16 USC 1601: Renewable Resource Assessment
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16 USC 1601: Renewable Resource Assessment Text contains those laws in effect on June 11, 2024

§1601. Renewable Resource Assessment

(a) Preparation by Secretary of Agriculture; time of preparation, updating and contents

In recognition of the vital importance of America's renewable resources of the forest, range, and other associated lands to the Nation's social and economic well-being, and of the necessity for a long term perspective in planning and undertaking related national renewable resource programs administered by the Forest Service, the Secretary of Agriculture (referred to in this subchapter as the "Secretary") shall prepare a Renewable Resource Assessment (hereinafter called the "Assessment"). The Assessment shall be prepared not later than December 31, 1975, and shall be updated during 1979 and each tenth year thereafter, and shall include but not be limited to-

(1) an analysis of present and anticipated uses, demand for, and supply of the renewable resources, with consideration of the international resource situation, and an emphasis of pertinent supply and demand and price relationship trends;

(2) an inventory, based on information developed by the Forest Service and other Federal agencies, of present and potential renewable resources, and an evaluation of opportunities for improving their yield of tangible and intangible goods and services, together with estimates of investment costs and direct and indirect returns to the Federal Government;

(3) a description of Forest Service programs and responsibilities in research, cooperative programs and management of the National Forest System, their interrelationships, and the relationship of these programs and responsibilities to public and private activities;

(4) a discussion of important policy considerations, laws, regulations, and other factors expected to influence and affect significantly the use, ownership, and management of forest, range, and other associated lands; and 1

(5) an analysis of the potential effects of global climate change on the condition of renewable resources on the forests and rangelands of the United States; and

(6) an analysis of the rural and urban forestry opportunities to mitigate the buildup of atmospheric carbon dioxide and reduce the risk of global climate change,2

(b) Omitted

(c) Contents of Assessments

The Secretary shall report in the 1979 and subsequent Assessments on:

(1) the additional fiber potential in the National Forest System including, but not restricted to, forest mortality, growth, salvage potential, potential increased forest products sales, economic constraints, alternate markets, contract considerations, and other multiple use considerations;

(2) the potential for increased utilization of forest and wood product wastes in the National Forest System and on other lands, and of urban wood wastes and wood product recycling, including recommendations to the Congress for actions which would lead to increased utilization of material now being wasted both in the forests and in manufactured products; and

(3) the milling and other wood fiber product fabrication facilities and their location in the United States, noting the public and private forested areas that supply such facilities, assessing the degree of utilization into product form of harvested trees by such facilities, and setting forth the technology appropriate to the facilities to improve utilization either individually or in aggregate units of harvested trees and to reduce wasted wood fibers. The Secretary shall set forth a program to encourage the adoption by these facilities of these technologies for improving wood fiber utilization.

(d) Public involvement; consultation with governmental departments and agencies

In developing the reports required under subsection (c) of this section, the Secretary shall provide opportunity for public involvement and shall consult with other interested governmental departments and agencies.

(e) Congressional policy of multiple use sustained yield management; examination and certification of lands; estimate of appropriations necessary for reforestation and other treatment; budget requirements; authorization of appropriations

