Natural Resources Policy: Management, Institutions, and Issues

Natural Resources Policy:
Management, Institutions, and Issues
January 17, 2007
Carol Hardy Vincent and Nicole T. Carter, Coordinators
Resources, Science, and Industry Division
Julie Jennings, Coordinator
Knowledge Services Group

Natural Resources Policy:
Management, Institutions, and Issues
Natural resources management remains a significant issue for the federal
government. Growing demands on the nation’s resources and interest in their
protection and allocation among multiple uses have increased the complexity of
management. The federal role in defining policy and institutional context shapes the
combination of supported uses and protection measures.
Certain themes are common to federal resource issues. Many conflicts center
on balancing traditional versus alternative uses and protection programs, managing
to produce national or local benefits, and supporting current or future resource
consumption. Other challenges involve the effect of federal resource management
on private lands, fees for using federal resources, and financing of management
efforts. Interagency conflicts and overlaps and the coordination of federal, state, and
local efforts also are common implementation problems.
For many reasons, Congress often confronts resource issues based on the natural
resource in question — lands and related resources, oceans and coasts, species and
ecosystems, or water. Federal land issues include land ownership and management,
prioritization of uses, designation of special areas, and fee collection and
disbursement. Energy production and recreation on federal lands remain
controversial. Indian land issues include energy rights-of-way across tribal lands and
treaty rights. Ocean topics encompass broad policy questions, such as whether to
respond to recommendations by two commissions for more coordinated ocean
policies and institutions. More specific multi-use management challenges range from
fisheries, marine mammal, and coastal zone management, to adherence to the U.N.
Convention on the Law of the Sea. Species management and ecosystem protection
topics include federal protection and habitat designations for threatened and
endangered species, prevention and response to invasive species, protection of
international species, wetlands protection, and large-scale ecosystem restoration.
Increased competition for water has fostered interest in the federal role in water
resources, particularly in relation to water supply in western states and multi-use river
management. Other water topics are dam and levee safety and security, and
transboundary water resources management.
Natural resource science and management contributes to understanding and
mitigating the nation’s natural hazard risks. Science also is instrumental in defining
the uncertainty and potential extent and impact of climate change and weather on
resource conditions.
Often natural resource management is intertwined with other topics of broad
public concern, such as environmental protection, energy, and agricultural policy.
The 110th Congress may pursue natural resources topics in the context of these other
policy areas as well as through authorizations, appropriations, and oversight related
to specific natural resources issues.

NamePrimary Agency/Issue AreaE-mailPhone
Federal and Indian Lands and Resources
Kori CalvertRecreation and referencekcalvert@crs.loc.gov7-6459
M. Lynne CornFish and Wildlife Service, lcorn@crs.loc.gov7-7267
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
Ross GorteU.S. Forest Servicergorte@crs.loc.gov7-7266
Carol Hardy VincentBureau of Land Managementchvincent@crs.loc.gov7-8651
Marc HumphriesEnergy resources on federal landsmhumphries@crs.loc.gov7-7264
Sandra JohnsonTrails and riverssjohnson@crs.loc.gov7-7214
Adam VannEnergy and natural resources legal issuesavann@crs.loc.gov7-6978
Roger WalkeIndian lands and resourcesrwalke@crs.loc.gov7-8641
David WhitemanNational Park Servicedwhiteman@crs.loc.gov7-7786
Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science
Peter FolgerClimate change and natural hazardspfolger@crs.loc.gov7-1517
Natalie LoveNatural disaster mitigationnlove@crs.loc.gov7-9569
Wayne MorrisseyNatural hazards and earth scienceswmorrissey@crs.loc.gov7-7072
Ocean and Coastal Affairs
Marjorie BrowneTreaties and international agreementsmbrowne@crs.loc.gov7-7695
Eugene BuckFish and marine mammalsgbuck@crs.loc.gov7-7262
Peter FolgerWind and tidal energypfolger@crs.loc.gov7-1517
Marc HumphriesOffshore oil and gasmhumphries@crs.loc.gov7-7264
Wayne MorrisseyNational Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin.wmorrissey@crs.loc.gov7-7072
Harry UptonLiving marine resourceshupton@crs.loc.gov7-2264
Jeffrey ZinnCoastal zonejzinn@crs.loc.gov7-7257
Species Management and Ecosystem Protection
Eugene BuckAquatic speciesgbuck@crs.loc.gov7-7262
M. Lynne CornTerrestrial specieslcorn@crs.loc.gov7-7267
Pervaze SheikhEcosystem restoration, international speciespsheikh@crs.loc.gov7-6070
Jeffrey ZinnWetlands, private land conservationjzinn@crs.loc.gov7-7257
Water Resources
Nicole CarterArmy Corps authorizations, water researchncarter@crs.loc.gov7-0854
Betsy CodyBureau of Reclamation, water policybcody@crs.loc.gov7-7229
Peter FolgerGroundwaterpfolger@crs.loc.gov7-1517
H. Steve HughesWater institutions, army corps budgetsnot available7-7268
Nic LanePower marketing, dams, and hydropowerdlane@crs.loc.gov7-7905
Pervaze SheikhEcosystem restorationpsheikh@crs.loc.gov7-6070
Stephen ViñaLegal issuessvina@crs.loc.gov7-8079

Natural Resources: The Policy Setting.................................1
Historic Resource Management...................................2
Management Challenges: Balancing Uses and Sustainability............2
Management, Institutions and Issues: Natural Resources in the 110th Congress
Federal and Indian Lands and Resources............................5
Conceptual Framework.....................................5
Arctic Oil, Arctic Refuge (ANWR)............................6
Federal Land Funding......................................6
Forests and Fire Management................................6
Indian Lands and Resources..................................7
Onshore Energy Resources..................................8
Onshore Mineral Resources..................................9
Park Management and Recreation.............................9
Rangelands ..............................................10
Wilderness and Roadless Areas..............................11
Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science.......................11
Conceptual Framework....................................11
Climate and Natural Resources..............................12
Natural Disaster Mitigation.................................12
Mapping Data Management and Natural Hazards................13
Weather, Atmospheric Research, and Environmental Observations..14
Ocean and Coastal Affairs......................................14
Conceptual Framework....................................14
Coastal Resources........................................14
Fishery and Marine Mammal Policy..........................15
Marine Habitat Protection and Management....................15
Ocean Energy Resources...................................16
Ocean Research, Operations, and Services.....................17
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.......................17
Species Management and Ecosystem Protection.....................18
Conceptual Framework....................................18
Ecosystem Restoration.....................................18
Endangered Species.......................................19
International Species Protection and Conservation...............19
Invasive Species..........................................20
Private Land Conservation..................................20
Wetlands Protection and Restoration..........................21
Wild Birds and Bird Flu....................................22
Water Resources.............................................22
Conceptual Framework....................................22
Agency Management and Water Resources Policy...............23
Dams and Levees.........................................24
River Management........................................24
Transboundary Water Resources.............................25
Western Water Availability and Drought......................25

Federal and Indian Lands and Resources...........................27
Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science.......................27
Ocean and Coastal Affairs......................................27
Species Management and Ecosystem Protection.....................27
Water Resources.............................................28

Natural Resources Policy:
Management, Institutions, and Issues
Natural Resources: The Policy Setting
Natural resource management remains a significant issue for the federal
government, and the availability of particular natural resources, such as energy1
resources, can be matters of broad public concern. Natural resource availability
represents both an opportunity and constraint for human activities. Local, state, and
federal government policies define the intertemporal distribution and use of the
nation’s natural capital stock of soil, minerals, forests, water, fisheries, etc. Growing
demands and pressures for both resources and services from the nation’s resources,
plus heightened interest in how these resources are used, have increased the
complexity of their management and administration. Resource management
decisions have economic, social, and environmental implications, which may be
local, national, or international.
Who decides how natural resources should be managed and how the decisions
are made remain topics of debate. The federal role in natural resource management
continues to be controversial. Some stakeholders seek to maintain or enhance the
federal role in resource management. Others support more local influence or
international decision-making in some cases.
Often the resource issues debated in Congress are focused on specific
management tools and their effects (e.g., changing grazing fees, reforming mining
laws, restructuring the Endangered Species Act), rather than on broader goals and
objectives of resource policies. However, debate on specific management issues may
encompass discussions of broad principles, such as the principles of multiple use and
sustainable yield2 that underpin the management philosophies of some federal
resource agencies and whether they remain appropriate for the current demands,
constraints, and values of resources.

1 For purposes of this report, a general definition of natural resources is those naturally
occurring resources and systems either useful or potentially useful to humans under
plausible technological, economic, and social circumstances (including when their existence,
possession, or use is of aesthetic or spiritual value).
2 For purposes of this report, a general definition of multiple use is the management of
renewable resources so that they are used in the combination that best meet the needs of the
American people. A general definition of sustainable yield is the achievement and
maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level of regular output of renewable resources.

