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106th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     106-649

======================================================================



 
         STUDY OF KEALIA POND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, HAWAII

                                _______
                                

  June 6, 2000.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3176]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3176) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a study to determine ways of restoring the natural wetlands 
conditions in the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii, 
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3176 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct a study to determine ways of restoring the 
natural wetlands conditions in the Kealia Pond National 
Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 3176 directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a study on restoring the natural wetland conditions of the 
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge on the island of Maui, 
Hawaii. The refuge was established in 1992 to provide habitat 
for migratory waterfowl and shorebirds, particularly for three 
endangered Hawaiian birds. The refuge provides over 700 acres 
of habitat that these birds, and other migratory birds, need to 
survive. Over two million tourists visit the island of Maui 
each year, and many of these visitors spend time at the Kealia 
Pond National Wildlife Refuge.
    Kealia Pond is the central feature of the refuge. Water 
levels vary drastically in the pond. In the winter, the pond 
may cover up to 400 acres to a depth of several feet. In the 
summer dry seasons, the pond may be no more than a few inches 
deep covering less than 50 acres. The pond contains brackish 
water and is periodically flooded by seawater. Seasonal 
fluctuations in the pond acreage are important for maintaining 
biological diversity at the Refuge. The Refuge provides 
overwintering habitat and food for a number of waterfowl and 
shorebirds, including Hawaiian ducks, coots and endangered 
stilts. However, in recent years, the fluctuations in the 
Refuge have been so severe that the wetland areas have dried up 
completely, resulting in fish kills and the loss of aquatic 
habitat. In other years, a nonnative insect--the spotted wing 
midge (a small fly)--hatches in numbers so great that it is a 
nuisance for neighboring landowners and towns.
    Land use changes in the watershed surrounding the Refuge 
are thought to be responsible for the water level fluctuations. 
Sediment from the surrounding lands has gradually filled in the 
basin. Agriculture (primarily sugar cane) is the predominate 
land use in the watershed. The Fish and Wildlife Service, which 
oversees the Refuge, believes that active water management is 
needed to maximize habitat benefits, minimize the fish die-
offs, and reduce blooms of the exotic midges. A workshop 
between government and private groups was held in February 2000 
to discuss water management strategies for the Refuge, but the 
Fish and Wildlife Service has not developed a final water 
management plan. The Committee encourages the Secretary of the 
Interior to share the results of the study authorized by this 
legislation with local citizens, and to continue to seek the 
input of these citizens as he moves forward with water 
management efforts.
    H.R. 3176 authorizes $250,000 for a hydrologic study to be 
carried out by the United States Geological Survey and requires 
the Secretary of the Interior to complete the study within one 
year.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3176 was introduced on October 28, 1999, by 
Congresswoman Patsy Mink (D-HI). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife, and Oceans. 
On March 30, 2000, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. 
On April 6, 2000, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill. 
There were no amendments, and the bill was ordered favorably 
reported to the Full Committee by voice vote. On May 24, 2000, 
the Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. There 
were no amendments, and the bill was ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by voice vote.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations 
are reflected in the body of this report.

                   CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT

    Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United 
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause 
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of 
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on 
Government Reform on this bill.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, June 1, 2000.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3176, a bill to 
direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to 
determine ways of restoring the natural wetlands conditions in 
the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          Barry B. Anderson
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3176--A bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a 
        study to determine ways of restoring the natural wetlands 
        conditions in the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaii

    H.R. 3176 would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
(USFWS) to study ways of restoring the natural conditions of 
Kealia Pond, a national wildlife refuge in Hawaii. The bill 
would authorize the appropriation of $250,000 for the study, 
which would have to be completed within one year of funding.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amount, CBO 
estimates that the USFWS would spend $250,000 in fiscal year 
2001 to complete the required study and report its findings. 
H.R. 3176 would not affect direct spending or receipts; 
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. The bill 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not 
affect the budgets of State, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis. This estimate was 
approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    compliance with public law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

               preemption of state, local, or tribal law

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local, or 
tribal law.

                        changes in existing law

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.