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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-531

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



 
       NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE VOLUNTEER IMPROVEMENT ACT OF 2010

                                _______
                                

 July 13, 2010.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 4973]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4973) to amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 to 
reauthorize volunteer programs and community partnerships for 
national wildlife refuges, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer 
Improvement Act of 2010''.

SEC. 2. REAUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS TO IMPLEMENT VOLUNTEER, 
                    COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS UNDER 
                    FISH AND WILDLIFE ACT OF 1956.

  (a) Reauthorization.--Section 7(f) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f(f)) is amended to read as follows:
  ``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be 
appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out subsections 
(b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), $2,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2011 
through 2014.''.
  (b) Technical Corrections.--Section 7 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f) is amended in subsections (b)(2)(B)(ii) and 
(d)(2)(C)(i) by striking ``National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act 
of 1966'' each place it appears and inserting ``National Wildlife 
Refuge System Administration Act of 1966''.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM VOLUNTEER AND 
                    COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 1998.

  Section 4(a) of the National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and 
Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 742f-1) is 
amended--
          (1) in the subsection heading by striking ``Projects'' and 
        inserting ``National Volunteer Coordination Program'';
          (2) by amending paragraph (1) to read as follows:
          ``(1) In general.--Subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, and in conformance with the strategy developed 
        under paragraph (2) and consistent with the authorities 
        regarding gifts, volunteer services, community partnerships, 
        and refuge education enhancement under section 7 of the Fish 
        and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 741f), the Secretary of the 
        Interior, through the Director of the United States Fish and 
        Wildlife Service, shall carry out a National Volunteer 
        Coordination Program within the National Wildlife Refuge System 
        to--
                  ``(A) augment and support the capabilities and 
                efforts of Federal employees to implement resource 
                management, conservation, and public education programs 
                and activities across the National Wildlife Refuge 
                System;
                  ``(B) provide meaningful opportunities for volunteers 
                to support the resource management, conservation, and 
                public education programs and activities of national 
                wildlife refuges or complexes of geographically related 
                national wildlife refuges in each United States Fish 
                and Wildlife Service region; and
                  ``(C) fulfill the purpose and mission of the National 
                Wildlife Refuge System under the National Wildlife 
                Refuge System Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 
                668dd et seq.).'';
          (3) by amending paragraph (2) to read as follows
          ``(2) Volunteer coordination strategy.--
                  ``(A) In general.--No later than one year after date 
                of enactment of this paragraph, the Director shall 
                publish in the Federal Register a national strategy for 
                the coordination and utilization of volunteers within 
                the National Wildlife Refuge System.
                  ``(B) Consultation required.--The strategy shall be 
                developed in consultation with State fish and wildlife 
                agencies, Indian tribes, refuge friends groups or 
                similar volunteer organizations, and other relevant 
                stakeholders.
                  ``(C) Volunteer coordinators.--The Director shall 
                provide, subject to the availability of appropriations, 
                no less than one regional volunteer coordinator for 
                each United States Fish and Wildlife Service region to 
                implement the strategy published under this paragraph. 
                Such coordinators may be responsible for assisting 
                partner organizations in developing and implementing 
                volunteer projects and activities under cooperative 
                agreements under section 7(d) of the Fish and Wildlife 
                Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f(d)).''; and
          (4) in paragraph (4), by striking ``for for each fiscal year 
        through fiscal year 2009'' and inserting ``for each fiscal year 
        through fiscal year 2014''.

SEC. 4. VOLUNTEER, COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS, AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS 
                    REPORT.

  (a) In General.--Section 7 of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 1956 (16 
U.S.C. 742f(e)) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating subsection (f) (as amended by this Act) 
        as subsection (g); and
          (2) by inserting after subsection (e) the following new 
        subsection:
  ``(f) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of 
this subsection and every 5 years thereafter, the Secretary of the 
Interior shall submit a report to the Committee on Natural Resources of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works of the Senate--
          ``(1) evaluating the accomplishments of the volunteer 
        program, the community partnerships program, and the refuge 
        education programs authorized under this section, and of the 
        National Volunteer Coordination Program and volunteer 
        coordination strategy under section 4(a) of the National 
        Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership 
        Enhancement Act of 1998 (16 U.S.C. 742f-1); and
          ``(2) making recommendations to improve the effectiveness of 
        such programs, including regarding implementing subparagraphs 
        (A), (B), and (C) of paragraph (1) of subsection (e).''.
  (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 4(a) of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 
1998 (16 U.S.C. 742f-1) is further amended by striking paragraph (3), 
and by redesignating paragraph (4) (as amended by this Act) as 
paragraph (3).