Historic Resource Management
The United States is one of the few countries that possesses a vast array of
natural resources — only Canada, Russia, and Brazil have similar endowments.
Initially, U.S. policy focused on disposal of federal lands and use of resources to
encourage settlement and development of the country. Several waves of
conservation, beginning in the 1870s, began to shift this vision. Establishment of
Yellowstone as the first national park in 1872 and setting aside in 1891 of unreserved
public timberlands as national forests for watershed protection were important early
landmarks in development of new policies.
Through the 1950s, government policies and institutions largely favored
regional resource users (e.g., ranchers, miners, loggers, and irrigators). For example,
the federal government often encouraged the settlement, use, and development of
federal lands and resources at little cost to users. In the 1960s, more people began
questioning the rationale behind federally supported resource use, and the politics
began to change due to two main factors — the demand for recreation and amenity
goods increased sharply, and the environmental-conservation movement gained
political momentum and increasingly sought judicial rulings in favor of greater
protection. These factors shifted policies away from those that favored traditional
resource users. Tension between traditional and alternative uses and protection
programs remains a prominent factor in the current debate over natural resource
Management Challenges: Balancing Uses and Sustainability
Certain themes are prevalent during consideration of many resource questions.
Common themes include how to balance the tensions in multi-use management and
protection programs, whether resources should be managed to produce national or
local benefits, and how to balance current uses with future supplies and opportunities.
Conflicting views reflect different values, needs, and perceptions of the condition of
resources and the sustainability of uses. While specific management concerns are
constantly in flux, many of the concerns fall under the same categories that have
confronted policy-makers for decades:
!role of the federal government in establishing policies;
!interagency conflicts and overlaps;
!sources and levels of funding;
!information and role of science; and
!coordination of federal, state, and local efforts.
Although these categories of issues are fairly constant and broader questions of
resource goals and management objectives remain, Congress for many reasons
typically confronts the resource issues based on the natural resource in question —
lands and related resources, oceans and coasts, species and ecosystems, or water.
Conflicting public values concerning federal and Indian lands raise many
questions and issues, such as how much land the federal government should own,
how managers should balance conflicting uses (e.g., grazing, timber, habitat,

recreation), whether Congress should designate specially protected areas, and when
and how agencies should collect and distribute fees for land and resource uses.
Multiple use management is an approach to balancing use conflicts that can occur on
federal lands. Federal land ownership and management continues to be controversial,
especially in some western states where the federal government owns half or more
of the land. Congress continues to examine the multi-use land management through
legislative proposals, program oversight, and annual appropriations for the four major
federal land management agencies. Energy production on federal lands, protection
from wildfires, range management, and recreation have been at the forefront of
congressional debates in recent Congresses. Indian land issues include energy
rights-of-way across tribal lands, especially the amount of compensation sought by
Indian tribes.
Increasing use of coastal and marine resources is driving proposals to alter the
relationship between environmental protection and sustainable resource management.
Recent reports note declines in marine resources and shortcomings in the fragmented
and limited approaches to resource protection and management in federal and state
waters. A further concern is the increasing pressures and conflicts that arise from
economic activity associated with continued human population growth in coastal
areas. Within coastal areas, the most attractive and highest-valued properties often
are the most hazardous, exposed to the forces of wind and waves that accompany
ocean storms, hurricanes, and tsunamis. Increased use of coastal and nearshore areas
has promoted conflict with ocean energy development and production from Outer
Continental Shelf oil and gas platforms as well as wind farms. Current projections
that sea levels will continue to rise will likely make coastal sites more hazardous in
the future.
The numbers of animal and plant species facing possible extinction are rising,
and some of the ecosystems that they rely on are changing or degrading, raising both
species-specific and ecosystem-based management questions and challenges. Some
stakeholders contend that species loss may have social and economic impacts, and
therefore assert that all species should be saved. However, others hold that the cost
to society of protecting species with the aim (but not the certainty) of saving them is
substantial, while the benefits are vague. Dwindling species are often indicators of
habitat loss or alteration. Habitat loss often results from development, changes in
land and water management practices, competition from invasive species, and other
factors, nearly all affected by economic, political, or social interests. Because of the
tradeoffs inherent in species and ecosystem management decisions, goals and
objectives for species protection, ecosystem restoration, and invasive species control
remain controversial. For example, is recovery of all species listed under the
Endangered Species Act a realistic goal? Similarly, differences of opinion continue
over the tradeoffs, performance, and expense of approaches being employed in
restoration, species protection, and invasive species control. For example, can the
multi-billion dollar wetlands restoration proposals for coastal Louisiana restore the
coastal ecosystem without requiring significant changes to the management of the
Mississippi River?
Increasing pressures on the quality and quantity of available water supplies —
due to growing population, environmental regulation, in-stream species and
ecosystem needs, water source contamination, agricultural water demand, climate

variability, and changing public interests — have resulted in heightened water use
conflicts throughout the country, particularly in the West. The federal government
has a long history of involvement in water resource development and management
to facilitate water-borne transportation, expand irrigated agriculture, reduce flood
losses, and more recently restore aquatic ecosystems. Although there is no broad
federal water policy, Congress makes decisions that define the federal role in the
planning, construction, maintenance, inspection, and financing of water resource
projects. Congress makes these decisions within the context of multiple and often
conflicting objectives, competing legal decisions, and long-established institutional
mechanisms (e.g., century old water rights, contractual obligations, etc.). Hurricane
Katrina raised questions about the federal role in water resources; in particular, the
disaster brought attention to the trade-offs in benefits, costs, and risks of the current
division of responsibilities among local, state, and federal entities.
Many resource debates are shaped by the availability of information on the
resources. Consequently, the role of science is another common theme in resource
discussions. For example, science is instrumental in defining the uncertainty and
potential extent and impact of climate change and weather on resource stocks and
conditions. Similarly, resources availability and abundance may represent both
opportunities and hazards, for example drought and flooding.
Natural resources management often is intertwined with issues in other policy
areas. For example, relationships between natural resources management and
environmental protection are evident in many issues, such as groundwater
contamination’s effect on rural water supply. Cross-cutting issues are discussed in
this report if the congressional concern revolves principally around resource
conditions and supply. Similarly, debates on energy policy encompass questions of
access to energy resources and the impact of energy production on lands and
resources. While a few energy resource issues are covered in this report, information
on energy policy broadly is contained in CRS Report RL31720, Energy Policy:
Conceptual Framework and Continuing Issues, by Robert Bamberger. Many natural
resource issues, especially ones dealing with resource conditions and uses on private
lands, overlap with agricultural topics. For information on federal conservation
programs for agricultural lands, see CRS Report RL33556, Soil and Water
Conservation: An Overview, by Jeffrey A. Zinn.

Management, Institutions and Issues:
Natural Resources in the 110th Congress
Congress deals with natural resource issues on a number of fronts. Key laws,
programs, and issues are handled by several authorizing committees in the House and
Senate. Many issues involve several committees, such as those involving wetlands
protection and restoration. In addition, natural resource issues often are addressed
during consideration of annual appropriations bills for natural resource agencies,
programs, and activities.3 The 110th Congress is likely to weigh whether federal
funds for natural resources issues are adequate and focused on the appropriate
resource priorities. In many cases, natural resource issues do not divide along clear
party lines. Instead, they may be split along rural-urban, eastern-western, coastal-
interior, or upstream-downstream interests.
This section briefly discusses 31 selected natural resource issues that the 110th
Congress may consider through oversight, authorizations, or appropriations. The 31
issues have been grouped into five categories, as follows:
!Federal and Indian Lands and Resources
!Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science
!Ocean and Coastal Affairs
!Species Management and Ecosystem Protection
!Water Resources
Federal and Indian Lands and Resources
Conceptual Framework. The federal government manages about 650
million acres of land and resources — about 29% of the 2.27 billion acres of land in
the United States. Four agencies, three in the Department of the Interior (DOI),
administer about 95% of federal lands: the Forest Service (FS) in the Department of
Agriculture (USDA), and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS), and National Park Service (NPS). The federal government, through
DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), also is responsible for the management of
lands held in trust for Indian tribes and individuals (whether on and off reservations),
which cover an additional 56 million acres.
Ownership of lands by the federal government has long generated controversy
and may continue to do so in the 110th Congress. A key area of debate is how much
land the federal government should own — and hence whether some federal lands
should be disposed to state or private ownership, or whether additional land should
be acquired for conservation, open space, and other purposes. For lands retained in
federal ownership, debates may involve whether to curtail or expand certain land
designations or if current management procedures should be changed. Also, the
extent to which federal lands should be preserved, made available for development
or resource extraction, or opened to recreational uses raises a variety of resources

