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TITLE VIII—FORESTRY

Subtitle A—Cooperative Forestry Assistance

Act of 1978

SEC. 8001. REPEAL OF FORESTRY INCENTIVES PROGRAM AND STEWARDSHIP

INCENTIVE PROGRAM.

(a) REPEAL.—The Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 is

amended by striking section 4 (16 U.S.C. 2103) and section 6 (16

U.S.C. 2103b).

(b) USE OF REMAINING FUNDS.—Notwithstanding the amendment

made by subsection (a), the Secretary of Agriculture may use

funds appropriated for fiscal year 2002 for the forestry incentives

program or the stewardship incentive program, but not expended before

the date of enactment of this Act, to carry out sections 4 and

6 of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, as in effect on

the date before the date of enactment of this Act.

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SEC. 8002. ESTABLISHMENT OF FOREST LAND ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM.

(a) PURPOSES.—The purposes of this section are—

(1) to strengthen the commitment of the Secretary of Agriculture

to sustainable forest management to enhance the productivity

of timber, fish and wildlife habitat, soil and water

quality, wetland, recreational resources, and aesthetic values of

forest land; and

(2) to establish a coordinated and cooperative Federal,

State, and local sustainable forestry program for the establishment,

management, maintenance, enhancement, and restoration

of forests on nonindustrial private forest land.

(b) FOREST LAND ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM.—The Cooperative

Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 is amended by inserting after section

3 (16 U.S.C. 2102) the following:

‘‘SEC. 4. FOREST LAND ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM.

‘‘(a) ESTABLISHMENT.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary of Agriculture shall establish

a forest land enhancement program—

‘‘(A) to provide financial assistance to State foresters;

and

‘‘(B) to encourage the long-term sustainability of nonindustrial

private forest lands in the United States by assisting

the owners of nonindustrial private forest lands,

through State foresters, in more actively managing the nonindustrial

private forest lands and related resources of

those owners through the use of State, Federal, and private

sector resource management expertise, financial assistance,

and educational programs.

‘‘(2) COORDINATION AND CONSULTATION.—The Secretary,

acting through State foresters, shall implement the program—

‘‘(A) in coordination with the State Forest Stewardship

Coordinating Committees; and

‘‘(B) in consultation with other Federal, State, and

local natural resource management agencies, institutions of

higher education, and a broad range of private sector interests.

‘‘(b) PROGRAM OBJECTIVES.—In implementing the program, the

Secretary shall target resources to achieve the following objectives:

‘‘(1) Investing in practices to establish, restore, protect,

manage, maintain, and enhance the health and productivity of

the nonindustrial private forest lands in the United States for

timber, habitat for flora and fauna, soil, water, and air quality,

wetlands, and riparian buffers.

‘‘(2) Ensuring that afforestation, reforestation, improvement

of poorly stocked stands, timber stand improvement, practices

necessary to improve seedling growth and survival, and growth

enhancement practices occur where needed to enhance and sustain

the long-term productivity of timber and nontimber forest

resources to help meet future public demand for all forest resources

and provide environmental benefits.

‘‘(3) Reducing the risks and helping restore, recover, and

mitigate the damage to forests caused by fire, insects, invasive

species, disease, and damaging weather.

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‘‘(4) Increasing and enhancing carbon sequestration opportunities.

‘‘(5) Enhancing implementation of agroforestry practices.

‘‘(6) Maintaining and enhancing the forest landbase and leverage

State and local financial and technical assistance to

owners that promote the same conservation and environmental

values.

‘‘(7) Preserving the aesthetic quality of nonindustrial private

forest lands and providing opportunities for outdoor recreation.

‘‘(c) STATE PRIORITY PLAN.—

‘‘(1) DEVELOPMENT.—The State Forester and State Forest

Stewardship Coordinating Committee of a State shall jointly

develop and submit to the Secretary a State priority plan that

is intended to promote forest management objectives in that

State.

‘‘(2) REPORT.—Not later than September 30, 2006, each

State that implemented a State priority plan shall submit to the

Secretary a report describing the status of all activities and

practices funded under the program as of that date.

