From: alra@governance.net
Subject: Congratulations  You Won Appropriations Votes

Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400  Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087  Fax: 360-687-2973  E-mail: alra@landrights.org
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE  Washington, DC 20003
Phone: 202-210-2357  Fax: 202-543-7126  E-mail: landrightsnet@aol.com

Congratulations  You Won Appropriations Votes

You Won On:

-----Blumenauer  Wreck The Klamath Farmers Amendment

-----Udall  Shut Down RS 2477 Rights Of Way

-----Boehlert  Land Grab Amendment  Land Acquisition Funding

-----Snowmobiles in Yellowstone

Thanks for all your calls and faxes.

July 18, 2003 

House passes fiscal 2004 interior appropriations bill

By Leslie Ann Duncan

    The House late Thursday passed a $19.6 billion fiscal 2004 appropriations bill with funding for the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, energy conservation and fossil energy research and development, and other related agencies.
    The bill (HR 2691) passed on a 268-152 vote. 

     Interior subcommittee Chairman Charles Taylor (R-N.C.) faced several clashes over provisions and funding levels in his first outing as manager of the bill, which -- while one of the least expensive appropriations measures -- has one of the highest profiles because it funds national parks, forests, endangered species programs and other popular or controversial issues. 

     Among the most hotly debated issues were amendments dealing with right-of-way claims on public lands, the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks, forest management issues, and a provision to discourage "bear baiting." 
     The bill cleared the House Appropriations Committee June 25. 

Rights of way: The House adopted by voice vote a modified version of an amendment by Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO) to block the use of the bill's funds to implement a Jan. 6 rule change that would allow the Interior Department to disclaim ownership of road claims by states, counties or individuals, even if the claimants do not possess a written title. The new rule also removes a 12-year statute of limitations on the time during which a state should have known to apply for claims under a 19th century law known as RS 2477. 

     Critics fear the new rule will open the way for road claims in national parks, wilderness areas, wildlife refuges and potential wilderness areas across the West and in Alaska. 

     Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT) offered a substitute to the Udall amendment that would have set restrictions on the types of claims that could be processed. Under the Matheson language, Interior could not act to permit claims in conservation areas -- national parks, wilderness, wilderness areas, national refuges, national monuments -- or on military bases or private property. 

     Further, the Matheson language would have required that only certain types of claims be processed: the roads must be clearly roads that are traveled and maintained, and passable by two-wheel-drive vehicles. 

     Taylor objected to the Matheson amendment on procedural grounds, and the objection was sustained. 

     Taylor offered instead a slightly less restrictive version that would not restrict claims based on the type of road or on military bases. 

     Taylor's amendment to Udall's proposal then was adopted on a 226-194 vote, followed by voice-vote approval of the modified Udall amendment. 

Forests: The House rejected an amendment by Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) to overturn the Bush administration's efforts to rewrite a Clinton-era rule that stopped logging in roadless areas in national forests. 

     The administration Tuesday proposed to exempt Alaska's Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule, potentially helping to clear the way for 50 pending land sales in the forest. 

     And on Monday, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the Clinton roadless rule was a "thinly veiled attempt to designate 'wilderness areas' in violation of the clear and unambiguous process established by the Wilderness Act." 

     The ruling is the second district court ruling against the rule. The first was overturned by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals; environmental groups are appealing Monday's decision as well. 

     Inslee's amendment was defeated on a 234-185 vote. 

     The House defeated an amendment by Rep. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) to block a proposed Forest Service rewrite of the agency's planning regulations. 

     Opponents of the proposed rule say it would tilt federal forest management toward logging at the expense of other values. 

     The amendment failed on a 222-198 vote. 

Yellowstone: The House barely defeated -- on a tie vote -- an amendment by Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) to bar the use of funds to implement any change other than a one-year delay to the Clinton administration's snowmobile phase-out for Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. 

     The Clinton administration completed a rule to phase out the use of snowmobiles in the two parks and along the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, which links the parks. Environmentalists and the Park Service under Clinton argued that the machines disturb wildlife and other park visitors and pollute the park's air. Tourists could still tour the park on snow coaches, which are multiperson vehicles that are quieter, slower and less polluting. 

     The Bush administration has announced its intention to overturn the ban, allowing a restricted number of new-generation snowmobiles into the park. The new machines are much quieter and less polluting. Proponents of the Bush rule argue that banning snowmobiles would unnecessarily restrict access to the parks. 
     The amendment failed on a tie vote of 210-210. 

     Yellowstone policies were also at issue in an amendment offered by House Resources ranking Democrat Nick Rahall (W.Va.), who sought to bar the use of funds in the bill for killing bison from the herd in Yellowstone National Park, or assisting others to kill those bison. 

     Ranchers in surrounding states fear that the bison will pass brucellosis to cattle herds. The disease causes cows to abort their calves; decreases milk production; and leads to weight loss, infertility and lameness. 

     Bison advocates argue that there is no known instance of bison transmitting brucellosis to cattle in the wild, and that a free-roaming bison herd can be managed to protect cattle without the unpopular practice of shooting the buffaloes as they cross the park boundary. (See March 4 Newsroom, "Bison wandering from Yellowstone are to be killed, Park Service says.") 

     The amendment failed on a 220-199 vote. 

Bear baiting: After withdrawing his bill to prevent bear baiting on federal lands from consideration by the Resources Committee on Tuesday, Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-CA) offered the language as an amendment to the interior bill. 
     The language would direct federal agencies to enforce existing regulations restricting bear-baiting on public lands, and establish such regulations on Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. 

     Opponents of the bill (HR 1472) object that states have traditionally been given primacy in managing fish and game resources on federal lands, and said that several states considered baiting a necessary population control tool. 
     The amendment failed 255-163. 

     (For more, see July 14 Weekly Bulletin, "House Resources to move more lands, wildlife bills.") 

Adopted: The House approved amendments by: 

n	Rep. Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.) to prevent the NPS's archaeological jobs from being contracted out, protecting both the Midwest Archaeological Center in Lincoln, Neb., and the Southeast Archaeological Center in Florida, on a 362-57 vote. 

n	Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to add $15 million for weatherization, by voice vote. 

n	Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) to increase funding for the arts and humanities by 
cutting Interior Department administrative funding, on a 225-200 vote. 
Defeated: The House rejected amendments by: 

n	Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to limit the recreation fee demonstration program to national park lands, on a 241-184 vote. 

n	Rep. Joel Hefley (R-Colo.) to reduce discretionary accounts across the board by 1 percent, bringing the bill closer to the administration's request, on a 341-81 vote. 

n	Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) to transfer $57 million from the National Endowment for the Arts to the Forest Service for hazardous fuels reduction, on a 313-112 vote. 

n	Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) to prohibit any new commercial leases in the Lower Klamath and Tule Lake national wildlife refuges that would permit the growing of row crops or alfalfa. The amendment, which was designed to free up more water for fish in the Klamath Basin, failed on a 228-197 vote. 

n	Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) to move $19 million from Forest Service land acquisition to hazardous fuels removal projects, on a 298-128 vote. 

Withdrawn: Several other amendments were offered and subsequently withdrawn, including proposals by:

n	Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) to delete the bill's language restricting the administration's competitive sourcing initiative. 

n	Rep. Donald Manzullo (R-Ill.) on Buy American issues. 

     -- Rep. Chris Johns (D-La.) to block the use of funds in the bill for prosecution for shooting waterfowl where seeds or grains have been scattered solely as the result of manipulated re-growth of a harvested rice crop. Johns said he objected to the practice of "baiting," deliberately putting grain out to attract birds to shoot, but that current regulations were confusing hunters in areas where legitimate farming practices leave grain on the ground or water. 
     Taylor blocked an amendment by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to exempt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' management of the Missouri River from the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205 as amended) by raising a procedural objection to the proposal. 

Conservation funding: On Wednesday, Taylor and Resources Chairman Richard Pombo (R-Calif.) raised points of order against a proposal by Rep. David Obey (Wis.) to add $586.6 million to the bill for conservation programs and pay for it with a 3.21 percent cut in scheduled tax reductions for taxpayers with adjusted gross incomes above $1 million. 

     The House also voted to drop language that would have withheld funds for certain water projects in the Everglades unless the federal agencies involved in the massive restoration program there certify annually that the state of Florida is meeting its water quality obligations under state-federal agreements and a consent decree. The House retained a requirement that the agencies report to Congress on the matter annually. The original language reflected congressional displeasure at a recently enacted state law that would ease water quality deadlines. 

     (For Wednesday's action on the bill, see July 17 Green Sheets Express, "GOP thwarts attempt to add conservation money to interior funding bill.")

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