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Weekly Legislative Activities Report

National Park News

The Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs puts out weekly reports on hearings, new legislation and other activities on the Hill. This report covers the week ending on Friday, July 26th.

In order to obtain the full text of any of the bills that appear below, click on the following link: http://thomas.loc.gov/ . That will take you to Thomas, the Library of Congress legislative tracking system. Enter the bill number in the “Search Bill Text” block, being sure to also click on the “Bill Number” option below the block.

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New Public Laws

Nothing to report.

Floor Action

Nothing to report.

Committee Activity

On July 23rd, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) held a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  The Department’s witness was Bert Frost, Associate Director, Natural Resources Stewardship and Science:

  • H.R. 163 (Benishek, R-MI-1), to designate as wilderness certain land and inland   water within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in the State of Michigan, and for other purposes. The Department strongly supports the bill.
  • H.R. 706 (Cicilline, D-RI-1), to establish the Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, to dedicate the Park to John H. Chafee, and for other purposes.  The bill includes an extension of authority for the local coordinating entity for the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Area to receive funding through Fiscal Year 2016.  The Department supports the bill.
  • H.R. 930 (Schock, R-IL-18), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the archeological site and surrounding land of the New Philadelphia town site in the State of Illinois, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill.

On July 23rd, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs (Young) held a hearing on H.R. 2319 (Mullin, R-OK-2), to clarify certain provisions of the Native American Veterans’ Memorial Establishment Act of 1994.  The bill would allow placement of the memorial on the grounds of the National Museum of the American Indian, and it would allow the Museum to accept donations for funding the memorial.  The Department did not testify on the bill.

On July 23rd, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies (Simpson) held a markup on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014.

On July 24th, the House Natural Resources Committee (Hastings) approved the following bills of interest to the National Park Service:
  • H.R. 586 (Young, R-AK-At Large), to provide for certain improvements to the Denali National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes. The bill would authorize the Secretary to issue permits for micro-hydro projects in the Kantishna Hills area, to conduct a land exchange between the NPS and Doyon Tourism, Inc, and to issue right-of-way permits for a natural gas transmission pipeline within the park.  It would also designate the Talkeetna Ranger Station as the Walter Harper Talkeetna Ranger Station.  The Department supports or has no objection to each of these provisions.
  • H.R. 1459 (Bishop, R-UT-1), to ensure that the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 applies to the declaration of national monuments, and for other purposes. The Department strongly opposes the bill.
  • H.R. 1513 (Perry, R-PA-4), to revise the boundaries of the Gettysburg National Military Park to include the Gettysburg Train Station and certain land along Plum Run in Cumberland Township, to limit the means by which property within such revised boundaries may be acquired, and for other purposes. The Department supports the bill, but requested amendments that were not made by the committee.
  • H.R. 2197 (Pingree, D-ME-1), to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the York River and associated tributaries for study for potential inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  The Department supports the bill.
  • S. 157 (Murkowski, R-AK), a bill to provide for certain improvements to the Denali National Park and Preserve in the State of Alaska, and for other purposes. (See description of H.R. 586, above.)
  • S. 304 (Cochran, R-MS), a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey to the State of Mississippi 2 parcels of surplus land within the boundary of the Natchez Trace Parkway, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill.
  • S. 459 (Johnson, D-SD), a bill to modify the boundary of the Minuteman Missile    National Historic Site in the State of South Dakota, and for other purposes.  The Department supports the bill.

On July 25th, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee (Wyden) held an oversight hearing on “Funding the National Park System for the Next Century.”  The purpose of the hearing was to consider supplemental funding options to support the National Park Service’s efforts to address deferred maintenance and operational needs. The Department’s witness was Director Jon Jarvis.

On July 25th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs (Fleming) held a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  Department’s witness was Stephen Guertin, Deputy Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
  • H.R. 358 (McCollum, D-MN-4), to direct the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, in coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service, and the United States Geological Survey, to lead a multiagency effort to slow the spread of Asian Carp in the Upper Mississippi and Ohio River basins and tributaries, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 709 (Ellison, D-MN-5), to authorize the Secretary of the Army to take actions to manage the threat of Asian carp traveling up the Mississippi River in the State of Minnesota, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1818 (Young, R-AK-At Large), to amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act    of 1972 to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before the date the polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.
  • H.R. 2158 (Fleming, R-LA-4), to exempt from the Lacey Act Amendments of 1981 the expedited removal from the United States of certain snake species, and for other purposes.

