November 4, 1998
By Alexander F. Annett
Even if Clinton's
American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI) is not a federal land
grab or a brazen attempt to exercise federal control over local
land use and zoning decisions, it is nonetheless unconstitutional.
Only Congress may adopt such programs. Until Congress enacts the
AHRI, Clinton has no authority to act.
-- William Perry Pendley,
Mountain States Legal Foundation2
Even as many Americans continue to press
Congress to downsize the federal government and return more control
to the states, President Bill Clinton has initiated a program that
will impose costly new federal involvement on the local zoning and
planning process. During a ceremony at the New River in North
Carolina in July, the President designated 14 rivers as "American
Heritage Rivers" for 1998, targeting them for federal oversight. He
did so under authority he gave himself by signing Executive Order
13061, the American Heritage Rivers Initiative (AHRI), on September
The stated purpose of the President's
initiative is to protect the resources of America's rivers,
preserve their historic and cultural heritage, and spur economic
growth in their surrounding communities.4 To do this, however, the AHRI
creates a level of federal bureaucracy that not only is
unnecessary, but also will divert millions of dollars in federal
funds away from the rivers and river communities most in need of
improvement. This new level of bureaucracy will only make it more
difficult for state and local governments to decide for themselves
how best to protect, improve, and enhance their rivers and
Although the American Heritage Rivers
Initiative is an appealing program, it also has several important
It violates a number of constitutional
and statutory provisions by giving the executive branch powers that
belong to Congress, such as authority over interstate commerce and
the appropriation of money.5 It threatens the Fifth Amendment
by giving the executive branch control and authority over private
land surrounding the designated rivers and their associated
resources, and the Tenth Amendment by pre-empting the land use and
zoning powers of the states.6
It duplicates functions and goals of at
least 100 federal programs currently available to assist states,
localities, businesses, and concerned individuals in their efforts
to improve their local waterways (see the Appendix).7 Many of these programs award
Since scientific analysis is not
mandated as the basis for designation, the AHRI allows the
executive branch to target federal money to river communities in a
way that could be interpreted more as political pork than
If the President wants to achieve the
goals of the American Heritage Rivers Initiative, he should make
every effort to streamline the existing federal programs to
eliminate waste and duplication. Further, Members of Congress who
have taken a stand against even bigger government should work to
make sure that the states maintain control over their waterways and
surrounding land areas.
Congress should ask the U.S. General
Accounting Office (GAO) to evaluate the current programs to
determine how much duplication exists and what is being spent
already to achieve the goals the President outlined in his new
initiative. And they should use their authority under the AHRI to
request that rivers and river sections in their districts be
excluded from future AHRI consideration.
Instead of allocating limited federal
resources to an unnecessary new layer of bureaucracy, Congress
should make sure that federal efforts to protect and enhance the
nation's rivers are clearly documented and truly achieving their
Rivers have played a vital role in U.S.
history, and they continue to be important to American culture,
health, economy, environment, and recreation. Over the latter half
of this century, many states, cities, towns, and local communities
that depend on the nation's rivers have taken considerable steps to
ensure that water quality is monitored and enhanced, and that their
rivers, as natural resources, are safeguarded for generations to
come. As the Appendix illustrates, states
and local governments and public organizations already have
available to them many federal programs that can help them protect
their river resources, rejuvenate their surrounding areas, and
stimulate economic growth.
For example, among the current federal
programs that offer assistance in flood prevention are the Wetland
Reserve Program, Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program,
and Conservation Technical Assistance Program in the Department of
Agriculture; the Flood Plain Management Program and Planning
Assistance to the States Program in the Department of Defense; the
Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program in the
Department of the Interior; and the Capitalization Grants for State
Revolving Fund Program in the Environmental Protection Agency. No
fewer than 58 of the programs listed in the Appendix have improving water quality, water
quantity, or management of water resources among their program
goals (see Table 1).
Despite such expensive overlap, the AHRI
creates another layer of bureaucracy that involves federal
bureaucrats in local efforts to protect and improve at least ten
designated rivers every year. The American Heritage Rivers
Initiative Advisory Committee (AHRIAC)9 will be responsible for
implementing the initiative, and the Chair of the Council on
Environmental Quality will choose AHRIAC's panel of "experts" who
will review nominations and recommend rivers each year for AHRI
President, however, has the final say as to which rivers will be
designated, with no stipulated guidelines for making that decision.
Such leeway inevitably raises the question of whether, without
adequate safeguards, federal dollars might be targeted to
communities in ways that could be criticized as based on politics
rather than need.
of the 14 rivers designated by the President for 1998 (see sidebar,
page 4) will be assigned a federal bureaucrat (a "river navigator")
to "guide" local officials through the maze of federal programs.
Federal agencies also will make their field staff available for
implementation of the AHRI.11 In addition, river navigators
and agency field staff will act as "liaison between the community
and the appropriate federal programs."12
Thus, federal bureaucrats will be injected
into local decision-making on the cleanup or development and
enhancement of these rivers and their local communities. Such
federal involvement in the local planning and zoning process means
that states, communities, and private landowners will no longer be
able to make decisions that constitutionally have been their own
for over two centuries.
American Heritage Rivers
Blackstone and Woonasquatucket Rivers (Massachusetts, Rhode
Connecticut River (Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire,
Cuyahoga River (Ohio)
Detroit River (Michigan)
Hanalei River (Hawaii)
Hudson River (New York)
New River (North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia)
Lackawanna River (Pennsylvania)
Upper Mississippi River (Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota,
Lower Mississippi River (Louisiana, Tennessee)
Rio Grande River (Texas)
Potomac River (Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West
St. Johns River (Florida)
Willamette River (Oregon)
Source: Environmental Protection Agency
Web site, at http://www.epa.gov/rivers/plan/.
1998 "Ten Most Endangered Rivers"
(by state, in order of severity)
1. Columbia River, Hanford Reach
2. Missouri River (Minnesota, North Dakota,
South Dakota, Nebraska, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri)
3. Pocomoke River (Delaware, Maryland,
4. Kern River (California)
5. Blackfoot River (Minnesota)
6. Colorado River Delta (Mexico: Baja
7. Chattahoochee River (Georgia, Alabama,
8. Lower Snake River (Washington)
9. Apple River (Wisconsin, Illinois)
10. Pinto Creek (Arizona)
Source: American Rivers, "America's 20
Most Endangered Rivers of 1998," available at http://www.amrivers.org/20map.html.
Although it is not clear where the funds will come from to pay the
river navigators, the estimated cost of this layer of bureaucracy
is high. The citizens' group Defenders of Property Rights, for
example, points out that the AHRI calls for hiring a river
navigator for each river at a cost of $100,000 each per year. With
related expenses, this means it could cost the taxpayers around $5
million a year to implement the President's initiative.13
in need of federal assistance are the rivers the President selected
this year? An environmental interest group called American
released a list of the ten "most endangered rivers" in 1998 (see
sidebar, above). Interestingly, the list released by American
Rivers varies considerably from the President's American Heritage
Rivers list. Although parts of the Columbia and Missouri Rivers
were removed from AHRI consideration by their representatives in
Congress,15 not one of the eight other
rivers on American Rivers' "most endangered" list appears on the
President's list. Clearly, there is a need to rely on scientific
analysis of need to determine which rivers should receive the AHRI
designation by the President.
environmentalists argue that water quality in America's rivers is
declining and that a new federal bureaucracy is needed to focus on
this problem. But no one can say for certain that there is indeed a
water quality crisis, since assessing water quality accurately has
major problem in determining the need for additional water quality
programs is the lack of reliable scientific data on the overall
quality of the nation's rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, estuaries,
and shorelines. Estimates indicate that taxpayers and the private
sector have spent over $500 billion on water pollution control
since the enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act in
But there is no reliable national database of research on water
quality with which to evaluate the impact of that sizable
help assess progress on improving water quality, Congress requires
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to prepare a biennial
report on water quality which analyzes information from the states.
Examining the EPA's 1994 report on water quality, for instance,
highlights some of the significant problems encountered in
measuring and reporting on water quality:18
The EPA surveyed only 17 percent
(615,806 miles) of the nation's 3.5 million miles of rivers and
streams; 42 percent (17.1 million acres) of its 40.8 million acres
of lakes; 9 percent (5,208 miles) of its 58,421 miles of ocean
shoreline waters; and 78 percent (26,847 acres) of its 34,388 acres
Due to a lack of scientific consensus
on the validity of any single indicator of water quality in rivers
and streams, little national data exist to describe national water
conditions. For example, there are few national data on toxic
contaminants in streams, such as pesticides, industrial organic
compounds, and toxic trace metals.
State reports, as mandated by Section
305(b) of the Clean Water Act, that assess whether water bodies
support designated uses contain methodological inconsistencies from
state to state and from year to year within each state. These
inconsistencies make it impossible to summarize either water
quality conditions or national trends accurately.
