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                                                      Calendar No. 1069
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-493

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



 
                   THE CRANE CONSERVATION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

  September 24 (legislative day, September 17), 2008.--Ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1771]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred the bill (H.R. 1771) to assist in the conservation of 
cranes by supporting and providing, through projects of persons 
and organizations with expertise in crane conservation, 
financial resources for the conservation programs of countries 
the activities of which directly or indirectly affect cranes 
and the ecosystems of cranes, reports favorably thereon and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                      PURPOSES OF THE LEGISLATION

    H.R. 1771 would provide financial assistance to conserve 
cranes. The bill would establish a Crane Conservation Fund as 
an account within the Multinational Species Conservation Fund.

                    GENERAL STATEMENT AND BACKGROUND

    Wildlife populations across the globe have been in decline 
due to many stresses. To help address this problem, Congress 
established conservation funds for individual species or groups 
of species--the Multinational Species Conservation Fund (MSCF).
    Under the MSCF, Federal resources provide financial 
assistance to support international conservation efforts to 
help wildlife. By providing resources to keystone wildlife 
species, other wildlife--and their habitat and ecosystems--can 
also be protected and conserved.
    Under this bill, cranes become eligible for assistance 
under the MSCF.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that the bill may be cited as the 
``Crane Conservation Act of 2008.''

Section 2. Purposes

    This section provides that the purposes of the bill are to 
provide financial resources to assist in the restoration and 
conservation of populations of cranes in the wild.

Section 3. Definitions

    This section defines specific terms in the legislation.

Section 4. Crane conservation assistance

    This section authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to 
provide financial assistance for projects that conserve cranes 
and specifies eligible project applicants and required 
information for project applications.

Section 5. Crane Conservation Fund

    This section authorizes the establishment of a Crane 
Conservation Fund within the Multinational Species Conservation 
Fund.

Section 6. Advisory group

    This section authorizes the Secretary to convene an 
advisory group to assist in carrying out the purposes and 
requirements of this Act.

Section 7. Funding

    The legislation would authorize $5 million per year of 
appropriations for each fiscal year from 2009 to 2013.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    H.R. 1771 was introduced on March 29, 2007 by Rep. Tammy 
Baldwin (D-WI). Companion legislation was introduced in the 
Senate by Senator Russ Feingold on March 29, 2007. H.R. 1771 
passed the House of Representatives on May 21, 2008 and was 
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works on May 22, 2008. The 
Committee met on September 17, 2008, when H.R. 1771 was ordered 
reported favorably by voice vote.

                             ROLLCALL VOTES

    There were no rollcall votes. The measure was approved 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 the 
legislation does not impose regulatory costs, and agrees with 
the Congressional Budget Office that ``H.R. 1771 contains no . 
. . private-sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates 
Reform Act (UMRA). . . .''

                          MANDATES ASSESSMENT

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee noted that the Congressional 
Budget Office has found that ``H.R. 1771 contains no 
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as defined in the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) and would impose no costs 
on state, local, or tribal governments.''

                  CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATE

                                                September 19, 2008.
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1771, the Crane 
Conservation Act of 2008.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1771--Crane Conservation Act of 2008

    Summary: H.R. 1771 would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service to establish a grant program to protect and conserve 
wild cranes. The act would authorize the appropriation of $5 
million for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013 for 
financial assistance to eligible government agencies, 
international or foreign organizations, or private entities 
engaged in such activities. Assuming appropriation of the 
authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 1771 
would increase discretionary spending by $19 million over the 
2009-2013 period and by $6 million after 2013.
    The act also would authorize the agency to accept and spend 
(without further appropriation) donations from nonfederal 
sources. Enacting this provision could increase both revenues 
(from donations) and direct spending (of those revenues), but 
we estimate that such increases would have no net effect on the 
federal budget.
    H.R. 1771 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1771 is shown in the following table. 
For this estimate, CBO assumes that the legislation will be 
enacted near the beginning of fiscal year 2009 and that 
authorized amounts will be provided as specified in the bill. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar programs. The costs of this legislation fall within 
budget function 300 (natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                           -----------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                          2009-
                                                              2009     2010     2011     2012     2013     2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.......................................        5        5        5        5        5       25
Estimated Outlays.........................................        2        3        4        5        5       19
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1771 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimate: On May 5, 2008, CBO transmitted a 
cost estimate for H.R. 1771 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Natural Resources on April 30, 2008. The two 
versions of H.R. 1771 are very similar but include different 
authorization periods. The CBO cost estimates reflect that 
difference.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Deborah Reis; Impact 
on state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrill; 
Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                        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.