3 For information on appropriations bills and issues, and links to CRS reports, see the CRS
website at [].

policy matters, especially with respect to preserving wildlife habitat, designating
wilderness areas, grazing livestock, harvesting timber, and developing energy
resources. For instance, Congress may continue to consider whether to increase
availability of onshore and offshore lands for energy and mineral development, and
if so, under what if any restrictions. Management of Indian lands and resources also
can be controversial, and Congress may be asked to address land claims, water rights,
fishing, and energy and other development issues.
Arctic Oil, Arctic Refuge (ANWR). The future of the biological resources,
wilderness values, and energy potential of northeastern Alaska has been debated inth
Congress for more than 40 years. A question for the 110 Congress is whether (1)
to protect further the biological and wilderness resources of what is now the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) through a statutory wilderness designation, (2)
to open a portion of the refuge to development of potentially the richest onshore oil
source remaining in the United States (and if so, under what restrictions), or (3) to
maintain the current status of the area. Unless Congress chooses to act, the entire
refuge will remain closed to development under provisions of the 1980 Alaska
National Interest Lands Conservation Act (P.L. 96-487). The 109th Congress rejected
inclusion of ANWR development in omnibus energy legislation, although the House
approved a separate bill to open the Refuge to development. An attempt to include
ANWR development in a budget reconciliation package was not successful.
Federal Land Funding. Funding for federal lands continues to be
contentious. Federal lands and natural resource programs compete against other
federal priorities (defense, education, etc.) as well as internally among the several
land and resource management agencies. Perennial questions relate to the Land and
Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This account is credited with deposits of $900
million annually, but funds can be spent only when Congress enacts appropriations.
Congressional attention to this issue may continue to center on (1) the amount to
appropriate annually to each of the four eligible federal land management agencies,
and to the state grant program; (2) which lands should be acquired; and (3) use of
LWCF funds for purposes other than land acquisition. The primary context for
debating these issues may be the annual Interior appropriations legislation. Other
policy questions for federal lands funding relate to setting fees. For instance,
Congress may oversee agency efforts to establish, collect, and distribute fees for
recreation at federal lands and waters.
Another key funding issue is compensating counties for the tax-exempt status
of federal lands. Appropriations for the primary compensation program, Payments
in Lieu of Taxes (PILT), have not kept pace with the increasing authorized level.
The 110th Congress may address PILT funding as part of annual Interior
appropriations legislation, and proposals to provide permanent appropriations for
PILT may again be introduced. Another compensation program, the Secure Rural
Schools and Community Self-Determination Act (P.L. 106-393), was enacted to
offset FS and BLM payments that had declined due to lower timber sales. This act
expired at the end of FY2006; Congress may consider legislation to reauthorize the
Forests and Fire Management. Wildfires can kill firefighters, burn homes,
threaten communities, and destroy trees. Reducing fuels in the federal forests is

being undertaken to reduce the threats from fire, although the threats are not limited
to federal forests. In December 2003, Congress enacted the Healthy Forests
Restoration Act (P.L. 108-148) to facilitate forest fuel reduction activities and for
other purposes less directly related to wildfire protection. Legislation to expedite
rehabilitation and recovery activities following significant forest-altering events, such
as major forest fires, was debated but not enacted by the 109th Congress. The 110th
Congress is likely to consider oversight and authorization of fire programs.
The 110th Congress also might address questions about the process, as well as
the level, for federal firefighting funding. Spending on fire suppression and
preparation now account for nearly half of the FS budget, and funds can be
“borrowed” from any other FS account if suppression costs exceed appropriations.
Repayment is contingent on subsequent appropriations. Recent severe fire seasons
have led to significant borrowing, with implementation effects on other FS programs.
The Bush Administration has made several regulatory changes related to forest
management, public involvement in FS planning and decision making, environmental
impacts of FS activities, and fuel reduction. Changes include:
!categorical exclusions from analysis and documentation under the
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 42 U.S.C. §§ 4321-

4347), involving various activities, including fuel reduction, post-

fire rehabilitation, and “small” timber sales;
!modified review procedures, for example, for administrative review
and internal Endangered Species Act consultations;
!new rules governing national forest uses, such as for issuing special
use permits and for protecting roadless areas; and
!new rules pertaining to national forest planning under the National
Forest Management Act of 1976 (NFMA; 16 U.S.C. §§1600-1616,
et al.).
There continues to be substantial uncertainty over management of the national
forests, and many of these regulations have been challenged in court. The 110th
Congress may conduct oversight of some of the regulatory changes and related
Indian Lands and Resources. American Indian reservations (trust and
non-trust lands),4 off-reservation trust lands, and Alaska Native corporation (non-
trust) lands cover more than 116 million acres (5%) of the United States — about 71
million acres in the lower 48 states (about 54 million in trust) and about 45 million
acres in Alaska (about 1 million in trust). Indians also have interests in non-Indian
lands, waters, and other natural resources, as subjects of legal rights, objects of legal
claims, culturally important areas, or economic resources.

4 “Trust lands” is a general term covering (a) trust lands strictly defined, which are lands
whose title is held by the federal government in trust for an Indian tribe or individual, and
(b) restricted lands, which are lands whose title is held by an Indian tribe or individual but
which cannot be sold or encumbered (e.g., mortgaged) without federal approval. “Non-trust
land” is any land that is not trust land.

Indian land issues include energy rights-of-way across tribal lands, especially
the compensation sought by Indian tribes. This is the subject of a report mandated
by §1813 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-58) and due from the
Departments of Energy and the Interior. A draft “1813 report” report was issued for
comment on August 8, 2006, and a final “1813 report” report currently is being
prepared. Some tribes fear the report may recommend that Congress amend current
laws requiring Indian consent for energy rights-of-way. Indian lands also are
involved in royalty collection controversies, since the Minerals Management Service
(MMS) collects royalties for oil and gas production on Indian lands as well as federal
lands. (See “Onshore Energy Resources.”)
Significant topics for non-Indian areas include rights to water and to wildlife
resources, and management of Indian sacred sites. In a number of western states,
Indian tribes’ assertion of water rights claims, while based on reservation or trust
lands, may impinge heavily on non-Indian water use. Many tribes are participating
in water negotiations or adjudications with states, local governments, and other water
users. The 110th Congress may be asked to consider California, Montana, and New
Mexico tribal water rights claims, if settlements are reached. Fish and wildlife
management on non-Indian lands and waters — involving, for instance, caribou in
ANWR (see “Arctic Oil, Arctic Refuge (ANWR)”), or salmon and other fish in the
Pacific Ocean and the Columbia, Klamath, and Trinity rivers — also has given rise
to fishing, development, and water rights controversies that Congress has been asked
to address. Numerous Indian sacred sites — many (perhaps most) of which are not
identified — occur on federal lands. To protect sacred sites, Indians have
unsuccessfully sought legislation setting general restrictions on agencies’
management of federal lands for development, recreation, and other purposes, and
may again seek such legislation in the 110th Congress.
Onshore Energy Resources. A controversial management question is
whether to increase availability of federal lands for energy and mineral
In the 110 Congress, oversight of the effectiveness and enforcement of current laws
regarding oil and gas production on federal lands is likely. The U.S. Geological
Survey estimates that significant oil and gas resources exist below some onshore
federal lands that are now off-limits to energy development, particularly in the Rocky
Mountain region. Industry and the Bush Administration contend that entry into some
of these areas is necessary to ensure future domestic oil and natural gas supplies.
Opponents maintain that there are environmental costs associated with exploration
and development, and that the United States could meet its energy needs through
increased exploration elsewhere and energy conservation.
The permitting process to drill also has come under scrutiny from industry and
environmental groups. The need to update Resource Management Plans (RMPs)5 is
cited by BLM as the major cause for permitting delays. Comprehensive energy
legislation (P.L. 109-58) affects energy development on onshore federal lands with
provisions to streamline the permitting process. The law establishes the Federal
Permit Streamlining Pilot Project in seven BLM field offices. A report due to
Congress in 2008 is to outline the results and advise whether a national program is

5 RMPs are required by the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. §1712).

appropriate. Additionally, BLM has implemented new management strategies
intended to remove impediments and streamline the permitting process for
developing onshore federal oil and gas resources. During FY2006, BLM processed
15% more applications for a permit to drill (APD), and the number of permit
applications rose by 29% over FY2005. Environmental and outdoor groups assert
that expediting the permitting process has been detrimental to hunting, fishing, and
protecting wildlife areas.
Onshore Mineral Resources. The 110th Congress may consider whether
to reform the General Mining Law of 1872. The law grants free access to individuals
and corporations to prospect for minerals in public domain lands, and allows them,
upon making a discovery, to stake (or locate) a claim on that deposit. A claim gives
the holder the right to develop the minerals that may be patented to convey full title
to the claimant. However, a patent is not necessary to develop the minerals. Since
FY2005, Congress has imposed annual moratoriums on mining claim patents. A
continuing policy issue is whether this law should be reformed, and if so, how to
balance mineral development with competing land uses.
The right to enter federal lands and freely prospect for and develop minerals is
the feature of the claim-patent system that draws the most vigorous support from the
mining industry. Critics consider the claim-patent system a giveaway of publicly
owned resources because of the small amounts paid to maintain a claim and to obtain
a patent. Also, mineral production generally occurs without paying royalties to the
federal government, unlike the oil and gas leasing program on public lands. A key
area of debate is whether to reform the General Mining Law of 1872 to include some
form of royalty.
The lack of direct statutory authority for environmental protection under the
1872 Law also has spurred reform proposals. Supporters of the current law contend
that other laws provide adequate environmental protection. Critics assert that these
general environmental requirements are inadequate to assure reclamation of mined
areas, and that the only effective approach to protecting lands from the adverse
impacts of mining under the current system is to withdraw them from development
under the Mining Law. Further, critics charge that federal land managers lack
regulatory authority over patented mining claims, and that clear legal authority to
assure adequate reclamation of mining sites is needed. An additional policy issue is
whether to respond to the mining industry’s interest in removing what they view as
delays in issuing permits to develop minerals on federal lands.
Park Management and Recreation. The NPS mission, to provide for the
public enjoyment of parklands while protecting park resources, has fostered
continuing management challenges. The 110th Congress may oversee
implementation of revised park management policies issued in 2006. Congress also
likely will address the adequacy of funds for the National Park System, for instance,
for general operations, facilities maintenance, and security. NPS continues to define
and quantify its maintenance needs, but the extent of progress toward eliminating the
agency’s multibillion dollar backlog of deferred maintenance remains unclear.
Congress also funds and oversees NPS efforts to enhance security for “national icon”
parks and units along U.S. borders. Further, each Congress typically considers many
park and recreation measures to designate or study sites for inclusion in the System
and to expand or adjust park unit boundaries. The NPS provides technical and