Because such limited scientific
information is available on water quality trends, it is difficult
for the EPA or Congress to determine (1) the extent of a water
quality problem and (2) whether states and local communities have
taken adequate steps to address their problems before the federal
government implements its programs.
most recent assessment of water quality in the United States was
contained in the EPA's National Water Quality Inventory: 1994
Report to Congress. As the sidebar shows, the EPA found that
the majority of the nation's waterways are of "good"
The percentage of water bodies that do not meet "good" and "fair"
quality standards actually may be overestimated, since states have
a bureaucratic incentive to assess waters where they most expect
problems to be found.21
National Water Quality Inventory*
In 1994, of the 615,806 miles of river surveyed:
Of the 17.1 million acres of lakes ponds and reservoirs
Of the Great Lakes miles surveyed:
Of the estuaries surveyed:
Of the Ocean Shoreline waters surveyed:
*Note: "Good" denotes waters that
currently meet designated use criteria. "Fair" denotes waters that
occasionally fail to meet one or more of the designated uses at all
times. "Poor" denotes waters that frequently fail one or more
designated use criteria.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, "Executive Summary," National Water Quality
Inventory, 1994 Report to Congress, December 1995.
The Environmental Protection Agency also has noted that "it is
likely that unassessed waters are not as polluted as assessed
The percentage of the population served
by secondary or better wastewater treatment plants increased
substantially from 42 percent in 1970 to more than 62 percent in
1992, despite a 30 percent increase in volume of sewage
Industrial pollution has decreased over
the past decade. Organic wastes have fallen by 46 percent, toxic
organics by 99 percent, and toxic metals by 98 percent.24
Point source pollution has been reduced
dramatically. More than 1 billion pounds of toxic pollution have
been prevented from entering the nation's waters each year due to
the wastewater standards put in place over the past
Measures of phosphorous, fecal
coliform, and dissolved oxygen exceeding local standards in rivers
and streams decreased between 1974 and 1994.26
Based on these facts, the argument that
the President needs to establish another level of federal
bureaucracy to protect and enhance America's rivers appears to be,
at best, questionable.
Maintaining more than 100 federal programs
in eight different Cabinet-level departments and agencies (see the
Appendix) to protect rivers, rejuvenate the
areas that surround them, and stimulate economic growth is
extremely inefficient. Rather than allocate resources to another
layer of duplicative bureaucracy, as President Clinton wants to do
by creating river navigator positions, the Administration should
streamline existing programs and eliminate duplication and overlap.
Only programs that produce demonstrable results in enhancing water
quality and promoting wise use of river resources should be
continued. The fact that the Administration would rather "help" the
states maneuver through the maze of federal programs than
streamline those programs is yet another contradiction of its claim
that it is making government smaller and more efficient.
important, downsizing and restructuring the federal government is
critical to maintaining the long-term health of the environment and
the economy. The President should work with Congress to reduce the
size of government by terminating obsolete, redundant, or
dysfunctional programs; privatizing functions that could be
performed more efficiently and cost-effectively by the private
sector; and turning back to the states functions that are performed
more appropriately at the local level.
the Administration wants to achieve its goal of smaller, more
efficient government, it should mandate that AHRI's Advisory
Committee (AHRIAC) be responsible for reviewing the goals and
outcomes of all existing programs to highlight which ones have
records of positive results and which ones assist the states in
their efforts most effectively. Eliminating duplication would make
it easier for states, cities, local communities, and individual
activists to find out what federal programs are available to help
them meet their goals.
the Appendix shows,27 at least 100 federal programs
fall under the AHRI umbrella to assist in state and local efforts
to improve America's waterways by protecting rivers, enhancing
natural resources, rejuvenating their surrounding areas, and
stimulating economic growth. However, many of these programs
duplicate each other's efforts and award similar grants. Table 2 demonstrates program
duplication in four of the common function areas: economic
development, soil erosion, water quality, and protecting and
examples that follow are taken from government reports, especially
agency inspector general (IG) reports. They point out the level of
waste and duplication in function and service area that exists at
the federal level. If the President were to eliminate the wasteful
or duplicative programs and streamline the rest, the funds
appropriated for these programs could be used to advance water
quality and economic development in the rivers and communities that
most need them.
Department of Agriculture
Under the requirements of the 1993 Government Performance
and Results Act, the Department of Agriculture submitted its annual
performance plan for fiscal year (FY) 1999 to Congress. According
to the General Accounting Office, the plan provides only a limited
picture of the agency's intended performance and its strategies and
resources for achieving its stated goals.28
For example, the mission of the Forest Service includes protecting,
improving, and restoring ecosystems and habitat for fish and
wildlife species, and protecting threatened, endangered, and
sensitive animal and plant species. Yet a 1996 audit by the USDA's
inspector general found that:29
About $84,000 in fish and wildlife
funds earmarked for the FY 1996 AmeriCorps program were not
returned for fish and wildlife use when that program was
About $63,000 was charged to improper
resource fund codes;
Land resource and management plans
often lacked measurable program goals;
One project costing $1 million was
funded without thorough planning; and
Vacancies in critical regional program
leadership positions were not filled promptly.
result, projects designed to inventory and improve habitat for
wildlife and fish--including threatened and endangered
species--were not performed, and the effectiveness of land resource
and management plans designed to protect and enhance wildlife and
fish habitat continues to be questionable.30
The inspector general noted that the Forest Service had costs of
$2,515,740 and $54,737,449 in funds that could be put to better
additional examples of program duplication in the Department of
Agriculture, see Table 3 and the Appendix.
U.S. Department of Commerce.
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) strives to
ensure the conservation and management of living marine resources
through 29 laboratory facilities located in five regions. The FY
1998 report of the Commerce Department's Office of Inspector
General identified several opportunities for the NMFS to streamline
its field structure at a possible savings of approximately $25
million over five years.32
For example, NOAA's Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program and
National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) are
federal-state partnerships that help states fulfill their
responsibilities in coastal zones and adjoining estuaries. Among
the IG's concerns are (1) deficient NOAA coordination in aiding
coastal management; (2) unworkable coastal non-point source
pollution provisions; and (3) no measurement of the effectiveness
of the CZM program.33
additional examples of program duplication in the Department of
Commerce, see Table 4 and the Appendix.
U.S. Department of the Interior.
The GAO's examination of the Department of the Interior's
annual performance plan for FY 1999 found that the department's
agency plans do not provide a concrete statement of expected
performance or annual performance goals linked to missions,
strategic goals, and program activities in the budget. 34 Most of the plans do not
adequately identify crosscutting activities, strategies, and
performance goals, or note whether they are coordinating their
efforts with the other agencies in the department. For example, the
department's inspector general found that:
Improvements are needed in the
administration of Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) grants awarded
under provisions of the North American Wetlands Conservation
Act;35 the FWS Waterfowl and
Wetlands Office, which has responsibility for grants
administration, did not adequately review or obtain sufficient
information to verify the propriety of costs that were charged to
the grants; and in a review of 29 wetlands conservation grants, 12
had costs of $1 million that were improperly reimbursed or credited
to partners as contributions to project costs resulting from
inadequate administrative oversight.
In a review of 101 FWS program project
files, some cooperative agreements lacked specific and/or standard
provisions on the scope of the restoration work and/or the
responsibilities of federal and non-federal program
participants;36 guidance on
cost-sharing arrangements was insufficient, documentation
supporting project expenses was not adequate, and program costs and
accomplishments were not tracked and accurately reported; and the
FWS did not have sufficient controls to administer program
Table 5 shows, agencies
within the Department of the Interior had questionable costs and
funds that could be put to better use for the period of April 1,
1997, through March 31, 1998.37
additional examples of program duplication in the Department of the
Interior, see Table 6 and the
Several Members of Congress have
questioned the need to fund the American Heritage Rivers
Initiative; and many have noted the importance of returning to the
states, cities, towns, and local communities the constitutional
responsibility for making decisions that would rejuvenate their
river communities. On June 10, 1997, for example, Representative
Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) and 46 cosponsors introduced H.R. 1842 to
terminate AHRI funding by any federal agency. The bill cleared the
House Resources Committee by a voice vote on November 5, 1997.
