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Council on Environmental Quality

Established in 1969 as a part of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) P.L. 91-190 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et. seq.) The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) was created within the Executive Office of the President with additional responsibilities provided by the Environmental Quality Improvement Act of 1970 (42 U.S.C. 4371 et. seq.) CEQ evaluates, coordinates, and mediates federal activities and provides Congress with an annual report on environmental quality.

Office of Science and Technology Policy

Established in 1976 by the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976 PL. 94-282, (42 U.S.C. 6611). The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) was created to provide the President with timely policy advice and to coordinate the science and technology investment. OSTP serves as a scientific, engineering, and technical sources to advise the President on major policies, plans and programs.

Office of the U.S. Trade Representative

Established in 1962 by the Trade Expansion Act of Initially named the Office of the Special Trade Representative, this Agency was authorized to negotiate all trade agreements programs under the Tariff Act of 1930 and the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. As part of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171), Congress established the Office as a Cabinet-level Agency within the Executive Office of the President. The Committee on Resources maintains oversight over areas relating to trade in fish and wildlife.


The Department of Agriculture works to enhance the environment and to maintain production capacity by helping landowners protect the soil, water, forests, and other natural resources. Rural development, credit, and conservation programs are key resources for carrying out national growth policies. Department research findings directly or indirectly benefit all Americans. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) was created by act of May 15, 1862 (7 U.S.C. 2201).

Natural Resources and Environment

fostering sound stewardship of 75 percent of the Nation's total land area. Ecosystems are the underpinning for the Department's operating philosophy in this area, in order to maximize stewardship of our natural resources. This approach ensures that products, values, services, and uses desired by people are produced in ways that sustain healthy, productive ecosystems.

U.S. Forest Service

A presidential proclamation in 1891, authorized the creation of the Forest Reserves in the United States, managed by the General Land Office administered In 1905, the Forest Service was created by the Transfer Act of February 1, 1905 (16 U.S.C. 472), which transferred the Federal forest reserves and the responsibility for their management from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture. The mission of the Forest Service is to achieve quality land management under the sustainable, multiple-use management concept to meet the diverse needs of people.

National Forest System

(16 U.S.C.497) The Service manages 155 national forests, 20 national grasslands, and 8 land utilization projects on over 191 million acres in 44 States, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico under the principles of multiple-use and sustained yield. The Nation's need for wood and paper products is balanced with the other vital, renewable resources or benefits that the national forests and grasslands provide: recreation and natural beauty, wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and water supplies. The guidingprinciple is the greatest good to the greatest number in the long run.

The national forests provide a refuge for many species of endangered birds, animals, and fish. Some 34.6 million acres are set aside as wilderness and 175,000 acres as primitive areas where timber will not be harvested.

Natural Resources Conservation Service

The Soil Conservation Service (SCS), predecessor to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), was created on April 27, 1935, by P.L. 74-46, (C.F.R. 7, 600-601), which declared that soil erosion was a menace to the national welfare and authorized broad powers to the new agency to attack the problem. (As part of the Department of Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994, the name was changed to the Natural Resources Conservation Service on 20 October 1994. The NRCS has the national responsibility for helping America's farmers, ranchers, and other private landowners develop and carry out voluntary efforts to conserve, protect and enhance our natural resources.

The Committee on Resources has oversight over the following programs withing the Natural Resources Conservation Service: Environmental Quality Incentive Program, Forestry Incentive Program, Rural Abandoned Mine Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, Natural Resources Inventory, and the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program.

Environmental Quality Incentive Program

The Environmental Quality Incentive Program assists producers with environmental the available funds are for conservation activities related to livestock production. Technical assistance, cost-share payments, incentive payments, and education focus on priority areas and natural resource concerns identified in cooperation with State technical committees, including such areas as nutrient management, pest management, and grazing land management.

Forestry Incentive Program

This program helps to increase the Nation's supply of products from nonindustrial private forest lands. This also ensures more effective use of existing forest lands and, over time, helps to prevent shortages and price increases for forest products. The program shares the cost incurred by landowners for tree planting and timberstand improvement.

Rural Abandoned Mine Program

The Rural Abandoned Mine Program (RAMP) is authorized by Section 406 of the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) of 1977 as amended by the “Abandoned Mine Reclamation Act of 1991” as subtitled under the Budget Reconciliation Act (PL-101-508). It is authorized for the purpose of reclaiming the soil and water resources of rural lands adversely affected by past coal mining practices. There were approximately 1.1 million acres of abandoned coal-mined land needing reclamation in 1977. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formally the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) administers the program, and funding is provided from money deposited in the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The program provides technical and financial assistance to land users who voluntarily enter into 5- to 10-year contracts for reclamation of up to 320 acres of eligible abandoned coal-mined lands and waters. The land user with NRCS technical assistance involved prepares a reclamation plan.

Wetlands Reserve Program

Congress authorized the Wetlands Reservation Program (WRP) under the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended by the 1990 and 1996 Farm Bills. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the program in consultation with other Federal agencies.

Wetlands Reservation Program is a voluntary program to restore wetlands. Participating landowners can establish conservation easements of either a permanent or 30-year duration, or can enter into restoration cost-share agreements where no easement is involved. Easements and restoration cost-share agreements establish wetland protection and restoration as the primary land use for the duration of the easement or agreement. In all instances, landowners continue to control access to their land.

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program

This program helps to increase the Nation's supply of products from nonindustrial private forest lands. This also ensures more effective use of existing forest lands and, over time, helps to prevent shortages and price increases for forest products. The program shares the cost incurred by landowners for tree planting and timberstand improvement.

Natural Resources Inventory

The National Resources Inventory covers non-federal land in the United States some 75 percent of the country's land base - and is conducted every five years by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in cooperation with lowa State University. It captures data from 800,000 statistically selected locations on land cover, land use, soil erosion, prime farmland soils, wetlands, habitat diversity, selected conservation practices, and other natural resource information. The information is statistically reliable for national, statewide, and multi-county use. Through Rural Development Act of 1972

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program

Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Act of 1974, (43 U.S.C. 1592(c)) provides financial and technical assistance to identify salt source areas; develop project plans to carry out conservation practices to reduce salt loads; install conservation practices to reduce salinity levels; carry out research, education, and demonstration activities; monitor and evaluate activities, and decrease salt concentration and salt loading which causes increased salinity levels within in the Colorado River and to enhance the supply and quality of water available for use in the United States and the Republic of Mexico.


The Department of Commerce was designated as such by act of March 4, 1913 (15 U.S.C. 1501), which reorganized the Department of Commerce and Labor, created by act of February 14, 1903 (15 U.S.C. 1501)

The Department of Commerce encourages, serves, and promotes the Nation's international trade, economic growth, and technological advancement.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) was formed on October 3, 1970, by Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 (5 U.S.C. app.).

NOAA's mission entails environmental assessment, prediction, and stewardship. It is dedicated to monitoring and assessing the state of the environment in order to make accurate and timely forecasts to protect life, property, and natural resources, as well as to promote the economic well-being of the United States and to enhance its environmental security. NOAA is committed to protecting America's ocean, coastal, and living marine resources while promoting sustainable economic development.

The Committee on Resources has oversight over the following program within NOAA: National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service; National Marine Fisheries Service; National Ocean Service; Office of Ocean and Atmospheric Research; NOAA Corps of Commissioned Officers.

National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service

The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS) mission is to provide and ensure timely access to global environmental data from satellites

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