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COOPERATIVE FORESTRY ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1978

Act of July 1, 1978, Public Law 95–313, 92 Stat. 365, 16 U.S.C. 2101

et seq.

AN ACT To authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to provide cooperative forestry

assistance to States and others, and for other purposes

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the “Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978”.

POLICY AND PURPOSE

Sec. 2.'(a) Congress finds and declares that,

(1) most of the Nation's productive forest land is in private, State, and local governmental ownership, and the Nation's capacity to produce renewable forest resources is significantly dependent on these non-Federal forest lands;

(2) adequate supplies of timber and other forest resources are essential to the Nation, and adequate supplies are dependent upon efficient methods for establishing, managing, and harvesting trees and processing, marketing, and using wood and wood products;

(3) managed forest lands provide habitats for fish and wildlife, as well as esthetics, outdoor recreation opportunities, and other forest resources;

(4) insects and diseases affecting trees occur and sometimes create emergency conditions on all land, whether Federal or nonFederal, and efforts to prevent and control such insects and diseases often require coordinated action by both Federal and non-Federal land managers;

(5) fires in rural areas threaten human lives, property and forests and other resources, and Federal-State cooperation in forest fire protection has proven effective and valuable;

(6) trees and forests are of great environmental and economic value to urban areas; and

(7) managed forests contribute to improving the quality, quantity, and timing of water yields, which are of broad benefit

to society. (b) The purpose of this Act is to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture (hereinafter in this Act referred to as the “Secretary"), with respect to non-Federal forest lands, to assist in

(1) the advancement of forest resources management;
(2) the encouragement of the production of timber;

(3) the prevention and control of insects and diseases affecting trees and forests;

(4) the prevention and control of rural fires; 116 U.S.C. 2101.

(5) the efficient utilization of wood and wood residues, including the recycling of wood fiber;

(6) the improvement and maintenance of fish and wildlife habitat; and

(7) the planning and conduct of urban forestry programs. (c) It is in the national interest for the Secretary to work through and in cooperation with State foresters or equivalent State officials in implementing Federal programs affecting non-Federal forest lands.

(d) This Act shall be deemed to complement the policies and direction set forth in the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974.

RURAL FORESTRY ASSISTANCE

Sec. 3.2(a) Congress finds that,

(1) production of timber on non-Federal forest lands and the efficient processing and use of wood produced on these lands are important in meeting the Nation's demand for wood and wood products;

(2) the Federal Government can assist in increasing timber inventories, improving and maintaining fish and wildlife habitat, and providing other forest resources on non-Federal forest lands; and

(3) Federal assistance in forest resources management on nonFederal forest lands and the utilization of resources from these lands contribute to the economic strength and environmental qual

ity of the Nation, providing many public benefits. (b) The Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials to

(1) develop genetically improved tree seeds;

(2) procure, produce, and distribute tree seeds and trees for the purpose of establishing forests, windbreaks, shelterbelts, woodlots, and other plantings;

(3) plant tree seeds and trees for the reforestation or afforestation of non-Federal forest lands suitable for the production of timber and other benefits associated with the growing of trees;

(4) plan, organize, and implement measures on non-Federal forest lands, including but not limited to, thinning, prescribed burning, and other silvicultural practices designed to increase the quantity and improve the quality of trees and other vegetation, fish and wildlife habitat, and water yielded therefrom;

(5) protect or improve soil fertility on non-Federal forest lands and the quality, quantity, and timing of water yields; and

(6) provide technical information, advice, and related assistance to private forest landowners and managers, vendors, forest operators, wood processors, public agencies, and individuals regarding

(A) the harvesting, processing, and marketing of timber and other forest resources and the marketing and utilization of wood and wood products;

(B) conversion of wood to energy for domestic, industrial,

municipal, and other uses; ; '16 0.8.C. 2102,

(C) management planning and treatment of forest land, including, but not limited to, site preparation, reforestation, thinning, prescribed burning, and other silvicultural practices designed to increase the quantity and improve the quality of timber and other forest resources;

(D) protection and improvement of forest soil fertility and the quality, quantity, and timing of water yields; and

(E) the effects of forestry practices on fish and wildlife and

their habitats. (c) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually such sums as may be needed to implement this section.

FORESTRY INCENTIVES

Sec. 4. (a) The Secretary is authorized to develop and implement a forestry incentives program to encourage the development, management, and protection of nonindustrial private forest lands. The purposes of such program shall be to encourage landowners to apply practices that will provide for afforestation of suitable open lands, reforestation of cutover or other nonstocked or understocked forest lands, timber stand improvement practices, including thinning, prescribed burning, and other silvicultural treatments, and forest resources management and protection, so as to provide for the production of timber and other forest resources associated therewith.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the term “private forest land” means land capable of producing crops of industrial wood and owned by any private individual, group, Indian tribe or other native group, association, corporation, or other legal entity.

(c) Landowners shall be eligible for cost sharing under this program if they own one thousand acres or less of private forest land, except that the Secretary may approve cost sharing with landowners owning more than one thousand acres of such land if significant public benefits will accrue. In no case, however, may the Secretary approve cost sharing with landowners owning more than five thousand acres of private forest land.