Members of the House and Senate also can
request that rivers or stretches of river in their districts be
excluded from consideration. According to the Council on
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives may request that a
river nominated as an American Heritage River be excluded from
designation. If the entire nominated portion of the river flows
through the district of that Member, then the nomination will not
be considered by the AHRIAC. If only a portion of the river flows
through the Member's district, then that portion of the river would
not be included in any designation by the President....38
Senators from a state may request that a
nomination as an American Heritage River not be considered for
selection. A request made by both Senators will be dispositive of
the application. If an entire nominated portion of the river flows
through the state of the Senators, then the advisory committee will
not consider the nomination. If only a portion of the river flows
through the Senator's state, then that portion of the river would
not be included in any designation by the President. If a single
Senator opposes a nomination and the other Senator and relevant
House Member express no view, the nomination will not be considered
by the advisory committee. When the view of a single Senator who
opposes a nomination conflicts with the position of the other
Senator from that state or a Member of Congress then the views of
all members of the congressional delegation will be presented to
the advisory committee.39
Members of Congress successfully
eliminated nine rivers and 17 segments of rivers from consideration
by the President for American Heritage River designation (see page
Americans generally support Congress's
efforts to downsize the federal government and return more control
to the states. The American Heritage Rivers Initiative, however,
runs counter to this goal. It creates an additional level of
unnecessary federal bureaucracy, and little has been offered to
show where the funding will come from to support the "navigators"
for the rivers designated by the President each year. Some
estimates predict that the AHRI will divert millions of federal
dollars away from the rivers that are most in need of improvement
and make it even more difficult for state and local governments to
decide how to protect and enhance the quality of rivers in their
jurisdiction and promote economic growth in their river
far better way for the President to protect the quality of
America's rivers would be to eliminate waste and program
duplication by streamlining the more than 100 federal programs that
already address similar goals. Congress, too, should take a closer
look at these programs and ask the GAO to determine how much is
being spent by federal agencies on programs that not only are
redundant or ineffective, but also duplicate what the President
wants the AHRI to accomplish.
Finally, Members of Congress who want to
take a stand against even bigger government should ensure that the
states maintain their constitutional authority over their own
waterways and surrounding land areas by requesting that rivers in
their districts be excluded from consideration.
Alexander F. Annett is a former Research
Assistant in The Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy
Studies at The Heritage Foundation.
Rivers and River
from AHRI Consideration by Members of Congress
Clearwater River (Idaho, Montana); by
Representative Helen Chenoweth (R-ID), Representative Rick Hill
(R-MT), Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Senator Larry Craig (R-ID),
and Senator Dirk Kempthorne (R-ID)
Gunnison River (Colorado; by
Representative Scott McInnis (R-CO) and Senator Ben Nighthorse
Osage River (Missouri); by
Representative Ike Skelton (D-MO)
St. Mary's River (Michigan); by
Representative Bart Stupak (D-MI)
San Joaquin River (California); by
Representative George Radanovich (R-CA)
San Juan River (New Mexico); by
Representative Bill Redmond (R-NM)
San Luis Rey River (California); by
Representative Randy Cunningham (R-CA) and Representative Ron
Snohomish River (Washington); by
Representative Jack Metcalf (R-WA)
Upper Rio Grande (New Mexico); by
Representative Bill Redmond (R-NM), Representative Steven Schiff
(R-NM), and Representative Joe Skeen (R-NM)
American River (California); by
Representative John Doolittle (R-CA) and Representative Richard
Arkansas River (Arkansas, Colorado,
Oklahoma, Kansas); by Representative Marion Berry (D-AR),
Representative Tom Coburn (R-OK), Representative Jay Dickey (R-AR),
Representative Asa Hutchinson (R-AR), Representative Jerry Moran
(R-KS), Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-KS), Senator Sam Brownback
(R-KS), Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR), and Senator Ben Nighthorse
Cold Water Creek (Missouri); by
Representative James Talent (R-MO)
Columbia River (Oregon); by Senator
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
French Broad River (North Carolina); by
Representative Charles Taylor (R-NC)
James River (Virginia); by
Representative Thomas Bliley, Jr. (R-VA)
Jordan River (Utah); by Representative
Christopher Cannon (R-UT)
Mississippi River (Missouri); by
Representative Pat Danner (D-MO) and Representative James Talent
Missouri River (Montana, Missouri,
Nebraska, South Dakota); by Representative Pat Danner (D-MO),
Representative Rick Hill (R-MT), Representative Kenny Hulshof
(R-MO), Representative James Talent (R-MO), Representative Ike
Skelton (D-MO), Representative John Thune (R-SD), Representative
Vincent Snowbarger (R-KS), Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS), Senator
Conrad Burns (R-MT), and Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
Ohio River (Indiana); by Representative
John Hostettler (R-IN)
Ouachita River (Louisiana, Arkansas);
by Representative Jay Dickey (R-AR), Representative Asa Hutchinson
(R-AR), and Senator Tim Hutchinson (R-AR)
St. Johns River (Florida); by
Representative David Weldon (R-FL) and Representative Clifford
San Antonio River (Texas); by
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX)
South Platte River (Colorado); by
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO)
Santa Cruz River (Arizona); by Senator
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Yellowstone River (Wyoming, Montana);
by Representative Barbara Cubin (R-WY), Representative Rick Hill
(R-MT), Senator Conrad Burns (R-MT), Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY),
and Senator Craig Thomas (R-WY)
Willamette River (Oregon); by Senator
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
More than 100 federal programs currently
assist states, cities, local communities, businesses, and concerned
individuals in their efforts to improve and protect the nation's
waterways and surrounding areas. Many of these programs create
collaborative relationships among federal, state, local, and tribal
governments to address the same environmental and economic concerns
that the American Heritage Rivers Initiative is supposed to
address, again illustrating the overlap between agencies and
This Appendix lists some of the federal
programs that are available. The amount of overlap within and
between Cabinet-level departments illustrates the need to make
better use of taxpayer resources. The list was compiled from
information on the American Heritage Rivers Initiative Web site at
conversations and correspondence with agency staff regarding
programs designated by the agencies as falling under the AHRI
umbrella; and the White House Office of Management and Budget's
1997 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.40
National Wild and Scenic Rivers
Program: Seeks to preserve rivers and their immediate
environs that possess remarkable scenic, recreational, geological,
fish and wildlife, historic, and cultural value41 by maintaining
free-flowing conditions, protecting water quality, and fulfilling
vital national conservation purposes.42
Congress has designated 154 rivers since 1968.43 Through land management
planning process and public initiatives, a significant number of
potential Wild and Scenic Rivers have been identified. For example,
the Nationwide Rivers Inventory of the National Park Service has
identified over 2,600 river segments as candidates.44 In late 1996, Congress
designated 51.4 miles of the Clarion River (Pennsylvania, 11.5
miles of the Lamprey River (New Hampshire), and 6.4 miles of the
Elkhorn Creek (Oregon).45
(202) 205-0925; http://www.nps.gov/htdocs3/rivers/index.html.
National Rural Development
Partnership: A collaborative relationship among federal,
state, local, and tribal governments and private, nonprofit, and
community-based organizations to create a comprehensive strategy
for rural development. Encourages innovative approaches; maintains
a cooperative national framework to support state Rural Development
Councils and the National Rural Development Partnership; and
resolves intergovernmental or interagency impediments to effective
rural development, such as red tape, jurisdictional conflicts, and
language barriers. (202) 690-2394; http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/nrdp/.
Environmental Quality Incentives
Program (EQIP): Through the Natural Resources Conservation
Service (NRCS), provides technical, educational, and financial
assistance to farmers and ranchers in areas with significant
natural resource problems. Areas generally are watersheds, regions,
or areas having significant concerns over soil erosion, water
quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, wetlands, forestland, and
grazing land. Conservation districts convene local working groups
from district board members and key staff members of the
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service and
other federal, state, and local agencies. Programs must reflect
local needs and priorities, and include the Agricultural
Conservation Program to control erosion and sedimentation,
encourage voluntary compliance with federal and state requirements
to solve point and non-point source pollution, and improve water
quality; the Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program to
reduce pollution from excessive salt loads due to agricultural
operations; the Great Plains Conservation Program to conserve and
utilize soil and water resources on farms and ranches with serious
soil erosion from wind and water; and the Water Quality Incentives
Projects to encourage farming practices that reduce water pollution
caused by agricultural activities. (202) 720-1845; http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html#Anchor-Environmental.
Resource Conservation and
Development Program: Through NRCS, brings residents,
communities, various units of government, and grassroots
organizations together to solve environmental, economic, and social
problems. Goals include land conservation, improving economic and
community development in rural areas, water management, and
environmental enhancement. (202) 720-4527; http://www.ftw.nrcs.usda.gov/rcnd_2.html.
Soil and Water Conservation
Program:46 Through the NRCS,
provides technical assistance to the public to plan and apply
natural resource conservation practices, and furnishes technical
resource conservation information to state and local governments.
Programs:47 Through NRCS, supports
good forestry management practices on privately owned
non-industrial forestland to benefit the environment while meeting
future demands for wood products. (202) 205-1389.
Program: Through NRCS, helps purchase development rights
to keep productive farmland for agricultural use, including
cropland, rangeland, pasture, or forest. (202) 720-2847; http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html#Anchor-Farmland.
Conservation of Private Grazing
Land Initiative: Through NRCS, provides technical,
educational, and other assistance to owners of grazing land.
Emphasizes better grazing land management plans, protecting soil
from erosive wind and water, using more energy-efficient ways to
produce food and fiber, conserving water, providing wildlife, and
sustaining forest and grazing plants. (202) 720-1873; http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html#Anchor-Conservation.
