Chief Sponsor: Gay Lynn Bennion

Senate Sponsor: Evan J. Vickers


8     General Description:
9          This bill creates the Watershed Restoration Initiative within the Department of Natural
10     Resources.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This bill:
13          ▸     defines terms;
14          ▸     creates the Watershed Restoration Initiative within the Department of Natural
15     Resources;
16          ▸     sets the policies and objectives of the initiative;
17          ▸     describes how the initiative will be administered and funded;
18          ▸     requires the initiative to submit an annual report to the Natural Resources,
19     Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee; and
20          ▸     creates the Watershed Restoration Expendable Special Revenue Fund.
21     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22          None
23     Other Special Clauses:
24          None
25     Utah Code Sections Affected:
26     ENACTS:
27          79-2-601, Utah Code Annotated 1953

28          79-2-602, Utah Code Annotated 1953
29          79-2-603, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30          79-2-604, Utah Code Annotated 1953
31          79-2-605, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32          79-2-606, Utah Code Annotated 1953

34     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
35          Section 1. Section 79-2-601 is enacted to read:

37          79-2-601. Definitions.
38          As used in this part:
39          (1) "Administrative costs" means the costs of administering the initiative, including
40     costs for staffing, rent, data processing, legal, finance, accounting, travel, maintenance, and
41     office supplies.
42          (2) "Director" means the director of the initiative who is appointed under Section
43     79-2-602.
44          (3) "Division" means the Division of Wildlife Resources created in Section 23-14-1.
45          (4) "Initiative" means the Watershed Restoration Initiative created in Section 79-2-602.
46          (5) "Restoration" means to assist the recovery of ecosystems and ecosystem services
47     that have been mismanaged, degraded, or destroyed.
48          (6) "Watershed" means the geographical surface area that drains water into a stream,
49     river, or other body of water.
50          Section 2. Section 79-2-602 is enacted to read:
51          79-2-602. Watershed Restoration Initiative -- Creation -- Objectives.
52          (1) There is created within the department the Watershed Restoration Initiative under
53     the general supervision of the executive director.
54          (2) The policies and objectives of the initiative are to manage, restore, and improve
55     watershed ecosystems throughout the state by focusing on improving:
56          (a) watershed health and biological diversity;
57          (b) water quality and yield; and
58          (c) opportunities for sustainable uses of natural resources.

59          (3) Consistent with this part, the initiative may integrate, coordinate, or partner with
60     federal, state, local, private, and non-profit plans and programs to further the initiative's
61     objectives.
62          (4) To achieve and implement the policies and objectives under Subsection (2), the
63     initiative shall:
64          (a) develop and oversee a watershed restoration project proposal process to develop
65     statewide watershed restoration priorities, including ranking criteria;
66          (b) maintain a website that includes:
67          (i) an events calendar;
68          (ii) tracking of watershed restoration projects;
69          (iii) a description of the watershed restoration project proposal process, including
70     applicable ranking criteria; and
71          (iv) the name and contact information of each person with decision-making
72     responsibilities related to ranking and selecting watershed restoration project proposals;
73          (c) organize and oversee a biennial statewide watershed restoration workshop;
74          (d) assign funding to watershed restoration projects, and manage and track project
75     budgets;
76          (e) provide initiative partners with contract support, reporting, and tracking assistance
77     regarding incoming and outgoing watershed restoration project funds;
78          (f) ensure that watershed restoration projects meet applicable cultural resource
79     requirements;
80          (g) upon request and as appropriate, provide performance reporting and initiative
81     information to the media, partners, and the executive and legislative branches of state
82     government;
83          (h) prepare and provide training and technical support for watershed restoration project
84     managers; and
85          (i) provide the executive director with reports and recommendations regarding the
86     initiative's performance and funding.
87          Section 3. Section 79-2-603 is enacted to read:
88          79-2-603. Director -- Appointment -- Qualifications -- Staff.
89          (1) The executive director shall appoint a director to administer the initiative.

90          (2) The director shall:
91          (a) be the executive and administrative head of the initiative; and
92          (b) have demonstrated the necessary administrative and professional ability through
93     education and experience to efficiently and effectively manage the initiative's affairs.
94          (3) The director is appointed by the executive director.
95          (4) (a) The department shall staff the initiative.
96          (b) With approval of the executive director and the division director, and under the
97     direction of the director, division staff with relevant expertise or experience may assist the
98     director with administering the initiative.
99          Section 4. Section 79-2-604 is enacted to read:
100          79-2-604. Funding.
101          The initiative is funded from the following sources:
102          (1) appropriations made to the initiative by the Legislature; and
103          (2) contributions, including in-kind assistance, from other public and private sources.
104          Section 5. Section 79-2-605 is enacted to read:
105          79-2-605. Reporting.
106          The initiative shall prepare and submit to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and
107     Environment Interim Committee, on or before November 1 of each year, an annual report that
108     includes:
109          (1) by source, the initiative's total annual resources, including partner funds;
110          (2) the initiative's historical annual funding amounts from year to year;
111          (3) the total amount of state funding used to leverage non-state partner resources;
112          (4) the total administrative costs related to the initiative, including the costs of each
113     initiative partner that receives funds through the initiative; and
114          (5) performance metrics that demonstrate the initiative's impact and effectiveness.
115          Section 6. Section 79-2-606 is enacted to read:
116          79-2-606. Watershed Restoration Expendable Special Revenue Fund -- Creation --
117     Source of funds -- Use of funds.
118          (1) As used in this section, "fund" means the Watershed Restoration Expendable
119     Special Revenue Fund created in Subsection (2).
120          (2) There is created an expendable special revenue fund known as the "Watershed

121     Restoration Expendable Special Revenue Fund."
122          (3) The fund consists of:
123          (a) gifts, grants, donations, contributions, or any other conveyance of money that may
124     be made to the fund from public or private sources; and
125          (b) interest and earnings on fund money.
126          (4) The state treasurer shall:
127          (a) invest money in the fund in accordance with the Title 51, Chapter 7, State Money
128     Management Act; and
129          (b) deposit interest and earnings derived from investing fund money into the fund.
130          (5) The director may only use fund money for a watershed restoration project
131     designated or approved by the donor.