Summary and Background
On June 26, 2008, Senator Bingaman introduced S.3213, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008, which included 96 individual bills that had been previously reported out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. On September 11, 2008, the Committee met and reported out an additional package of 53 public lands bills. On September 26, 2008, Senator Bingaman filed Senate Amendment 5662, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008, to H.R.5151, which is a complete substitute of the bill. The text of the Bingaman amendment consists of the vast majority of the public lands bills included in S.3213 and the bills that were reported favorably from their business meeting on September 11, 2008.
The introduction of Senate Amendment 5662 follows the Senate’s passage and the President’s signature of S.2739, the Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008. The Senate’s consideration of this package of bills may become necessary due to the objections from Senate Republicans. Nearly all of the bills contained in Senate Amendment 5662 have either already been passed by the House of Representatives or enjoy strong bipartisan support in both the House and Senate.
Title I-Additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System
Title I of Senate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would either expand or create new wilderness areas:
- The Wild Monongahela Act: A National Legacy for West Virginia’s Special Places (S.2581 and H.R.5151), which would designate 37,771 wilderness acres in the Monongahela National Forest.
- The Virginia Ridge and Valley Act (S.570 and H.R.1011), which would designate 53,000 wilderness and scenic acres in Southwestern Virginia.
- The Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act (S.647 and H.R.6290), would increase wilderness acres on Mount Hood by approximately 2/3 by adding 126,000 acres of new wilderness and add protections to almost 80 miles of rivers on Mount Hood.
- The Copper Salmon WildernessAct (S.2034 and H.R.3513), would designate 13,700 wilderness acres to the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in Oregon.
- The Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Voluntary and Equitable Grazing Conflict Resolution Act (S.2379), would designate 23,000 wilderness acres. Additionally, the legislation would authorize the Secretary of Interior to permanently retire grazing allotments within the Monument that are voluntarily offered.
- The Owyhee Public Land Management Act of 2008 (S.2833), would designate 517,000 wilderness acres in Idaho as well as 316 miles of wild and scenic river in southern Idaho.
- The Sabinoso Wilderness Act of 2008 (H.R.2632),would designate approximately 16,000 wilderness acres in Northwestern New Mexico.
- The Beaver Basin Wilderness Act (S.3017), would designate 11,739 wilderness acres at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
- The Oregon Badlands Wilderness Act of 2008 (S.3088), would designate 30,000 wilderness acres in central Oregon.
- The Spring Basin Wilderness Act of 2008 (S.3089), would designate 8,600 wilderness acres overlooking the John Day Wild and Scenic River in north-central Oregon.
- The Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act (S.3069 and H.R.6156), would designate 462,000 wilderness acres and add a total of 52 miles of the Amargosa and Owens Rivers along with the Piru Creek as part of the National Wild and Scenic River System.
- The California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act of 2008 (S.2109 and H.R.3682), would designate approximately 145,000 wilderness acres and another 43,000 potential wilderness acres. The bill would also add 31 miles of wild and scenic rivers in Riverside County, California and would add nearly 8,400 acres to the Santa Rosa-San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.
- The Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Wilderness Act (H.R.3022 and S.1774), would designate approximately 115,000 wilderness acres within the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
- The Rocky Mountain National Park Wilderness and Indian Peaks Wilderness Expansion Act (S.1380 and H.R.2334), would designate approximately 250,000 wilderness acres within the Rocky Mountain National Park and the Arapaho National Forest as wilderness.
Title II-Bureau of Land Management Authorizations
Title II of Senate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would authorize the Bureau of Land Management to better manage the nation’s public lands.
- The National Landscape Conservation System (S.1139 and H.R.2016), would codify the National Landscape Conservation System currently operating administratively within the Department of Interior.
- The Prehistoric Trackways National Monument (S.275), would protect the fossilized footprints of animals, amphibians, and reptiles found in New Mexico. The age of the footprints are believed to predate the dinosaurs.
- The Fort Stanton-Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area (S.260 and H.R.1989), would help protect the Fort Stanton cave network, believed to hold the world’s largest continuous calcite formation.
- The Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Act (S.262 and H.R.3734), renames the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area as the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area. Morley Nelson was an international authority on birds of prey, and was instrumental in the establishment of the River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area Act.
- The Dominguez-Escalante National Conservation Area and Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area Act (S.3065 and H.R.6162), would designate approximately 211,000 acres to become a National Conservation Area of which approximately 66,000 acres would be designated as the Dominguez Canyon Wilderness Area.