Program:48 Through NRCS, helps to
restore and protect wetlands on private property. Encourages
private landowners to improve water quality voluntarily, enhance
wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion, reduce flooding, and improve
the water supply. Participants may sell a conservation easement or
enter a cost-share restoration agreement to restore and protect
wetlands. (202) 690-0848.
Wildlife Habitat Incentives
Program:49 Through NRCS, works to
improve wildlife habitat, primarily on private lands. Provides both
technical assistance and cost sharing, for example, to improve
habitat for wetland wildlife, threatened and endangered species,
and fish. Participants may be owners, operators, or tenants of
eligible lands. Cost sharing is available to reimburse practices
beneficial to wildlife. (202) 720-1845.
National Conservation Buffer
Initiative:50 A public-private effort
of NRCS which utilizes grasses and trees to protect and enhance
farm resources. (202) 720-4525.
Watershed Surveys and Planning
Program:51 Through NRCS, provides
federal, state, and local agencies with technical and financial
assistance to plan and install watershed-based projects on private
land in cooperation with local sponsoring organizations and state
and other agencies. Can be broad river basin efforts and detailed
watershed efforts that aid in flood prevention; water quality
improvements; soil erosion reduction; rural, municipal, and
industrial water supply; irrigation watershed protection; water
management; sedimentation control; fish and wildlife habitat
enhancement; and creating or restoring wetlands. (202)
Watershed Protection and Flood
Prevention (Small Watershed Program): Through NRCS,
addresses water resource problems in over 1,500 watersheds.
Provides technical and financial assistance to sponsoring
organizations, states, and other public agencies to plan and
install watershed-based projects. Requires local and state funding
contributions. Is designed to aid in preventing damage from
erosion, floodwater, and sediment; improving water quality;
increasing the efficiency of water management; managing water for
nonagricultural purposes to improve the environment and quality of
life; improving and restoring fish and wildlife habitat; developing
recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing; furthering
the conservation, development, utilization, and disposal of water;
and conserving and properly using land. (202) 720-4527; http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/cfda/p10904.htm.
Conservation Technical Assistance
Program: Assists "land-users, communities, units of state
and local government, and other federal agencies in planning and
implementing conservation systems"52
to reduce erosion, improve soil and water quality, conserve
wetlands, enhance fish and wildlife habitat, improve air quality,
improve pasture and range conditions, reduce upstream flooding, and
improve woodlands. (202) 720-4265; http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html#cta_program-anchor.
Rural Abandoned Mines
Program: Through NRCS, attempts to prevent adverse impacts
of past coal mining practices and promote development of soil and
water resources of U.S.-reclaimed mined land. Cost-sharing funds
are available for reclamation, conservation, and development of up
to 320 acres of rural abandoned coal mine land per owner or lands
and waters affected by coal mining activities. Practices include
land stabilization, erosion and sediment control, soil and water
quality improvement, woodland improvement, wildlife improvement,
recreational resource improvement, and agricultural improvements.
(202) 720-2847; http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html#ramp_anchor.
Forest Legacy Program:
Through the Forest Service, supports voluntary state conservation
efforts to protect environmentally sensitive forestland and
encourage the protection of privately owned forestland. Focuses on
acquiring partial interest in privately owned forestland. Supports
acquisition of conservation easements (legally binding agreements
transferring a negotiated set of property rights from one party to
another without removing the property from private ownership) that
usually restrict development and require sustainable forestry
practices. (202) 205-1389; http://willow.ncfes.umn.edu/coop/flp.htm.
Assistance: Administered by the Forest Service with staff
from its Rural Development and Forest Service Products Conservation
and Recycling programs. Assists non-federal forest and other rural
areas to advance forest resources management, encourage timber
production, control tree insects and diseases, control fires,
promote the efficient utilization and recycling of wood, improve
and maintain fish wildlife habitat, and plan and conduct urban and
community forestry programs. (202) 205-1389; http://willow.ncfes.umn.edu/coop/coop.htm.
Program: Administered by the Forest Service to bring
professional natural resource management expertise to
non-industrial private forest (NIPF) landowners and to help them
develop forest stewardship plans. Forest stewardship plans
encourage NIPF landowners to become active in planning and managing
their forests, thereby increasing the likelihood that their forests
will remain productive and social, economic, and environmental
benefits will be realized. (202) 205-1389; http://willow.ncfes.umn.edu/coop/fsp.htm.
Economic Action Program:
Administered by the Forest Service. Invests forest-based resources
to support sustainable community development goals. Major program
areas are rural community assistance, forest products conservation
and recycling, and market development and expansion. (202)
Program: Administered by the Forest Service to leverage
long-term financial investments and technical assistance in the
health and productivity of non-industrial private forestland.
Shares the costs of forest practices that provide major
environmental benefits, including clean air, clean water, abundant
wildlife, soil protection, recreation opportunities, and a
sustainable supply of timber and other forest products. (202)
Inland Fisheries Habitat
Management: Administered by the Forest Service to (1)
protect and restore inland streams and lakes and the fish and other
aquatic life they support; (2) increase the opportunities for
recreational fishing through improved habitat, access, and
facilities; (3) increase the enjoyment of aquatic resources and
meet the demand for angling, viewing, and resource conservation;
and (4) promote effective management through collaboration with
other federal, state, and tribal agencies, conservation and
industry groups, and private citizens. The program is largely
dependent on cost-share partnership programs and allocations of
funds based on the amount of resources being managed. (202)
Watershed Improvement Program:53 Administered by the
Forest Service to implement and maintain treatments to bring
watersheds back to fully productive levels. Funds projects for
water-dependent resources, including fisheries, water quality and
quantity, and soil quality, and establishes long-term partnerships.
Program objectives are (1) healthy, diverse, and resilient aquatic
ecosystems that maintain a variety of ecological conditions and
benefits and conserve biological diversity, and (2) National Forest
System land and water resources restored to a healthy and diverse
condition through hazardous waste remediation. (202) 205-1473.
Program:54 The largest USDA
conservation program; administered by the Farm Service Agency to
reduce soil erosion, improve water and air quality, and enhance
wildlife habitat. Individuals, partnerships, associations, Indian
tribes, states, or any agency thereof owning or operating cropland
may place highly erodible or environmentally sensitive land in a
10- to 15-year contract. Participants agree to implement a
conservation plan approved by the local conservation district to
convert the land into a long-term resources reserve program.
Attempts to be cost-effective in assisting owners and operators in
the Business and Industrial Loans Program.55
Business and Industrial
Loans:56 Administered by the
Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Assists public, private, or
cooperative organizations, Indian tribes, or individuals in rural
areas to obtain loans for improving, developing, or financing
businesses, industry, and employment, and for improving the
economic and environmental climate in rural communities, including
pollution abatement and control. Financial assistance may be
extended for business and industrial acquisition; construction;
conversion; enlargement; repair; modernization; purchasing and
development of land, easements, rights-of-way, buildings
facilities, leases or materials; purchasing equipment,
leasehold/improvements, machinery and supplies; and pollution
control abatement. (202) 690-4730.
Rural Economic Development Loans
and Grants:57 Administered by the
Rural Business-Cooperative Service to promote rural economic
development and job creation. Includes funding for project
feasibility studies, start-up costs, incubator projects, and other
reasonable expenses to foster rural development. (202)
Rural Cooperative Development
Grants:58 Administered by the
Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Establishes and operates
centers for rural technology and cooperative development to improve
the economic condition in rural areas by promoting the development
and commercialization of new services and products. Grant funds may
be used for such things as technology research, investigations,
basic feasibility studies, and providing technical support to
individuals, small businesses, cooperatives, or rural industries.
Grants:59 Administered by the
Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Facilitates development of
small and emerging private business, industry, and related
employment to improve the economy in rural communities. Grants may
be used to establish revolving funds, provide operating capital,
and finance industrial sites in rural areas, including the
acquisition and development of land and construction; the
conversion, enlargement, repair, or modernization of buildings,
plants, machinery, equipment, access streets and roads, and parking
areas; and improving transportation to the site, utility
extensions, necessary water supply, and waste disposal facilities.
Program:60 Administered by the
Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Finances business facilities
and community development in rural areas by loans made to
intermediaries, who must re-lend the funds to the final recipients
for business facilities or community development. Loans must be
used to establish new businesses, expand existing businesses,
create employment opportunities, and save existing jobs. (202)
Coastal Zone Management
Program: Administered by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. Voluntary partnership between the
federal government and coastal states and territories to preserve,
protect, develop, and restore and enhance resources, and assist the
states in achieving wise use of land and water resources of their
coastal zones. Full consideration is given to ecological, cultural,
historic, and aesthetic concerns, as well as the need for
compatible economic development. (301) 713-3117; http://wave.nos.noaa.gov/ocrm/czm/welcome.html.
