Home > 105th Congressional Bills > H.R. 1728 (rh) To provide for the development of a plan and a management review of the National Park System and to reform the process by which areas are considered for addition to the National Park System, and for other purposes. ...

H.R. 1728 (rh) To provide for the development of a plan and a management review of the National Park System and to reform the process by which areas are considered for addition to the National Park System, and for other purposes. ...


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105th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 1728


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                            August 31, 1998

   Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and 
                           Natural Resources

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
To provide for the development of a plan and a management review of the 
   National Park System and to reform the process by which areas are 
  considered for addition to the National Park System, and for other 
                               purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Park System New Area 
Studies Act''.

SEC. 2. STUDY OF NEW PARK SYSTEM AREAS.

    Section 8 of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5; popularly known as 
the National Park System General Authorities Act) is amended as 
follows:
            (1) By inserting ``General Authority.--'' after ``(a)''.
            (2) By striking the second through the seventh sentences of 
        subsection (a).
            (3) By designating the last two sentences of subsection (a) 
        as subsection (e) and inserting in the first of such sentences 
        before the words ``For the purposes of carrying'' the 
        following: ``(e) Authorization of Appropriations.--''.
            (4) By inserting the following after subsection (a):
    ``(b) Studies of Areas for Potential Addition.--(1) At the 
beginning of each calendar year, along with the annual budget 
submission, the Secretary of the Interior shall submit to the Committee 
on Resources of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate a list of 
areas recommended for study for potential inclusion in the National 
Park System.
    ``(2) In developing the list to be submitted under this subsection, 
the Secretary shall give consideration to those areas that have the 
greatest potential to meet the established criteria of national 
significance, suitability, and feasibility. The Secretary shall give 
special consideration to themes, sites, and resources not already 
adequately represented in the National Park System.
    ``(3) No study of the potential of an area for inclusion in the 
National Park System may be initiated after the date of enactment of 
this subsection, except as provided by specific authorization of an Act 
of Congress.
    ``(4) Nothing in this Act shall limit the authority of the National 
Park Service to conduct preliminary resource assessments, gather data 
on potential study areas, provide technical and planning assistance, 
prepare or process nominations for administrative designations, update 
previous studies, or complete reconnaissance surveys of individual 
areas requiring a total expenditure of less than $25,000.
    ``(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to or to 
affect or alter the study of any river segment for potential addition 
to the national wild and scenic rivers system or to apply to or to 
affect or alter the study of any trail for potential addition to the 
national trails system.
    ``(c) Report.--(1) The Secretary of the Interior shall complete the 
study for each area for potential inclusion in the National Park System 
within 3 complete fiscal years following the date of enactment of 
specific legislation providing for the study of such area. Each study 
under this section shall be prepared with appropriate opportunity for 
public involvement, including at least one public meeting in the 
vicinity of the area under study, and after reasonable efforts to 
notify potentially affected landowners and State and local governments.
    ``(2) In conducting the study, the Secretary shall consider whether 
the area under study--
            ``(A) possesses nationally significant natural or cultural 
        resources and represents one of the most important examples of 
        a particular resource type in the country; and
            ``(B) is a suitable and feasible addition to the system.
    ``(3) Each study--
            ``(A) shall consider the following factors with regard to 
        the area being studied--
                    ``(i) the rarity and integrity of the resources;
                    ``(ii) the threats to those resources;
                    ``(iii) similar resources are already protected in 
                the National Park System or in other public or private 
                ownership;
                    ``(iv) the public use potential;
                    ``(v) the interpretive and educational potential;
                    ``(vi) costs associated with acquisition, 
                development and operation;
                    ``(vii) the socioeconomic impacts of any 
                designation;
                    ``(viii) the level of local and general public 
                support; and
                    ``(ix) whether the area is of appropriate 
                configuration to ensure long-term resource protection 
                and visitor use;
            ``(B) shall consider whether direct National Park Service 
        management or alternative protection by other public agencies 
        or the private sector is appropriate for the area;
            ``(C) shall identify what alternative or combination of 
        alternatives would in the professional judgment of the Director 
        of the National Park Service be most effective and efficient in 
        protecting significant resources and providing for public 
        enjoyment; and
            ``(D) may include any other information which the Secretary 
        deems to be relevant.
    ``(4) Each study shall be completed in compliance with the National 
Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
    ``(5) The letter transmitting each completed study to Congress 
shall contain a recommendation regarding the Secretary's preferred 
management option for the area.
    ``(d) List of Areas.--At the beginning of each calendar year, along 
with the annual budget submission, the Secretary of the Interior shall 
submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives 
and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United 
States Senate a list of areas which have been previously studied which 
contain primarily historical resources, and a list of areas which have 
been previously studied which contain primarily natural resources, in 
numerical order of priority for addition to the National Park System. 
In developing the lists, the Secretary should consider threats to 
resource values, cost escalation factors, and other factors listed in 
subsection (c) of this section. The Secretary should only include on 
the lists areas for which the supporting data is current and 
accurate.''.
            (5) By adding at the end of subsection (e) (as designated 
        by paragraph (3) of this section) the following: ``For carrying 
        out subsections (b) through (d) there are authorized to be 
        appropriated $2,000,000.''.

            Passed the House of Representatives August 3, 1998.

            Attest:

                                                ROBIN H. CARLE,

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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