- The Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program (S.1940), would reauthorize the Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program for ten years. The Rio Puerco tributary is the primary source of undesirable fine sediment found in the Rio Grande River and the Army Corps of Engineers has found thatsoil erosion within the watershed surpasses that of any other watershed in the country. The Rio Puerco Watershed Management Program functions as a clearinghouse for research and information for the agencies that work to improve the watershed’s management plans.
- The Carson City Vital Community Act of 2008 (S.3603), would improve land management throughout Carson City and helps fulfill the community’s long-term master plan for growth and conservation. The legislation would also help keep growth compact, maintains the integrity of BLM and Forest Service lands surrounding Carson City and enhances open space opportunities.
- The Southern Nevada Limited Transition Area Act (S.1377), would convey 502 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management to the City of Henderson, Nevada to sell or lease, with proceeds returning to the federal government. The lands to be conveyed are adjacent to the Henderson Executive Airport.
- The Nevada Cancer Institute Expansion Act (H.R.1311), would convey approximately 25 acres of public land in Las Vegas, Nevada, to the Nevada Cancer Institute for a non-profit cancer facility.
- The Turnabout Ranch Act (S.832 and H.R.3575), would sell 25 acres of land managed by the Bureau of Land Management to the Turnabout Ranch in Escalante, Utah. The Turnabout Ranch is a private, Christian boarding school and residential treatment center for at-risk youth in Escalante, Utah.
- The Boy Scouts Land Exchange Act (S.900 and H.R.6097), would authorize a joint exchange of 120 acres of land between Utah National Parks Council of the Boy Scouts of America and Brian Head Ski Resort. The exchange of land would allow the Utah National Parks Council of the Boy Scouts of America to improve their archery areas, shooting areas, and septic tanks. The land acquired by the Brian Head Ski Resort would allow it to build an emergency exit access road that has been required by the local planning commission.
- The Douglas County, Washington, PUD Conveyance Act (H.R.523), would allow thePublic Utility District #1 of Douglas County, Washington to consolidate parcels of land within its jurisdiction. This consolidation would help facilitate the relicensing of its hydroelectric dam on the Columbia River in 2012.
- S.2354 would authorize the Secretary of Interior to convey four parcels of BLM land to the city of Twin Falls, Idaho for the creation of a community park and recreation area.
- The Orchard Detention Basin Flood Control Act (S.2898 and H.R.816), would authorize the release of parts of the Sunrise Mountain Instant Study Area.
- H.R.838 would authorize the conveyance of two parcels of land currently owned by the Bureau of Land Management to Park City, Utah.
- H.R.2246 would validate a conveyance of land made by Union Pacific Railroad to the city of Reno, Nevada.
- The Tuolumne Me-Wuk Land Transfer Act (H.R.3490), would transfer approximately 65 acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be held in trust for the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria. The bill would also deem approximately 350 acres of land to be within the Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians of the Tuolumne Rancheria to be within the reservation boundaries.
Title III-Forest Service Authorizations
Title III of Senate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would authorize the following Forest Service actions:
- The Watershed Restoration and Enhancement Agreements Act (S.232), would make permanent the authorization for watershed improvements on private or public lands that benefit the resources of National Forest System lands.
- The Wildland Fire Safety and Transparency Act (S.1152 and H.R.4832), would require the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior to jointly submit to Congress an annual report on their agencies’ wildland firefighter safety practices and policies, including training programs and other safety-related activities for fire suppression, prescribed burning, and wildland fire use. This is important because the number of wildland fire fatalities has increased in recent years and the dangers from catastrophic wildfires are expected to increase.
- The Wyoming Range Legacy Act (S.2229), would protect 1.2 million acres in Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest from new oil and gas leasing and retire existing oil and gas leases in the area at the lessee’s request. This legislation responds to wide-spread concern in Wyoming that proposed oil and gas leasing in the region would spoil the environment.
- The Coffman Cove Administrative Site Conveyance Act (S.202 and H.R.831), would convey 12 acres of land controlled by the Forest Service to the city of Coffman Cove, Alaska. The 12 acres of land identified in the bill is located in the middle of the city and is stifling economic development.
- The Montana Cemetery Act (S.2124 and H.R.3702), would convey 10 acres of the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest to Jefferson County, Montana so that it may maintain the local cemetery. The Elkhorn cemetery has been used since 1880 and is still used by local families and visited by sightseers.
- The Pecos National Historical Park Land Exchange Act (S.216), would authorize a land exchange between the Pecos National Historical Park, the Santa Fe National Forest, and a private landowner in New Mexico. The National Park Service would acquire a parcel of land identified for purchase approximately 15 years ago while the land to be acquired by the private landowner adjoins other lands that they currently own.