financial assistance to National Heritage Areas (NHAs), which are designated by
Congress but are not federally owned. In view of the large number (37) of existing
NHAs, and considerable interest to study and designate additional areas, Congress
may again consider whether to enact legislation that would to provide consistent
program criteria for NHA designation, management, and funding.
Recreation in park units, as well as on BLM, FS, and other lands, is a focal point
of debate over the management of federal lands. Primary topics of discussion include
access for recreation generally, and the effect of recreation — especially motorized
recreation — on natural resources, visitor experience, and local economies. Specific
NPS conflicts center on snowmobiles in three Yellowstone area parks, air tour
overflights and “natural quiet” at Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP), and
implementation of the Colorado River Management Plan for GCNP to allocate river
access for commercial and noncommercial boaters. While trail designation is often
popular, quantity, quality, and funding for trails may continue to pose management
challenges for the NPS and other federal agencies. Recreation issues also arise in
other areas, such as reservoirs and waterways managed by the Army Corps of
Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation. Potential subjects of congressional oversight
include balancing recreational water needs and other purposes, financing
maintenance of recreational facilities, and establishing fees for recreation at federal
lands and waters.
Rangelands. Management of federal rangelands, particularly by the BLM and
FS, presents an array of policy matters for Congress. The federal grazing fee for
private livestock grazing on federal lands has been controversial for decades.
Instances of grazing on federal land without a permit or payment of fees, and agency
actions to fine and jail owners and impound and sell trespassing cattle, also have
been contentious. Federal rangeland condition is a recurring interest for Congress,
with differences over the effect of grazing on rangelands and the location and amount
of grazing overall and in specific allotments. Many view invasive and noxious weeds
as an expanding threat to the health and productivity of rangelands. (See “Invasive
Species.”) Restricting or eliminating grazing on some federal land because of
environmental and recreational concerns may again be considered. These efforts are
opposed by those who support ranching on the affected lands for lifestyle,
environmental, and economic reasons. Some proposals have sought to compensate
grazing permittees who voluntarily relinquish their permits, while others would
provide compensation when agency decisions reduce or eliminate permitted grazing.
Another policy issue involves whether to continue the automatic renewal of expiring
grazing permits and leases, with one law authorizing temporary renewal without
environmental studies for those permits and leases expiring through FY2008.
Further, Congress may conduct oversight of changes BLM made in 2006 to its
grazing regulations.
In addition, there is continued interest in BLM’s management of wild horses and
burros, and efforts to remove them from the range to achieve “appropriate
management levels.” The adoption and sales programs and the slaughter of healthy
animals have been of particular focus. Proposals may again be introduced to overturn
the BLM’s sale authority and other changes enacted in 2004, or to foster the sale and
adoption of wild horses and burros.

Wilderness and Roadless Areas. Federal agencies manage some federal
lands to preserve natural conditions for biological, recreational, or scenic purposes.
In 1964, the Wilderness Act created the National Wilderness Preservation System,
with statutory protections that emphasize preserving areas in their natural state.
Wilderness areas included in the System generally cannot have permanent roads and
structures, and use of machines and mechanized travel generally are prohibited.
Designating new wilderness areas thus can be controversial, because it favors
preservation values over uses requiring roads and motorized equipment. Units of the
Wilderness System can only be designated by Congress. Many bills to designate
wilderness areas typically are introduced in each Congress; more than 30 wereth
introduced in the 109 Congress, and 5 were enacted.
The wilderness potential of many areas has been examined by BLM under the
Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). These areas — Wilderness
Study Areas (WSAs) — are all managed to preserve their wilderness characteristics,
regardless of whether BLM recommend them to be wilderness, until Congress
designates them as wilderness or releases them for other uses. WSAs have raised
legal questions, including whether FLPMA allows the BLM to conduct additional
wilderness inventories or to create new WSAs, and whether legislation is needed to
allow multiple use management of WSAs not designated as wilderness. In addition,
some BLM lands do not include the headwaters of water sources flowing through the
land, which may raise water rights and other issues as part of congressional
consideration of designating BLM wilderness areas.
Management of the national forest roadless areas remains controversial. The
Clinton Administration promulgated nationwide rules to protect inventoried roadless
areas in the National Forest System by precluding most roads and timber harvesting.
Critics have called these roadless rules de facto wilderness management, while
supporters note that more roads and timber cutting were allowed under the rules than
for areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System. The validity of the Clinton
rules was litigated, and implementation enjoined. The Bush Administration finalized
new rules that eliminated the nationwide approach, returned management of roadless
areas to the normal planning process for each forest unit, and gave state governors
the option to petition for protecting roadless areas in their states. The Bush rules
made moot the litigation over the previous rules. However, separate litigation
successfully challenged the Bush rules, leading to reinstatement of the Clinton rules.
The Bush Administration has continued to implement the state petition process under
the Administrative Procedure Act. The 110th Congress may conduct oversight of
agency rulemaking and related litigation, and may consider legislation addressing
roadless areas management.
Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science
Conceptual Framework. The costs of natural disasters in the United States
are rising, and the 110th Congress may examine policies that mitigate risk to lessen
or avert the financial, social, and physical impacts of disasters. How the federal
government addresses disasters may be complicated by potential impacts from a
changing climate in vulnerable regions of the United States. For example, low-lying
coastal regions may be faced with rising sea levels as well as the possibility of more
intense or more frequent severe storms. Federal activities that enhance the nation’s
ability to mitigate or protect against losses to communities and degradation of natural

resources include the Flood Map Modernization Initiative, operated by the Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, in the Department of Homeland Security).
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, in the Department
of Commerce) provides weather forecasts, conducts applied research, and issues
warnings that serve to protect against natural hazards, such as tsunamis. Other
federal agencies also generate geospatial data that contribute to new and updated
hazard maps that help identify potential risks. Congress may consider whether
authorization is needed to centralize geospatial data to enhance the nation’s capability
to reduce the impacts of natural disasters. Congress also may consider how a
changing climate affects the ability of the federal government to develop, manage,
and protect the nation’s natural resources.
Climate and Natural Resources. There is general scientific agreement that
the climate is changing, and that some parts of the country, such as Alaska, may
experience faster rates of change and more severe impacts. The magnitude of climate
change, the rate of change, the geographic distribution of its impacts, and whether
particular impacts are beneficial or harmful remain key areas of uncertainty and
research. The 110th Congress may examine how the federal government considers
climate change in its decisions on how to develop, manage, and protect the nation’s
A changing climate may influence a wide range of natural resource management
issues. Higher temperatures and, in some regions, dryer conditions will have
implications for some federal forests, particularly their resistance to pest infestation
and susceptibility to fire. Forest productivity also may be enhanced in some regions.
Changing growing seasons and an intensifying hydrologic cycle may affect the
condition of federal rangelands, increasing or decreasing their productivity and
nutritional quality, and altering their susceptibility to invasive and noxious species,
for example. Rising sea levels could exacerbate challenges for coastal resource
management. Sea level rise, coupled with the potential for increased frequency and
intensity of severe storms, may complicate existing multi-use conflicts in coastal
regions between human activities and protection of natural resources. Warming sea
temperatures could, for example, lead to increased coral bleaching. Exacerbation of
drought and flood threats, changes in snowpack and snowmelt timing, and other
changes in water supply and availability may have multiple impacts — both positive
and negative — on the sustainable use of the nation’s water resources and operations
of federal infrastructure. Similarly, these changes to the hydrologic cycle, sea level
rise, as well as other climate-related factors may influence the performance of large-
scale ecosystem restoration, such as the $11 billion federal-state effort to restore the
Florida Everglades.
Natural Disaster Mitigation. An ongoing issue for Congress is whether to
modify the current federal role in natural disaster mitigation. Federal activities,
programs, and regulations that pertain to natural disaster mitigation and that enhance
community sustainability include federal disaster assistance programs (whose
structure and administration are informed by mitigation principles), both pre- and
post-disaster mitigation grant programs, mandates under the National Flood
Insurance Program, and flood map modernization efforts. (See “Mapping Data
Management and Natural Hazards.”)