(1) It is the policy of the Congress that all forested lands in the National Forest System shall be maintained in appropriate forest cover with species of trees, degree of stocking, rate of growth, and conditions of stand designed to secure the maximum benefits of multiple use sustained yield management in accordance with land management plans. Accordingly, the Secretary is directed to identify and report to the Congress annually at the time of submission of the President's budget together with the annual report provided for under section 1606(c) of this title, beginning with submission of the President's budget for fiscal year 1978, the amount and location by forests and States and by productivity class, where practicable, of all lands in the National Forest System where objectives of land management plans indicate the need to reforest areas that have been cut-over or otherwise denuded or deforested, and all lands with stands of trees that are not growing at their best potential rate of growth. All national forest lands treated from year to year shall be examined after the first and third growing seasons and certified by the Secretary in the report provided for under this subsection as to stocking rate, growth rate in relation to potential and other pertinent measures. Any lands not certified as satisfactory shall be returned to the backlog and scheduled for prompt treatment. The level and types of treatment shall be those which secure the most effective mix of multiple use benefits.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1607 of this title, the Secretary shall, annually during each of the 10 years beginning after November 15, 2021, transmit to the Congress in the manner provided in this subsection an estimate of the sums necessary to be appropriated, in addition to the funds available from other sources, to replant and otherwise treat an acreage equal to the acreage to be cut over that year, plus a sufficient portion of the backlog of lands found to be in need of treatment to eliminate the backlog within the 10-year period. After the 10-year period, the Secretary shall transmit annually to the Congress an estimate of the sums necessary to replant and otherwise treat all lands being cut over and maintain planned timber production on all other forested lands in the National Forest System so as to prevent the development of a backlog of needed work larger than the needed work at the beginning of the fiscal year. The Secretary's estimate of sums necessary, in addition to the sums available under other authorities, for accomplishment of the reforestation and other treatment of National Forest System lands under this section shall be provided annually for inclusion in the President's budget and shall also be transmitted to the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate together with the annual report provided for under section 1606(c) of this title at the time of submission of the President's budget to the Congress beginning with the budget for fiscal year 2021. The sums estimated as necessary for reforestation and other treatment shall include moneys needed to secure seed, grow seedlings, prepare sites, plant trees, thin, remove deleterious growth and underbrush, build fence to exclude livestock and adverse wildlife from regeneration areas and otherwise establish and improve growing forests to secure planned production of trees and other multiple use values.

(3) Effective for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 1977, and each fiscal year thereafter, there is hereby authorized to be appropriated for the purpose of reforesting and treating lands in the National Forest System $200,000,000 annually to meet requirements of this subsection. All sums appropriated for the purposes of this subsection shall be available until expended.

(4) Reforestation requirements.-

(A) Definitions.-In this paragraph:

(i) Natural regeneration.-

(I) In general.-The term "natural regeneration" means the establishment of a tree or tree age class from natural seeding, sprouting, or suckering in accordance with the management objectives of an applicable land management plan.

(II) Inclusion.-The term "natural regeneration" may include any site preparation activity to enhance the success of regeneration to the desired species composition and structure.

(ii) Priority land.-The term "priority land" means National Forest System land that, due to an unplanned event-

(I) does not meet the conditions for appropriate forest cover described in paragraph (1);

(II) requires reforestation to meet the objectives of an applicable land management plan; and

(III) is unlikely to experience natural regeneration without assistance.

(iii) Reforestation.-The term "reforestation" means the act of renewing tree cover, taking into consideration species composition and resilience, by establishing young trees through-

(I) natural regeneration;

(II) natural regeneration with site preparation; or

(III) planting or direct seeding.

(iv) Secretary.-The term "Secretary" means the Secretary, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service.

(v) Unplanned event.-

(I) In general.-The term "unplanned event" means any unplanned disturbance that-

(aa) disrupts ecosystem or forest structure or composition; or

(bb) changes resources, substrate availability, or the physical environment.

(II) Inclusions.-The term "unplanned event" may include-

(aa) a wildfire;

(bb) an infestation of insects or disease;

(cc) a weather event; and

(dd) animal damage.

(B) Requirement.-Each reforestation activity under this section shall be carried out in accordance with applicable Forest Service management practices and definitions, including definitions relating to silvicultural practices and forest management.

(C) Reforestation priority.-

(i) In general.-In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall give priority to projects on the priority list described in clause (ii).

(ii) Priority list.-

(I) In general.-The Secretary shall, based on recommendations from regional foresters, create a priority list of reforestation projects that-

(aa) primarily take place on priority land;

(bb) promote effective reforestation following unplanned events; and

(cc) may include activities to ensure adequate and appropriate seed availability.

(II) Ranking.-The Secretary shall rank projects on the priority list under subclause (I) based on-

(aa) documentation of an effective reforestation project plan;

(bb) the ability to measure the progress and success of the project; and

(cc) the ability of a project to provide benefits relating to forest function and health, soil health and productivity, wildlife habitat, improved air and water quality, carbon sequestration potential, resilience, job creation, and enhanced recreational opportunities.

(f) Report on herbicides and pesticides

The Secretary shall submit an annual report to the Congress on the amounts, types, and uses of herbicides and pesticides used in the National Forest System, including the beneficial or adverse effects of such uses.