- The Santa Fe National Forest Title Claim Resolution Act (S.1939), would resolve a dispute between two parties that involves 12 acres of land within the Santa Fe National Forest. The dispute arose due to an erroneous homestead patent issued in 1888 that did not include buildings constructed by one of the claimants. Subsequently, the Forest Service and the claimant negotiated a compromise and would be codified by this legislation.
- The Snoqualmie Pass Land Conveyance Act (S.2601 and H.R.1285), would convey 1.5 acres of National Forest land at Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state to the King and Kittitas Counties Fire District so that they may build an urgently needed new fire and rescue station. Today’s aging (constructed in the 1930′s) Snoqualmie Pass Fire and Rescue Station is located on National Forest System land that is leased from the Forest Service and is inadequate to meet the growing needs of one of the most travelled mountain passes in the country.
- The Mammoth Community Water District Use Restriction Act (H.R.356), would permit the Mammoth County Water District to use land currently restricted to wastewater treatment for other public purposes.
- The Bountiful City Land Consolidation Act (H.R.3473), would authorize a land exchange in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah between the city of Bountiful, Utah and the National Forest System.
- The Idaho Wilderness Boundary Modification Act of 2007 (S.1802), would modify the boundary of the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness in Idaho by removing the wilderness designation on approximately ten acres of land near a private ranch and add approximately ten acres of wilderness designation within the existing forest system.
- The Colorado Northern Front Range Mountain Backdrop Protection Study Act (H.R.903), would require the Secretary of Agriculture to identify land that may be necessary to protect in order to maintain open space within the northern section of the Front Range area in Colorado.
Title IV-Forest Landscape Restoration
Title IV of Senate Amendment 5662contains the following bill that would improve restoration projects within our National Forests:
- The Forest Landscape Restoration Act of 2008 (S.2593 and H.R.5263), responds to a report issued by the Secretaries of Interior and Agriculture that called for collaborative forest restoration projects in order to help combat against catastrophic wildfires. This bill would establish the recommended collaborative process that emphasizes landscape restoration projects on National Forests and other lands.
Title V-Rivers and Trails
Title V of Senate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would help protect the value of our nation’s rivers and trails:
- The Fossil Creek Wild and Scenic River Act (S.86), would designate approximately 17 acres of Fossil Creek, Arizona as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- The Craig Thomas Snake Headwaters Legacy Act (S.1281), would designate 388 miles of the Snake River headwaters and its tributaries that are located in Wyoming as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- The Taunton River Act (S.868 and H.R.415), would designate four segments of the Taunton River that encompass 40 miles to be part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
- The Missisquoi and Trout Rivers Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2008 (S.2093 and H.R.3667), would study whether a 50-mile segment of the Missisquoi River and a 20-mile segment of the Trout River should be protected by the Wild and Scenic River Act.
- The Arizona National Scenic Trail Act (S.1304 and H.R.2297), would add the Arizona National Trail as a National Scenic Trail. The trail is intended to highlight Arizona’s natural diversity and extends from Mexico through Arizona to Utah.
- The New England National Scenic Trail Designation Act (S.923 and H.R.1528), would designate the New England National Trail as part of the National Trails System. The bill would add the approximately 220-mile trail route from Northern Massachusetts through Connecticut, incorporating most of the existing Metacomet-Monadnock-Mattabesett Trail System.
- The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail Designation Act (S.268 and H.R.450), would create a trail to document the catastrophic flooding that stretched across parts of Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington during the last Ice Age. The designation of an Ice Age Floods Trail follows the recommendations of a 2001 study headed by the National Park Service which found the area suitable for addition into the National Park System.
- The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail Designation Act (S.686 and H.R.1286), would designate the 600-mile Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown, Virginia as a National Historic Trail. The designation of this route as a National Historic Trail follows a feasibility study that found the route was appropriate for designation.
- The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Act of 2008 (S.2943 and H.R.5926), woulddesignate the 1,200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail as a National Scenic Trail.
- The Trail of Tears Documentation Act (H.R.5335), would add new trail segments, land components, and campgrounds to the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail.
- The National Trails System Willing Seller Act (S.169 and H.R.1847), would amend the National Trails System Act to provide the federal government the authority to purchase lands from willing sellers for nine designated trails that currently lack such authority. These nine trails are the Oregon National Historic Trail, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Iditarod National Historic Trail, the North Country National Scenic Trail, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and the Nez Perce National Historic Trail.
