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106th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 106-255
SAINT HELENA ISLAND NATIONAL SCENIC AREA ACT
July 26, 1999.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 468]
[Including Cost Estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 468) to establish the Saint Helena Island National Scenic
Area, having considered the same, report favorably thereon with
an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Saint Helena Island National Scenic
SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF SAINT HELENA ISLAND NATIONAL SCENIC AREA,
(a) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to preserve and protect for present and future
generations the outstanding resources and values of Saint
Helena Island in Lake Michigan, Michigan, and
(2) to provide for the conservation, protection, and
enhancement of primitive recreation opportunities, fish and
wildlife habitat, vegetation, and historical and cultural
resources of the island.
(b) Establishment.--For the purposes described in subsection (a),
there shall be established the Saint Helena Island National Scenic Area
(in this Act referred to as the ``scenic area'').
(c) Effective Upon Conveyance.--Subsection (b) shall be effective
upon conveyance of satisfactory title to the United States of the whole
of Saint Helena Island, except that portion conveyed to the Great Lakes
Lighthouse Keepers Association pursuant to section 1001 of the Coast
Guard Authorization Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-324; 110 Stat. 3948).
SEC. 3. BOUNDARIES.
(a) Saint Helena Island.--The scenic area shall comprise all of Saint
Helena Island, in Lake Michigan, Michigan, and all associated rocks,
pinnacles, islands, and islets within one-eighth mile of the shore of
Saint Helena Island.
(b) Boundaries of Hiawatha National Forest Extended.--Upon
establishment of the scenic area, the boundaries of the Hiawatha
National Forest shall be extended to include all of the lands within
the scenic area. All such extended boundaries shall be deemed
boundaries in existence as of January 1, 1965, for the purposes of
section 8 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16
(c) Payments to Local Governments.--Solely for purposes of payments
to local governments pursuant to section 6902 of title 31, United
States Code, lands acquired by the United States under this Act shall
be treated as entitlement lands.
SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT.
(a) Administration.--Subject to valid existing rights, the Secretary
of Agriculture (in this Act referred to as the ``Secretary'') shall
administer the scenic area in accordance with the laws, rules, and
regulations applicable to the National Forest System in furtherance of
the purposes of this Act.
(b) Special Management Requirements.--Within 3 years of the date of
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall seek to develop a management
plan for the scenic area as an amendment to the land and resources
management plan for the Hiawatha National Forest. Such an amendment
shall conform to the provisions of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall
require the Secretary to revise the land and resource management plan
for the Hiawatha National Forest pursuant to section 6 of the Forest
and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 (16 U.S.C.
1604). In developing a plan for management of the scenic area, the
Secretary shall address the following special management
(1) Public access.--Alternative means for providing public
access from the mainland to the scenic area shall be
considered, including any available existing services and
facilities, concessionaires, special use permits, or other
means of making public access available for the purposes of
(2) Roads.--After the date of enactment of this Act, no new
permanent roads shall be constructed within the scenic area.
(3) Vegetation management.--No timber harvest shall be
allowed within the scenic area, except as may be necessary in
the control of fire, insects, and diseases, and to provide for
public safety and trail access. Notwithstanding the foregoing,
the Secretary may engage in vegetation manipulation practices
for maintenance of wildlife habitat and visual quality. Trees
cut for these purposes may be utilized, salvaged, or removed
from the scenic area as authorized by the Secretary.
(4) Motorized travel.--Motorized travel shall not be
permitted within the scenic area, except on the waters of Lake
Michigan, and as necessary for administrative use in
furtherance of the purposes of this Act.
(5) Fire.--Wildfires shall be suppressed in a manner
consistent with the purposes of this Act, using such means as
the Secretary deems appropriate.
(6) Insects and disease.--Insect and disease outbreaks may be
controlled in the scenic area to maintain scenic quality,
prevent tree mortality, or to reduce hazards to visitors.
(7) Dockage.--The Secretary shall provide through concession,
permit, or other means docking facilities consistent with the
management plan developed pursuant to this section.
