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URBAN FORESTRY ASSISTANCE

Sec. 6. (a) Congress finds that,

(1) trees and forests in urban areas, including cities, their suburbs, and towns, improve esthetic quality, reduce noise, filter impurities from the air and add oxygen to it, save energy by moderating temperature extremes, control wind and water erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife;

(2) trees and forests in urban areas are weakened, damaged, or killed by highway and street widening, sidewalk construction, air pollution, modified drainage patterns, erosion, depletion of soil fertility, insects and diseases, mechanical and structural facilities, and other adverse influences that result from or are aggravated by the concentrated use of land; and

(3) planting, protecting, and maintaining trees and forests and utilizing wood from pruned limbs, damaged trees, and felled trees

in urban areas make those areas more pleasant and healthful. (b) The Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials for the purpose of encouraging States to provide information and technical assistance to units of local government and others that will encourage cooperative efforts to plan urban forestry programs and to plant, protect, and maintain, and utilize wood from, trees in open spaces, green, belts, roadside screens, parks, woodlands, curb areas, and residential developments in urban areas. The Secretary is also authorized to cooperate directly with units of local government and others in implementing this section whenever the Secretary and the affected State forester or equivalent State official agree that direct cooperation would better achieve

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

RURAL FIRE PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Sec. 7.* (a) Congress finds that

(1) significant accomplishments have been made by the Secretary and cooperating States in the prevention and control of fires on forest lands and on nonforested watersheds for more than fifty years;

(2) progress is being made by the Secretary and cooperating States and rural communities in the protection of human lives, agricultural crops and livestock, property and other improvements, and natural resources from fires in rural areas;

(3) notwithstanding the accomplishments and progress that have been made, fire prevention and control on rural lands and in rural communities are of continuing high priority to protect human lives, agricultural crops and livestock, property and other improvements, and natural resources;

(4) the effective cooperative relationships between the Secretary and the States regarding fire prevention and control on rural

lands and in rural communities should be retained and improved; * 16 U.S.C. 2105. . 16 U.S.C. 2106.

(5) efforts in fire prevention and control in rural areas should be coordinated among Federal, State, and local agencies; and

(6) in addition to providing assistance to State and local rural fire prevention and control programs, the Secretary should provide prompt and adequate assistance whenever a rural fire emergency overwhelms, or threatens to overwhelm, the firefighting capability of the affected State or

rural area. (b) Notwithstanding the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974, the Secretary is authorized, under whatever conditions the Secretary niay prescribe, to

(1) cooperate with State foresters or equivalent State officials in developing systems and methods for the prevention, control, suppression, and prescribed use of fires on rural lands and in rural communities that will protect human lives, agricultural crops and livestock, property and other improvements, and natural resources;

(2) provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials, and through them to other agencies and individuals, for the prevention, control, suppression, and prescribed use of fires on non-Federal forest lands and other non-Federal lands; and

(3) provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials in cooperative efforts to organize, train, and equip local firefighting forces, including those of Indian tribes or other native groups, to prevent, control, and suppress fires threatening human lives, crops, livestock, farmsteads or other improvements, pastures, orchards, wildlife, rangeland, woodland, and other resources in rural areas. As used herein, the term “rural areas” shall have the meaning set out in the first clause of section 306(a)(7) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural

Development Act. (c) The Secretary, with the cooperation and assistance of the Administrator of General Services, shall encourage the use of excess personal property (within the meaning of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949) by State and local fire forces receiving assistance under this section.

(d) To promote maximum effectiveness and economy, the Secretary shall seek to coordinate the assistance the Secretary provides under this section with the assistance provided by the Secretary of Commerce under the Federal Fire Prevention and Control Act of 1974.

(e) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually such sums as may be needed to implement subsection (b) of this section.

(f) There shall be established in the Treasury a special rural fire disaster fund that shall be immediately available to and used by the Secretary to supplement any other money available to carry out this section with respect to rural fire emergencies, as determined by the Secretary. The Secretary shall determine that State and local resources are fully used or will be fully used before expending money in the disaster fund to assist a State in which one or more rural fire emergencies exist. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be needed to establish and replenish the disaster fund established by this subsection.

MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE, PLANNING ASSISTANCE, AND TECHNOLOGY

IMPLEMENTATION

Sec. 8.'. (a) To aid in achieving maximum effectiveness in the programs and activities conducted under this Act, the Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials for the development of stronger and more efficient State organizations that will enable them to fulfill better their responsibilities for the protection and management of non-Federal forest lands. Assistance under this subsection may include, but will not be limited to, assistance in matters related to organization management, program planning and management, budget and fiscal accounting services, personnel training and management, information services, and recordkeeping. Assistance under this subsection may be extended only upon request by State foresters or equivalent State officials.

(b) To ensure that data regarding forest lands are available for and effectively presented in State and Federal natural resources planning, the Secretary is authorized to provide financial, technical, and related assistance to State foresters or equivalent State officials in the assembly, analysis, display, and reporting of State forest resources data, in the training of State forest resources planners, and in participating in natural resources planning at the State and Federal levels. The Secretary shall restrict assistance under this subsection to the implementation of the forestry aspects of State and Federal natural resources planning conducted under other laws. This subsection shall not be construed, in any way whatsoever, as extending, limiting, amending, repealing, or otherwise affecting any other law or authority.