- The National Historic Trails Feasibility Studies (S.580 and H.R.1336), would authorize the Secretary of Interior to study the possibility of adding new routes to the Oregon National Historic Trail, Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, California National Historic Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail.
- The Chisholm Trail and Great Western Trail Studies Act (S.2255 and H.R.2849), would direct the Secretary of Interior to study the inclusion of Chisholm Trail and Great Western Trail for possible addition into the National Trails System.
Title VI-Department of the Interior Authorizations
Title VI ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would, among others, help the Department of Interior improve its water conservation efforts and protection of fossil resources:
- The Cooperative Watershed Management Act of 2008 (S.3085) would instruct the Secretary of Interior to help create a program to improve water conservation, quality, and future conflicts.
- The Thomas P. O’Hara Public Land Career Opportunity Act (S.1433) would give federal employees who were hired in Alaska on a non-competitive basis because they had expertise on Alaska’s natural and cultural resources and who currently face employment restrictions, the ability to receive promotions and transfer throughout the federal employment system like other employees.
- The Baca National Wildlife Refuge Amendment Act (S.127 and H.R.1658) would give the Secretary of Interior specific purposes in its operation of the Baca National Wildlife Refuge.
- The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (S.320 and H.R.554) would help protect fossil resources that are found on federal lands. The legislation incorporates many of the recommendations on the subject issued by the Department of Interior in 2000.
- The Izembek and Alaska Peninsula Refuge and Wilderness Enhancement Act (S.1680 and H.R.2801) would authorize a discretionary land exchange, subject to the National Environmental Policy Act and a public interest determination by the Secretary of Interior, that would allow for the construction of a road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge and the designation of new wilderness areas within the refuge and the Alaska Peninsula Refuge.
- The Wolf Livestock Loss Prevention and Mitigation Act (S.2875) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide grants to States and tribes to reduce the risk of livestock loss by gray wolves or to compensate landowners for livestock loss due to predation.
Title VII-National Park Service Authorizations
Title VII ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would authorize additions to the National Park System:
- The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park Act (H.R.189 and S.148), would create the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park in New Jersey to commemorate the area as the first planned industrial center in America.
· S.245 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to designate the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home in Hope, Arkansas, as a National Historic Site and unit of the National Park System. The site is currently owned by a non-profit organization, the Clinton Birthplace Foundation, and has been restored to the same state as when President Clinton lived there. The Foundation has offered to donate the site to the United States for inclusion in the National Park System.
· The River Raisin National Battlefield Act (S.3247), would designate the River Raisin battlefield a unit of the National Park System. The River Raisin battlefield was the site of a major engagement during the War of 1812 where out of the nearly 1,000 United States soldiers and militia members who participated in the battle, only 33 escaped death or capture.
· S.189 would decrease the matching funds requirement and authorize additional funding for the Keweenaw National Historical Park in Michigan.
· The Weir Farm National Historic Site Amendment Act (S.1247), would amend the Weir Farm National Historic Site Establishment Act of 1990 to provide for the acquisition and limited development of any property acquired by the Secretary of the Interior for the development of visitor and administrative facilities for the Weir Farm National Historic Site.
· S.1961 wouldexpand the boundaries of the Little River Canyon National Preserve in Alabama.
· The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park Boundary Adjustment Act (H.R.2197 and S.1993), would modify the boundary of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Ohio by allowing the National Park Service to add the 177-acre Spruce Hill Works unit and a 180-acre addition to the existing Seip Earthworks unit.
· The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve Boundary Adjustment Act (S.783 and H.R.1387), would transfer management authority of Federally-owned lands to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and authorize the National Park Service to purchase certain private lands from willing sellers.
· The Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act (S.2513 and H.R.2815), would modify the boundary of the Minute Man National Historical Park to include 67 acres that encompasses a farm used by militia leader Colonel James Barrett. Minute Man National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1959 and it protects many of the locations associated with the Battle of Lexington and Concord, but not Colonel Barrett’s farm, which British troops invaded in an effort to confiscate weapons on his farm.
· The Everglades National Park Boundary Adjustment Act of 2008 (S.2804 and H.R.5708), would adjust the boundary of the Everglades National Park to include the Tarpon Basin in South Key Largo, Florida. Tarpon Basin is 586 acres of land and water and currently owned by The Nature Conservancy. The area, which is the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States, boasts rare and endangered species, such as the American crocodile, Florida panther, and West Indian manatee.
· TheEverglades National Park Land Exchange Act (S.3340 and H.R.6728) would authorize a land exchange between the federal and state government and a private company. The exchange would facilitate the construction of the Modified Water Deliveries Project, a vital component of Everglades restoration.