Program: Helps states and local areas design and implement
strategies to adjust to changes that cause or threaten serious
damage to the underlying economic base. Such changes may result
from industrial or corporate restructuring, new federal laws or
requirements, reductions in defense expenditures, depletion of
natural resources, or natural disasters. States, cities, political
subdivisions or a consortium of such subdivisions, Indian tribes,
designated Redevelopment Areas (RAs), community development
corporations, or nonprofit organizations determined to represent an
RA may apply. Area(s) either must have experienced, or anticipate,
a change in the economic situation resulting in the loss of a
significant number of permanent jobs and/or other severe economic
impact, or manifest symptoms of economic deterioration (very high
unemployment, low per capita income, or failure to keep pace with
national economic growth trends over the past five years). (202)
Local Technical Assistance
Program: Grants assist in solving specific economic
development problems, responding to developmental opportunities,
and building local organizational capacity in distressed areas.
Local economic development organizations may be used to address
military base and industrial plant closures, deteriorating
commercial districts, and technical or market feasibility studies.
Eligible applicants include nonprofit national, state, area,
district, or local organizations; colleges and universities; Indian
tribes; local governments; and state agencies. (202) 482-2127;
Planning Program for Economic
Development Districts, Indian Tribes and Redevelopment
Areas: Provides grants to support the formulation and
implementation of economic development programs that create or
retain full-time permanent jobs for the unemployed and
underemployed in areas of economic distress. Eligible applicants
are Economic Development Districts, Redevelopment Areas, Indian
tribes, organizations representing RAs, or multiple Indian tribes,
and commonwealths and territories. (202) 482-5314; http://www.doc.gov/eda/text/tplanoth.htm.
Planning Program for States and
Urban Areas: Provides assistance to economically
distressed states, sub-state planning regions, cities, and urban
counties to undertake significant new economic development
planning, policymaking, and implementation efforts. Examples
include economic analysis, defining program goals, determining
project opportunities, and formulating and implementing a
development program to enhance economic development planning
capability, process, and procedures. (202) 482-5314; http://www.doc.gov/eda/text/tplannin.htm.
Public Works and Development
Facilities: Provides grants to distressed communities to
attract new industry, encourage business expansion, diversify local
economies, and generate long-term, private-sector jobs. Examples of
projects include water and sewer facilities primarily serving
industry and commerce, access roads to industrial parks or sites,
port improvements, and business incubator facilities. Proposed
projects must be located within an EDA-designed redevelopment area
or economic development center. Applicant may be a state, political
subdivision of a state, Indian tribe, special-purpose unit of
government, public or private nonprofit organization, or
association representing the Redevelopment Area or part thereof.
(202) 482-5314; http://www.doc.gov/eda/text/tpwprog.htm.
Program: Provides grants to help colleges and address the
economic development problems and opportunities of their service
areas. Proposals must focus on providing technical assistance to
clients outside the sponsoring institution. A limited amount of
University Center-initiated activity, such as applied research on
general economic development issues, is permitted if approved as
part of the work plan. Priority consideration is given proposals
that focus on service areas with significant economic distress,
preferably statewide service areas. (202) 482-5314; http://www.doc.gov/eda/text/tunivctr.htm.
Conservation and Assessment: Administered by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Ocean
Resources Conservation and Assessment. Provides decision-makers
with comprehensive scientific information on the nation's coastal
areas, estuaries, and oceans; sets policy, directs planning,
manages fiscal resources, and leads program development for teams
of oceanographers, toxicologists, environmental engineers, computer
programmers, systems analysts, geographers, and economists that
work on problems as diverse as oil spills, natural resource damage
assessment, coastal environmental quality monitoring, and long-term
national environmental assessments. (301) 713-2989; http://www.rdc.noaa.gov/~ohb/N/NH0000.html.
Economic Development--Grants for
Public Works and Infrastructure Development:61 Through the Economic
Development Administration, promotes long-term economic development
and assists in the construction of public works and development
facilities; encourages the creation or retention of permanent
private-sector jobs in severe economic distress areas. Public
facilities include port facilities, tourism facilities,
infrastructure improvements for industrial parks, access roads to
industrial parks, and business incubator facilities. Qualified
projects must fill a pressing need and improve opportunities for
successful establishment or expansion of industrial or commercial
plants or facilities, long-term employment opportunities, or
benefits for the long-term unemployed/underemployed and members of
lower-income families. (202) 482-5265.
Anadromous Fish Conservation Act
Program:62 Provides NOAA and U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service assistance in conserving and enhancing
anadromous fish and Great Lakes and Lake Champlain fish that ascend
streams to spawn, and in controlling sea lamprey. Protects and
restores streams and lakes and anadromous fish and other aquatic
life; increases opportunities for recreational fishing and
subsistence and commercial harvest through improved habitat,
access, and facilities; enhances public appreciation through
interpretation and viewing activities; and promotes effective
management through collaboration of federal, state, and tribal
agencies, conservation and industry groups, and private citizens.
Fisheries Development and
Utilization Research and Development Grants and Cooperative
Agreements:63 Administered by NOAA.
Increases sustainable fisheries that support jobs in the fishing
industry, safe and wholesome seafood, and recreational
opportunities. (301) 713-2358.
Columbia River Fisheries
Development:64 Administered by NOAA.
Provides funds for states and nonprofit organizations to utilize
the facilities and personnel of state fisheries agencies in the
Pacific Northwest to enhance salmon and steelhead resources in the
region. (541) 231-2009.
Aquatic Plant Control
Program:65 Provides state and
local government agencies with the assistance of the Army Corps of
Engineers in controlling and eradicating obnoxious aquatic plants
in rivers, harbors, and allied waters. (202) 761-0660.
Flood Plain Management
Services:66 Fosters public
understanding of flood hazards and promotes prudent use and
management of flood plains; provides technical services and
planning guidance to support effective flood plain management,
including developing or interpreting site-specific data on all
aspects of the flooding process and providing information on
natural and cultural flood plain resources; conducts "Special
Studies" on all aspects of flood plain management planning,
including the impact of off-flood plain land use on the flood
plains; and issues guides, pamphlets, and supporting studies to
improve the methods and procedures for mitigating flood damage.
Planning Assistance of
States:67 Assists states, local
governments, and other non-federal entities in the preparation of
comprehensive plans for the development, use, and conservation of
water and related resources. States make annual requests for
studies, and the Army Corps of Engineers accommodates as many
studies as possible in a district within the funding allotment.
Studies may be prompted by local identification of problems,
including water quality, supply, and demand; environmental
conservation/restoration; wetland evaluation; dam safety/failures;
flood damage reduction; flood plain management; coastal zone
management/protection; and harbor/port studies. (202) 761-0660.
Provides assistance in restoring and improving degraded ecosystems.
Projects may be stand-alone or part of a multipurpose project that
improves aquatic habitat. (703) 693-3654.
Beneficial Uses of Dredged
Material:69 Provides for the
protection, restoration, and creation of aquatic and ecologically
related habitats, including wetlands, in connection with dredging
an authorized federal navigation project. (703) 693-3654.
Project Modification for
Improvement of the Environment:70
Provides modifications to water resources projects constructed by
the Army Corps of Engineers for the improvement of the environment.
Projects that address degradation of environmental quality caused
by a Corps project may also be undertaken. Federal per-project
limit is $5 million; annual appropriation limit is $25 million.
Community Development Block Grants
(CDBG):71 Provides annual grants
to entitlement communities for a variety of activities for
neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and improved
community facilities and services. Entitlement communities develop
their own programs and funding priorities and consult with local
residents before making final decisions. All CDBG activities must
benefit low-income and moderate-income persons, prevent or
eliminate slums or blight, or address serious and immediate threats
to the health or welfare of a community. (202) 708-1577.
Community Development Block Grants
for States and Small Cities: Provides annual formula
grants to states to distribute to non-entitlement communities. Each
state's goals and method of fund distribution are determined in
consultation with affected citizens and local elected officials.
State subgrants are awarded for a variety of community development
activities for economic development, neighborhood revitalization,
and improved community facilities and services. (202) 708-3587;
Historically Black Colleges and
Universities: Provides competitive grants annually to
several dozen of the 102 historically black colleges and
universities to support a wide variety of Community Development
Block Grant activities for neighborhood revitalization, economic
development, and improved community facilities and services.
Recipients typically collaborate with local governments and/or
nonprofit organizations and consult local residents to develop
programs and funding priorities. (202) 708-0614; http://www.hud.gov/progdesc/hbcu.html.
Community Outreach Partnership
Centers: Program of competitive grants made by HUD's
Office of University Partnerships to urban colleges and
universities to support a variety of community development
activities for neighborhood revitalization and economic
development. Universities typically collaborate with local
governments and/or nonprofit organizations and local residents to
develop programs and funding priorities. All activities must
benefit low-income and moderate-income persons, prevent or
eliminate slums or blight, or address serious and immediate threats
to the health or welfare of a community, and be consistent with the
academic mission of the applicant. (202) 708-3061; http://www.hud.gov/progdesc/copc.html.