(8) Safety.--The Secretary shall take reasonable actions to
provide for public health and safety and for the protection of
the scenic area in the event of fire or infestation of insects
(c) Consultation.--In preparing the management plan, the Secretary
shall consult with appropriate State and local government officials,
provide for full public participation, and consider the views of all
interested parties, organizations, and individuals.
SEC. 5. FISH AND GAME.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed as affecting the jurisdiction
or responsibilities of the State of Michigan with respect to fish and
wildlife in the scenic area.
SEC. 6. MINERALS.
Subject to valid existing rights, the lands within the scenic area
are hereby withdrawn from disposition under all laws pertaining to
mineral leasing, including all laws pertaining to geothermal leasing.
Also subject to valid existing rights, the Secretary shall not allow
any mineral development on federally owned land within the scenic area,
except that common varieties of mineral materials, such as stone and
gravel, may be utilized only as authorized by the Secretary to the
extent necessary for construction and maintenance of roads and
facilities within the scenic area.
SEC. 7. ACQUISITION.
(a) Acquisition of Lands Within the Scenic Area.--The Secretary shall
acquire, by purchase from willing sellers, gift, or exchange, lands,
waters, structures, or interests therein, including scenic or other
easements, within the boundaries of the scenic area to further the
purposes of this Act.
(b) Acquisition of Other Lands.--The Secretary may acquire, by
purchase from willing sellers, gift, or exchange, not more than 10
acres of land, including any improvements thereon, on the mainland to
provide access to and administrative facilities for the scenic area.
SEC. 8. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) Acquisition of Lands.--There are hereby authorized to be
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the acquisition of land,
interests in land, or structures within the scenic area and on the
mainland as provided in section 7.
(b) Other Purposes.--In addition to the amounts authorized to be
appropriated under subsection (a), there are authorized to be
appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the development and
implementation of the management plan under section 4(b).
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 468 is to establish the Saint Helena
Island National Scenic Area.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
In 1667, a Native American community called the ``New
Village of Ottawa'' was established in the State of Michigan
between Pointe La Barbe and Gros Cap on the mainland directly
north of Saint Helena Island in Lake Michigan. This area is now
managed as the Hiawatha National Forest by the Secretary of
Agriculture. Native Americans from the mainland used the Island
as a special place to visit. There are several Native American
legends concerning Saint Helena Island, and it was called
``Mish-aou-o-ning'' meaning beautiful island.
In 1873, a lighthouse was built and remained in operation
until the 1920s. In 1988, the Boy Scouts of America began
restoring the lighthouse, and it is estimated that their
efforts are 75 percent complete.
Saint Helena Island in Lake Michigan contains approximately
240 acres, all in private ownership with the exception of the
3-plus acres owned by the U.S. Coast Guard which contain the
lighthouse. The Island is approximately one mile long from
northwest to southeast, and is about 3/8ths of a mile across at
its widest point. The owners of this historic island have put
it up for sale.
H.R. 468 will authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to
acquire the Island (excepting the parcel containing the
lighthouse) and manage it as a designated scenic area within
the Hiawatha National Forest. The bill would also allow the
Secretary to acquire up to 10 acres of land, including
improvements, on the mainland, to provide access and facilities
for the scenic area. The Secretary would also develop a
management plan for the area within three years.
This will preserve and protect for future generations the
outstanding resources and values of Saint Helena Island and
provide for the conservation, protection and enhancement of
primitive recreational opportunities, fish and wildlife
habitat, vegetation and historical and cultural resources of
H.R. 468 was introduced on February, 2, 1999, by
Congressman Dale Kildee (D-MI). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to both the
Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health and the Subcommittee
on Energy and Minerals. On June 17, 1999, the Subcommittee on
Forests and Forest Health held a hearing on the bill, where
Congressman Kildee testified and the U.S. Forest Service was in
attendance. On June 30, 1999, the Committee on Resources met to
consider the bill. The Subcommittee on Forests and Forest
Health and the Subcommittee on Energy and Minerals were
discharged by unanimous consent from further consideration of
H.R. 468. Congressman Kildee offered an amendment in the nature
of a substitute that made technical corrections to the bill. It
was adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was then
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by
committee oversight findings and recommendations
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee on Resources' oversight findings and recommendations
are reflected in the body of this report.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the
Constitution of the United States grant Congress the authority
to enact this bill.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B)
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2)
of Rule XIII of the rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures.