· The Kalaupapa Memorial Act of 2008 (H.R.3332), would provide for the establishment of a memorial within Kalaupapa National Historical Park located on the island of Molokai, in the State of Hawaii. In an appropriate manner, the memorial would honor and perpetuate the memory of individuals with Hansen’s Disease (leprosy) who were forcibly relocated to the Kalaupapa Peninsula from 1866 to 1969.
· S.1365 would amend the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into cooperative agreements with any of the management partners of the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. S.1365 authorizes the Secretary of Interior to consult with and enter into cooperative management agreements with all entities represented on the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership. In addition, the bill expands the scope of cooperative agreements to include the construction of recreation facilities.
- The National Women’s Rights History Project Act (S.1816 and H.R.3114), would authorize the Secretary of Interior to design a driving tour route that highlights the women’s suffrage movement in New York.
- The Martin Van Buren National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act (S.2535 and H.R.3063), would authorize the addition of 261 acres to the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site.
- The Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site Boundary Expansion Act (S.3011 and H.R.4828), would add 34 acres to the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site. The Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site is the only National Park System unit dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the Mexican-American War.
- The Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park Act of 2008 (S.3226), would designate Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky as theAbraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.
- H.R.5137 would ensure that hunting and fishing is permitted on lands within the New River Gorge National River.
- H.R.4199 would amend the Dayton Aviation Heritage Preservation Act of 1992 by adding two sites to the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.
- H.R.6176 would authorize an increase in the acreage ceiling for the Fort Davis National Historic Site in west Texas.
- The Walnut Canyon Study Act of 2007 (S.722 and H.R.1558), would direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to jointly conduct a study of certain land adjacent to the Walnut Canyon National Monument in the State of Arizona. The purpose of the national monument was originally established to include protection of natural and cultural resources that are known to be significant to contemporary native tribes.
- The Tule Lake Segregation Center Special Resource Study Act (S.1476 and H.R.2506), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resources study of the Tule Lake Segregation Center in Modoc County, California, to determine whether it should be included into the National Park System. Tule Lake, located in Modoc County, California, was the largest and longest-lived of the ten internment camps built by the War Relocation Authority to house the nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans relocated from the West Coast during World War II, pursuant to Executive Order 9066. The site was designated as a National Historic Landmark by the Secretary of the Interior in 2006.
- The Alexander Hamilton Boyhood Home Study Act of 2007 (S.1969), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to the inclusion of the Estate Grange and other sites related to Alexander Hamilton’s life on the island of St. Croix in the United States Virgin Islands as a unit of the National Park System. At the Estate Grange, a young Alexander Hamilton gained valuable skills in banking and writing that later led to his role as a founding father.
- The Harriet Beecher Stowe House Special Resource Study Act (S.662), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study on the inclusion of the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick, Maine, as a unit of the National Park System. Stowe is the author of the well-known book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which had a great influence on the Civil War. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963.
- S.1633 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the inclusion of the battlefield and related sites of the Battle of Shepherdstown in Shepherdstown, West Virginia as part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park or Antietam National Battlefield. The battlefield site covers approximately 300 acres and includes many different land owners.
- The Green McAdoo School National Historic Site Study Act of 2008 (S.2207 and H.R.2695), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the inclusion of the Green McAdoo School in Clinton, Tennessee as a unit of the National Park System. Green McAdoo School was the City of Clinton’s only public African American elementary school in the 1940s and 1950s.. Following the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, the school served as a strategy center and staging area during the desegregation of the public high school in Clinton.
- The America’s Historical and Natural Legacy Study Act (H.R.3998) would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the inclusion of the Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site in Missouri, the battlegrounds of Matewan, and the Butterfield Overland Trail in the States of Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California as part of the National Park System or National Trails System.
- S.2561 would direct the Secretary of Interior to conduct a study on Cold War sites that may be appropriate to be designated as a National Historic Landmark.
- The Battle of Camden Study Act (S.3051 and H.R.1674), would instruct the Secretary of Interior to study the Battle of Camden, South Carolina and Historic Camden, South Carolina for their possible inclusion into the National Park System.
- The Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2008 (S.1921 and H.R.2933), would reauthorize the American Battlefield Protection Act for an additional five years, from 2008 until 2013. Since 1999, over $33 million has been appropriated for the program, resulting in the protection of over 14,000 acres of endangered battlefields.
- The Preserve America and Save America’s Treasures Act (S.2262 and H.R.3981), would authorize the Preserve America Program and Save America’s Treasures Program. The Save America’s Treasures program works to recognize and preserve enduring national symbols.