                          Purpose of the Bill

    The purpose of H.R. 4973 is to amend the Fish and Wildlife 
Act of 1956 to reauthorize volunteer programs and community 
partnerships for national wildlife refuges, and for other 
purposes.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The National Wildlife Refuge System (NWRS) contains more 
than 551 refuges in all fifty states and territories, and is 
home to more than 700 species of birds, 220 species of mammals, 
250 reptile and amphibian species, and more than 200 species of 
fish. Started by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, the 
National Wildlife Refuge System is administered by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (hereafter, ``the Service''). The 
Refuge System serves as the nation's premiere system of public 
lands set aside exclusively for fish and wildlife habitat 
conservation, and consequently plays an integral role in our 
national network of federal public lands held in trust for the 
conservation and protection of natural resources.
    Currently, the NWRS struggles with an estimated operations 
and maintenance budget backlog of $3.7 billion. Additionally 
burdensome is a proposed $4.0 million dollar cut to NWRS 
operations and maintenance in the President's Fiscal Year 2011 
Budget. To meet these challenges, the Service has purposefully 
nurtured partnerships with ``Friends'' organizations and 
recruited the contributions of volunteers to benefit the NWRS. 
The effort has been productive and successful. Volunteers 
assist with the physical labor associated with refuge 
maintenance, conduct scientific monitoring, and lead 
educational programs, to name just a few activities. Last year 
more than 37,000 volunteers worked in the NWRS, donating 
1,611,936 hours of time with an estimated dollar value of $32.6 
million.
    The National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and Community 
Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-242) authorized a 
volunteer pilot project for the NWRS to encourage volunteer 
coordination and the use of volunteers to assist in the 
management of refuges within the system. The Act authorized 
volunteer coordinator positions to implement the pilot program, 
specific projects at the regional level, and a basic reporting 
schedule. For each fiscal year, $2 million was authorized. In 
2004, the National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Act of 2004 (P.L. 
108-327) reauthorized the Service to maintain volunteer 
coordination projects and provided level funding authorization 
through Fiscal Year 2009.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 4973 was introduced on March 25, 2010 by 
Representative Frank Kratovil (D-MD). The bill was referred to 
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to 
the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife. On 
May 6, 2010, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. A 
representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
testified in support of the bill on behalf of the 
administration; other witnesses representing refuge ``Friends'' 
groups also testified in strong support of the measure.
    On May 16, 2010, the Subcommittee was discharged from the 
further consideration of H.R. 4973 and the full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Representative 
Kratovil offered an amendment in the nature of a substitute to 
restore level funding for the program for the next five fiscal 
years. The amendment in the nature of a substitute was adopted 
by unanimous consent. The bill, as amended, was then ordered 
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by unanimous 
consent.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides that this Act may be cited as the 
``National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010''.

Section 2. Reauthorization of appropriations to implement volunteer, 
        community partnership and education programs under Fish and 
        Wildlife Act of 1956

    Section 2 would reauthorize existing appropriations for 
each of Fiscal Years 2011 through 2014 to implement volunteer 
coordination, community partnerships and education programs 
authorized under section 7(f) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956. The section would also make technical corrections to 
references to the National Wildlife Refuge System 
Administration Act of 1966.

Section 3. Amendments to National Wildlife Refuge System Volunteer and 
        Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 1998

    Section 3 would amend section 4(a) of the National Wildlife 
Refuge System Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement 
Act of 1998 to strike the authority to conduct volunteer 
coordination projects and instead direct the Service to carry 
out a National Volunteer Coordination Program to augment and 
support the capabilities and efforts of NWRS employees, to 
provide meaningful opportunities for volunteers to support 
resource management, conservation and public education programs 
within the NWRS, and to fulfill the purposes of the National 
Wildlife Refuge System Administration Act. The Service would 
also be required to publish within one year a national 
volunteer coordination strategy developed in consultation with 
state fish and wildlife agencies, friends groups and other 
stakeholders, and the Director of the Service would be 
required, subject to the availability of appropriations, to 
hire at least one volunteer coordinator in each region. This 
section would also reauthorize existing annual appropriations 
of $2 million for each fiscal year through 2014.

