| 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. ...
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.
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