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Calendar No. 690
107th Congress Report
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
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
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 1. Short Title
This Section cites the Act as the `` Crane Conservation Act
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
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
Sec. 8. Authorization of Appropriations
This Section authorizes $3,000,000 for each of fiscal years
2003 through 2007.
S. 2847 was introduced by Senator Feingold, with Senator
Landrieu on August 1, 2002 and referred to the Committee on
Environment and Public Works.
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
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:
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.
Dan L. Crippen.
S. 2847, Crane Conservation Act of 2002, As ordered reported by the
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on September
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
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
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.