- The Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program Reauthorization Act (S.3010 and H.R. 6046), would extend the authorization for this program through 2019.
- S.3096 would amend theThe National Cave and Karst Research Institute Act of 1998 by authorizing the necessary appropriations to carry out the Act.
- The Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau Advisory Commission Reauthorization Act of 2007 (S.1728), would amend the National Parks and Recreation Act of 1978 to reauthorize the Na Hoa Pili O Kaloko-Honokohau Advisory Commission. Since 1978, the Commission has overseen activities for the preservation, interpretation, and perpetuation of Hawaiian activities and culture in the Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park. This Act would reauthorize the Commission through the end of 2017.
- The Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Commission Reauthorization Act (S.3158 and H.R.6336), would extend the authorization for the commission until 2018, the National Park system advisory board until 2010, and the National Park Service Concessions Management Improvement Act of 1998 through 2009.
- TheSt. Augustine 450th Commemoration Commission Act of 2008 (S.2359 and HR.4258),would authorize the establishment of a commission whose purpose would be to plan and execute activities to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida.
- S.3607 would extend the authorization for the memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. to 2009.
Title VIII-National Heritage Areas
Title VIII ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would establish programs and criteria for National Heritage designation in the United States:
- The Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area Act (S.443 and H.R.859), would establish the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area in the State of Colorado. This area encompasses the existence of villages and lifestyles of some of America’s earliest Spanish settlements.
- The Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Technical Amendments Act (S.128 and H.R.591), would designate a new management entity, make certain technical and conforming amendments, and enhance private property protections.
- The South Park National Heritage Area Act (S.444 and H.R.3335), would establish the South Park National Heritage Area in the State of Colorado. This area encompasses gold mines and rare plant communities.
- The Northern Plains Heritage Area Act (S.2098 and H.R.6678), would establish the Northern Plains National Heritage Area in the State of North Dakota. The Lewis and Clark expedition spent more time in this region than any other area along their route to the Pacific. The Foundation has prepared a feasibility study for the proposed heritage area, which has been submitted to the National Park Service for review.
- The Baltimore National Heritage Area Act (S.2604 and H.R.5279), would establish the Baltimore National Heritage Area in Maryland. A feasibility study prepared in 2006 found that the area met the National Park Service’s interim criteria for national heritage designation.
- The Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area Act (S.827 and H.R.1297), would establish the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This area encompass a series of common themes related to the development of American freedom, democracy, conservation, social justice, and ethnic diversity.
- The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area Act of 2008 (S.2254), would establish the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area in Mississippi. The area has been strongly influenced by the intersection of the distinctive cultures of Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta. The heritage area also includes Rust College, which was founded before 1867, and stands as one of the five remaining historically black colleges in the United States. The bill designates the Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance as the management entity for the heritage area.
- The Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area Act of 2008 (S.2512), would establish the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area in Mississippi. This area has been strongly influenced by the immigration of people of African, Asian, and European descent to the United States, as well as the birthplace of Delta Blues music and the setting for the popular Mark Twain stories.
- The Celebrating America’s Heritage Act (H.R.1483 and S.817), would create six new national heritage areas (Journey through Hallowed Ground in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia; Niagara Falls in New York, Muscle Shoals in Alabama, Freedom’s Way in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Abraham Lincoln in Illinois; and Santa Cruz Valley in Arizona. The bill would also extend the funding authorization for certain national heritage areas.
- TheKenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Forest Heritage Area Act (S.3045), would create the Kenai Mountains-Turnagain Arm National Forest Heritage Area in Alaska.
- The Chattahoochee Trace National Heritage Corridor Study Act of 2007 (S.637), would direct the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of establishing the Chattahoochee Trace National Heritage Corridor in Alabama and Georgia. The Chattahoochee River area encompasses many large lakes that were created in the twentieth century which enhances the river’s recreational opportunities.
- The Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor Amendments Act (S.1182 and H.R.1949), would amend the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor Act to increase the appropriation ceiling for the heritage corridor and to extend the period in which the corridor is authorized to receive Federal funding.
Title IX-Bureau of Reclamation Authorizations
Title IX ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that would authorize the Secretary of Interior to conduct water studies in various areas of the country:
- The Snake, Boise, and Payette River Systems Act (S.542), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct feasibility studies to address certain water shortages within the Snake, Boise, and Payette River systems in Idaho. A feasibility study would produce a more in-depth analysis of the water supply alternatives that could assist in reducing the effects of the current prolonged drought.
