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                                                       Calendar No. 690
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-302

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



 
                     CRANE CONSERVATION ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

                October 8, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. Jeffords, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [to accompany S. 2847]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 2847) to assist in the conservation of 
cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons 
and organization with expertise in crane conservation, 
financial resources for the conservation programs of countries 
the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    The 15 crane species comprise a unique family of birds, 
more than two-thirds of which are threatened or endanger of 
extinction. Cranes inhabit wide expanses of wetlands, 
grasslands and, in some cases, the agricultural fields that 
border the natural areas. Their conservation is predicated on 
protection of the cranes as individuals and of their habitats. 
Since cranes migrate across five continents, this protection 
must be multi-national.
    The decline of the North American whooping crane, the 
rarest crane on earth, is an example of a crane in peril. In 
1941, only 21 whooping cranes existed in the entire world. This 
stands in contrast to the almost 400 birds in existence today. 
The North American whooping crane's resurgence is attributed to 
the birds' tenacity for survival and to the efforts of 
conservationists in the United States and Canada. Today, the 
only wild flock of North American whooping cranes breeds in 
northwest Canada, and spends its winters in coastal Texas.
    Despite the conservation efforts taken since 1941, cranes 
are still very much in danger of extinction. While over the 
course of the last half-century, North American whooping cranes 
have begun to make a slow recovery, many species of crane in 
Africa and Asia have declined, including the sarus crane of 
Asia and the wattled crane of Africa.
    Internationally, crane conservation presents significant 
challenges. The entire continent of Africa supports between 12 
and 15,000 wattled crane. Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana are 
home to the largest numbers of birds and smaller populations 
are found in South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Zaire, Zimbabwe, 
Malawi, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In none of these countries is 
its status secure and declines are reported throughout its 
range. Wattled Crane are classified as Critically Endangered in 
South Africa and as Endangered in the rest of Africa. There are 
only 250 left in the wild in South Africa making it one of the 
world's most endangered bird species.
    Serious and significant decline can be expected in crane 
populations worldwide without conservation efforts. The 
combination of hunting, habitat attrition and other factors 
have been responsible for the decline of the world's species of 
cranes.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    S. 2847, the Crane Conservation Act of 2002 will assist in 
the conservation of cranes by supporting and providing, through 
projects of persons and organization with expertise in crane 
conservation, financial resources for the conservation programs 
of countries the activities of which directly or indirectly 
affect cranes.
    S. 2847 establishes the Crane Conservation Fund within the 
Multinational Species Conservation Fund and authorizes up to $3 
million per year through 2007 to be distributed in the form of 
conservation project grants to protect cranes and their 
habitat. Funds would be available to qualifying conservation 
groups operating in Asia, Africa, Europe,and North America

