Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 547
105th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE

 2d Session                                                     105-308
_______________________________________________________________________


 
    EL CAMINO REAL DE LOS TEJAS NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

 September 8 (legislative day, August 31), 1998.--Ordered to be printed

_______________________________________________________________________


  Mr. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2276]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2276) to amend the National Trails System 
to designate El Camino Real de los Tejas as a National Historic 
Trail, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with amendments and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
pass.
    The amendments are as follows:
    1. On page 3, line 8 strike ``Loredo'' and insert 
``Laredo''.
    2. On page 3, line 24 strike ``(21)'' and insert ``(22)''.
    3. On page 4, line 13 strike ``________ 1998'' and insert 
``July 1998''.

                         Purpose of the Measure

    The purpose of S. 2276, as ordered reported, is to 
designate El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail 
in Texas and Louisiana as a component of the National Trails 
System.

                          Background and Need

    El Camino Real de los Tejas (El Camino Real) is a long 
corridor of overlapping routes connecting the Mexican cities of 
Saltillo, Monclova, Guerrero, and Coahuila, to San Antonio and 
Nacogdoches, Texas and continuing east to the vicinity of Los 
Adaes in Louisiana. These routes join to form El Camino Real 
and the immigration and trade route known as the Old San 
Antonio Road. El Camino Real and its variations, along with the 
Old San Antonio Road, contributed to the settlement and 
development of the Texas frontier during the Spanish, Mexican, 
and Anglo American periods.
    The National Trails System Act (NTSA) was enacted in 1968 
as a framework for a national system of connected scenic, 
historic and recreational trails. National Scenic Trails are 
continuous protected scenic corridors for outdoor recreation. 
National Recreation Trails offer a variety of opportunities for 
outdoor recreation in or reasonably accessible to urban areas. 
National Historic Trails are extended trails that provide for 
the protection of historic routes, and historic trail remnants 
and artifacts. The NTSA provides for a lead Federal agency to 
administer each national trail in cooperation with a variety of 
partners.
    Congress authorized a National Historic Feasibility Study, 
for the El Camino Real in 1993 (Public Law 103-145). The 
National Park Service completed this study in July, 1998 and 
found El Camino Real met the criteria for designation as a 
historic trail. The Camino Real route extends from the Rio 
Grande in Texas to Natchitoches, Louisiana, approximately 2,580 
miles. Roughly 2,500 miles of the route are in Texas, and the 
remaining 80 miles are in Louisiana.
    El Camino Real is nationally significant because of its use 
for exploration, conquest, missionary supply, settlement, 
cultural exchange, and military campaigns along this corridor 
dating back to 1689. Settlements along the El Camino Real 
established patterns still in evidence today and resulting in 
some of the oldest cities in Texas and Louisiana. Such urban 
areas as San Antonio, Nacogdoches, and Laredo were founded 
along El Camino Real, and segments of the route have become 
part of todays modern highways.
    El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail would 
be administered by the Secretary of the Interior through 
partnerships with public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and 
private landowners.

                          Legislative History

    S. 2276 was introduced by Senators Landrieu and Breaux on 
July 8, 1998 and referred to the Energy and Natural Resources 
Committee. The Subcommittee on National Parks, Historic 
Preservation and Recreation held a hearing on S. 2276 on July 
23, 1998.
    At its business meeting on July 29, 1998, the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 2276, as amended, 
favorably reported.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on July 29, 1998, by a unanimous voice vote of 
a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 2276, if 
amended as described herein.