‘‘(d) OWNER ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSISTANCE.—

‘‘(1) ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA.—To be eligible for cost-share assistance

under the program, an owner of nonindustrial private

forest lands shall agree—

‘‘(A) to develop and implement, in cooperation with a

State forester, another State official, or a professional resources

manager, a management plan that—

‘‘(i) except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), provides

for the treatment of not more than 1,000 acres of

nonindustrial private forest lands;

‘‘(ii) is approved by the State forester; and

‘‘(iii) addresses site specific activities and practices;

and

‘‘(B) to implement approved activities and practices in

a manner consistent with the management plan for a period

of not less than 10 years, unless the State forester approves

a modification to the plan.

‘‘(2) PUBLIC BENEFIT EXCEPTION.—The Secretary may increase

the acreage limitation specified in paragraph (1)(A)(i) to

not more than 5,000 acres for an owner of nonindustrial private

forest lands if the Secretary, in consultation with the State forester,

determines that significant public benefits will accrue as

a result of the provision of cost-share assistance under the program

for the treatment of the additional acreage.

‘‘(3) PLAN DEVELOPMENT EXCEPTION.—An owner may receive

cost-share assistance under the program for the purpose of

developing a management plan under subsection (e) that provides

for the treatment of acreage in excess of the acreage limitations

specified in paragraphs (1)(A)(i) and (2), except that the

owner’s eligibility for cost-share assistance to implement approved

activities and practices under the management plan remains

subject to the acreage limitation specified in paragraph

(1)(A)(i) or, if the Secretary makes the determination described

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in paragraph (2), the acreage limitation specified in that paragraph.

‘‘(e) MANAGEMENT PLAN.—

‘‘(1) SUBMISSION AND CONTENT.—An owner of nonindustrial

private forest lands that seeks to participate in the program

shall submit to the State forester of the State in which the

lands are located a management plan that—

‘‘(A) identifies and describes projects and activities to

be carried out by the owner to protect or enhance soil,

water, air, range and aesthetic quality, recreation, timber,

water, wetland, or fish and wildlife resources on the lands

in a manner that is compatible with the objectives of the

owner;

‘‘(B) addresses any criteria established by the State and

the applicable Committee; and

‘‘(C) meets the other requirements of this section.

‘‘(2) LANDS COVERED.—At a minimum, the management

plan shall apply to those portions of the nonindustrial private

forest lands of the owner on which any project or activity funded

under the program will be carried out. In a case in which

a project or activity may affect acreage outside the portion of the

land on which the project or activity is carried out, the management

plan shall apply to all lands of the owner that are in forest

cover and may be affected by the project or activity.

‘‘(f) APPROVED ACTIVITIES.—

‘‘(1) STATE LIST.—The Secretary shall develop for each

State a list of approved forest activities and practices eligible

for cost-share assistance that meets the purposes of the program.

The Secretary shall develop the list for a State in consultation

with the State forester and the Committee for that

State.

‘‘(2) TYPES OF ACTIVITIES.—Approved activities and practices

under paragraph (1) may consist of activities and practices

for the following purposes:

‘‘(A) The establishment, management, maintenance,

and restoration of forests for shelterbelts, windbreaks, aesthetic

quality, and other conservation purposes.

‘‘(B) The sustainable growth and management of forests

for timber production.

‘‘(C) The restoration, use, and enhancement of forest

wetland and riparian areas.

‘‘(D) The protection of water quality and watersheds

through—

‘‘(i) the planting of trees in riparian areas; and

‘‘(ii) the enhanced management and maintenance

of native vegetation on land vital to water quality.

‘‘(E) The management, maintenance, restoration, or development

of habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife.

‘‘(F) The control, detection, monitoring, and prevention

of the spread of invasive species and pests on nonindustrial

private forest lands.

‘‘(G) The restoration of nonindustrial private forest

land affected by invasive species and pests.

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‘‘(H) The conduct of other management activities, such

as the reduction of hazardous fuels, that reduce the risks

to forests posed by, and that restore, recover, and mitigate

the damage to forests caused by, fire or any other catastrophic

event, as determined by the Secretary.

‘‘(I) The development of management plans;

‘‘(J) The conduct of energy conservation and carbon sequestration

activities.

‘‘(K) The conduct of other activities approved by the

Secretary, in consultation with the State forester and the

appropriate Committees.

