Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Emergency Wetlands Resources Act of 1986

This Act, Public Law 99-645 (100 Stat. 3582), approved November 10, 1986, authorized the purchase of wetlands from Land and Water Conservation Fund monies, removing a prior prohibition on such acquisitions. It required the Secretary to establish a National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan, required the States to include wetlands in their Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans, and transferred to the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund amounts equal to the import duties on arms and ammunition.

It extended the Wetlands Loan Act authorization through 1988, and forgave the previous advances under the Act. It also required the Secretary to report to Congress on wetlands loss, including an analysis of the role of Federal programs and policies in inducing such losses. In addition, it directed the Secretary, through the Service, to continue the National Wetlands Inventory; to complete by September 30, 1998, mapping of the contiguous United States; to produce, as soon as practicable, maps of Alaska and other noncontiguous portions of the United States; and to produce, by September 30, 1990, and at ten-year intervals thereafter, reports to update and improve in the September 1982 "Status and Trends of Wetlands and Deepwater Habitat in the Coterminous United States, 1950's to 1970's."

Other provisions included: the establishment of entrance fees at National Wildlife Refuges, with fee receipts to be allocated 70 percent into the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund and 30 percent for operations and maintenance at the refuges; an increase in the price of duck stamps from $7.50 to $15.00, to be phased in through 1991; and the establishment of the Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.

Sec. 315 of the FY 1996 Interior Appropriation Act (P.L. 104-4; 110 Stat. 1321), as amended by P.L. 104-28 (110 Stat. 3009), P.L. 105-18, (111 Stat. 158) and P.L.105-83 (111 Stat. 1543) established a Demonstration Fee program for entrance and recreational use fees, allowing participating refuges and other agency areas to retain at least 80% of collected fees at the collecting site; this supercedes the 70-30 fee allocation established in the Emergency Wetlands Act.

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