                          Committee Amendment

    During the consideration of S. 2276, the Committee adopted 
a technical amendment, which corrected one spelling error and 
updated a map reference.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1 designates the bill's short title as the ``El 
Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Act of 1998''.
    Section 2 lists the findings and the purposes of the bill. 
The findings include: (1) El Camino Real served as the primary 
route between Mexico City, the Spanish provincial capital of 
Tejas at Las Adaes, and San Antonio; (2) Mexico and the United 
States fought for control over lands along the evolving travel 
routes; (3) the future of several American Indian Nations were 
tied to complex cultural interactions that resulted; (4) the 
Old San Antonio Road was a series of routes established in the 
early 19th century sharing the same corridor and routes as the 
El Camino Real; (5) El Camino Real carried Spanish and Mexican 
influences northeastward, and by its successor, the Old San 
Antonio Road, which carried American influence westward; and 
(6) portions of El Camino Real extended from the Rio Grande 
near Eagle Pass and Loredo, Texas, and generally ran 
northeasterly through San Antonio, Bastrop, Nacogdoches, and 
San Augustine in Texas to Natchitoches, Louisiana, a distance 
of approximately 550 miles.
    Section 3 amends Section 5(a) of the National Trails System 
Act to designate El Camino Real as a National Historic Trail. 
The trail is depicted on a map entitled ``National Historic 
Trail Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment: El Camino 
Real de los Tejas'', dated July, 1998. This section requires 
that the trail be administered by the Secretary of the 
Interior. In addition, it states that no land outside the 
exterior boundaries of any federally administered area may be 
acquired for the trail except with the consent of the owner. 
Finally, the Secretary of the Interior may coordinate with 
United States and Mexican public and non-governmental 
organizations, in consultation with the Secretary of State, the 
government of Mexico and its political subdivisions, for the 
purpose of establishing an international historic trail with 
complementary preservation and education programs in each 
country.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 17, 1998.
Hon. Frank Murkowski,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2276, the El Camino 
Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

               congressional budget office cost estimate

S. 2276--El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Act of 
        1998

    CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would cost 
less than $500,000 annually, assuming the availability of 
appropriated funds. The bill would not affect direct spending 
or receipts, so pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply. S. 
2276 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates 
as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and would not 
affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    S. 2276 would amend the National Trails System Act to 
designate El Camino Real de los Tejas (the Royal Road to the 
Tejas) as a National Historic Trail. The segment of the El 
Camino Real considered for designation is a combination of 
routes totaling 2,580 miles in length from near Laredo, Texas, 
to Natchitoches, Louisiana. The bill would provide for trail 
administration by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and 
would permit the department to coordinate with U.S. and Mexican 
public and private entities on various trail preservation and 
enhancement projects.
    Upon enactment of the bill the National Park Service (NPS) 
would prepare a comprehensive management plan, which would cost 
about $300,000, mostly in fiscal years 1999 and 2000. Based on 
information provided by the NPS, CBO estimates that DOI would 
incur trail administration and preservation costs of about 
$100,000 in 1999, increasing to about $400,000 annually by 
2001. In total, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing S. 2276 would cost 
about $250,000 in fiscal year 1999 and between $350,000 and 
$450,000 annually thereafter.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
This estimate was approved by Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 2276. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards of 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from 
enactment of S. 2276, as ordered reported.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony of the Department of the Interior at the 
Subcommittee hearing follows:

Statement by Maureen Finnerty, Associate Director, Park Operations and 
    Education, the National Park Service, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to appear before you today to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 2276, a bill to amend 
the National Trails System Act to designate El Camino Real de 
los Tejas (The Royal Road to the Tejas) as a National Historic 
Trail. We strongly support this legislation and thank Senator 
Landrieu and Senator Breaux for their sponsorship.
    The bill is in keeping with the findings of the National 
Historic Trail Feasibility Study and Environmental Assessment, 
El Camino Real de los Tejas, Texas--Louisiana, completed in 
July 1998. The National Park Service was authorized to study 
both El Camino Real de los Tejas and the Old San Antonio Road 
by P.L. 103-145. The National Park Service study concluded that 
both roads met all national historic trail criteria as defined 
by the study provisions of the National Trails System Act (P.L. 
90-543). The study was presented to the National Park System 
Advisory Board and the Board concurred with the findings. We 
believe S. 2276 accurately addresses the overall national 
significance of El Camino Real de los Tejas and the Old San 
Antonio Road.
    If enacted, S. 2276 would add the Camino Real de los Tejas 
as a national historic trail component of the National Trails 
System. It would designate a series of routes, totaling 
approximately 2,600 miles. The designated trail would include 
the evolving routes of the camino real as well as its 
successor, the Old San Antonio Road. The trail would extend 
across a 550-mile-long corridor from the Rio Grande near Eagle 
Pass and Laredo, Texas to Natchitoches (pronounced Na-co-desh), 
Louisiana. The bill would provide for trail administration by 
the Secretary of the Interior. It would provide that no land or 
interest in land outside the exterior boundaries of any 
federally administered area may be acquired by the United 
States for the trail except with the consent of the owner of 
the land. Finally, the bill would allow the Secretary of the 
Interior to coordinate activities with United States and 
Mexican public and non-governmental organizations, academic 
institutions and, in consultation with the Secretary of State, 
the government of Mexico and its political subdivisions. These 
activities include exchanging of trail information and 
research, fostering trail preservation and education programs, 
providing technical assistance, and working to establish an 
international historic trail with complementary preservation 
and education programs in each nation.
    The story of El Camino Real de los Tejas spans the 160-year 
period between 1689 and 1850. During this time, international 
rivalries for domination of lands fronting the Gulf of Mexico 
were manifested through the development of roads across the 
area. The European colonial powers of Spain, France, and 
England and later on, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, and the 
United States, all had stakes in this competition. The routes 
of El Camino Real de los Tejas and the Old San Antonio Road 
served as an integral part to the geo-political and cultural 
changes created by this competition. Also linked to these 
forces and cultural changes was the future welfare of several 
native tribes, whose prehistoric trade routes extended from 
Mexico to the Mississippi and served as the basis for Spanish 
exploration and colonization.
    El Camino Real de los Tejas served as the primary route 
between the Spanish viceregal capital of Mexico City and the 
Spanish provincial capital of Tejas at Los Adaes (1721-73) and 
San Antonio (1773-1821). The camino real, bringing Spanish and 
Mexican influences northeastward, led to the exploration, 
conquest, colonization, settlement, migration, military 
occupation, religious conversion, and cultural interaction that 
helped shape the southern borderlands. The Old San Antonio Road 
brought American immigrants and influence westward to Texas 
during the early 19th century. This large-scale immigration led 
to revolt and the creation of the Texas Republic and eventually 
its annexation to the United States, which in turn precipitated 
war between the U.S. and Mexico.
    While the entire route of El Camino Real de los Tejas 
extended over 1,600 miles from Mexico City to Los Adaes, most 
of the route lies in Mexico today. To understand the portions 
of el camino real in the United States, requires that we 
understand the historical context of the whole route. S. 2276 
would allow for collaborative programs with Mexican 
institutions, both public and private, that would help in fully 
understanding history, geography, and cultures. It would also 
help to better preserve trail resources. Interest has been 
expressed by officials in Mexico for developing preservation 
and education programs along Mexico's part of El Camino Real de 
los Tejas. If this complementary program were implemented in 
Mexico, an international historic trail would be created which 
benefits would lead to increased mutual understanding between 
our nations.
    Partnerships and cooperation are the keystones to the 
development of the National Trails System. They are essential 
ingredients to bringing about the preservation and 
interpretation of El Camino Real de los Tejas resources, from 
trail remnants to Spanish colonial structures and archeological 
sites. The trail crosses public and private lands and it is 
important that the intent of the National Trails System Act be 
met by respecting private properly rights. In so doing, we will 
develop solid and long-lasting relationships with partners and 
help to stimulate and maintain a strong, grassroots-managed 
trail system. It is also vital that we acknowledge the pride 
and stewardship of all our partners, private and public, in 
their voluntary and good faith efforts to preserve and 
appropriately share their part of our national patrimony. The 
National Trails System Act, through its certification 
provisions and other incentives, provides the means to 
successfully stimulate voluntary preservation and 
interpretation efforts and to bring about appropriate public 
use of those sites or trail segments.
    Opportunities for partnerships along El Camino Real de los 
Tejas are very promising as shown by growing public interest 
and efforts to help commemorate it. The long-term success of 
the trail will depend on their continued involvement, as well 
as that of the States of Texas and Louisiana, landowners, and 
other organizations and individuals.
    Should this legislation be enacted, the National Park 
Service, subject to the availability of funds, would first 
prepare a comprehensive management plan with public input to 
identify the goals and objectives for trail preservation, 
research, interpretation, public use, trail marking, and 
cooperative management. The required national historic trail 
advisory council would be established with broad representation 
of those interested, including private landowners, to advise on 
trail planning and administration matters. The National Park 
Service would implement the plan by providing technical and 
limited financial assistance for preservation, historical 
research, planning and design for interpretation and 
development projects. It would also manage negotiating and 
certifying qualifying sites, trail segments, and interpretive 
facilities. NPS would develop and manage the official trail 
marker symbol and marking the route; and negotiate agreements 
with different trail partners. This would include establishing 
agreements with Mexico to enrich our understanding of trail 
history, and to exchange information to enhance resource 
preservation and public understanding.
    Mr. Chairman, we recommend two technical corrections to the 
legislation. On page 3, line 6 strike ``Loredo'' insert 
``Laredo''; and on page 4, line 13 strike ``________ 1998'' and 
insert ``July 1998''.
    We appreciate the committee's interest in this legislation. 
That concludes my remarks and I would be happy to respond to 
any questions that you may have.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 2276, as ordered reported, are shown as follows 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