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short Title
    This Section cites the Act as the `` Crane Conservation Act 
of 2002''.
Sec. 2. Findings
    This Section states the congressional findings, including 
the following: crane populations in many countries have 
experience serious decline in recent decades; many of the 
species are endangered or threatened; conservation resources 
have not been sufficient to cope with the continued diminution 
of crane populations; cranes are flagship species for the 
conservation of wetland, grassland, and agricultural landscapes 
that border wetlands and grasslands; and a joint commitment is 
necessary to address threat to cranes on all 5 continents.
Sec. 3. Purposes
    This Section states that the purposes of this Act are to 
perpetuate healthy populations of cranes, assist in the 
conservation and protection of cranes, and provide financial 
resources for those programs and efforts.
Sec. 4. Definitions
    This Section defines conservation, Convention, Fund and 
Secretary for purposes of the Act.
Sec. 5. Crane Conservation Assistance
    This Section authorizes the Secretary of Interior to 
provide financial assistance for projects to relating to the 
conservation of cranes. Projects may be submitted by wildlife 
management authorities of foreign countries or other persons or 
groups with expertise in the conservation of cranes. The 
Secretary shall review each project proposal in a timely manner 
to determine if the proposal meets the criteria specified. The 
Secretary, after consulting with other appropriate Federal 
officials, shall consult on the proposal with the government of 
each country in which the project is to be conducted and 
approve or disapprove the proposal.
    The Secretary may approve a project proposal under this 
section if the project will enhance programs for conservation 
of cranes. The Secretary shall give preference to conservation 
projects that are designed to ensure effective, long-term 
conservation of cranes or for which matching funds are 
available.
    Each person that receives assistance under this section for 
a project shall submit to the Secretary periodic reports to 
determine the progress and success of the project for the 
purposes of ensuring positive results, assessing problems, and 
fostering improvements. These reports shall be made available 
to the public.
    The Secretary is further directed to convene a panel of 
experts every 2 years to identify the greatest needs with 
respect to the conservation of cranes.
Sec. 6. Crane Conservation Fund
    This Section establishes the Crane Conservation Fund in the 
Multinational Species Conservation Fund. The Secretary may 
expend not more than 3 percent or up to $80,000 for 
administrative expenses. The Secretary may accept and use 
donations to provide assistance under the Act.
Sec. 7. Advisory Group
    This Section authorizes the Secretary to convene an 
advisory group of individuals representing public and private 
organizations actively involved in the conservation of cranes. 
The Secretary shall provide public notice of each meeting of 
the advisory group. The meetings shall be open to the public 
and the minutes of the meetings shall be made available to the 
public. The Federal Advisory Committee Act shall not apply to 
the advisory group authorized under this section.
    The creation of an advisory group will help increase public 
involvement and Federal and private partnerships. Also, it will 
provide consistency with the Great Ape Conservation Act and 
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act, both of which were 
enacted during the 106th Congress and are administered under 
the Multi-national Species Conservation Fund, along with the 
Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Act and the Asian Elephant 
Conservation Act.
Sec. 8. Authorization of Appropriations
    This Section authorizes $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years 
2003 through 2007.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2847 was introduced by Senator Feingold, with Senator 
Landrieu on August 1, 2002 and referred to the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works.

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider S. 2847 on September 26, 2002. The committee agreed to 
an amendment offered by Senator Jeffords by voice vote. Later 
that day the committee met again to complete action on the bill 
and voted to report S. 2847, as amended, by voice vote.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 2847 
does not create any additional regulatory burdens, nor will it 
cause any adverse impact on the personal privacy of 
individuals.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the committee finds that S. 2847 would not 
impose Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                          Cost of Legislation

    Section 403 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment 
Control Act requires that a statement of the cost of the 
reported bill, prepared by the Congressional Budget Office, be 
included in the report. That statement follows:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, October 2, 2002.

Hon. James M. Jeffords, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.

    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2847, the Crane 
Conservation Act of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Megan 
Carroll, who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                            Dan L. Crippen.
                              ----------                              

S. 2847, Crane Conservation Act of 2002, As ordered reported by the 
        Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on September 
        26,2002
Summary
    S. 2847 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
establish a program to support activities to protect and 
conserve cranes. The bill would authorize the appropriation of 
$3 million a year over the 2003-2007 period for the Secretary 
to convene an advisory panel and provide financial assistance 
to eligible government agencies, international or foreign 
organizations, or private entities engaged in such activities. 
CBO estimates that such assistance would cost $15 million over 
the next 5 years, assuming appropriation of the authorized 
amounts.
    S. 2847 would authorize the Secretary to accept and use 
donations to provide financial assistance; hence, the bill 
could increase revenues and direct spending. Based on 
information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, 
CBO estimates that any new revenues and subsequent direct 
spending would be insignificant.
    S. 2847 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would have no significant impact on the budgets of State, 
local, or tribal governments.
Estimated Cost to the Federal Government
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 2847 would cost $15 
million over the 2003-2007 period. For this estimate, CBO 
assumes that S. 2847 will be enacted early in fiscal year 2003 
and that authorized amounts will be provided as specified in 
the bill. Estimates of outlays are based on historic spending 
patterns for similar programs. The estimated budgetary impact 
of S. 2847 is shown in the following table. The costs of this 
legislation fall within budget function 300 (natural resources 
and environment).

                        Changes in Existing Law

    Section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing Rules of the Senate 
requires the committee to publish changes in existing law made 
by the bill as reported. Passage of this bill will make no 
changes to existing law.