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Georgia 4-H Forestry Field Day Manual

Lonnie E. Varnedoe, Public Service Assistant, The University of Georgia
Kim D. Coder, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia
David J. Moorhead, Professor of Forestry, The University of Georgia

The University of Georgia, Extension Forest Resources, Bulletin FOR96-029, 1996, 52 pp.

Summary of Laws and Regulations Affecting Forests and Range Lands

Land and its productive capability form a base for renewable resource yields. Likewise, laws form a legal base for using and managing the Nation's forest and range lands. Some of the more important Federal laws are described below:

Creative Act of 1891 (2 Stat. 1103; 16 U.S.C. 471) - Authorized the President of the United States to set aside public lands as public reservations.

* Organic Administration Act of 1897 (30 Stat. 34 amended; 16 U.S.C. 473-478, 479-482, 551) - Authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to manage the National Forests to improve and protect the forests, to secure favorable conditions of water flow, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber.

Antiquities Act of 1906 (34 Stat. 225; 16 U.S.C., 431 et seq.) - Protects ruins or objects of antiquity on Federal Lands.

* Weeks Law of 1911 (36 Stat. 961, as amended; 16 U.S.C., 480, 500, 513-519, 521, 522) - Authorized purchasing and adding to the National Forest System forested, cut-over, or denuded lands within the watersheds of navigable streams which are necessary to regulate the flow of navigable streams or to produce timber.

* Smith-Lever Act of 1914 (30 Stat. 372; 7 U.S.C. 341-349) - Established a Federal-State cooperative extension program to provide education for the public in agricultural and natural resources.

* Clarke-McNary Act of 1924 (43 Stat. 653-654, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 564-567) Authorized technical and financial assistance to the States for forest fire control and for production and distribution of forest tree seedlings. (Sections 1 through 4 were repealed by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.)

* McSweeney-McNary Act of 1928 (45 Stat. 699-702, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 531, 581a, 581b-581i) - Authorized a comprehensive Forest Service research program. (This act was repealed and supplanted by the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978.)

Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 (48 Stat. 1269; 43 U.S.C. 315 et seq.) - Authorized the Secretary of the Interior to establish grazing districts from the unreserved public domain lands and to make rules and regulations for their occupancy and use.

* Soil Conservation Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 163-164; 16 U.S.C. 590 a-f) - Provided for control and prevention of soil erosion, delegated all activities relating to soil erosion to the Secretary of Agriculture, and established the Soil Conservation Service.

Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act of 1936 (49 Stat. 1148, as amended; 16 U.S.C. 590 et seq.) - Established the Agricultural Conservation Program, which provides cost-sharing funds to landowners for soil and water protection, including tree planting and timber stand improvement practices.

Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 525, as amended; 7 U.S.C. 1010-1012) - Authorized Federal acquisition of eroded and exhausted farm lands, which were ultimately designated National Grasslands.

Forest Pest Control Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 1977; 16 U.S.C. 594-1 - 594-4) - Established a program to protect forest lands under all ownerships from destructive forest insect and disease pests. (This Act was repealed and supplanted by provisions of the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978).

* Cooperative Forest Management Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 473, as amended; U.S.C. 586c, 586d) - Authorized technical and financial assistance to States so they can provide technical assistance to private forest landowners and processors.

** Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act of 1960 (74 Stat. 215; 16 U.S.C. 528-531) - Established a policy of multiple use, sustained yield management for the renewable resources of the National Forest System.

** McIntyre-Stennis Act of 1962 (76 Stat. 806; 16 U.S.C. 582a - 582a-7) - Established a cooperative research program in forestry for State land-grant colleges and universities.

* Clean Air Act of 1963 (77 Stat. 392; 42 U.S.C. 1857) - Gave the Federal government, for the first time, enforcement powers regarding air pollution.

* Wilderness Act of 1964 (78 Stat. 890; 16 U.S.C. 1131-1136) - Established the National Wilderness Preservation System.

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 915; 16 U.S.C. 470) - Provided for managing cultural resources on Federal lands and established procedures for determining relative significance among cultural resources.

* Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968 (82 Stat. 906 as amended; 16 U.S.C. 1271-1281) - Provided for designation of wild and scenic rivers and for comprehensive studies of other rivers designated as potential additions to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

* National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (83 Stat. 852 as amended; 42 U.S.C. 4321, 4331-4335, 4341, 4347) - Required that environmental considerations be incorporated into all Federal policies and activities, and required all Federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements for any actions significantly affecting the environment.

Clear Air Act Amendments of 1970 (84 Stat. 1676; 42 U.S.C. 1857b) - Sharply expanded the Federal role in setting and enforcing ambient air quality standards, including regulating land management practices to achieve and maintain such standards.

Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972 (86 Stat. 816; 33 U.S.C. 1151 et seq.) - Established as a national objective the restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation's water, and required area-wide planning to prevent future water pollution that could be associated with growth, development, and land use, including timber management.

Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 242, 245 as amended; 16 U.S.C. 1503-1510) - Sections 1009 and 1010 authorized a forestry incentives program for nonindustrial private landowners for tree planting and timber stand improvement for the purpose of producing marketable timber crops and other values. (These sections were repealed and supplanted by the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978.)

* Endangered Species Act of 1973 (87 Stat. 884; 16 U.S.C. 1531-1534) - Provided for the protection and conservation of threatened and endangered fish, wildlife, and plant species. Directs all Federal agencies to utilize their authorities and programs to further the purpose of the Act.

Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 476 as amended; 17 U.S.C. 1600-1614) - Provided for continuing assessment and long-range planning of the Nation's forest and range renewable resources under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Agriculture.

Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1974 (88 Stat. 174; 16 U.S.C. 469-469c) - Provided for recovery, protection, and preservation of significant cultural resources that will be irreparably lost or destroyed by alteration of terrain from any Federal construction project or Federally licensed activity or program.

* National Forest Management Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 2949; 16 U.S.C. 472a, 476, 476 (note), 500, 513-516, 521b, 528 (note), 576b, 594-2 (note), 1600 (note), 1600-1602, 1604, 1606, 1608-1614) - Established additional standards and guidelines for managing the National Forests, including directives for National Forest land management planning, and public participation.

Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (90 Stat. 2743; 43 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) - Sets policies primarily for the administration of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. Includes common statutory authorities for the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture in range management, issuance of rights-of ways, and other aspects of managing lands administered by the BLM and the Forest Service.

Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977 (91 Stat. 685; 42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.) - Established as a national goal preventing any future impairment, of visibility of Class I areas from man-made air pollution. Class I Federal areas include all International Parks, all National

Wilderness Areas that exceed 5,000 acres, all National Memorial Parks that exceed 5,000 acres, and all National Parks that exceed 6,000 acres.

Soil and Water Resources Conversation Act of 1977 (91 Stat. 1407; 16 U.S.C. 2001-2009) - Provided for assessment and long-range planning of Federal programs to conserve soil, water, and related resources under jurisdiction of the Soil Conservation Service.

* Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 365; 16 U.S.C. 2101-2111) - Brought together authority from nine cooperative assistance programs in forestry and expanded some of them; also authorized consolidated programs to participating States.

* Forest and Rangeland Resources Extension Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 349; 16 U.S.C. 1600 (note), 1601, 1671-1676) - Authorized expanding the forest and range land renewable resource portion of the extension education program.

Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978 (92 Stat. 353; 16 U.S.C. 1600-1601, 1641-1647, 581-581c) - Authorized expanding forest and rangeland renewable resources research.

Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978 (citation) - Amended the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the Wild Horses and Burros Protection Act of 1971 to provide the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service with additional direction and authorities in managing public rangelands. Established a statutory grazing fee formula in 16 western States, excluding the National Grasslands, for the period 1979 through 1985.

Many of the foregoing laws required regulations for their implementation. In some cases - for example, the National Forest Management Act - regulations are still being developed. Regulations guiding Forest Service programs are found in Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter 2.

A "*" or "**" signify laws of clear significance to forest resources.

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