Investigations, experiments, tests, and other activities
Authorization; scope and purposes of activities
The Secretary is authorized to conduct, support, and cooperate in investigations, experiments, tests, and other activities the Secretary deems necessary to obtain, analyze, develop, demonstrate, and disseminate scientific information about protecting, managing, and utilizing forest and rangeland renewable resources in rural, suburban, and urban areas. The activities conducted, supported, or cooperated in by the Secretary under this subchapter shall include, but not be limited to, the five major areas of renewable resource research identified in paragraphs (1) through (5) of this subsection.
(1) Renewable resource management research shall include, as appropriate, research activities related to managing, reproducing, planting, and growing vegetation on forests and rangelands for timber, forage, water, fish and wildlife, esthetics, recreation, wilderness, energy production, activities related to energy conservation, and other purposes, including activities for encouraging improved reforestation of forest lands from which timber has been harvested; determining the role of forest and rangeland management in the productive use of forests and rangelands, in diversified agriculture, and in mining, transportation, and other industries; and developing alternatives for the management of forests and rangelands that will make possible the most effective use of their multiple products and services.
(2) Renewable resource environmental research shall include, as appropriate, research activities related to understanding and managing surface and subsurface water flow, preventing and controlling erosion, and restoring damaged or disturbed soils on forest and rangeland watersheds; maintaining and improving wildlife and fish habitats; managing vegetation to reduce air and water pollution, provide amenities, and for other purposes; and understanding, predicting, and modifying weather, climatic, and other environmental conditions that affect the protection and management of forests and rangelands.
(3) Renewable resource protection research shall include, as appropriate, research activities related to protecting vegetation and other forest and rangeland resources, including threatened and endangered flora and fauna, as well as wood and wood products in storage or use, from fires, insects, diseases, noxious plants, animals, air pollutants, and other agents through biological, chemical, and mechanical control methods and systems; and protecting people, natural resources, and property from fires in rural areas.
(4) Renewable resource utilization research shall include, as appropriate, research activities related to harvesting, transporting, processing, marketing, distributing, and utilizing wood and other materials derived from forest and rangeland renewable resources; recycling and fully utilizing wood fiber; producing and conserving energy; and testing forest products, including necessary fieldwork associated therewith.
Development of periodic Renewable Resource Assessment through survey and analysis of conditions; implementation; authorization of appropriations
(1) To ensure the availability of adequate data and scientific information for development of the periodic Renewable Resource Assessment provided for in section 1601 of this title, the Secretary of Agriculture shall make and keep current a comprehensive survey and analysis of the present and prospective conditions of and requirements for renewable resources of the forests and rangelands of the United States and of the supplies of such renewable resources, including a determination of the present and potential productivity of the land, and of such other facts as may be necessary and useful in the determination of ways and means needed to balance the demand for and supply of these renewable resources, benefits, and uses in meeting the needs of the people of the United States. The Secretary shall conduct the survey and analysis under such plans as the Secretary may determine to be fair and equitable, and cooperate with appropriate officials of each State and, either through them or directly, with private or other entities.
(2) In implementing this subsection, the Secretary is authorized to develop and implement improved methods of survey and analysis of forest inventory information, for which purposes there are hereby authorized to be appropriated annually $10,000,000.
Program of research and study relative to health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems; advisory committee; reports
The Secretary, acting through the United States Forest Service, shall establish not later than 180 days after October 24, 1988, a 10-year program (hereinafter in this subsection referred to as the “Program”) to—
(A) increase the frequency of forest inventories in matters that relate to atmospheric pollution and conduct such surveys as are necessary to monitor long-term trends in the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems;
(B) determine the scope of the decline in the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems;
(C) accelerate and expand existing research efforts (including basic forest ecosystem research) to evaluate the effects of atmospheric pollutants on forest ecosystems and their role in the decline in domestic forest health and productivity;
(D) study the relationship between atmospheric pollution and other climatological, chemical, physical, and biological factors that may affect the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems;
(E) develop recommendations for solving or mitigating problems related to the effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems;
(F) foster cooperation among Federal, State, and private researchers and encourage the exchange of scientific information on the effects of atmospheric pollutants on forest ecosystems among the United States, Canada, European nations, and other nations;
(G) support the long-term funding of research programs and related efforts to determine the causes of declines in the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems and the effects of atmospheric pollutants on the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems; and
(H) enlarge the Eastern Hardwood Cooperative by devoting additional resources to field analysis of the response of hardwood species to atmospheric pollution, and other factors that may affect the health and productivity of these ecosystems.
(2) The Secretary shall establish a committee to advise the Secretary in developing and carrying out the Program, which shall be composed of scientists with training and experience in various disciplines, including atmospheric, ecological, and biological sciences. Such scientists shall be selected from among individuals who are actively performing research for Federal or State agencies or for private industries, institutions, or organizations.
(3) The Secretary shall coordinate the Program with existing research efforts of Federal and State agencies and private industries, institutions, or organizations.
The Secretary shall submit to the President and to Congress the following reports:
Not less than 30 days before establishing the Program, the Secretary shall submit an initial program report—
(i) discussing existing information about declining health and productivity of forest ecosystems on public and private lands in North America and Europe;
(ii) outlining the findings and status of all current research and monitoring efforts in North America and Europe on the causes and effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of forest ecosystems;
(iii) describing the Program; and
(iv) estimating the cost of implementing the Program for each fiscal year of its duration.
Not later than January 15, 1990, and January 15 of each year thereafter, during which the Program is in operation following the year in which the initial program report is submitted, the Secretary shall submit an annual report—
(i) updating information about declining health and productivity of forest ecosystems on public and private lands in North America and Europe;
(ii) updating the findings and status of all current research and monitoring efforts in North America and Europe on the causes and effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of forest ecosystems, including efforts conducted under the Program;
(iii) recommending additional research and monitoring efforts to be undertaken under the Program to determine the effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems; and
(iv) recommending methods for solving or mitigating problems stemming from the effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems.
Not later than 10 years after the date on which the initial program report is submitted, the Secretary shall submit a final report—
(i) reviewing existing information about declining health and productivity of forest ecosystems on public and private lands in North America and Europe;
(ii) reviewing the nature and findings of all research and monitoring efforts conducted under the Program and any other relevant research and monitoring efforts related to the effects of atmospheric pollution on forest ecosystem; and
(iii) making final recommendations for solving or mitigating problems stemming from the effects of atmospheric pollution on the health and productivity of domestic forest ecosystems.
High priority forestry and rangeland research and education
The Secretary may conduct, support, and cooperate in forestry and rangeland research and education that is of the highest priority to the United States and to users of public and private forest land and rangeland in the United States.
The research and education priorities include the following:
(A) The biology of forest organisms and rangeland organisms.
(B) Functional characteristics and cost-effective management of forest and rangeland ecosystems.
(C) Interactions between humans and forests and rangeland.
(D) Wood and forage as a raw material.
(E) International trade, competition, and cooperation.
Northeastern States research cooperative
At the request of the Governor of the State of Maine, New Hampshire, New York, or Vermont, the Secretary may cooperate with the northeastern States of New Hampshire, New York, Maine, and Vermont, land-grant colleges and universities of those States, natural resources and forestry schools of those States, other Federal agencies, and other interested persons in those States to coordinate and improve ecological and economic research relating to agricultural research, extension, and education, including—
(A) research on ecosystem health, forest management, product development, economics, and related fields;
(B) research to assist those States and landowners in those States to achieve sustainable forest management;
(C) technology transfer to the wood products industry of technologies that promote efficient processing, pollution prevention, and energy conservation;
(D) dissemination of existing and new information to landowners, public and private resource managers, State forest citizen advisory committees, and the general public through professional associations, publications, and other information clearinghouse activities; and
(E) analysis of strategies for the protection of areas of outstanding ecological significance or high biological diversity, and strategies for the provision of important recreational opportunities and traditional uses, including strategies for areas identified through State land conservation planning processes.
Forest inventory and analysis
In compliance with other applicable provisions of law, the Secretary shall establish a program to inventory and analyze, in a timely manner, public and private forests and their resources in the United States.
Annual State inventory
Not later than the end of each full fiscal year beginning after June 23, 1998, the Secretary shall prepare for each State, in cooperation with the State forester for the State, an inventory of forests and their resources in the State.
For purposes of preparing the inventory for a State, the Secretary shall measure annually 20 percent of all sample plots that are included in the inventory program for that State.
Compilation of inventory
On completion of the inventory for a year, the Secretary shall make available to the public a compilation of all data collected for that year from measurements of sample plots as well as any analysis made of the samples.
Not more often than every 5 full fiscal years after June 23, 1998, the Secretary shall prepare, publish, and make available to the public a report, prepared in cooperation with State foresters, that—
(A) contains a description of each State inventory of forests and their resources, incorporating all sample plot measurements conducted during the 5 years covered by the report;
(B) displays and analyzes on a nationwide basis the results of the annual reports required by paragraph (2); and
(C) contains an analysis of forest health conditions and trends over the previous 2 decades, with an emphasis on such conditions and trends during the period subsequent to the immediately preceding report under this paragraph.
National standards and definitions
To ensure uniform and consistent data collection for all forest land that is publicly or privately owned and for each State, the Secretary shall develop, in consultation with State foresters and Federal land management agencies not under the jurisdiction of the Secretary, and publish national standards and definitions to be applied in inventorying and analyzing forests and their resources under this subsection. The standards shall include a core set of variables to be measured on all sample plots under paragraph (2) and a standard set of tables to be included in the reports under paragraph (3).
Protection for private property rights
The Secretary shall obtain authorization from property owners prior to collecting data from sample plots located on private property pursuant to paragraphs (2) and (3).
Not later than 180 days after June 23, 1998, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a strategic plan to implement and carry out this subsection, including the annual updates required by paragraph (2) and the reports required by paragraph (3), that shall describe in detail—
(A) the financial resources required to implement and carry out this subsection, including the identification of any resources required in excess of the amounts provided for forest inventorying and analysis in recent appropriations Acts;
(B) the personnel necessary to implement and carry out this subsection, including any personnel in addition to personnel currently performing inventorying and analysis functions;
(C) the organization and procedures necessary to implement and carry out this subsection, including proposed coordination with Federal land management agencies and State foresters;
(D) the schedules for annual sample plot measurements in each State inventory required by paragraph (2) within the first 5-year interval after June 23, 1998;
(E) the core set of variables to be measured in each sample plot under paragraph (2) and the standard set of tables to be used in each State and national report under paragraph (3); and
(F) the process for employing, in coordination with the Secretary of Energy and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, remote sensing, global positioning systems, and other advanced technologies to carry out this subsection, and the subsequent use of the technologies.
(Pub. L. 95–307, § 3, June 30, 1978, 92 Stat. 353; Pub. L. 96–294, title II, § 254, June 30, 1980, 94 Stat. 707; Pub. L. 100–521, § 3, Oct. 24, 1988, 102 Stat. 2601; Pub. L. 101–624, title XII, § 1241(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3544; Pub. L. 105–185, title II, § 253(b), (c), June 23, 1998, 112 Stat. 559; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, § 101(a) [title VII, § 753(a)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681–32.)