(Public Law 90-543, as amended--October 2, 1968)

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


    Sec. 5. (a) National Scenic and National Historic Trails 
shall be authorized and designated only by Act of Congress. 
There are hereby established the following National Scenic and 
National Historic Trails:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [()] (20) The Selma to Montgomery National Historic 
        Trail, consisting of 54 miles of city streets and 
        United States Highway 80 from Brown Chapel A.M.E. 
        Church in Selma to the State Capitol Building in 
        Montgomery, Alabama, traveled by voting rights 
        advocates during March 1965 to dramatize the need for 
        voting rights legislation, as generally described in 
        the report of the Secretary of the Interior prepared 
        pursuant to subsection (b) of this section entitled 
        ``Selma to Montgomery'' and dated April 1993. Maps 
        depicting the route shall be on file and available for 
        public inspection in the Office of the National Park 
        Service, Department of the Interior. The trail shall be 
        administered in accordance with this Act, including 
        section 7(h). The Secretary of the Interior, acting 
        through the National Park Service, which shall be the 
        lead federal agency, shall cooperate with other 
        Federal, State and local authorities to preserve 
        historic sites along the route, including (but not 
        limited to) the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the Brown 
        Chapel A.M.E. Church.
          (22) El Camino Real de los Tejas.
                  (A) In general.--El Camino Real de los Tejas 
                (The Royal Road to the Tejas) National Historic 
                Trail, a combination of routes totaling 2,580 
                miles in length from the Rio Grande near Eagle 
                Pass and Laredo, Texas to Natchitoches, 
                Louisiana, and including the Old San Antonio 
                Road, as generally depicted on the maps 
                entitled ``El Camino Real de los Tejas'', 
                contained in the report prepared pursuant to 
                subsection (b) entitled ``National Historic 
                Trial Feasibility Study and Environmental 
                Assessment: El Camino Real de los Tejas, Texas-
                Louisiana'', dated July 1998. A map generally 
                depicting the trail shall be on file and 
                available for public inspection in the Office 
                of the National Park Service, Department of 
                Interior. The trail shall be administered by 
                the Secretary of the Interior. No land or 
                interest in land outside the exterior 
                boundaries of any federally administered area 
                may be acquired by the United States for the 
                trail except with the consent of the owner of 
                the land or interest in land.
                  (B) Coordination of activities.--The 
                Secretary of the Interior may coordinate with 
                United States and Mexican public and non-
                governmental organizations, academic 
                institutions, and, in conjunction with the 
                Secretary of State, the government of Mexico 
                and its political subdivisions, for the purpose 
                of exchanging trail information and research, 
                fostering trail preservation and education 
                programs, providing technical assistance, and 
                working to establish and international historic 
                trail with complementary preservation and 
                education programs in each nation.