The bill would amend several parts of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act to do the following:
-- Prohibit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Natural Resources Commission from promulgating or enforcing a rule or an order that designates or classifies an area of land specifically for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity.
-- Delete the conservation of biological diversity from the DNR's duties regarding forest management, and require the Department to balance its forest management activities with economic values.
-- Eliminate a requirement that the DNR manage forests in a manner that promotes restoration.
-- Provide that a State department or agency would not have to designate or classify an area of land specifically for the purpose of achieving or maintaining biological diversity.
-- Delete a legislative finding that most losses of biological diversity are the result of human activity.
Part 355 (Biological Diversity Conservation) specifies a State goal "to encourage the lasting conservation of biological diversity". The bill would define "conservation of biological diversity" as measures for maintaining, managing, or enhancing biological diversity while ensuring accessibility, productivity, and use of the natural resources for present and future generations. The bill would eliminate the definition of "conservation", which means measures for maintaining and restoring natural biological diversity through management efforts in order to protect, restore, and enhance as much of the variety of native species and communities as possible in quantities and distributions that provide for the continued existence and normal functioning of native species and communities.
The bill would have no fiscal impact on State or local government.
This analysis was prepared by nonpartisan Senate staff for use by the Senate in its deliberations and does not constitute an official statement of legislative intent.