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                                                       Calendar No. 126
112th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     112-46

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



 
TO AMEND THE NEOTROPICAL MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION ACT TO REAUTHORIZE 
                                THE ACT

                                _______
                                

                 August 2, 2011.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 538]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (S. 538) to amend the Neotropical Migratory 
Bird Conservation Act to reauthorize the Act, having considered 
the same, reports favorably thereon with an amendment and 
recommends that the bill, as amended, do pass.

                    General Statement and Background

    In partnership with other government wildlife agencies and 
conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
recently published a comprehensive report on the state of our 
nation's birds. The State of the Birds 2009 documents that bird 
populations are in decline in many habitats across the United 
States, and in highly specialized habitats, such as Hawaii, we 
are on the verge of losing entire suites of unique birds and 
native plant communities. Currently, almost one-third of the 
over 800 species of birds in the United States are either 
federally listed as endangered or threatened, or are species of 
conservation concern--due to their small distribution, high 
threats or declining populations.
    Wildlife watching, including bird watching, is an 
increasingly profitable industry in the United States. The 2006 
National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated 
Recreation, which represents the most recent data compiled by 
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the economic impact of 
wildlife recreation, showed that $45.7 billion was spent in 
2006 alone on wildlife watching.
    Birds are also important indicators for the health and 
integrity of our natural environment. As bird populations 
decline, they signal failing ecosystems and warn of the 
deterioration of the quality of the air, water and soil on 
which we depend.
    Originally authorized in 2000, the Neotropical Migratory 
Bird Conservation Act (Public Law 106-247) encourages habitat 
protection, education, researching, monitoring, and capacity 
building to provide for the long-term protection of neotropical 
migratory birds. The program provides grants for projects in 
the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean that 
conserve neotropical migratory birds. The matching requirements 
for the grant program leverages funding from a range of non-
governmental sources. Up to one-quarter of the annual grants 
can be used for projects in the United States.
    The Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 2000 
authorized an annual $5 million for each of the fiscal years 
2001 through 2005. The Act was reauthorized in 2006 to increase 
the authorization level from $5 million to $6.5 million for 
Fiscal Years 2006-2010.
    Between 2002 and 2011, the program supported 367 projects, 
coordinated by partners in 48 U.S. states/territories and 36 
countries. More than $39 million in Federal grants has 
leveraged over $152 million in matching funds and $6.5 million 
in nonmatching funds. Projects involving land conservation have 
affected about 2 million acres of bird habitat.
    Since the program's inception, grant requests from 
qualified applicants have far exceeded the Act's available 
funding. In the last five years, almost three-quarters of 
eligible grant proposals have been turned away. This 
legislation, as amended, authorizes $6.5 million for fiscal 
years 2012 through 2017.

                     Objectives of the Legislation

    S. 538 amends the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation 
Act to reauthorize the Act for fiscal years 2012 through 2017.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Reauthorization of Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation 
        Act

    This section amends Section 10 of the Neotropical Migratory 
Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 6109) to authorize 
appropriations to carry out the Act. This section, as amended, 
authorizes $6.5 million for fiscal years 2012 through 2017.

                          Legislative History

    On March 10, 2011, Senator Cardin introduced S. 538. The 
bill was received, read twice and referred to the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works. The Committee met on 
July 13, 2011, to consider the bill. Senator Cardin introduced 
an amendment that would alter appropriation levels to 
$6,500,000 annually. The committee ordered S. 538 to be 
reported favorably with an amendment.

                                Hearings

    No committee hearings were held on S. 538.

                             Rollcall Votes

    On July 13, 2011, the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works ordered S. 538 to be favorably reported by voice vote 
with Senator Inhofe, Barrasso, and Johanns recorded as ``No.'' 
No rollcall votes were taken.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the committee finds that S. 538 
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. 538 would not 
impose Federal intergovernmental unfunded mandates on State, 
local, or tribal governments.

                  Congressional Budget Office Estimate

                                                    August 2, 2011.
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 revised cost estimate for S. 538, a bill 
to amend the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act to 
reauthorize the act. This revised cost estimate supersedes a 
CBO cost estimate transmitted on July 22, 2011, for the bill as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Environment and 
Public Works on July 13, 2011. CBO has revised the estimate of 
additional discretionary spending under S. 538 to correct an 
error regarding the amounts of appropriations authorized under 
the bill.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

S. 538--A bill to amend the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act 
        to reauthorize the act

    Summary: S. 538 would authorize appropriations through 2017 
for grants and other activities carried out under the 
Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that 
implementing the bill would cost $30 million over the 2012-2016 
period and $9 million after 2016. Enacting S. 538 would not 
affect revenues or direct spending; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    The bill 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 S. 538 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--
                                                    ------------------------------------------------------------
                                                       2012      2013      2014      2015      2016    2012-2016
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level................................         7         7         7         7         7         33
Estimated Outlays..................................         5         6         6         6         7        30
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: Amounts do not sum to totals because of rounding.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that S. 
538 will be enacted near the end of 2011 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
this program.
    S. 538 would authorize the appropriation of $6.5 million a 
year to carry out the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation 
Program through 2017. The program is administered by the U.S. 
Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and supports research and 
conservation grants to protect certain species of birds. Based 
on information from USFWS, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $30 million over the 2012-2016 period 
and $9 million after 2016.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: S. 538 
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: This revised cost estimate 
supersedes a CBO cost estimate transmitted on July 22, 2011, 
for S. 538 as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Environment and Public Works on July 13, 2011. CBO previously 
estimated additional discretionary spending of $36 million over 
the 2012-2016 period. That earlier estimate did not reflect a 
committee-approved amendment to the bill that specifies the 
annual authorization of $6.5 million, as shown in this revised 
estimate.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the Private Sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, 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:

              Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act


SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
                  (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    [There is authorized to be appropriated to the Account to 
carry out this Act $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2001 
through 2005, to remain available until expended, of which not 
less than 75 percent of the amounts made available for each 
fiscal year shall be expended for projects carried out outside 
the United States.]
    (a) In General.--There is authorized to be appropriated to 
carry out this Act $6,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2012 
through 2017.
    (b) Use of Funds.--Of the amounts made available under 
subsection (a) for each fiscal year, not less than 75 percent 
shall be expended for projects carried out at a location 
outside of the United States.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *