16 U.S. Code § 6542 - Tribal watershed forestry assistance

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(a) In general
The Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this section as the “Secretary”), acting through the Chief of the Forest Service, shall provide technical, financial, and related assistance to Indian tribes for the purpose of expanding tribal stewardship capacities and activities through tribal forestry best-management practices and other means at the tribal level to address watershed issues on land under the jurisdiction of or administered by the Indian tribes.
(b) Technical assistance to protect water quality
(1) In general
The Secretary, in cooperation with Indian tribes, shall develop a program to provide technical assistance to protect water quality, as described in paragraph (2).
(2) Purpose of program
The program under this subsection shall be designed—
(A) to build and strengthen watershed partnerships that focus on forested landscapes at the State, regional, tribal, and local levels;
(B) to provide tribal forestry best-management practices and water quality technical assistance directly to Indian tribes;
(C) to provide technical guidance to tribal land managers and policy makers for water quality protection through forest management;
(D) to complement tribal efforts to protect water quality and provide enhanced opportunities for consultation and cooperation among Federal agencies and tribal entities charged with responsibility for water and watershed management; and
(E) to provide enhanced forest resource data and support for improved implementation and monitoring of tribal forestry best-management practices.
(c) Watershed forestry program
(1) In general
The Secretary shall establish a watershed forestry program in cooperation with Indian tribes.
(2) Programs and projects
Funds or other support provided under the program shall be made available for tribal forestry best-management practices programs and watershed forestry projects.
(3) Annual awards
The Secretary shall annually make awards to Indian tribes to carry out this subsection.
(4) Project elements and objectives
A watershed forestry project shall accomplish critical forest stewardship, watershed protection, and restoration needs within land under the jurisdiction of or administered by an Indian tribe by demonstrating the value of trees and forests to watershed health and condition through—
(A) the use of trees as solutions to water quality problems;
(B) application of and dissemination of monitoring information on forestry best-management practices relating to watershed forestry;
(C) watershed-scale forest management activities and conservation planning;
(D) the restoration of wetland and stream-side forests and the establishment of riparian vegetative buffers; and
(E) tribal-based planning, involvement, and action through State, tribal, local, and nonprofit partnerships.
(5) Prioritization
An Indian tribe that participates in the program under this subsection shall prioritize watersheds in land under the jurisdiction of or administered by the Indian tribe to target watershed forestry projects funded under this subsection.
(6) Watershed forester
The Secretary may provide to Indian tribes under this section financial and technical assistance to establish a position of tribal forester to lead tribal programs and coordinate small watershed-level projects.
(d) Distribution
The Secretary shall devote—
(1) at least 75 percent of the funds made available for a fiscal year under subsection (e) to the program under subsection (c); and
(2) the remainder of the funds to deliver technical assistance, education, and planning in the field to Indian tribes.
(e) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $2,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.


(Pub. L. 108–148, title III, § 303,Dec. 3, 2003, 117 Stat. 1905.)

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16 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 6542repealed2014113-79 [Sec.] 8005128 Stat. 913


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