matters worse, because it has been restated to apply to the Department of Interior and not just the BLM, it will actually undercut efforts by the NPS to apply NEPA and change grazing permits to protect the environment in places like the Mojave Desert National Preserve. This section provides a perverse incentive for the BLM to delay its NEPA and related environmental analysis, as it will be politically easier to simply extend permits.

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