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GLTF FYI



     Amendments to the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Bill affecting the 
     Wetland Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program.  As passed 
     (July 14-15).
     
     (1) WRP FY 1999 enrollment cap was changed from 140,000 acres to 
     120,000 acres.  This was used as an offset for increases to Rural 
     Community Advancement Programs and Agriculture Research.
     
     (2) Addition: `Sec. 740. Nothing in this Act shall be interpreted or 
     construed to alter the current implementation of the Wetlands Reserve 
     Program, unless expressly provided herein.'.
     
     (3) Addition: Sec. . Section 1237(b)(2) of Subchapter C of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 is amended by adding the following: `(C) For 
     purposes of subparagraph (A), to the maximum extent practicable should 
     be interpreted to mean that acceptance of wetlands reserve program 
     bids may be in proportion to landowner interest expressed in program 
     options.' 
     
     (4) Addition:  SEC. 7 . PILOT PROGRAM TO PERMIT HAYING AND GRAZING ON
     CONSERVATION RESERVE LAND. 
     (a) Definitions: In this section: 
     (1) Eligible state: The term `eligible State' means any State that is 
     approved by the Secretary for inclusion in the pilot program under 
     subsection (b), except that the term shall not apply to more than 7 
     States. 
     (2) Secretary: The term `Secretary' means the Secretary ofAgriculture. 
     (3) State technical committee: The term `State technical committee' 
     means the State technical committee for a State established under 
     section 1261 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3861). 
     (b) Pilot Program: Notwithstanding section 1232(a)(7) of the Food 
     Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3832(a)(7)), during the 4-year period 
     beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, on application by an 
     owner or operator of a farm or ranch located in an eligible State who 
     has entered into a contract with the Secretary under subchapter B of 
     chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3831 et 
     seq.)-- 
     (1) the Secretary shall permit harvesting and grazing on land on the 
     farm or ranch that the Secretary determines has a sufficiently 
     established cover to permit harvesting or grazing without undue harm 
     to the purposes of the contract if-- 
     (A) no land under the contract will be harvested or grazed more than 
     once in a 4-year period; 
     (B) the owner or operator agrees to a payment reduction under that 
     subchapter in an amount determined by the Secretary; and 
     (C) the owner or operator agrees to such other terms and conditions as 
     the Secretary, in consultation with the State technical committee for 
     the State, may establish to ensure that the harvesting or grazing is 
     consistent with the purposes of the program established under that
     subchapter; 
     (2) the Secretary may permit grazing on land under the contract if-- 
     (A) the grazing is incidental to the gleaning of crop residues; 
     (B) the owner or operator agrees to a payment reduction in annual 
     rental payments that would otherwise be payable under that subchapter 
     in an amount determined by the Secretary; and 
     (C) the owner or operator agrees to such other terms and conditions as 
     the Secretary, in consultation with the State technical committee for 
     the State, may establish to ensure that the grazing is consistent with 
     the purposes of the program established under that subchapter; and 
     (3) the Secretary shall permit harvesting on land on the farm or ranch 
     that the Secretary determines has a sufficiently established cover to 
     permit harvesting without undue harm to the purposes of the contract 
     if-- 
     (A) land under the contract will be harvested not more than once 
     annually for recovery of biomass used in energy production; 
     (B) the owner or operator agrees to a payment reduction under that 
     subchapter in an amount determined by the Secretary; and 
     (C) the owner or operator agrees to such other terms and conditions as 
     the Secretary, in consultation with the State technical committee for 
     the State, may establish to ensure that the harvesting is consistent 
     with the purposes of the program established under that subchapter. 
     (c) Relationship to Other Haying and Grazing Authority: During the 
     4-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act, land 
     that is located in an eligible State shall not be eligible for 
     harvesting or grazing under section 1232(a)(7) of the Food Security 
     Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3832(a)(7)). 
     (d) Conservation Practices and Timing Restrictions: Not later than 
     March 1 of each year, the Secretary, in consultation with the State 
     technical committee for an eligible State, shall determine any 
     conservation practices and timing restrictions that apply to land in 
     the State that is harvested or grazed under subsection (b). 
     (e) Study: The Secretary shall make available not more than $100,000 
     of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to contract with the 
     game, fish, and parks department of an eligible State to conduct an 
     analysis of the program conducted under this section (based on
     information provided by all eligible States). 
     (f) Regulations: 
     (1) In general: Not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of 
     this Act, the Secretary shall issue such regulations as are necessary 
     to implement this Act. 
     (2) Procedure: The issuance of the regulations shall be made without 
     regard to-- 
     (A) the notice and comment provisions of section 553 of title 5, 
     United States Code; 
     (B) the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture effective 
     July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804), relating to notices of proposed 
     rulemaking and public participation in rulemaking; or 
     (C) chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the 
     `Paperwork Reduction Act').