Hazards are consequences of both the physical and social systems and
interaction between them. Implementing policies to mitigate risk can avert or lessen
the impact of natural hazards. Recent amendments to the Robert T. Stafford Disaster
Relief and Emergency Assistance Act may influence the role of mitigation in natural
disaster management. The 110th Congress may evaluate the scope and effect of the
amendments on mitigation. Mitigation of natural hazards can include (1) structural
measures, such as construction of dams, or making the structure more resistant or
resilient to specific hazards, such as wind or earthquakes through reinforcement
(retrofitting) or modification, and (2) nonstructural options, such as land use
regulation, zoning laws, and building codes. The 110th Congress also may evaluate
the effectiveness of two multi-agency programs: the National Earthquake Hazards
Reduction Program and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program.
The 110th Congress also may address through legislation and oversight
Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Congressional debates over policy choices are
likely to be shaped by assessments of the long-term viability of investments in coastal
Louisiana, as well as benefits and costs of mitigation activities, such as levee
construction and wetlands restoration.
Mapping Data Management and Natural Hazards. New and updated
hazard maps can be generated rapidly, since the advent of electronic instruments that
generate digital mapping data and the geographic information system (GIS) which
can manage and manipulate spatial (geographic) data. These computer-generated
maps can assist decision-makers, scientists, engineers, and emergency managers in
identifying potential natural hazard risks, such as of flooding, seismic damages, or
landslides. They can assist emergency managers in evacuating populations, and
governments and policy makers in making informed decisions about future
development and land use.
Federal agencies are subject to government-wide standards for spatial
(geographic) data management, including digital storage, access, and mapmaking.
The 110th Congress might consider whether to authorize a spatial data clearinghouse
to centralize federal mapping data to facilitate access. The Clinton Administration
proposed a “National Spatial Data Infrastructure.” The Bush Administration supports
the “Geospatial One-stop,” to make all federal geospatial data accessible on a
centralized website. However, the Administration has not requested dedicated
funding for the initiative, and appropriations have not been provided.
FEMA operates a large-scale digital mapping program — the Flood Map
Modernization Initiative. The National Flood Insurance Program gave FEMA
responsibility for identifying potential flood hazard risks and creating maps to
enhance the awareness of such risks in emergency planning, to inform land use and
development, and to determine national flood insurance requirements. New flood
maps, and those requiring revision as flood risks change, currently are produced
digitally. These maps are more accurate in defining flood risks and more precise in
locating risks and potentially affected structures. Recent major floods in coastal and
riverine areas of the northern Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi have
increased demand for flood map updates so that affected communities can beth
assessed for flood insurance requirements. The 110 Congress may consider whether
FEMA has the necessary resources and authorities to meet these demands, and

whether the FMMI is keeping pace in identifying new flood risk and providing for
updates elsewhere.
Weather, Atmospheric Research, and Environmental Observations.
Much of U.S. weather and climate research is performed by NOAA. A question for
Congress is how to ensure continuity of NOAA’s observations, services, and
research. Some Members support an organic act for NOAA as a way to organize
vital oceanic and atmospheric research programs and protect funding for such
programs, human resources, and facilities at the agency. Some NOAA officials
believe that such an act would limit the agency’s flexibility to change its
organizational structure to meet its changing mission.
NOAA’s research supports operational activities such as weather forecasts and
warnings. NOAA’s climate services advise U.S. transportation and agricultural
sectors on long-term weather outooks and short-term climate variation. The
scientific community relies on NOAA’s environmental data for research validation.
The public depends on continuity of critical weather and environmental observations
and NOAA’s daily operations and services. Climate research at NOAA includes
detecting change and projecting possible impacts, and informs national and
international assessments of change in the climate and global environment. NOAA
operates critical instruments and sensors which collect and analyze environmental
data, acquired from satellite observations and ground-based sensing technologies.
Such technologies have served in detecting natural or man-made disasters,
identifying natural hazard risk potential, and assessing post-disaster damages.
Ocean and Coastal Affairs
Conceptual Framework. Use of coastal and marine resources is increasing,
and Congress may consider proposals that alter the relationship between resource use
and protection. Two reports issued in 2004 — by the Pew Oceans Commission and
the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy — noted declines in marine resources and
shortcomings in the fragmented and limited approaches to resource protection and
management in federal and state waters. Both reports called for bold responses fromth
Congress and the Administration. The 109 Congress considered legislation related
to specific ocean and coastal issues and comprehensive bills encompassing a broad
array of management, policy, and institutional crosscutting concerns. The
combination of more information about ocean and coastal issues, new
recommendations on how these issues might be addressed, and expired authorities
for appropriations to fund ocean programs may cause the 110th Congress to give
attention to these topics.
Coastal Resources. The country’s coastal counties are only 17% of the land
area, but they are home to about 50% of the country’s population and jobs. These
people and jobs are most heavily concentrated along the highly desirable shoreline
portion of most coastal counties, where development can displace or disrupt beach
systems, wetlands, estuaries, and other highly productive natural systems. Many
sustainability and multi-use public policy issues in shoreline areas involve conflicts
between human activities and protection of natural systems. These conflicts may
increase in number and intensity as people and jobs continue to concentrate in these
portions of coastal counties. Hazardous natural forces — strong winds, large waves,
and flooding, for example — are also most intense in these same shoreline areas.

Numerous hurricane landfalls in recent years, especially Hurricane Katrina in 2005,
have brought the public policy challenges of expanding coastal development into
sharper focus.
The coastal zone management program is the central federal effort for
coordinating coastal development with natural resource management and policies.
The authorization for the program’s appropriations expired at the end of FY1999, and
the 110th Congress, like earlier ones, may consider reauthorization legislation and
possibly changes that would address emerging issues. This program provides federal
grants to assist states and territories in administering federally approved plans for
development and protection. Statutory and regulatory guidance gives the 35 eligible
states and territories considerable latitude as to which topics they emphasize. The
program also gives participants leverage over federal actions in or affecting the
coastal zone by requiring those actions to be consistent with approved plans.
Congress also may consider legislation for specific coastal and shoreline areas, such
as coastal Louisiana and the Great Lakes, and for specific resources, such as coastal
barrier beaches, wetlands, and estuaries. Many federal programs that apply more
broadly have significant coastal components, such as resource protection programs
for seashore units of the National Park System and refuge units in the National
Wildlife Refuge System, and disaster mitigation response programs such as the
National Flood Insurance Program.
Fishery and Marine Mammal Policy. The two ocean policy reports,
discussed in the conceptual framework for this section, expressed concern over U.S.
management and use of fish and marine mammals. These reports recommended
measures to address declining fish stocks, to protect marine mammal populations,
and to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of the U.S. commercial fishing
industry. The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
(MSFCMA) authorizes federal management of fishing in waters of the U.S.
Exclusive Economic Zone beyond state jurisdiction to 200 miles offshore, and wasth
reauthorized in the closing hours of the 109 Congress (P.L. 109-479). During the
110th Congress, action may focus on oversight of Magnuson-Stevens Act
implementation as well as measures to protect and restore fishery habitat.
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits taking of marine
mammals unless permitted under several programs. Authorizations of appropriations
for the MMPA have expired. The 110th Congress may consider legislation to
reauthorize and amend the MMPA, incorporating some of the recommendations of
the two ocean policy reports. Topics of debate for amending the MMPA could
include modifying management of commercial fishing interactions, robust wild
stocks, and captive marine mammals. Actions fostering international cooperation on
managing marine mammal populations also may be considered. Discussions of
regulatory changes may encompass subsistence use of marine mammals by Native
Americans, effects of underwater noise of human origin, and incidental takes of
marine mammals.
Marine Habitat Protection and Management. There is growing
recognition of the complex relationships among ocean uses, marine environmental
quality, and marine resources. As the variety and magnitude of human activities
expand in the ocean, estuaries, and adjacent coastal areas, environmental quality in
some areas has declined and habitat has been altered. Related policy issues are

sometimes broad in scope because causes and impacts are numerous and diverse;
may occur over broad spatial and temporal scales; and often involve local, state, and
federal authorities. For example, impacts may involve relatively narrow issues, such
as potential impacts of active military sonar on marine mammals, or broader
concerns, such as oil spill impacts on marine ecosystems.
The 110th Congress may address a variety of marine habitat protection and
management issues. Issues of continuing interest include invasive species, oil spills,
marine dead zones, chemical weapons disposal, and cruise ship pollution. Invasive
species concerns may focus on ballast water management, with continued oversight
of National Invasive Species Act implementation. Several bills related to ballast
water management received attention in the 109th Congress but were not enacted.
Another key issue is whether existing U.S. laws adequately address cruise ship
pollution. The 110th Congress also may consider control and monitoring of
wastewater discharges from large passenger vessels. Although oil spill incidents and
volume have decreased despite increased oil consumption, Congress may review the
adequacy of response actions to oil spills. There has been increasing support for the
use of marine protected areas (MPAs) to protect and manage ocean resources.
However, MPAs may restrict uses such as commercial and recreational fishing that
provide economic and social benefits to local communities and the national economy.
The 110th Congress may conduct oversight related to the use of MPAs and the
adequacy of related federal law. Finally, environmental activities of the Coast Guard,
such as enforcement, also may be a topic of congressional oversight.
Ocean Energy Resources. The combination of high oil prices,
technological advancement, and tax incentives is driving interest in increasing
development of offshore energy resources. Offshore energy resources being
considered include oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), and proposalsth
for wind energy along the mid-Atlantic, northeast, and Texas coasts. The 110
Congress may examine the balance between developing energy resources and other
offshore uses such as commercial fishing, recreational boating, and tourism.
Offshore energy development raises questions about its effects on marine and air
traffic navigation, military and civilian radar, and the environment. Congress also
may consider federal regulatory and permitting responsibilities for new development
projects and examine the potential conflicts between the federal interest in offshore
energy and state and local interests.
The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has been identified by the Energy Information
Administration as the most promising region for new additions to U.S. oil reserves.
The Minerals Management Service projects that by 2011 Gulf oil production could
be 50% higher than current production, while natural gas production could double.
These forecasts assume that current leasing moratoria will be retained for certain
areas. The moratoria were imposed in response to economic and environmental
concerns over drilling near coastal communities. The industry is interested inth
accessing areas under moratoria, and the 110 Congress may again consider
proposals to repeal the moratoria. P.L. 109-432 made available for exploration 8.3
million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, and made available offshore leasing revenues
to selected coastal states — Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama — and the
Land and Water Conservation Fund. P.L. 109-432 also codified the offshore
moratorium in nearly all of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico until 2022.

In early 2006, the New York Times reported that the MMS would not collect
royalties on oil and gas leases awarded in 1998 and 1999 because price thresholds
were not in those lease agreements.6 The price threshold is the price per barrel of oil
or per million BTUs of natural gas above which lessees would be required to pay
royalties to the federal government. The MMS asserts that placing price thresholds
in lease agreements is at the discretion of the Secretary of the Interior, that price
thresholds were omitted by mistake, and that discussions are on-going to amend
leases to include price thresholds. The 110th Congress is examining the MMS
royalty relief and royalty compliance programs through legislation and oversight.
All commercial U.S. wind farms currently are operating onshore. Several
proposed offshore projects, such as the Cape Wind project off the Massachusetts
coast, are undergoing the permitting process. The federal government’s handling of
the Cape Wind proposal and other proposed offshore wind energy projects may
influence the viability of offshore alternative energy projects.
Ocean Research, Operations, and Services. NOAA conducts many
programs and activities related to oceans, coastal areas, and the Great Lakes. The
agency’s so-called wet programs include U.S. fishery management; marine
endangered species protection; coastal and estuarine area conservation, recreation,
and education; marine species habitat protection; ocean observation and monitoring
of marine environmental heath; hazard response and recovery in coastal
communities; scientific research in the coastal ocean; and deep ocean exploration that
yields scientific discovery as well as marine-products development. NOAA also
operates the National Sea Grant College Program, in conjunction with state Sea
Grant programs, to train future marine scientists and engineers. All of these
programs are funded under the Department of Commerce appropriations. (For other
NOAA programs related to atmospheric research and weather, and the agency in
general, see “Weather, Atmospheric Research, and Environmental Observations.”)
Since the December 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, NOAA’s National
Weather Service (NWS) has had an enhanced role domestically, by expanding its
detection capabilities to protect U.S. and trust territories’ shores. The agency also is
assisting affected nations around the Indian Ocean through international
organizations by lending detection technology and providing communication
equipment and planning assistance. With such networks in place, how to provide
resources for long-term operations and maintenance may be an implementation issue
for Congress both in terms of domestic needs and U.S. involvement in international
protection programs.
U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. The 1982 United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea and the 1994 Agreement Relating to
Implementation of Part XI of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
remain pending before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The Convention,
which established a legal regime governing activities on, over, and under the world’s
oceans, has entered into force, with more than 150 states parties. The United States
is not a party. Since receiving the treaty from the President in October 1994, the

6 Edmund L. Andrews, “U.S. Royalty Plan to Give Windfall to Oil Companies,” The New
York Times, Feb. 14, 2006, p. A1.

Committee held hearings in October 2003 and, in February 2004, recommended that
the Senate give its advice and consent to U.S. adherence. However, the treaty was
not considered by the full Senate and was returned to the Committee.
A prerequisite for possible Senate action either to approve, disapprove, or not
act on the treaty in the 110th Congress is further Committee consideration and its
favorable recommendation for Senate advice and consent to U.S. adherence. An
issue is whether those who oppose U.S. participation in this Convention might seek
to prevent consideration. The Bush Administration supports U.S. adherence, as did
the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and does the Joint Ocean Commission
Initiative. Among assertions presented in support of U.S. adherence: participation
would protect U.S. interests during ongoing deliberations by the Commission on the
Limits of the Continental Shelf, which was created by the Convention, and enable the
United States to submit its own limits; and participation would enhance U.S. efforts
to amend the Convention. Some opponents to U.S. adherence assert that
participation in the Convention would be contrary to U.S. national security interests,
especially as the United States carries out its counter-terrorism programs, such as the
Proliferation Security Initiative. Opponents to adherence also maintain that concerns
related to the parts of the Convention that dealt with deep seabed resources beyond
national jurisdiction and raised in 1982 by the Reagan Administration were not
corrected by the 1994 Agreement; they are also concerned over the extent to which
adherence would infringe on U.S. sovereignty.
Species Management and Ecosystem Protection
Conceptual Framework. Wildlife and their habitats are addressed by laws
that generally aim to manage, protect, and restore species, populations, and the
ecosystems upon which they depend. For example, there are laws to protect species
that face extinction by aiding their recovery and protecting habitat; and certain
agricultural conservation laws to conserve water quality and wildlife habitat. The
implementation of these laws sometimes generates controversy because the needs of
species and ecosystems sometimes conflict, or are thought to conflict, with other
social and economic interests and uses. These conflicts lead to calls to reassess
programs and their implementation.
These laws address issues at both national and local scales. Federal programs
with national-level objectives generally have a significant federal role in setting goals
and objectives. In contrast, some programs with local or regional perspectives are
developed and implemented with greater input from state and local governments and
stakeholders. Balancing national and regional interests and multiple uses of the
nation’s resources and ecosystem often pose challenges to implementing and
governing wildlife and ecosystem programs, and Congress seeks to bridge competing
interests. The 110th Congress may address these issues through oversight of the
implementation, progress, and funding of various wildlife and ecosystem programs
and laws. Regional issues regarding endangered and threatened species, invasive
species, and ecosystem restoration initiatives, as well as national issues, such as
wetlands protection and agricultural conservation, also may be considered.
Ecosystem Restoration. In the last 25 years, the United States has devoted
substantial effort to, and spent billions of dollars on, restoring some large ecosystems,
such as the Florida Everglades, the Chesapeake Bay, and the San Francisco Bay and

Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers Delta (California Bay-Delta). Many of these
efforts have multiple objectives and benefits, such as improving water supply and
conveyance, and managing natural resources and watersheds. The 110th Congress
may address restoration-related policy issues at these and other locations. Policy
issues range from the allocation of natural resources (e.g., agricultural and municipal
water), to governance and funding of restoration initiatives, to the science supporting
The 110th Congress may consider authorizing additional activities for ongoing
ecosystem restoration efforts in the Upper Mississippi River System, Puget Sound,
Great Lakes (also discussed in “Transboundary Water Resources”), and coastal
Louisiana (also discussed in “Wetlands Protection and Restoration”). For example,
the 110th Congress may consider authorizing a regional strategy for restoring the
Great Lakes. One proposal was released in December 2005, calling for a $20 billion
investment in restoration over the next five years. The 110th Congress also may
consider a Water Resources Development Act (see “Agency Management and Water
Resources Policy”), which may contain provisions that authorize restoration activities
in coastal Louisiana and other regional ecosystems. Oversight of ecosystem
restoration also may occur in the context of broader resource issues, such as the
potential impact of climate change on restoration activities.
Endangered Species. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) has been
one of the more contentious environmental laws. This may stem from its strict
substantive provisions, which can affect the use of both federal and nonfederal lands
and resources. Under ESA, species of plants and animals can be listed as endangered
or threatened according to assessments of their risk of extinction. Once species are
listed, powerful legal tools are available to aid their recovery and to protect their
habitat. ESA also may be controversial because dwindling species usually are
harbingers of resource scarcity or degradation — the most common reason to list a
species is habitat loss. Authorization for spending under ESA expired on October
1, 1992. The prohibitions and requirements of ESA remain in force, even in the
absence of authorization, and funds have been appropriated to implement theth
administrative provisions of ESA in each subsequent fiscal year. The 109 Congress
considered several proposals to amend ESA. Policy questions expected to continueth
into the 110 Congress include changes to the role of science in decision-making;
changes to the definition, extent, and process for designating critical habitat; further
protections for private property owners’ interests; and incentives for increased
landowner protection of listed species.
International Species Protection and Conservation. The United States
is involved in conserving foreign species and natural areas through various laws and
international treaties, such as ESA and the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species (CITES). CITES is an international agreement that aims to
ensure that the trade in plants and animals does not threaten their survival. The ESA
protects foreign endangered species by limiting or banning their import into the
United States, and implements CITES. Overall, ESA has a more comprehensive
approach to foreign species protection than CITES. For example, ESA protects
species based on several criteria that may threaten their survival, whereas CITES
protects species based solely on the threat of trade to survival.