‘‘(g) REIMBURSEMENT OF ELIGIBLE ACTIVITIES.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—In the case of an eligible owner that has

an approved management plan, the Secretary shall share the

cost of implementing the approved activities and practices that

the Secretary determines are appropriate.

‘‘(2) RATE.—The Secretary shall determine the appropriate

reimbursement rate for cost-share payments under paragraph

(1) and the schedule for making those payments.

‘‘(3) MAXIMUM COST SHARE.—The Secretary shall not make

cost-share payments under this subsection to an owner in an

amount in excess of 75 percent, or a lower percentage as determined

by the State forester, of the total cost to the owner to implement

the approved activities and practices under the management

plan.

‘‘(4) AGGREGATE PAYMENT LIMIT.—The Secretary shall determine

the maximum aggregate amount of cost-share payments

that an owner may receive under the program.

‘‘(5) CONSULTATION.—The Secretary shall make determinations

under this subsection in consultation with the State forester.

‘‘(h) RECAPTURE.—

‘‘(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall establish and implement

a mechanism to recapture payments made to an owner in

the event that the owner fails to implement an approved activity

or practice specified in the management plan for which the

owner received cost-share payments.

‘‘(2) ADDITIONAL REMEDY.—The remedy provided in paragraph

(1) is in addition to any other remedy available to the

Secretary.

‘‘(i) DISTRIBUTION OF COST-SHARE FUNDS.—The Secretary, acting

through the State foresters, shall distribute funds available for

cost sharing under the program only after giving appropriate consideration

to the following factors:

‘‘(1) The public benefits that would result from the distribution.

‘‘(2) The total acreage of nonindustrial private forest lands

in each State.

‘‘(3) The potential productivity of those lands, as determined

by the Secretary.

‘‘(4) The number of owners eligible for cost sharing in each

State.

‘‘(5) The opportunities to enhance nontimber resources on

those lands, including—

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‘‘(A) the protection of riparian buffers and forest wetland;

‘‘(B) the preservation of fish and wildlife habitat;

‘‘(C) the enhancement of soil, air, and water quality;

and

‘‘(D) the preservation of aesthetic quality and opportunities

for outdoor recreation.

‘‘(6) The anticipated demand for timber and nontimber resources

in each State.

‘‘(7) The need to improve forest health to minimize the damaging

effects of catastrophic fire, insects, disease, or weather.

‘‘(8) The need and demand for agroforestry practices in

each State.

‘‘(9) The need to maintain and enhance the forest landbase.

‘‘(10) The need for afforestation, reforestation, and timber

stand improvement.

‘‘(j) AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS.—The Secretary shall use

$100,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry

out the Program during the period beginning on the date of enactment

of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 and

ending on September 30, 2007.

‘‘(k) DEFINITIONS.—In this section:

‘‘(1) NONINDUSTRIAL PRIVATE FOREST LANDS.—The term

‘nonindustrial private forest lands’ means rural lands, as determined

by the Secretary, that—

‘‘(A) have existing tree cover or are suitable for growing

trees; and

‘‘(B) are owned by any nonindustrial private individual,

group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or

other private legal entity so long as the individual, group,

association, corporation, tribe, or entity has definitive decision-

making authority over the lands.

‘‘(2) COMMITTEE.—The terms ‘State Forest Stewardship Coordinating

Committee’ and ‘Committee’ means a State Forest

Stewardship Coordinating Committee established under section

19(b).

‘‘(3) INDIAN TRIBE.—The term ‘Indian tribe’ has the meaning

given the term in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination

and Education Assistance Act (25 U.S.C. 450b).

‘‘(4) OWNER.—The term ‘owner’ means an owner of nonindustrial

private forest land.

‘‘(5) PROGRAM.—The term ‘program’ means the forest land

enhancement program established by this section.

‘‘(6) SECRETARY.—The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary

of Agriculture.

‘‘(7) STATE FORESTER.—The term ‘State forester’ means the

director or other head of a State Forestry Agency or equivalent

State official.’’.

(c) CONFORMING AMENDMENT.—Section 246(b)(2) of the Department

of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C.

6962(b)(2)) is amended by striking ‘‘forestry incentive program’’ and

inserting ‘‘forest land enhancement program’’.

May 1, 2002