Section 4. Volunteer, community partnerships, and education programs 
        report

    Section 4 would amend section 7 of the Fish and Wildlife 
Act of 1956 to insert a reporting requirement to direct the 
Service to submit a consolidated report to the Committee no 
later than one year after the date of enactment on volunteer 
coordination, community partnership and refuge education 
activities. Subsequent reports are to be submitted every 5 
years thereafter.

            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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8, and Article IV, section 3, 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. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to amend the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
1956 to reauthorize volunteer programs and community 
partnerships for national wildlife refuges, and for other 
purposes.
    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:

H.R. 4973--National Wildlife Refuge Volunteer Improvement Act of 2010

    Summary: H.R. 4973 would authorize the appropriation of $2 
million annually over the 2011-2014 period to the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service (USFWS) for volunteer and partnership 
programs. Under those programs, the USFWS coordinates the 
activities of local volunteers, nonprofit organizations, state 
or local agencies, and other entities that support wildlife 
refuges.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing H.R. 4973 would cost $8 million 
over the 2011-2015 period. Enacting the bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 4973 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform (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. 4973 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2011     2012     2013     2014     2015   2011-2015
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.....................................        2        2        2        2        0          8
Estimated Outlays.......................................        2        2        2        2        0          8
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
4973 will be enacted near the end of fiscal year 2010 and that 
the authorized amounts will be appropriated for each year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
the program.
    Authorization for USFWS's volunteer and partnership 
programs expired at the end of fiscal year 2009. In recent 
years, the agency has received annual funding of about $2 
million, the authorized amount.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 4973 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Martin von Gnechten; 
Impact on state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa 
Merrell; Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Peter H. Fontaine, Assistant Director 
for Budget Analysis.

                    Compliance With Public Law 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                           Earmark Statement

    H.R. 4973 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                Preemption of State, Local or Tribal Law

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

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

             SECTION 7 OF THE FISH AND WILDLIFE ACT OF 1956

                 POLICIES, PROCEDURES, RECOMMENDATIONS

  Sec. 7. (a) * * *
  (b)(1) * * *
          (2) Use of gifts, devises, and bequests.--
                  (A) * * *
                  (B) Gifts, devises, and bequests to 
                particular 
                refuges.--
                          (i) * * *
                          (ii) Matching.--Subject to the 
                        availability of appropriations and the 
                        requirements of the [National Wildlife 
                        Refuge Administration Act of 1966] 
                        National Wildlife Refuge System 
                        Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 
                        668dd et seq.) and other applicable 
                        law, the Secretary may provide funds to 
                        match gifts, devises, and bequests made 
                        for the benefit of a particular 
                        national wildlife refuge or complex of 
                        geographically related refuges. With 
                        respect to each gift, devise, or 
                        bequest, the amount of Federal funds 
                        may not exceed the amount (or, in the 
                        case of property or in-kind services, 
                        the fair market value) of the gift, 
                        devise, or bequest.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Community Partnership Enhancement.--
          (1) * * *
          (2) Cooperative agreements.--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (C) Federal funding and ownership.--
                          (i) Matching.--Subject to the 
                        availability of appropriations and the 
                        requirements of the [National Wildlife 
                        Refuge Administration Act of 1966] 
                        National Wildlife Refuge System 
                        Administration Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 
                        668dd et seq.) and other applicable 
                        law, the Secretary may provide funds to 
                        match non-Federal funds donated under a 
                        cooperative agreement under this 
                        paragraph. With respect to each project 
                        or program, the amount of funds 
                        provided by the Secretary may not 
                        exceed the amount of the non-Federal 
                        funds donated through the project or 
                        program.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (f) Report.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this subsection and every 5 years thereafter, the 
Secretary of the Interior shall submit a report to the 
Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives 
and the Committee on Environment and Public Works of the 
Senate--
          (1) evaluating the accomplishments of the volunteer 
        program, the community partnerships program, and the 
        refuge education programs authorized under this 
        section, and of the National Volunteer Coordination 
        Program and volunteer coordination strategy under 
        section 4(a) of the National Wildlife Refuge System 
        Volunteer and Community Partnership Enhancement Act of 
        1998 (16 U.S.C. 742f-1); and
          (2) making recommendations to improve the 
        effectiveness of such programs, including regarding 
        implementing subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C) of 
        paragraph (1) of subsection (e).
  [(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out 
subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) $2,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2004 through 2009.]
  (g) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to 
be appropriated to the Secretary of the Interior to carry out 
subsections (b), (c), (d), (e), and (f), $2,000,000 for each of 
fiscal years 2011 through 2014.
                              ----------                              