(d) The Secretary shall administer this section in accordance with regulations the Secretary shall develop in consultation with the committee described in section 10(c) of this Act. Regulations issued under title X of the Agricultural Act of 1970, as added by the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973, to the extent not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, shall remain in effect until revoked or amended by regulations issued under this subsection. The regulations issued under this subsection shall include guidelines for the administration of this section at the Federal and State levels, and shall identify the measures and activities eligible for cost sharing under this section.

(e) Individual forest management plans developed by the landowner in cooperation with and approved by the State forester or equivalent State official shall be the basis for agreements between the landowner and the Secretary under this section. The Secretary shall encourage participating States to use private agencies, consultants,

• 16 0.8.C. 2103.

organizations, and firms to the extent feasible for the preparation of individual forest management plans.

(f) In return for the agreement by the landowner, the Secretary shall agree to share the cost of implementing those forestry practices and measures set forth in the agreement for which the Secretary determines that cost sharing is appropriate. The portion of such cost (including labor) to be shared shall be that portion that the Secretary determines is necessary and appropriate to implement the forestry practices and measures under the agreement, but not more than 75 percent of the actual costs incurred by the landowner. The maximum amount any individual may receive annually under the program authorized by this section shall be determined by the Secretary in consultation with the committee described in section 10(c) of this Act.

(g) The Secretary shall, for the purposes of this section, distribute funds available for cost sharing among the States only after assessing the public benefit incident thereto, and after giving appropriate consideration to (1) the acreage of private commercial forest land in each State, (2) the potential productivity of such land, (3) the number of ownerships eligible for cost sharing in each State, (4) the need for reforestation, timber stand improvement, or other forestry investments on such ownerships, and (5) the enhancement of other forest resources.

(h) The Secretary may, if the Secretary determines that doing so will contribute to the effective and equitable administration of the program authorized by this section, use an advertising and bid procedure in determining the lands in any area to be covered by agreements under this section.

(i) In implementing this section, the Secretary may use the authorities provided in sections 1001, 1002, 1003, 1004, and 1008 of the Agricultural Act of 1970, as added by the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973.

(j) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually such sums as may be needed to implement this section, including funds necessary for technical assistance and expenses associated therewith.

INSECT AND DISEASE CONTROL

Sec. 5.* (a) The Secretary is authorized to protect from insects and diseases trees and forests and wood products, stored wood, and wood in use directly on the National Forest System and in cooperation with others on other lands in the United States, in order to

(1) enhance the growth and maintenance of trees and forests;

(2) promote the stability of forest-related industries and employment associated therewith through protection of forest resources;

(3) aid in forest fire prevention and control;
(4) conserve forest cover on watersheds;

(5) protect outdoor recreation opportunities and other forest resources; and

(6) extend timber supplies by protecting wood products, stored wood, and wood in use. (b) Subject to the provisions of subsections (c), (d), and (e) of this section and subject to whatever other conditions the Secretary may

.16 0.8.C. 2104.

prescribe, the Secretary is authorized, directly on the National Forest System, and in cooperation with other Federal departments on other Federal lands, and in cooperation with State foresters or equivalent State officials, subdivisions of States, agencies, institutions, organizations, or individuals on non-Federal lands, to

(1) conduct surveys to detect and appraise insect infestations and disease conditions affecting trees;

(2) determine the biological, chemical, and mechanical measures necessary to prevent, retard, control, or suppress incipient, potential, threatening, or emergency insect infestations and disease conditions affecting trees;

(3) plan, organize, direct, and perform measures the Secretary determines necessary to prevent, retard, control, or suppress incipient, potential, threatening, or emergency insect infestations and disease epidemios affecting trees;

(4) provide technical information, advice, and related assistance in managing and coordinating the use of pesticides and other toxic substances applied to trees and other vegetation, and to wood products, stored wood, and wood in use; and

(5) take any other actions the Secretary deems necessary to accomplish the objectives and purposes of this section. (c) Operations planned to prevent, retard, control, or suppress insects or diseases affecting forests and trees on land not controÎled or administered by the Secretary shall not be conducted without the consent, cooperation, and participation of the entity having ownership of or jurisdiction over the affected land.

(d) No money appropriated to implement this section shall be expended to prevent, retard, control, or suppress insects or diseases affecting trees on non-Federal land until the entity having ownership of or jurisdiction over the affected land contributes, or agrees to contribute, to the work to be done in the amount and in the manner determined by the Secretary.

(e) The Secretary may, in the Secretary's discretion and out of any money appropriated to implement this section, make allocations to Federal agencies having jurisdiction over lands held or owned by the United States in the amounts the Secretary deems necessary to prevent, retard, control, or suppress insect infestations and disease epidemics affecting trees on those lands.

(f) Any money appropriated to implement this section shall be available for necessary expenses. However, no money appropriated to implement this section shall be used to (1) pay the cost of felling and removing dead or dying trees unless the Secretary determines that such actions are necessary to prevent the spread of a major insect infestation or disease epidemic severely affecting trees, or (2) compensate for the value of any property injured, damaged, or destroyed by any cause. The Secretary may procure materials and equipment necessary to prevent, retard, control, or suppress insects and diseases affecting trees without regard to section 3709 of the Revised Statutes, as amended (41 U.S.C. 5), under whatever procedures the Secretary may prescribe, whenever the Secretary deems such action necessary and in the public interest.

(g) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually such sums as may be needed to implement this section.

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