1998 Regular Session
To: Game and Fish; Conservation and Water Resources
By: Representatives Livingston, Barnett (92nd)
House Bill 1169
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT A JOINT COMMITTEE SHALL CONDUCT A STUDY OF THE NATURAL AND SCENIC WATERWAYS IN THE STATE; TO REQUIRE THE STUDY OF NONREGULATORY INCENTIVE PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE LANDOWNER PARTICIPATION; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, FISHERIES AND PARKS TO COORDINATE THE STUDY; TO PROVIDE THAT A REPORT SUMMARIZING THE RESULTS OF THE STUDY AND RECOMMENDATIONS SHALL BE FILED BY DECEMBER 31, 1998, WITH THE LEGISLATURE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) There is hereby created a natural and scenic river study committee. The committee shall consist of the following members: (a) the Chairman of the House Game and Fish Committee and two (2) members of the Game and Fish Committee appointed by the chairman; the Chairman of the House Conservation and Water Resources Committee and two (2) members of the Conservation and Water Resources Committee appointed by the chairman; the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee and two (2) members of the Agriculture Committee appointed by the chairman; and (b) the Chairman of the Senate Wildlife and Fisheries Committee and two (2) members of the Wildlife and Fisheries Committee appointed by the chairman; the Chairman of the Senate Environmental Protection, Conservation and Water Resources Committee and two (2) members of the Environmental Protection, Conservation and Water Resources appointed by the chairman; the Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and two (2) members of the Agriculture Committee appointed by the chairman.
The Chairman of the House Game and Fish Committee and the Chairman of the Senate Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks Committee shall serve as cochair of the study committee.
For attending meetings of the committee, each legislative member shall be paid per diem in the amount authorized by Section 25-3-69 and a mileage allowance and an expense allowance in the amount authorized by Section 5-1-47 from the contingent expense fund of his respective house. However, no per diem, mileage allowance or expense allowance shall be paid for attending meetings of the committee while the Legislature is in session, and no per diem, mileage allowance or expense allowance shall be paid without prior approval of the proper committee in the member's respective house.
(2) In conducting its activities, the committee may elicit the support of and participation by any commercial, industrial, governmental, environmental, minority and public interest organizations and associations, or individual members thereof, and any federal, state and local agencies and political subdivisions as may be necessary or appropriate in the furtherance of the study.
(3) The Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks shall coordinate the study of certain natural and scenic rivers in the state. The study shall be conducted in order to assess and document the ecological, scenic, recreational and natural characteristics of these rivers; to consider the feasibility of a program for conserving the quality of scenic rivers; to recommend a plan of nonregulatory incentive programs to encourage landowner participation in any stream protection program that may be recommended; to ensure any activities on a natural and scenic river shall be according to best management practices; to ensure that any natural and scenic river program shall be administered solely by the State of Mississippi.
(4) The committee shall seek public oral and written comments on the scenic rivers.
(5) The committee shall prepare a report of the study with recommendations and file the report with the Legislature by December 31, 1998. Upon presentation of its report to the Legislature, the committee shall be dissolved.
(6) For purpose of the study, a "natural and scenic river" means a river, stream or bayou or segment thereof that is in a free-flowing condition, that has not been channelized, cleared and snagged within the past five (5) years, realigned, inundated or otherwise altered and has a shoreline covered by native vegetation and has no or few man-made structures along its banks.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.