(c) To ensure that new technology is introduced, new information is integrated into existing technology, and forest resources research findings are promptly made available to State forestry personnel, private forest landowners and managers, vendors, forest operators, wood processors, public agencies, and individuals, the Secretary is authorized to carry out a program of technology implementation.

(1) In implementing this subsection, the Secretary is authorized to work through State foresters or equivalent State officials, and, if the State forester or equivalent State official is unable to deliver these services, the Secretary is authorized to act through appropriate United States Department of Agriculture agencies, subdivisions of States, agencies, institutions, organizations, or individuals to

(A) strengthen technical assistance and service programs of cooperators participating in programs under this Act by applying research results and conducting pilot projects and field tests of mana rement and utilization practices, equipment, and technologies, related to programs and activities authorized under this Act:

(B) study the effects of tax laws, methods, and practices on forest management;

(C) develop and maintain technical information systems in support of programs and activities authorized under this

Act;

*16 U.S.C. 2107.

(D) test, evaluate, and seek registration of chemicals for use in implementing the programs and activities authorized under this Act;

(E) conduct other activities, including training of State forestry personnel whom the Secretary deems necessary to ensure that the programs and activities authorized under this Act are responsive to special problems, unique situations, and changing conditions. (2) The Secretary may make funds available to cooperators under this Act without regard to the provisions of section 3648 of the Revised Statutes (31 Ù.S.C. 529), which prohibits advances of public money.

(3) The Secretary shall use forest resources planning committees at National and State levels in implementing this subsection. (d) There are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually such sums as may be needed to implement this section.

CONSOLIDATED PAYMENTS

SEC. 9.8 (a) To provide flexibility in funding activities authorized under this Act, the Secretary may, upon the request of any State, consolidate the annual financial assistance payments to that State under this Act, in lieu of functional cost sharing mechanisms, formulas, or agreements. However, consolidated payments shall not include money appropriated under section 4 of this Act or money from any special Treasury fund established under this Act.

(b) Consolidation of payments made under this section shall be based upon State forest resources programs developed by State foresters or equivalent State officials, and reviewed by the Secretary.

(c) Consolidated payments to any State during any fiscal year shall not exceed the total amount of non-Federal funds expended within the State during that year to implement its State forest resources program. However, the Secretary may make payments that exceed the non-Federal amount expended for selerted activities under the program, if the total Federal expenditure during any fiscal year does not exceed the total non-Federal expenditure during that year under the State forest resources program.

(d) The Secretary may make consolidated payments on the certificate of the State forester or equivalent State official that the conditions for Federal payment have been met.

(e) The Secretary shall administer this section to ensure that the use of consolidated payments does not adversely affect or eliminate any program authorized under this Act.

(f) Subject to applicable appropriation Acts, the total annual amount of financial assistance to any participating State after the enactment of this Act shall not be less than the base amount of financial assistance provided to that State inder all the provisions of law specified in section 13 of this Act during the fiscal year in which this Act is enacted. However, financial assistance for special projects of two years or less duration shall not be included in determining the base amount for any participating State.

* 16 U.S.C. 2108

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec. 10. (a) In implementing this Act, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable

(1) work through, cooperate with, and assist State foresters or equivalent State officials;

(2) encourage cooperation and coordination between State foresters or equivalent State officials and other State agencies that manage renewable natural resources;

(3) use and encourage cooperators under this Act to use, private agencies, consultants, organizations, firms, and individuals to furnish necessary materials and services; and

(4) promote effectiveness and economy by coordinating the direct actions and assistance authorized under this Act with related programs the Secretary administers, and with coopera

tive programs of other agencies. (b) Money appropriated under this Act shall remain available until expended.

(c) Requirements for the development of State forest resources programs and State participation in management assistance, planning assistance, and technology implementation, the apportionment of funds among States participating under this Act, the administrative expenses in connection with activities and programs under this Act, and the amounts to be expended by the Secretary to assist non-State cooperators under this Act, shall be determined by the Secretary in consultation with a committee of not less than five State foresters or equivalent State officials selected by a majority of the State foresters or equivalent State officials from States participating in programs under this Act. However, the Secretary need not consult with such committee regarding funds to be expended under emergency conditions that the Secretary may determine. (d) For the purposes of this Act,

(1) The terms “United States” and “State" shall include each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the territories and possessions of the United States;

(2) The term “forest resources” shall include esthetics, fish and wildlife, forage, outdoor recreation opportunities, timber, and water; and

(3) The term “urban forestry” means the planning, establishment, protection, and management of trees and associated plants, individually, in small groups, or under forest conditions within

cities, their suburbs, and towns. (e) The Secretary may prescribe rules and regulations, as the Secretary deems appropriate, to implement the provisions of this Act.

(f) The Secretary is authorized to make grants, agreements, contracts, and other arrangements the Secretary deems necessary to implement this Act.

(g) This Act shall be construed as supplementing all other laws relating to the Department of Agriculture and shall not be construed • 16 U.S.C. 2109.

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