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

Asian Elephant Conservation Act of 1997

(16 USC 4261) – P.L. 105-96, provides for the following:
• A special fund is authorized to assist the conservation and protection of Asian elephants by supporting the conservation programs of Asian elephant range states.
• Requires the Secretary of the Interior to use amounts in the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund (established under this Act) to provide financial assistance for projects for the conservation of Asian elephants for which final project proposals are approved by the Secretary.
• Sets forth provisions concerning: (1) requirements for project proposals; (2) project review and approval; (3) reporting requirements for recipients of assistance provided by this Act; and (4) priority for projects for which there exists some measure of matching funds.
• Prohibits grants provided by this Act from being used for captive breeding of Asian elephants other than for release in the wild.
• Establishes the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund. Provides for Fund deposits, Fund use, and acceptance and use of donations.
• Appropriations are authorized at $5,000,000 annually for five years, through 2002, to carry out provisions of the Act.

Amendments approved on January 8, 2002, P.L. 107-141, reauthorized the Act through 2007 and made the following amendments:
• Limits the amount that the Secretary of the Interior may expend each fiscal year to pay administrative expenses to 3% or $80,000, which ever is greater.
• Directs the Secretary to convene an advisory group of individuals representing public and private organizations actively involved in the conservation of Asian elephants to assist in carrying out the Act.

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