To be eligible for enrollment in the healthy forests reserve program, land shall be private forest land, or private land being restored to forest land, the enrollment of which will maintain, restore, enhance, or otherwise measurably—
increase the likelihood of recovery of a species that is listed as endangered or threatened under section 1533 of this title
improve the well-being of a species that—
not listed as endangered or threatened under such section; and
is deemed a species of greatest conservation need by a State wildlife action plan.
In enrolling land that satisfies the criteria under subsection (b), the Secretary of Agriculture shall give additional consideration to land the enrollment of which will—
improve biological diversity;
conserve forest land that provides habitat for species described in subsection (b); and
increase carbon sequestration.
Easement modification or termination
The Secretary may modify or terminate an easement or other interest in land administered by the Secretary under this title if—
the owner of the land agrees to the modification or termination; and
the Secretary determines that the modification or termination—
will address a compelling public need for which there is no practicable alternative; and
is in the public interest.
As consideration for termination of an easement or other interest in land under this subsection, the Secretary shall enter into a compensatory arrangement, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.
In the case of a modification of an easement or other interest in land under this subsection—
as a condition of the modification, the owner of the land shall enter into a compensatory arrangement, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate, to incur the costs of modification; and
the Secretary shall ensure that—
the modification will not adversely affect the forest ecosystem functions and values for which the easement or other interest in land was acquired;
any adverse impacts will be mitigated by enrollment and restoration of other land that provides greater forest ecosystem functions and values at no additional cost to the Federal Government; and
the modification will result in equal or greater environmental and economic values to the United States.
[Pub. L. 108–148, title V, § 502], Dec. 3, 2003, [117 Stat. 1911]; [Pub. L. 110–234, title VIII, § 8205(a)], May 22, 2008, [122 Stat. 1294]; [Pub. L. 110–246, § 4(a)], title VIII, § 8205(a), June 18, 2008, [122 Stat. 1664], 2056; [Pub. L. 113–79, title VIII, § 8203(a)], Feb. 7, 2014, [128 Stat. 914]; [Pub. L. 115–334, title VIII, § 8407(a)(2)]–(6), Dec. 20, 2018, [132 Stat. 4845], 4846; [Pub. L. 117–328, div. HH, title III, § 401], Dec. 29, 2022, [136 Stat. 5984].)