Indian Community Development Block
Grant Program: Provides annual competitive grants to
Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages to improve housing, build
community facilities, make infrastructure improvements, and expand
job opportunities. Tribes and villages select the projects and
funding priorities from eligible activities. (415) 436-8122; http://www.hud.gov/progdesc/icdbg1.html.
Partners Against Weeds: A
cooperative effort among Interior Department bureaus and other
federal agencies to improve federal management and eradication of
noxious and invasive plant species. Aggressive weed management
program develops methods by which the spread of weeds can be
stopped or controlled. (406) 255-2766; http://www.nv.blm.gov/Resources/Weeds.html.
Riparian-Wetland Initiative for
the 1990s: Seeks to restore and maintain riparian-wetland
areas. (202) 452-0357; http://www.epa.gov/rivers/services.
Bring Back the Natives: A
collaborative effort of the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest
Service, Trout Unlimited, and the National Fish and Wildlife
Foundation to promote watershed-scale riparian and stream
restoration to conserve native aquatic fauna. (202) 452-7753;
Appalachian Clean Streams
Initiative: A cooperative program with the Environmental
Protection Agency and more than 70 other public and private
entities to accelerate the clean-up of acid mine drainage from
abandoned coal mines. (202) 208-2527; http://www.osmre.gov/acsihome.htm.
Programs: Through the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation
and Enforcement, supports 23 state and 3 tribal reclamation
programs (50 percent cost sharing) to establish and enforce water
quality and reclamation standards for coal mining. (202) 208-2565;
American Battlefield Protection
Program: Helps states, communities, nonprofit
organizations, and individual citizens become the stewards of
significant historic battlefields. Battle sites that cannot
feasibly be incorporated into federal or state park systems are
saved so that future generations may understand the full scope of
the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Indian Wars, and other
conflicts on U.S. soil. Grants are awarded to organizations
sponsoring planning and educational projects at historic
battlefields. (202) 343-3941; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/abpp/abpp_p.htm.
Archeology and Ethnography
Program: Works with public agencies; federal, state,
tribal, and local governments; national and regional archeological
organizations; and colleges and universities on projects and
programs focusing on archeological interpretation, preservation,
and protection. Helps communities find out about archeological
sites along their rivers, access existing summary information about
these resources, and find other regional and local archeologists
and organizations that could provide additional information. (202)
Certified Local Government
Program: Local governments that meet local, state, and
National Park Service requirements for Certified Local Government
status are eligible to receive small matching grants from the Park
Service, as well as technical assistance through their state
historic preservation offices. Funds may be used for such
activities as producing historic theme studies or cultural resource
inventories and building reuse and feasibility studies. (202)
Preservation Planning Program: Provides guidance and
assistance to states, tribes, local governments, and federal
agencies as they plan for the preservation of historic resources.
Historic buildings, archeological sites, traditional places, and
landscapes become considerations in devising land use, economic,
environmental, and social strategies to strengthen communities
nationwide. (202) 343-9596; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/pad/hpp_p.htm.
Fund:72 Federal matching grant
program that encourages private and non-federal investment in
historic preservation efforts. Provides funding to states,
territories, Indian tribes, and the National Trust for Historic
Preservation to pay part of the cost of surveys and statewide
historic preservation plans, and to prepare National Register
nominations, architectural plans, historic structure reports, and
engineering studies. (202) 343-9573.
Federal Historic Preservation Tax
Incentives Program: Provides tax incentives for
substantially rehabilitated buildings listed in the National
Register and in certain historic districts for income-producing
purposes, according to standards set by the Secretary of the
Interior. Managed by the National Park Service and Internal Revenue
Service in partnership with state historic preservation offices, it
rewards private investment by providing a 20 percent tax credit for
rehabilitating historic buildings. (202) 343-9509; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/tps/tax/tax_t.htm.
Initiative: In partnership with federal and state
agencies, professional organizations, colleges, and universities,
helps define and protect the nation's designed and vernacular
landscapes by promoting responsible preservation practices.
Provides technical assistance to the public through diverse
products and activities, including guidelines on appropriate
treatments, research source books, documentary videos, and training
symposia and workshops. (202) 343-9597; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/hli/hli_t.htm.
National Historic Landmarks
Assistance Initiative: Monitors the physical condition of
the most important historic and archeological properties in the
United States. Provides technical assistance to National Historic
Landmark owners through site visits, condition assessment reports,
technical publications, workshops, and special conferences, as well
as the Internet. (202) 343-9591; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/nhl/nhl_t.htm.
National Maritime Heritage Grants
Program: Competitive grant program for maritime heritage
preservation and education projects funded through a portion of the
sale of obsolete vessels in the National Defense Reserve Fleet.
Administered through a partnership between state historic
preservation programs, the National Trust for Historic
Preservation, and the National Park Service. (202) 343-9504; http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/maritime/grants.htm.
Tribal Historic Preservation Fund
Grants: Works with Indian tribes, Alaska Native groups,
and Native Hawaiians to protect resources and traditions of
importance to Native Americans; main goal is to help tribes
strengthen their own community preservation programs through grant
awards and training opportunities. (202) 343-4280; http://www2.cr.nps.gov/tribal/tribal_t.htm.
Program: Conducts a wide array of activities aimed at
preventing the adverse effects of contaminants on natural
resources, including endangered species, migratory birds, certain
anadromous fish, marine mammals, and forestlands, through reviews
of and coordination on environmental documents, legislation,
regulations, permits, and licenses. (703) 358-2148; http://www.fws.gov/r9dec/ecprog.html.
Federal Aid in Wildlife
Restoration Act Program: Provides grants for state fish
and wildlife agencies to restore or manage wildlife populations and
the provision of public use of those resources, and provide
facilities and services for conducting a hunter safety program.
(703) 358-2156; http://www.fws.gov/r9fedaid/wr/fawr.html.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment
and Restoration Program: Administered by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. Evaluates injury to fish and wildlife resources
and their habitats resulting from the release of hazardous
substances or oil spills into the environment; determines liability
for those injuries from parties responsible for environmental
contamination; and requires compensation or action from polluters
for the restoration, replacement, and/or acquisition of the
equivalent fish and wildlife resources injured. (703) 358-2148;
Refuges Challenge Cost Share
Program: Provides matching funds to conservation groups,
private individuals, public agencies, and other non-federal sources
to develop projects to operate and maintain public lands and to
improve habitat on private lands. Purposes are to manage, enhance,
and restore fish and wildlife resources, and to enhance
wildlife-oriented educational opportunities on U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service lands. (703) 358-2422; http://refuges.fws.gov.
Sport Fish Restoration
Program:73 Administered by the
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Supports projects that restore and
manage sport fish populations for the preservation and improvement
of sport fishing and related use of fisheries resources. Acceptable
activities include land acquisition, development, and research and
coordination. (703) 358-2156.
Fish and Wildlife Management
Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Provides
technical information, advice and assistance to other nations,
states, and Native Americans on the conservation and management of
fish and wildlife resources. Assistance is in the form of
biological, chemical, and physical advice regarding land and water
management; the program does not provide financial assistance.
Administrative Grants for Federal
Aid in Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program:
Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Funds projects
that assist in the administration of sport fish and wildlife
restoration programs and facilitates state efforts to implement
these programs. Funds may be used for administrative projects for
the conduct of necessary investigations, administration and
execution of the Sport Fish Restoration Act, and aiding in the
formulation, adoption, or administration of any compact between two
or more states for the conservation and management of migratory
fish in marine or fresh waters. (703) 358-2156; http://www.fws.gov/r9fedaid/sfr/fasfr.html.
Coastal Program: Works
with a variety of partners to conserve and restore important
habitat on both private and public lands. In Maine, worked with a
farmer and local river conservation group to fence off a stream,
plant new vegetation in the riparian zone, provide an alternative
water source for cattle, and establish pond and riffle habitat in
the stream, reducing sediment and bacteria input to an area where
salmon congregate before their upstream mitigation in addition to
improving the quality of the pasture. Another project, in Texas, is
removing an exotic invasive plant (the Chinese tallow) and
replacing it with native prairie grasses. (703) 358-2161;
National Coastal Wetlands
Conservation Grant Program: Awards grants to Great Lakes
and coastal states for projects that restore, acquire, manage, or
enhance coastal lands and waters. Projects must provide for the
long-term conservation of such lands and waters and their dependent
fish and wildlife populations. Gives priority to the restoration of
barrier islands and associated maritime forests, coastal wetlands
ecosystems, endangered species, and anadromous and
inter-jurisdictional fish species, and to the building of financial
and cooperative private and governmental partnerships. (703)
Initiative: Conducts appraisal and feasibility studies on
water reclamation and reuse projects. Federal contribution is
limited to 25 percent of project cost, with a $20 million cap per
project. Provides a potential means to augment water supplies.
(202) 208-5007; http://www.lc.usbr.gov/main.