- The Sierra Vista Subwatershed Feasibility Study Act (S.1929 and H.R.3328), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study on the water augmentation alternatives in the Sierra Vista Subwatershed. The Sierra Vista Subwatershed serves 76,000 residents and the San Pedro River, which it protects, serves as a principle passage for the migration of approximately 4 million birds annually, as well as a habitat for 100 species of birds, 81 species of mammals, 43 species of reptiles and amphibians, and two threatened species of native fish.
- The San Diego Water Storage and Efficiency Act (H.R.1803),would authorize the Secretary of Interior to study the feasibility of constructing water infrastructure improvements in San Diego.
- The Tumalo Water Conservation Project Act (S.1037 andH.R. 496), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to assist in the planning, design, and construction of the Tumalo Irrigation District Water Conservation Project in Deschutes County, Oregon. The goals of the Project are to enhance the flows in the middle basin of the Deschutes River, a major tributary to the Columbia River in Oregon, between Lake Billy Chinook and the City of Bend, and to eliminate water loss, enhance public safety, and conserve energy.
- The Madera Water Supply Enhancement Act (H.R.1855), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to enter into a cooperative agreement with the Madera Irrigation District to support its water supply enhancement project. Water contained in the water bank could be withdrawn during years of water shortages, providing a reliable source of water for the District.
- The Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System Authorization Act (S.2814), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide financial assistance to the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority for the planning, design, and construction of the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water System.
- The Rancho California Water District Recycled Water Reclamation Facility Act of 2008 (H.R.1725), would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the Rancho California Water District Southern Riverside County Recycled/Non-Potable Distribution Facilities and Demineralization/Desalination Recycled Water Treatment and Reclamation Facility Project. This project would create a new supply of 16,000 acre-feet of water per year, sustain open space, maximize local water storage, and relieve 144 cubic feet per second of treated water demand from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California during peak times.
- The Jackson Gulch Rehabilitation Act (S.1477), would authorize the Secretary of Interior to rehabilitate the Mancos Project canal and the Jackson Gulch Dam. The legislation would authorize the Secretary of Interior to pay a 65 percent federal cost chare for rehabilitation with the Mancos Water Conservancy District with a 35 percent share contract for rehabilitation. This canal and dam provide water to the residents, businesses, and farms in Montezuma County, Colorado and is need of major rehabilitation. The potential for a catastrophic failure of this project would be dire for the residents of Montezuma County and the prospect of building a new canal and dam would be much more expensive to the taxpayer.
- The Rio Grande Pueblos Irrigation Infrastructure Improvement Act (S.2805 and H.R.6024), would allocate federal resources to Indian tribes in New Mexico to assess and repair irrigation infrastructure in order to help conserve water resources in the area.
- The Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Improvement Act of 2008 (S.3189), would amend the Upper Colorado and San Juan River Basin Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Reauthorization Act of 2005 by extending its authorization through 2023 and increase the programs authorizations.
- H.R.29 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to provide water for irrigation, municipal, domestic, military, and other uses from the Santa Margarita River, California.
- The Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Wastewater and Recycled Water Facilities Act (H.R.31), would give the Secretary of Interior the authority toparticipate in the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District Wildomar Service Area Recycled Water Distribution Facilities and Alberhill Wastewater Treatment and Reclamation Facility Projects.
- The North Bay Water Reuse Program Act (H.R.236), would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to give limited financial assistance for the planning, design, and construction of water infrastructure projects in eastern Marin and southern Sonoma counties, California.
- The Santa Ana River Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2008 (H.R.813), would amend the Reclamation Wastewater and Groundwater Study and Facilities Act to authorize the Secretary of Interior to assist in the design, planning, and construction of water infrastructure projects.
- The Riverside-Corona Feeder Water Supply Act (H.R.1139), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the planning, design, and construction of the Riverside-Corona Feeder water supply project.
- The City of Oxnard Water Recycling and Desalination Act (H.R.1737), would authorize the Secretary of Interior to participate in the design, planning, and construction of a wastewater treatment plant near Oxnard, California.
- H.R.2614 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to participate in the design, planning, and construction of water infrastructure improvements within the Santa Ana Watershed, in cooperation with the Yucaipa Valley Water District.
- The Arkansas Valley Conduit Act of 2008 (S.2974), would authorize the construction water conduit that would transport water about 110 miles from Pueblo Dam to areas near Lamar, Colorado. This bill would also direct the Secretary of Interior to spend no more than 35 percent of the cost of the conduit.
- The McGee Creek Project Pipeline and Associated Facilities Conveyance Act (H.R.2085), would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the McGee Creek Authority certain facilities of the McGee Creek Project. The title transfer includes 23.83 acres of land, 17 miles of raw water pipeline, all control structures and related appurtenances, as well as the Rate of Flow Control Station at Lake Atoka.