The 110th Congress may conduct oversight on the implementation of ESA as
it relates to the listing and protection of foreign threatened and endangered species.
The fourteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties under CITES is set for June
2007 and Congress may hold hearings to address potential issues of discussion at the
Conference. International protection, management, and sustainability issues for
congressional oversight may include the implementation of the Tropical Forest
Conservation Act, illegal logging activities, and the conservation of international
The United States also assists in the conservation of some high-visibility foreign
species (e.g., tigers and elephants) by providing funds for conserving their
populations and habitat through the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. The
United States further promotes the conservation of tropical forests in developing
countries, most notably through debt-for-nature transactions under the Tropical
Forest Conservation Act.
Invasive Species. Non-native species, introduced accidentally or
intentionally, can cause both ecological and economic damage. The 110th Congress
may weigh whether new legislative authorities and additional funding are needed to
address issues of non-native species and their increasing economic and ecological
impacts. A major unanswered question is who should be responsible for ensuring
economic integrity and ecological stability in response to the actual or potential
impacts of non-native species. In addition to the possible aid to natural resources
previously damaged by non-native species,7 legislation could help or harm many
economic interests, including domestic and international trade and tourism, industries
dependent on bringing in non-native species, and those dependent on keeping them
out. Additional policy considerations include the balance between prevention and
response, overlapping jurisdiction of congressional committees, and coordination of
the many agencies and levels of government dealing with invasive species.
The congressional response to problems posed by harmful non-native species
generally has been to address specific non-native species, such as brown tree snakes
on Guam and impure seed stocks. A few notable efforts have begun to address
specific pathways (e.g., ship ballast water through the Nonindigenous Aquatic
Nuisance Prevention and Control Act), but no current law addresses the general
concern over non-native species and the wide variety of paths by which they enterth
this country. In the 109 Congress, while hearings were held on several invasive
species matters, committee action focused on ballast water and invasive carp species.
Private Land Conservation. Natural resource management and policy
challenges related to private lands that attract congressional attention are many and
varied. Some center on the effects of private land uses on natural resources,
especially on agricultural lands in rural areas. Agricultural production occupies about
41% of the land in the coterminous United States, according to the National
Agricultural Statistics Service in the Department of Agriculture (USDA). Production
techniques can contribute to resource problems such as soil erosion, pesticide and

7 Aid might include, for example, assistance in restoring water flow by removal of tamarisk
trees, improving forage by controlling toxic plants, and protecting native fishes by removing
snakehead fish in the Chesapeake Bay.

nutrient runoff, air pollution, and loss of wildlife habitat. USDA administers
voluntary programs which provide technical assistance, cost-shared funds, education,
and research to help farmers address these problems. Some programs pay producers
to retire lands from production that have high resource values, such as wetlands,
while other programs help producers grow crops in ways that protect resources or
environmental conditions. USDA has initiated a program to more precisely measure
the resource and environmental accomplishments of conservation programs. Many
of these conservation programs expire at the end of FY2007. The 110th Congress
may consider whether and in what form to reauthorize them during the farm bill.
Another resource challenge is associated with residential and other development
in rural areas that are within commuting distance of cities. This development can
contribute to declines in habitat and environmental quality. Although this
development is largely managed by local and state governments, Congress can act to
limit, guide, or foster growth through programs that help fund construction of roads,
sewer and water infrastructure, and public facilities. Congress also can influence
landowner choices by providing federal funds to acquire easements on land to
maintain its habitat, farmland, or other desired uses, and through tax policies that
reward individuals who take specified land- or resource-conserving actions. Growth
also could be addressed in measures that designate sites for particular uses or forms
of protection, or that provide guidance for federal projects and facilities.
Resource management and use conflicts can occur when private and public
ownership abut. At these locations, land use and resource protection goals may be
incompatible, leading to conflicts over such topics as weed and predator control and
habitat for species. At the same time, private landowners often contend that public
land management is inconsistent with their goals, and managers are unresponsive to
their concerns. Congress has discussed some of these topics, largely on a case-by-
case basis, but may look for systematic policy responses when addressing larger
areas, such as watersheds, landscapes, or ecosystems.
Wetlands Protection and Restoration. The coterminous United States
now has about 108 million acres of wetlands, less than half of the estimated 220
million acres that were present when the Europeans arrived, according to a 2006 Fish
and Wildlife Service survey. These reductions were encouraged by federal policies
in place through the late 1970s because wetlands were viewed as having little use or
value; these policies encouraged conversion to other uses, primarily agricultural
production. During the past 25 years, federal policies have been revised, and now
seek to retain and restore wetlands for their many resource values. Starting with
George H. W. Bush, Presidents have articulated a goal of either no-net-loss or net-
gain of wetlands. The current Bush Administration announced wetland protection
as a priority during the current term, with a goal of restoring or improving 3 million
The 110th Congress may continue past efforts to encourage wetlands protection.
However, the emphasis may change from recent Congresses, which focused on
conflicts between the rights of landowners and protection efforts (almost 75% of all
wetlands are on private lands). The 110th Congress may hold oversight hearings on
topics including the implementation of the permit program (under §404 of the Clean
Water Act) by the Army Corps of Engineers, federal acquisition and easement
programs, and the role of wetlands in large-scale restorations in the Florida

Everglades and elsewhere. Perennial issues involve changes in wetland acreage,
including where wetlands are being lost or gained; how different types of wetlands
are affected by protection efforts; and the effectiveness of various protection
approaches and programs. Ecosystem restoration in coastal Louisiana, which
involves restoring existing wetlands and creating new ones, has attracted increased
interest since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Wetlands are believed to play important
roles in buffering developed coastal areas from some storm surges.
Wild Birds and Bird Flu. Avian influenza is a virus that primarily infects
birds, both domestic and wild. Certain strains of avian flu break the avian barrier and
have been known to infect other animals and humans. Avian flu viruses are common
among wild bird populations, which act as a reservoir for the disease. While rarely
fatal in wild birds, avian flu is highly contagious in domestic poultry, prompting strict
biosecurity measures on farms. A strain of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1)
has spread throughout Asia since 2003, infecting mostly poultry, some wild birds,
and a limited number of humans through close domestic poultry-to-human contact.
The mortality rate among the more than 250 people infected so far has exceeded
50%. Fears that the virus could mutate to allow efficient human-to-human
transmission and cause a human pandemic have prompted a global political and
public health response. The virus reached Europe in 2005, and the Middle East and
Africa in early 2006.
Veterinary and medical health officials believed the highly pathogenic strain
might enter North America in the summer of 2006 with the arrival of asymptomatic
wild breeding birds which had spent the winter of 2005-2006 in southern Asia or the
tropical Pacific. Because wild birds are relatively resistant and reports of deaths
among wild birds due to avian flu are very rare, testing is essential to any detection
effort. As a result of the threat, several federal agencies (including the Fish and
Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey in DOI), and state, tribal, and local
governments increased surveillance among wild birds for the highly pathogenic
H5N1 virus in 2006. Though the surveys occasionally detected a different, low
pathogenicity strain of H5N1 among these bird populations, the highly pathogenic
strain has not yet been detected. The low pathogenicity strain does not pose the same
threat as highly pathogenic H5N1. The continued testing of wild birds is expected
to be a major effort in coming years. Oversight of agency priorities and activities, as
well as funding levels for the federal program, might be issues during the 110th
Water Resources
Conceptual Framework. The federal government has had a long history of
involvement in surface water resource issues, from assisting with navigation and
defense activities in the early days of the Republic, to later assisting states and
localities with development projects for irrigation, flood control, and hydropower.
While the federal government has traditionally deferred to the states on issues of
surface water allocation and use (i.e., how much water may be used and where),
numerous federal statutes and federally constructed and owned facilities affect
allocation decisions and overall management of the nation’s surface waters.
Groundwater management has been left primarily to states, although federal statutes
apply to its use for drinking water supplies and seek to protect its quality.

The 110th Congress is faced with numerous decisions about the nation’s water
resources, ranging from site-specific project authorizations to changes in the federal
role in water resources management. Congress plays a major role in water resources
through its authorizations of and appropriations for regional and site-specific
activities. Congress makes these decisions within the context of multiple and often
conflicting objectives, competing legal decisions, and long-established institutional
mechanisms (e.g., century-old water rights, contractual obligations, etc.). Federal
water resources planning, management, and development activities are spread among
several congressional committees, and among many federal departments, agencies,
and bureaus. Because of growing tensions related to water allocation and use,
changes in river management, concerns about flood risk, and the viability of existing
and new water projects, the 110th Congress is likely to face many water resources
issues. Bills that were acted on, but not enacted, in the 109th Congress — a Water
Resources Development Act (WRDA), water reuse program and project-specific
legislation, bills related to a legal settlement on San Joaquin River (CA) restoration,
and more — may receive attention during the 110th Congress.
Agency Management and Water Resources Policy. Federal waterth
resource construction activities shrank during the last decades of the 20 century.
Fiscal constraints, changes in national priorities and local needs, few remaining prime
construction locations, and environmental and species impacts of construction all
contributed to this shift. Although these forces are still active, there are proposals for
greater federal financial and technical assistance to address growing pressures on
developed water supplies and to manage regional water resources to meet demands
of multiple water uses.
The 110th Congress may consider authorizing hundreds of site-specific Army
Corps of Engineers (Corps) projects through WRDA. Prominent policy issues in the
WRDA debate are independent review requirements for Corps studies and proposals
to change the policies and procedures that guide the Corps’ project development.
Proposed authorizations of high-profile, multi-billion dollar projects (e.g., Gulf Coast
hurricane protection and coastal Louisiana wetlands restoration, and the Upper
Mississippi River navigation lock expansion and ecosystem restoration) and their
effect on the agency and its backlog of projects also may well continue to be part of
the WRDA debate. Whether policy and program changes are needed to set priorities
among the Corps’ backlog of construction projects and maintenance activities is a
topic of debate both in the context of WRDA and annual agency appropriations.
The Bureau of Reclamation operates hundreds of federal dams, reservoirs, and
water distribution facilities throughout the western states. Perennial matters for
Congress involve appropriations for authorized construction and maintenance
activities. Other possible topics for the 110th Congress involve project management
and operations — particularly how project operations and water contract renewals
may affect threatened and endangered species, and how requirements to alter project
operations for species protection may affect long-term water users. Overarching
legislation to address water and restoration issues in California (CALFED) wasth
enacted at the end of the 108 Congress. CALFED-related activities, such as
progress on storage projects and federal spending, as well as efforts to increase
pumping and renew long-term contracts, continue to be the subject of congressional