Fisheries Across America Challenge
Grants:75 Provides funds to
non-federal groups on a cost-share basis to restore and protect
aquatic ecosystems supporting native fish. Geared to on-the-ground
fish and habitat restoration work with the help of volunteers and
communities interested in conserving local watersheds. (703)
Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Programs
on Indian Lands Programs:76
Administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Promotes the
conservation, development, and utilization of fish, wildlife, and
recreational resources for sustenance, cultural enrichment,
economic support, and maximum benefit of Indians. Tribes
participate in associated resource management and planning. (202)
Water Resources on Indian
Lands:77 Administered by the
Bureau of Indian Affairs to assist Indian tribes in the management,
planning, and development of their water and related land
resources. (202) 208-6042.
Development, and Planning:78
Through the National Park Service, provides financial assistance to
states and their political subdivisions for statewide comprehensive
outdoor recreation plans and the acquisition and development of
public outdoor recreation areas and facilities. Grants may be used
for such projects as picnic areas, campgrounds, tennis courts, boat
launching ramps, bike trails, and outdoor swimming pools, and for
support facilities such as roads and water supply. (202)
Urban Park and Recreation Recovery
Program:79 Through the National
Park Service, provides grants to local governments for
rehabilitation of local park and recreation areas and facilities,
demonstrations of innovative approaches to improve park system
management, recreational opportunities, and development of improved
recreation planning. Eligible activities include resource and needs
assessment, coordination, citizen involvement, planning, and
program development. (202) 565-1133.
Disposal of Federal Surplus Real
Property for Parks, Recreation, and Historic
Monuments:80 Administered by the
National Park Service to enable states or local governments to
apply for transfer of surplus federal real property for public park
and recreation use. Surplus property may be conveyed at discounts
of up to 100 percent of fair market value. (202) 343-9533.
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation
Through the National Park Service, helps advocates promote an
interconnected U.S. trail and greenways system. Projects can
involve natural resource conservation, wildlife movement, flood and
erosion control, transportation, water quality, safety, tourism,
recreation, and economic concerns. Does not give grants or provide
funding; provides technical assistance in areas ranging from
forming partnerships between local and state and federal agencies
to designing landscape or construction details, preparing brochures
and plans for public information, and assisting in acquisition of
financial support. (202) 220-4113.
Bureau of Justice
Assistance: Makes direct discretionary grant awards to
states, units of local government, and private nonprofit groups for
the support of state and local criminal justice system initiatives.
Funds project ideas submitted from the field in the following
subject areas: community justice, hate crimes, rural or tribal
initiatives, the elderly, the role of alcohol in crime, indigent
defense, cultural barriers to justice, nontraditional uses of
prosecution resources to enhance public safety, public health and
criminal justice collaborations, and local priorities. (202)
Weed and Seed Program:
Discretionary grant program to assist communities in crime
prevention. Brings together federal, state, and local
crime-fighting and social service agencies, representatives of the
public and private sectors, prosecutors, business owners, and
neighborhood residents to "weed" out violent crime and gang
activity and "seed" the target areas with social services and
economic revitalization. (202) 616-1152; http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/Plan/eows.htm.
Program: Provides funding for recreational trail projects.
States administer their own programs through resource or park
agencies and develop procedures to solicit and select projects for
funding. Eligible projects include trail planning; trail-related
safety and environmental protection education; maintaining existing
trails or restoring damaged trails; providing trail access for
people with disabilities; developing trailside or trailhead
facilities; purchasing or leasing equipment for trail construction,
maintenance, or grooming; and acquiring easements or property for
trails. Landowners, local officials, or citizens must ask for this
assistance. Projects are funded on a cost-share basis. (916)
National Scenic Byways
Program: Federal Highway Administration discretionary
program for scenic byways. To be eligible, the road must be a
state-designated scenic byway. Funds can be used for activities
that enhance the traveling public's enjoyment and appreciation of
the byway's resources. Potential exists for funding transportation
activities in an American Heritage River corridor if there is a
designated scenic byway in that corridor. (202) 628-7718 or (800)
Program: Provides substantial funding to states to
implement or complement American Heritage Rivers action plans.
Flexible funding has been used for a range of investments,
including highways, transit, and pedestrian-type projects. Funds
are apportioned to the states by statutory formulas. Project
funding decisions in metropolitan areas are made by the state
departments of transportation (DOTs), local governments, and
transit operators working through a metropolitan planning
organization. Project funding decisions in rural areas are made by
state DOTs after coordination with local governments. (202)
Federal Highway Administration
Transportation Enhancement Program: Under the Intermodal
Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991, a minimum of 10
percent of Surface Transportation Program funds must be used for
transportation enhancement activities, including bicycle and
pedestrian facilities; acquisition of scenic easements and scenic
or historic sites; scenic or historic highway programs;
landscaping; rehabilitation and operation of historic
transportation buildings, structures, or facilities; preservation
of abandoned transportation corridors, as in rails-to-trails
programs; and mitigation of water pollution due to highway runoff.
Local and state officials could prioritize the same type of
projects in areas surrounding a designated American Heritage River.
(202) 366-0106; http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/.
Development and Promotion of Ports
and Intermodal Transportation: Administered by the
Maritime Administration. Promotes development and utilization of
domestic waterways, ports, and port facilities; provides technical
information to government agencies, private industries, and state
and municipal governments. Includes planning for utilization and
control of ports and port facilities under national mobilization
conditions, promoting development and utilization of marine-related
intermodal transportation systems, and formulating national or
regional policies and objectives for intermodal transportation
systems. (202) 366-5781; http://marad.dot.gov/intermodal%5Fdevelopment.html.
Sustainable Development Challenge
Grants:82 Administered by the Office of
Air and Radiation to catalyze community-based and regional projects
that promote sustainable development to improve environmental
quality and economic prosperity; leverage private and public
investment in community sustainability efforts that continue past
EPA funding; build partnerships to increase a community's long-term
capacity to protect the environment through sustainable
development; and enhance EPA's ability to provide assistance to
communities and promote sustainable development. (202)
Protection Program: Encourages communities to consider
local ecological, economic, and quality of life issues when
developing solutions to environmental problems. Treats air, water,
land, and other resources as integrated parts of each place (such
as a community, watershed, or ecosystem). By looking at unique
local characteristics and targeting individual places, may lead to
more successful long-term solutions to environmental problems.
(202) 260-3614; http://www.epa.gov/ecocommunity/.
Water Quality Management Planning
Program.83 Administered by the Office of
Water to assist states in carrying out water quality management
planning. (301) 694-7329.
Wetland Protection Development
Grants:84 Administered by the Office of
Water to assist states, Indian tribes, and local governments in
developing new or enhancing existing wetlands protection programs.
Non-point Source Pollution Control
Grants:85 Administered by the Office of
Water to assist states implementing non-point source management
programs. (202) 260-7100.
Environmental Justice Grants to
Small Community Groups:86 Administered by the Office of
Compliance Assurance. Provides financial assistance to
community-based groups for projects that design, demonstrate, or
disseminate practices, methods, or techniques related to
environmental justice. Funding assistance granted for environmental
justice education and awareness programs, river monitoring,
pollution prevention, technical assistance in gathering and
interpreting existing environmental justice data, and technical
assistance to access available public information. (202)
Water Pollution Control--State and
Interstate Program Support:87 Administered by the Office of
Water to help states and interstate agencies establish and maintain
adequate measures to prevent and control surface and ground water
pollution from point and non-point sources, including water quality
planning, monitoring water quality standards assessments,
permitting, pollution control studies, planning, surveillance and
enforcement, advice and assistance to local agencies, training, and
public information. No statutory formula; funds are allotted among
state and interstate agencies according to overall water quality
management needs. (202) 260-6742.
Pollution Prevention Grants
Program:88 Administered by the Office of
Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances to support state and
local prevention and reduction programs for air, land, and water
pollution, such as industrial toxins, agriculture, energy, and
transportation concerns. (202) 260-2237.
Brownfields Pilots Cooperative
Agreements:89 Administered by the Office of
Solid Waste and Emergency Response. Empowers states, local
governments, communities, and others to prevent, assess, clean-up,
and reuse brownfields. Brings community groups, investors, lenders,
developers, and other affected parties together to address the
issue of assessing sites contaminated with hazardous substances and
preparing them for productive use. Tests innovative approaches in
cleanup and redevelopment. Uses CERCLA funds, so money must be used
strictly to clean up contaminated property or hazardous waste.
National Small Flows
Clearinghouse: Provides technical assistance and
information about "small flows" wastewater treatment systems, such
as septic systems or small sewage treatment plants that process one
million gallons or less of wastewater each day. Provides
information about low-cost wastewater treatments for communities
with populations of less than 10,000. Emphasis is placed on
practical solutions. Related topics include treatment technologies,
design and monitoring, financial issues, planning strategies,
regulations, and education. (800) 624-8301; http://www.epa.gov/owmitnet/nsfc.htm.