( Pub. L. 93–378, §3, formerly §2, Aug. 17, 1974, 88 Stat. 476 ; renumbered §3 and amended Pub. L. 94–588, §§2–4, Oct. 22, 1976, 90 Stat. 2949 , 2950; Pub. L. 101–624, title XXIV, §2408(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 4061 ; Pub. L. 115–141, div. O, title II, §208(b)(1), Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 1066 ; Pub. L. 117–58, div. G, title III, §70302(a)(1)(A), Nov. 15, 2021, 135 Stat. 1258 .)

Editorial Notes


Subsec. (b) of this section amended section 581h of this title.


2021-Subsecs. (d), (e). Pub. L. 117–58, §70302(a)(1)(A)(ii), redesignated subsec. (d) relating to Congressional policy regarding forested land in the National Forest System as (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 117–58, §70302(a)(1)(A)(iii)(I), in first sentence, substituted "1607 of this title, the Secretary shall, annually during each of the 10 years beginning after November 15, 2021" for "1607 of this title, the Secretary shall annually for eight years following October 22, 1976" and "10-year" for "eight-year"; in second sentence, substituted "the 10-year period" for "such eight-year period"; and in third sentence, substituted "fiscal year 2021" for "fiscal year 1978".

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 117–58, §70302(a)(1)(A)(iii)(II), substituted "requirements of this subsection" for "requirements of this subsection (d)".

Subsec. (e)(4). Pub. L. 117–58, §70302(a)(1)(A)(iii)(III), added par. (4).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 117–58, §70302(a)(1)(A)(i), redesignated subsec. (e) as (f).

2018-Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–141 inserted "(referred to in this subchapter as the 'Secretary')" after "Secretary of Agriculture" in introductory provisions.

1990-Subsec. (a)(5), (6). Pub. L. 101–624 added pars. (5) and (6).

1976-Subsecs. (c) to (e). Pub. L. 94–588, §§3, 4, added subsecs. (c) to (e).

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions in subsecs. (d)(1) and (e) of this section relating to submitting annual reports to Congress, see section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance, and pages 45 and 47 of House Document No. 103–7.


Pub. L. 117–58, div. G, title III, §70303, Nov. 15, 2021, 135 Stat. 1260 , provided that: "Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Nov. 15, 2021], and annually thereafter, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives, and make publicly available on the website of the Forest Service, a report that describes, with respect to the preceding year-

"(1) an evaluation of the degree to which the Secretary has achieved compliance with the requirements contained in the amendments made by this title [see Short Title of 2021 Amendment note set out under section 1600 of this title], including, as a result of those amendments, the number of acres covered by reforestation projects that follow unplanned events (such as wildfires);

"(2) the total number of acres of land reforested under each authority of the Secretary under which reforestation projects have been carried out;

"(3) the number of acres of National Forest System land affected by, and the substance of reforestation needs on that land resulting from, unplanned events; and

"(4) the number of acres in need of reforestation under subsection (e)(1) of section 3 of the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C. 1601)."

Presidential Commission on State and Private Forests

Pub. L. 101–624, title XII, §1245, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3548 , as amended by Pub. L. 102–237, title X, §1018(b), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1905 , established the Commission on State and Private Forests, which was to assess the status of the State and private forest lands of the United States and report its findings and recommendations to the President by Dec. 1, 1992, and which terminated 90 days after submitting its report.

Executive Documents

Transfer of Functions

Enforcement functions of Secretary or other official in Department of Agriculture, insofar as they involve lands and programs under jurisdiction of that Department, related to compliance with this subchapter and system activities requiring coordination and approval under general authorities of this subchapter with respect to pre-construction, construction, and initial operation of transportation system for Canadian and Alaskan natural gas transferred to Federal Inspector, Office of Federal Inspector for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, until first anniversary of date of initial operation of Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System, see Reorg. Plan No. 1 of 1979, §§102(f), 203(a), 44 F.R. 33663, 33666, 93 Stat. 1373, 1376, effective July 1, 1979, set out in the Appendix to Title 5, Government Organization and Employees. Office of Federal Inspector for the Alaska Natural Gas Transportation System abolished and functions and authority vested in Inspector transferred to Secretary of Energy by section 3012(b) of Pub. L. 102–486, set out as an Abolition of Office of Federal Inspector note under section 719e of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. Functions and authority vested in Secretary of Energy subsequently transferred to Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Projects by section 720d(f) of Title 15.

1 So in original. The word "and" probably should not appear.

2 So in original. The comma probably should be a period.