New Bills Introduced     

The following bills of interest to the NPS were introduced:
  • H.R. 2763 (Slaughter, D-NY-25), to reauthorize appropriations for the National Women's Rights History Project Act.
  • H.R. 2798 (Latta, R-OH-5), to amend Public Law 106-206 to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees for commercial filming activities on Federal land for film crews of 5 persons or fewer.
  • H.R. 2799 (Latta, R-OH-5), to establish the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council Advisory Committee to advise the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture on wildlife and habitat conservation, hunting, recreational shooting, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1339 (Brown, D-OH), a bill to reauthorize the Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Canalway.

Upcoming Committee Activity

On July 29th, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power (McClintock) will hold an oversight field hearing on “Stopping Federal Land and Water Grabs: Protecting Property Rights from Washington, DC Edicts.”  The hearing is scheduled for 1:00 PM at the Theater of the West Plains Civic Center, West Plains, MO.  The Department’s witness has not been determined.

On July 31st, the Senate Energy & Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks (Udall) will hold a hearing on the following bills of interest to the National Park Service.  The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 PM in SD-366 Dirksen.  The Department’s witness has not been determined:
  • S. 398 (Collins, R-ME), a bill to establish the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Women's History Museum, and for other purposes.
  • S. 524 (Bennet, D-CO), a bill to amend the National Trails System Act to provide   for the study of the Pike National Historic Trail.
  • S. 618 (Schatz, D-HI), a bill to require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct certain special resource studies.
  • S. 702 (Blumenthal, D-CT), a bill to designate the Quinebaug and Shetucket Rivers Valley National Heritage Corridor as "The Last Green Valley National Heritage Corridor".
  • S. 781 (Feinstein, D-CA), a bill to modify the boundary of Yosemite National Park, and for other purposes.
  • S. 782 (Casey, D-PA), a bill to amend Public Law 101-377 to revise the boundaries of the Gettysburg National Military Park to include the Gettysburg Train Station, and for other purposes.
  • S. 869 (Shelby, R-AL), a bill to establish the Alabama Black Belt National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.
  • S. 925 (Gillibrand, D-NY), a bill to improve the Lower East Side Tenement National Historic Site, and for other purposes.
  • S. 974 (Reid, D-NV), a bill to provide for certain land conveyances in the State of   Nevada, and for other purposes.
  • S. 995 (Boozman, R-AR), a bill to authorize the National Desert Storm Memorial Association to establish the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial as a commemorative work in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1044 (Portman, R-OH), a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
  • S. 1071 (Udall, D-CO), a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to make improvements to support facilities for National Historic Sites operated by the National Park Service, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1138 (Gillibrand, D-NY), a bill to reauthorize the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
  • S. 1151 (Harkin, D-IA), a bill to reauthorize the America's Agricultural Heritage Partnership in the State of Iowa.
  • S. 1157 (Casey, D-PA), a bill to reauthorize the Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, the Lackawanna Valley National Heritage Area, the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor, and the Schuylkill River Valley National Heritage Area.
  • S. 1186 (Warren, D-MA), a bill to reauthorize the Essex National Heritage Area.
  • S. 1252 (Sanders, I-VT), a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate segments of the Missisquoi River and the Trout River in the State of Vermont, as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
  • S. 1253 (Murphy, D-CT), a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State     of Connecticut as components of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1328 (Kirk, R-IL), a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the archeological site and surrounding land of the New Philadelphia town site in the State of Illinois, and for other purposes.
  • S. 1339 (Brown, D-OH), a bill to reauthorize the Ohio & Erie Canal National Heritage Canalway.
  • H.R. 674 (Sablan, D-MP), to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating prehistoric, historic, and limestone forest sites on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a unit of the       National Park System.
  • H.R. 885 (Doggett, D-TX-35), to expand the boundary of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 1033 (Holt, D-NJ-12), to authorize the acquisition and protection of nationally significant battlefields and associated sites of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 under the American Battlefield Protection Program.
  • H.R. 1158 (Hastings, R-WA-4), to direct the Secretary of the Interior to continue stocking fish in certain lakes in the North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

On August 2nd, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security (Chaffetz) and the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (Bishop) will hold an oversight hearing titled “Review of U.S. Park Police Weapons Accountability Program.”  The hearing is scheduled for 9:00 AM in 2154 Rayburn.  The Department’s witness will be Director Jon Jarvis.

On August 2nd, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs (Fleming) will hold a hearing on H.R. 2798 (Latta, R-OH-5), to amend Public Law 106-206 to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees for commercial filming activities on Federal land for film crews of 5 persons or fewer.  The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 AM in 1334 Longworth. The Department’s witness has not been determined.

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For additional information, please visit the Legislative and Congressional Affairs Office website at http://www.nps.gov/legal/



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