Water Quality Cooperative
Agreement: Under Section 104(b)(3) of the Clean Water Act,
makes grants to state water pollution control agencies, interstate
organizations, and individuals to promote the coordination of
environmentally beneficial activities, which include storm water
control, sludge management, and pretreatment. Eligible projects
include research, investigation, experiments, training,
environmental technology demonstrations, surveys, and studies
related to the causes, effects, extent, and prevention of
pollution. (202) 260-9545; http://www.epa.gov/owmitnet/104b3lib.htm.
Capitalization Grants for State
Revolving Fund Program:90 Administered by the Office of
Water for water quality improvement projects. Each state's
revolving loan funds provide independent and permanent low-cost
financing to a range of environmental projects. Funds to establish
these programs are provided through federal grants (83 percent of
total capitalization) and state matching funds (17 percent of total
capitalization). Projects include improving water quality,
restocking fish, restoring wildlife habitat, providing marine
sewage pump-out facilities, constructing publicly owned wastewater
treatment facilities, and fostering urban wet weather flow control
activities. (202) 260-7366.
Cooperative Fish and Wildlife
Research Program: A nationwide program that has been in
existence for over 60 years and operates 44 Cooperative Fish and
Wildlife Research Units at universities in 40 states. Each unit
functions as a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS), state fish and wildlife agency, host university, and
Wildlife Management Institute. Unit scientists conduct research on
a range of natural resources issues, provide technical assistance,
and participate in graduate-level education. (703) 648-4260; http://www.fw.umn.edu/CO-OP/About.html.
Program: A Water Resources Program: Involves both data
collection and interpretation, within which studies are conceived,
planned, and funded jointly by about 1,100 state and local agencies
and the USGS (which is restricted by law to funding no more than 50
percent of any project). Currently, it invests about $64 million of
federal funds in the program, the total size of which is $154
million. (703) 648-5031; http://www.usgs.gov/reports/yearbooks/1992/pp_wrd.html.
Advisory Council on Historic
Preservation Program: Mandated under the National Historic
Preservation Act to encourage and provide training in historic
preservation. Education program instructs federal, state, local,
and tribal officials, contractors, and applicants for federal
assistance in the requirements of federal preservation law and
Section 106 review to increase efficiency in processing Section 106
undertakings and incorporate historic preservation considerations
and responsibilities into planning and implementation procedures.
(202) 606-8503; http://achp.gov/.
1. The author would like
to thank Gregg VanHelmond, Research Assistant, and Jennifer Olsen
of the Roe Institute for their contributions to this paper.
2. In correspondence to
the author, July 15, 1998.
Register, Vol. 62, September 15, 1997, p. 48445.
4. See "President Clinton
Announces 14 American Heritage Rivers," at http://www.achp.gov/newsahr.html.
5. Alex Annett, "Good
Politics, Bad Policy: Clinton's American Heritage Rivers
Initiative," Heritage Foundation F.Y.I. No. 171, February
2, 1998, p. 3.
6. Ibid., pp. 4,
7. The Appendix is a
partial listing of federal programs that attempt to improve
America's rivers and river communities. It illustrates the
duplication of efforts within federal agencies and was compiled
from telephone conversations and correspondence with agency staff,
the 1997 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, and the American
Heritage Rivers Initiative Web site at http://www.epa.gov/rivers/services/.
8. Annett, "Good Politics,
Bad Policy," p. 8.
9. AHRIAC members include
representatives from the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce,
Defense, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, and
Transportation; the Attorney General; the Administrator of the
Environmental Protection Agency; and the chairpersons of the
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, National Endowment for
the Arts, and National Endowment for the Humanities.
10. The panel is to include
"representatives of natural, cultural and historical resources
concerns; scenic, environmental and recreation interests; tourism,
transportation, and economic development interests; and industries
such as agriculture, hydropower, manufacturing, mining, forest
management and others." See "President Clinton Announces 14
American Heritage Rivers," op. cit.
11. See http://www.libertymatters.org/AHRI_5898PR_CEQ.htm.
12. Council on
Environmental Quality, "American Heritage Rivers Initiative," Final
Federal Register Notice, September 17, 1997.
13. David Almasi,
"River-Borne Trojan Horse," The Washington Times, July 25,
1997, p. A18. See also Adriel Bettelheim, "River Proposal Doesn't
Flow in the West," The Denver Post, September 8, 1997.
14. American Rivers, a
national river conservation organization in Washington, strives to
protect and restore America's rivers. Its annual report lists the
country's most endangered rivers as selected by a staff of
experienced river conservation professionals. The criteria for
selection include the magnitude and imminence of the threat; the
likelihood that major actions in the coming year could either
intensify or lessen the threat; the regional and national
significance of the river; and the diversity of threats to rivers
nationwide. See http://www.amrivers.org.
15. Kathleen A. McGinty,
Description of Administration's Policy Regarding Congressional
Opposition to Designation of American Heritage Rivers, Council on
Environmental Quality, May 6, 1998.
16. Steve Hayward and Laura
Jones, "Index of Leading Environmental Indicators," Pacific
Research Institute, April 1998, p. 25.
18. U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency, "Executive Summary," National Water Quality
Inventory: 1994 Report to Congress, December 1995.
20. Ibid. For data
on rivers and streams, see p. ES-13; for lakes, ponds, and
reservoirs, p. ES-16; for estuaries, p. ES-23.
21. Hayward and Jones,
"Index of Leading Environmental Indicators," p. 28.
22. U.S. EPA 1989: XI.
23. Clean Water Act, "25
Years, Clean Water: Everybody Needs It ," at www.cwn.org/docs/facts/cwa.htm.
24. Hayward and Jones,
"Index of Leading Environmental Indicators," p. 27.
25. Clean Water Act, "25
26. Hayward and Jones,
"Index of Leading Environmental Indicators."
27. The list of programs in
the Appendix was compiled from conversations and correspondence
with agency staff, the 1997 Catalog of Federal Domestic
Assistance, and the AHRI Web site at http://www.epa.gov/rivers/services/.
It is a partial listing based on 1998 Heritage research.
28. U.S. General Accounting
Office, Results Act: Observations on the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 1999,
June 11, 1998, p. 3.
30. U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, Semiannual Report to
Congress FY 1998, First Half, May 1998, p. 36.
31. U.S. Department of
Agriculture, Office of the Inspector General, Semiannual Report to
the Congress, November 1997, p. 66, and May 1998, p. 71.
32. U.S. Department of
Commerce, Office of Inspector General, Semiannual Report to
Congress, March 31, 1998, p. 39.
33. Ibid., p.
34. U.S. General Accounting
Office, Results Act: Department of Interior's Annual
Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 1999, May 28, 1998, p. 2.
35. U.S. Department of the
Interior, Office of Inspector General, Semiannual Report, October
1997, p. 26.
36. Ibid., p.
Description of Administration Policy Regarding Congressional
Opposition to Designation of American Heritage Rivers.
40. White House, Office of
Management and Budget, 1997 Catalog of Federal Domestic
41. Interagency Wild and
Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council, Wild & Scenic Rivers
Reference Guide, The Wild Scenic Rivers System, Technical
Papers, February 1995, p. 1.
42. Ibid., p.
43. Interagency Wild and
Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council, Wild and Scenic Rivers
Reference Guide, June 1, 1997.
45. P.L. 104-333.
46. OMB, 1997 Catalog
of Federal Domestic Assistance, p. 109.
47. Ibid., p.
48. Ibid., p.
49. Ibid., p.
51. Ibid., p.
52. See http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/NRCSProg.html,
53. Fact Sheet, "Watershed
Partnerships," supplied by U.S. Forest Service, August 3, 1998.
54. OMB, 1997 Catalog
of Federal Domestic Assistance, p. 8.
55. Ibid., p.
57. Ibid., p.
58. Ibid., p.
59. Ibid., p.
60. Ibid., p.
61. Ibid., p.
62. Ibid., p.
63. Ibid., p.
64. Ibid., p.
65. Ibid., p.
66. Ibid., p.
67. U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, "Flood Plain Management Services Planning Assistance to
States--Section 22, Water Resources Planning," April 1995, p.
68. Water Resource
Development Act, 1996, Sec. 206.
69. Correspondence with
Chip Smith, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, September 1, 1998.
70. Water Resource
Development Act, 1986, Sec. 1135, as amended.
71. "HUD Programs
Applicable, at Local/State Option, to the American Heritage Rivers
Initiative," provided by Jim Selvazzi, Community Connections, June
72. OMB, 1997 Catalog
of Federal Domestic Assistance, p. 371.
73. Ibid., p.
74. Ibid., p.
75. 1998 Request for
Proposal from National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
76. OMB, 1997 Catalog
of Federal Domestic Assistance, p. 322.
77. Ibid., p.
78. Ibid., p.
79. Ibid., p.
81. Ibid., p.
82. Ibid., p.
83. Ibid., p.
84. Ibid., p.
86. Ibid., p.
87. Ibid., p.
88. Ibid., p.
89. Ibid., p.
90. Ibid., p.
Navigating the American Heritage Rivers: Wasting Resources onBureaucracy
Alexander F. Annett
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