(a) In general
The Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out a comprehensive program to inventory, monitor, characterize, assess, and identify forest stands (with emphasis on hardwood forest stands) and potential forest stands—
(1) in units of the National Forest System (other than those units created from the public domain); and
(2) on private forest land, with the consent of the owner of the land.
(b) Issues to be addressed
In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall address issues including—
(1) early detection, identification, and assessment of environmental threats (including insect, disease, invasive species, fire, and weather-related risks and other episodic events);
(2) loss or degradation of forests;
(3) degradation of the quality forest stands caused by inadequate forest regeneration practices;
(4) quantification of carbon uptake rates; and
(5) management practices that focus on preventing further forest degradation.
(c) Early warning system
In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall develop a comprehensive early warning system for potential catastrophic environmental threats to forests to increase the likelihood that forest managers will be able to—
(1) isolate and treat a threat before the threat gets out of control; and
(2) prevent epidemics, such as the American chestnut blight in the first half of the twentieth century, that could be environmentally and economically devastating to forests.
(d) Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2008.