3. Government Reform Oversight Findings. Under clause
3(c)(4) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives, the Committee has received no report of
oversight findings and recommendations from the Committee on
Government Reform on this bill.
4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act
of 1974, the Com-
mittee has received the following cost estimate for this bill
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, July 14, 1999.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 468, the Saint
Helena Island National Scenic Area Act.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Victoria Heid
Barry B. Anderson
(For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
H.R. 468--Saint Helena Island National Scenic Area Act
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 468 would cost about
$2 million over the 2000-2004 period, subject to appropriation
of the estimated amounts. Because the bill would not affect
direct spending or receipts, pay-as-you-go procedures would not
apply. H.R. 468 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
H.R. 468 would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to
acquire almost 240 acres of privately owned land comprising
most of Saint Helena Island in Lake Michigan to establish the
Saint Helena Island National Scenic Area. the bill also would
authorize the Secretary to acquire up to 10 acres of land,
including improvements, on the mainland to provide access and
facilities for the proposed scenic area. The acquired land
would be managed as part of the Hiawatha National Forest. The
bill would direct the Secretary to develop a management plan
for the area within three years.
Based on information from the Forest Service, CBO estimates
that the agency would spend about $1.5 million to acquire the
land, plus another $600,000 to establish and manage the scenic
area, including developing a management plan for the island,
constructing basic facilities, and surveying the area. Once the
national scenic area is established, ongoing administrative
costs would total about $50,000 each year. Spending to
implement the bill would be subject to appropriation of the
The CBO staff contact is Victoria Heid Hall. This estimate
was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director
for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
changes in existing law
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing
H.R. 468 provides a wonderful opportunity to protect a
beautiful island in the Straits of Mackinac in Lake Michigan.
Owned by willing sellers, St. Helena Island is located
approximately two miles from the northern shore of Lake
Michigan with a beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge. In
addition, the Island contains a historic lighthouse which is
listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The two
acres on which the lighthouse sits, were recently conveyed via
quitclaim from the Coast Guard to the Great Lakes Lighthouse
Keepers Association. This bill would authorize purchase of the
remainder of the island.
The legislation will authorize the purchase of St. Helena
Island from the sellers of the Brown and Hammond families. The
island would become part of the Hiawatha National Forest, whose
boundary reaches the shoreline to the immediate north of the
Island. The National Forest Service would then manage the
island as a national scenic area, and the island would be open
to the public for recreational use.
The habitat of the island is ecologically diverse. There
are over three hundred species of plant life, almost a quarter
of which are not native to Michigan. Wildlife species include
red fox, coyote, snowshoe rabbits, and beavers. Furthermore,
numerous species of birds can be found as well.
In the 1800's, the island was populated with over 200
people in a fishing community that also provisioned ship
traffic passing through the Straits. However, the island
currently has no population. Today, the island is used, with
the permission of the owners, for several youth summer
programs. For example, in 1994 NOAA invited Boy Scott Troop 4
to present the only fresh water paper at the Third
International Conference on Marine Debris. This paper was based
on the troop's effort in cleaning up the island shoreline.
The local forest service is willing to manage the land, and
the local taxing authority, Moran Township, has passed a
resolution in support of the proposal. These entities, in
conjunction with the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers
Association, will work together to ensure the ultimate success
of this project. It will provide wonderful recreational
opportunties for many Michiganians, and it will allow us to
preserve a small, yet beautiful island.
Dale E. Kildee.