    SECTION 4 OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM VOLUNTEER AND 
             COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP ENHANCEMENT ACT OF 1998

SEC. 4. VOLUNTEER ENHANCEMENT.

  (a) [Projects] National Volunteer Coordination Program.--
          [(1) In general.--Subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, the Secretary of the Interior shall 
        carry out a project at 2 or more national wildlife 
        refuges or complexes of geographically related refuges 
        in each United States Fish and Wildlife Service region.
          [(2) Volunteer coordinator.--Each project shall 
        provide for the employment of a full-time volunteer 
        coordinator for the refuge or complex of geographically 
        related refuges. The volunteer coordinator shall be 
        responsible for recruiting, training, and supervising 
        volunteers. The volunteer coordinator may be 
        responsible for assisting partner organizations in 
        developing projects and programs under cooperative 
        agreements under section 7(d) of the Fish and Wildlife 
        Act of 1956 (as added by section 5) and coordinating 
        volunteer activities with partner organizations to 
        carry out the projects and programs.
          [(3) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date 
        of the enactment of the National Wildlife Refuge 
        Volunteer Act of 2004, and every 3 years thereafter, 
        the Secretary of the Interior shall submit a report to 
        the Committee on Resources of the House of 
        Representatives and the Committee on Environment and 
        Public Works of the Senate evaluating and making 
        recommendations regarding the projects.]
          (1) In general.--Subject to the availability of 
        appropriations, and in conformance with the strategy 
        developed under paragraph (2) and consistent with the 
        authorities regarding gifts, volunteer services, 
        community partnerships, and refuge education 
        enhancement under section 7 of the Fish and Wildlife 
        Act of 1956 (16 U.S.C. 741f), the Secretary of the 
        Interior, through the Director of the United States 
        Fish and Wildlife Service, shall carry out a National 
        Volunteer Coordination Program within the National 
        Wildlife Refuge System to--
                  (A) augment and support the capabilities and 
                efforts of Federal employees to implement 
                resource management, conservation, and public 
                education programs and activities across the 
                National Wildlife Refuge System;
                  (B) provide meaningful opportunities for 
                volunteers to support the resource management, 
                conservation, and public education programs and 
                activities of national wildlife refuges or 
                complexes of geographically related national 
                wildlife refuges in each United States Fish and 
                Wildlife Service region; and
                  (C) fulfill the purpose and mission of the 
                National Wildlife Refuge System under the 
                National Wildlife Refuge System Administration 
                Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 668dd et seq.).
          (2) Volunteer coordination strategy.--
                  (A) In general.--No later than one year after 
                date of enactment of this paragraph, the 
                Director shall publish in the Federal Register 
                a national strategy for the coordination and 
                utilization of volunteers within the National 
                Wildlife Refuge System.
                  (B) Consultation required.--The strategy 
                shall be developed in consultation with State 
                fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes, 
                refuge friends groups or similar volunteer 
                organizations, and other relevant stakeholders.
                  (C) Volunteer coordinators.--The Director 
                shall provide, subject to the availability of 
                appropriations, no less than one regional 
                volunteer coordinator for each United States 
                Fish and Wildlife Service region to implement 
                the strategy published under this paragraph. 
                Such coordinators may be responsible for 
                assisting partner organizations in developing 
                and implementing volunteer projects and 
                activities under cooperative agreements under 
                section 7(d) of the Fish and Wildlife Act of 
                1956 (16 U.S.C. 742f(d)).
          [(4)] (3) Authorization of appropriations.--There is 
        authorized to be appropriated to carry out this 
        subsection $2,000,000 [for for each fiscal year through 
        fiscal year 2009] for each fiscal year through fiscal 
        year 2014.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *