[Federal Register: February 16, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 32)]
[Page 7824-7825]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []



Farm Service Agency

National Drought Policy Commission

AGENCY: Farm Service Agency, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Commission Meeting and Release of Draft Report.


SUMMARY: The National Drought Policy Commission (Commission) shall 
conduct a thorough study and submit a report to the President and 
Congress on national drought policy. This notice announces a meeting to 
be held on March 1, 2000, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and seeks comments on 
issues that the Commission should address and recommendations that the 
Commission should consider as part of its report. The meeting is open 
to the public.
    This notice also announces that the Commission will make its draft 
report available on the Commission's web site,
drought/, about the second week in March, to solicit public review and 

DATES:  The Commission will conduct a meeting on March 1, 2000, from 
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale, 
17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, Arizona. All times are Mountain 
Standard Time.
    Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or 
participate in this meeting should contact Leona Dittus, on 202-720-
3168, Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339, or Internet:, by COB February 23, 2000.

COMMENTS: The public is invited to respond and/or to submit comments, 
concerns, and issues for consideration by the Commission no later than 
21 days after release of the draft report.

ADDRESSES: Comments and statements should be sent to Leona Dittus, 
Executive Director, National Drought Policy Commission, U.S. Department 
of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Room 6701-S, STOP 0501, 
Washington, DC 20250-0501.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Leona Dittus (202) 720-3168; FAX (202) 
720-9688; Internet:

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The purpose of the Commission is to provide 
advice and recommendations to the President and Congress on the 
creation of an integrated, coordinated Federal policy, designed to 
prepare for and respond to serious drought emergencies. Tasks for the 
Commission include developing recommendations that will (a) better 
integrate Federal laws and programs with ongoing State, local, and 
tribal programs, (b) improve public awareness of the need for drought 
mitigation, prevention, and response and (c) determine whether all 
Federal drought preparation and response programs should be 
consolidated under one existing Federal agency, and, if so, identify 
the agency.
    The Commission's draft vision statement is of a well-informed, 
involved U. S. citizenry and its governments prepared for and capable 
of lessening the impacts of drought--consistently and timely. Drought 
policy should improve national security and foster economic prosperity, 
environmental quality, and social well being. It should also benefit 
future generations as well as our own.
    In addition to your views and thoughts regarding a national drought 
policy, as you review the draft vision statement, the Commission would 
be interested in your thoughts regarding the following questions:
    1. What is the best means for informing the public of Federal 
assistance for drought planning and mitigation?
    2. What type of information do you need for responding to drought?
    3. What needs do you or your organization presently have with 
respect to addressing drought conditions?
    4. What do you see as the role of State, local, and Federal 
Governments and regional and tribal entities with respect to drought 
preparedness? Drought response? Should Federal emergency assistance be 
contingent on advance preparedness?
    5. Are there any ways you feel that the Federal Government could 
better coordinate with State, regional, tribal, and local governments 
in mitigating or responding to droughts?

[[Page 7825]]

    6. What lessons have you or your organization learned from past 
drought experiences that would be beneficial in the creation of a 
national drought policy?

    Signed at Washington, D.C., on February 10, 2000.
George Arredondo,
Administrator, Farm Service Agency.
[FR Doc. 00-3688 Filed 2-11-00; 4:54 pm]