- The Albuquerque Biological Park Title Clarification Act (S.2370), would resolve a land title dispute involving the city of Albuquerque purchase of two properties from the Rio Grande Conservancy District and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
- The Goleta Water Distribution System Conveyance Act of 2008 (H.R.3323), would conveythe Goleta Water District in Santa Barbara County, California to the Goleta Water Distribution System of the Cachuma Project.
- The San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund (H.R.123), would authorize appropriations for the San Gabriel Basin Restoration Fund, which leads the groundwater cleanup in the San Gabriel Basin and the Central Basin in Southern California. These basins supply drinking water to 1.4 million people in eastern Los Angeles County, California.
- The Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Fund (H.R.2515), would authorize the Bureau of Reclamation to carry out the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program in the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada. These costs are to be split 50/50 between the federal government and the participating non-federal entities.
- The Science and Engineering to Comprehensively Understand and Responsibly Enhance Water Act (S.2156), would authorize the Secretary of Interior acting through the Bureau of Reclamation to establish a climate change program that would assess the effect of climate change on water resources and the strategies needed to address the potential threats posed by climate change on those resources.
- The Aging Water Infrastructure and Maintenance Act (S.2842), would provide the Bureau of Reclamation with resources and the direction to inspect and maintain aging water facilities while also developing standards for aging water facilities to help make sure they do not fall into a state of disrepair.
Title X-Water Settlements
Title X ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that wouldresolve water conflicts in the West:
- The San Joaquin River Restoration Settlement Act (S.27 and H.R.4074), would end a 19-year dispute over the Bureau of Reclamation’s operation of the Friant Dam and its subsequent flows into the San Joaquin River. In 2006,a settlement was reached between multiple parties that includes the federal government and multiple third parties. This legislation honors that settlement and would restore the flows of the river so that native fish species can be reintroduced while keeping water supply levels sufficient to mitigate water losses by farmers and avoiding the potential for unfortunate litigation in the courts.
- The Northwestern New Mexico Rural Water Projects Act (S.1171 and H.R.1970), would help resolve a water dispute that began in 1975 between the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation over the resources in the San Juan River. In 2005, a settlement was reached between the state of New Mexico and the Navajo Nation that resolved this dispute but it cannot be implemented without legislation that most notably authorizes a series of water infrastructure projects and the creation of a water settlement and water resources funds. The passage of S.1171 would also make the United States Government a party to the agreement reached by the Navajo Nation and the state of New Mexico.
Title XI-United States Geological Survey Authorizations
Title XI ofSenate Amendment 5662contains the following bills that wouldimprove the United States Geological Survey and knowledge about water resources in New Mexico:
- The National Geologic Mapping Reauthorization Act (S.240 and H.R.5171) would reauthorize the National Cooperative Geologic MappingProgramthrough 2016. This program provides geologic maps of the United States that have aided stakeholder groups, land management agencies, and state mapping advisory committees.
- The New Mexico Aquifer Assessment Act (S.324 and H.R.2071) would authorize the Secretary of Interior to conduct a study on the water resources of New Mexico.
Title XII ofSenate Amendment 5662alsocontains the following bills non-controversial measures as reported by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee:
- The North Dakota Enabling Act and First Morrill Act Amendments Act (S.1740) would allow North Dakota to modernize the management of its Educational Trust Funds that were established at statehood. These proposed changes were supported by the state legislature in 2005 and passed as a ballot measure in 2006.
- The Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act (S.1522) would reauthorize the Fisheries Restoration and Irrigation Mitigation Act of 2000 which helps restore native anadromous and resident fish populations in the Pacific Northwest.
- S.1809 wouldamend theAlaska Natural Gas Pipeline Act to give the Federal Coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project the ability to more quickly hire employees.
- The Department of Energy Electricity Programs Enhancement Act (S.1203) would increase the number of Assistant Secretaries of Energy from 7 to 8.
- The Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute Land Conveyance Act (S.3179 and H.R.6592) would convey 135 acres of land currently owned or leased by the Department of Energy to the Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute.
- The Outdoor Recreation Act of 1963 Amendments Act (S.2220) would authorize appropriations for the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and Florida. To date, the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Hawaii and Florida has yet to receive regular federal funding though it has been charted by Congress for 43 years.
Senate Amendment 5662 was filed by Senator Bingaman to H.R.5151 on September 26, 2008.
At press time, the Bush Administration had not yet issued a Statement of Administration Policy on Senate Amendment 5662.