Dams and Levees. Recent disasters have brought attention to the safety and
security of the nation’s water resources infrastructure, including its dams and levees.
Age, construction deficiencies, inadequate maintenance, and natural disasters may
undermine the structural integrity of these projects, which fall under the auspices of
dam safety programs. Preventing deliberate damage is generally considered a
security issue. Existing structures are aging and require increasing maintenance and
repair to perform their intended functions, such as reducing flood damages,
facilitating navigation, storing irrigation water, and generating electricity. Interest
in, and examples of, removal of existing dams for safety, economic, or environmental
reasons has been growing in the last decade. While the nation’s more than 79,000
federal and nonfederal dams provide the benefits of flood control, navigation, power
generation, and irrigation water, they also pose risks. Approximately 10,000 U.S.
dams are considered high-hazard dams, meaning that loss of life and significant
property damage is probable in the event of failure. Immediately prior toth
adjournment, the 109 Congress authorized continued funding of the National Dam
Safety Program at an average of $9.6 million per year through FY2011 (P.L. 109-th

460). The 110 Congress may reauthorize programs for dam safety, rehabilitation,

and removal.
Hurricane Katrina prompted interest in improving the reliability and level of
protection provided by the nation’s 15,000 miles of flood damage reduction levees,
particularly those protecting concentrated urban development and population centers.
The federal agencies most involved in levee issues are the Army Corps of Engineers
and FEMA. The Corps performs most of the federal inspections of levees, to
determine eligibility for federal assistance for repairing levees damaged during
floods, and to certify a levee’s protection for a 100-year flood under the National
Flood Insurance Program as administered by FEMA. Oversight topics may include
levee inspection and certification as stricter post-Katrina inspections are resulting in
a number of levees being decertified, and levee and other flood risk management
issues for communities with high flood risk (e.g., Sacramento, CA). Legislativeth
proposals for a national levee safety program similar to those proposed in the 109
Congress also are anticipated.
River Management. Existing arrangements for river management and water
use are being challenged by natural disasters and related damages, Indian water rights
claims, drought conservation and preparedness measures, and judicial decisions
affecting water allocation (e.g., decisions requiring management changes to support
habitat for federally listed threatened and endangered species). River management
may receive congressional and public scrutiny during the 110th Congress. Rivers
provide not only economic benefits — navigation, flood protection, and water supply
for agriculture and municipalities — but also recreational opportunities, natural
habitat, and other services. Increasingly, a central management question is how to
balance or prioritize uses and related infrastructure and mitigation investments, while
satisfying existing water rights and contractual obligations, especially during drought.
In many cases, Bureau of Reclamation or Corps of Engineers facilities and their
operation are central to debates over sustainable management of multi-purpose rivers.
Other federal agencies also have a stake in river operations, such as the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that licenses nonfederal hydropower dams,
and the four power marketing administrations (PMAs) that market the hydropower
generated by federal dams. Actions by these federal agencies remain controversial

on the Middle Rio Grande, Colorado, Klamath, Columbia, Snake, Mississippi, and
Missouri Rivers and frequently are challenged in the courts. Oversight of existing
laws, federal projects and decisions, and river management practices is expected,
especially in cases of court decisions, agency actions, climate variability, or other
circumstances challenging existing basin management regimes. Congress also may
consider settling Indian water rights for specific river basins and tribes.
Transboundary Water Resources. U.S. boundary waters — water basins
and aquifers shared by the United States and Canada or Mexico — often present
contentious resource management issues, including water pollution, water
withdrawals, and ecosystem restoration. International cooperation sometimes is
hindered by competing economic interests, differences in governance, and varying
levels of environmental and human health protection. In Southern California,
litigation surrounding the lining of the federally owned All-American Canal has
raised a number of legal and environmental issues, resulting in the halting of the
project. For decades, Mexican farmers have irrigated their crops with water that
seeps from the unlined canal into an aquifer that straddles the border.
Environmentalists claim that the unlined canal nourishes a wetland south of theth
border. In the last days of the 109 Congress, legislation was enacted (P.L. 109-432)
with provisions directing the Secretary of the Interior to carry out the lining projectth
“without delay.” The All-American Canal may continue to be of interest to the 110
Congressional attention also may focus on the nation’s largest shared freshwaterth
resource — the Great Lakes. A concern for the 110 Congress is the potential for
water withdrawals from the Great Lakes and their effects on the environment and
surrounding population. On December 13, 2005, the Council of Great Lakes
Governors — a partnership of the governors of the eight Great Lakes states and the
Canadian provincial premiers of Ontario and Quebec — released a final agreement
and compact among themselves to create uniform water withdrawal standards. Some
have questioned whether the agreement and compact will truly limit water diversions.
The compact needs to be approved by each of the eight state legislatures, as well as
by Congress, to achieve full legal force.
Western Water Availability and Drought. Increasing pressures on the
quality and quantity of available water supplies — due to growing population,
environmental regulation, in-stream species and ecosystem needs, water source
contamination, agricultural water demand, climate variability, and changing public
interests — have resulted in heightened water use conflicts throughout the country,
particularly in the West. These factors, coupled with the severity of recent drought
in much of the West, have fostered interest in new water supply development, supply
augmentation, and security of water supplies. Historically, local, regional, or state
agencies generally have been responsible for municipal water supply, and have been
wary of federal involvement in allocating water. Both urban and rural communities,
however, increasingly have come to Congress for financial assistance with water
reuse and rural water supply projects. Urban communities have sought financial
assistance with new technologies to augment water supply, primarily through
desalination of seawater and brackish groundwater and municipal wastewater
reclamation and reuse, and have sought water transfers to bolster existing supplies.
Traditional users of water supplied by federal facilities (mainly for irrigation) often

are wary of new water supply activities that may compete with limited federal funds
or result in reduced deliveries to farms.
Issues that may receive oversight in the 110th Congress include the extent to
which water transfers are occurring in the West, status of transfers of title to Bureau
of Reclamation facilities, potential climate impacts on reservoir operation and water
supply planning, and implementation of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act
(e.g., contract renewals, tiered pricing, and fish and wildlife water). Other more
programmatic issues may include the status of Reclamation’s 2025 Water in the West
program; reconsideration of new authorization language for the Title XVI water reuse
program; possible early implementation of a new rural water supply program; and
federal efforts to assist communities with drought awareness, planning, and
coordinated information. Other policy questions for the 110th Congress include how
new municipal water supply activities mesh with the historical federal role in
municipal water supply and existing federal programs to assist communities, and
perhaps what is the future role of Reclamation and other federal agencies in an
urbanizing and drought-prone west.

Selected CRS Products
Federal and Indian Lands and Resources
CRS Report RL33523, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR): Controversies
for the 109th Congress, by M. Lynne Corn, Bernard A. Gelb, and Pamela Baldwin.
CRS Report RL33792, Federal Lands Managed by the Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) and the Forest Service: Issues for the 110th Congress, by Ross
W. Gorte, Carol Hardy Vincent, and Marc Humphries.
CRS Report RL33484, National Park Management, by Carol Hardy Vincent,
Ross W. Gorte, Sandra L. Johnson, and Susan Boren.
CRS Report RS22056, Native American Issues in the 109th Congress, by Roger
Natural Hazards, Climate, and Earth Science
CRS Report RL33053, Federal Stafford Act Disaster Assistance: Presidential
Declarations, Eligible Activities, and Funding, by Keith Bea.
CRS Report RL33264, FEMA’s Flood Hazard Map Modernization Initiative,
by Wayne A. Morrissey
CRS Report RL33602, Global Climate Change: Major Scientific and Policy
Issues, by John R. Justus and Susan R. Fletcher.
Ocean and Coastal Affairs
CRS Report RL33459, Fishery, Aquaculture, and Marine Mammal Legislation
in the 109th Congress, by Eugene H. Buck.
CRS Report RL33493, Outer Continental Shelf: Debate Over Oil and Gas
Leasing and Revenue Sharing, by Marc Humphries.
CRS Report RS21890, The U.N. Law of the Sea Convention and the United
States: Developments Since October 2003, by Marjorie Ann Browne.
Species Management and Ecosystem Protection
CRS Report RL31975, CALFED Bay-Delta Program: Overview of Institutional
and Water Use Issues, by Pervaze A. Sheikh and Betsy A. Cody.
CRS Report RS22276, Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Restoration After
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, by Jeffrey A. Zinn.

CRS Report RL33779, The Endangered Species Act (ESA) in the 110th
Congress: Conflicting Values and Difficult Choices, by Eugene H. Buck, M. Lynne
Corn, Pervaze A. Sheikh, and Robert Meltz.
CRS Report RL33483, Wetlands: An Overview of Issues, by Jeffrey A. Zinn and
Claudia Copeland.
Water Resources
CRS Report RL30478, Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater
Treatment Programs, by Betsy A. Cody, Claudia Copeland, Mary Tiemann, Nicole
T. Carter, and Jeffrey A. Zinn.
CRS Report RL33565, Western Water Resource Issues, by Betsy A. Cody and
Pervaze A. Sheikh.
CRS Report RL33504, Water Resources Development Act (WRDA): Corps of
Engineers Authorization Issues, by Nicole T. Carter, H. Steven Hughes, Jeffrey A.
Zinn, and Pervaze A. Sheikh.