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                                                       Calendar No. 586
107th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     107-269
======================================================================
 
             NATIONAL RECONSTRUCTION STUDY AREA ACT OF 2002

                                _______
                                

               September 11, 2002.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 2388]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 2388) to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to study certain sites in the historic district of 
Beaufort, South Carolina, relating to the Reconstruction Era, 
having considered the same, reports favorably thereon with an 
amendment and recommends 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 ``Beaufort, South Carolina Study Act 
of 2002.''

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (2) Study area.--The term ``study area'' means the area 
        comprised of historical sites in Beaufort County, South 
        Carolina, relating to the Reconstruction Era, and includes the 
        following sites:
                  (A) the Penn School;
                  (B) the Old Fort Plantation on the Beaufort River;
                  (C) the Freedmen's Bureau in Beaufort College;
                  (D) the First Freedmen's Village of Mitchellville on 
                Hilton Head Island;
                  (E) various historic buildings and archaeological 
                sites associated with Robert Smalls;
                  (F) the Beaufort Arsenal; and
                  (G) other significant sites relating to the 
                Reconstruction Era.

SEC. 3. SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct a special resource 
study to determine whether the study area or individual sites within it 
are suitable and feasible for inclusion in the National Park System.
    (b) Applicable Law.--The study required under subsection (a) shall 
be conducted in accordance with section 8(c) of Public Law 91-383 (16 
U.S.C. 1a-5(c).).
    (c) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds 
are made available for the study under subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall submit the study to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives.

SEC. 4. THEME STUDY.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct a National Historic 
Landmark theme study to identify sites and resources throughout the 
United States that are significant to the Reconstruction Era.
    (b) Contents.--The theme study shall include recommendations for 
commemorating and interpreting sites and resources identified by the 
theme study, including sites for which new national historic landmarks 
should be nominated, and sites for which further study for potential 
inclusion in the National Park System is needed.
    (c) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds 
are made available for the study under subsection (a), the Secretary 
shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the 
Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives a 
report that describes the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of 
the study.

SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    There is authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary 
to carry out this Act.
    The purpose of S. 2388 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to study certain sites in and around Beaufort, South 
Carolina, relating to the Reconstruction Era for potential 
designation as a unit of the National Park System.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The National Park System does not now have a park unit that 
focuses chiefly on the preservation and interpretation of the 
Reconstruction Era following the Civil War.
    The vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina, includes several 
sites which could contribute to the understanding of the 
Reconstruction Era. Beaufort was once known as ``the 
wealthiest, most aristocratic and cultivated town of its size 
in America''; and it still includes many well-preserved 
buildings in its historic district.
    On St. Helena Island in the vicinity of Beaufort is the 
Penn Center. The first freedmen school was established in a 
back room at the Oaks Plantation House on the island in June 
1862. Initially, the Penn Center was an agricultural school. 
Later, industrial courses were added and the trades of 
carpentry, black smithing, wheel wrighting, harness making, 
cobbling and mechanics were taught.
    The Center was the first attempt to provide former slaves 
with the knowledge and resources to transition to freedmen. It 
is the only school for freed slaves founded during the Civil 
War that is still operational. The Penn Center was designated 
as a National Historic Landmark in 1974.
    Also, the Freedmen's bureau, located in the restored 
Beaufort College, served as the federal government's policy 
headquarters for matters related to emancipated slaves during 
Reconstruction. The Old Fort Plantation on the Beaufort River 
is said to be the site where African-Americans first heard 
Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.
    Cape Sexton in the area was the site of the first African-
American regiment mustered in the United States Army, and the 
Freedmen's Village of Mitchellville is nearby on Hilton Heal 
Island. Finally, the home of Civil War hero Robert Smalls is 
also in the area. Famous for escaping slavery by piloting a 
Confederate ship past rebel forces at Charleston Harbor and 
delivering it into Union hands in Beaufort, Smalls later served 
in the United States House of Representatives.
    Under S. 2388, the National Park Service would conduct a 
special resources study to determine if these and other 
resources would be appropriate for addition to the National 
Park System.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 2388 was introduced by Senator Hollings on April 29, 
2002. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 
2388 on June 20, 2002. At the business meeting on July 31, 
2002, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 
2388, as amended, favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open 
business session on July 31, 2002, by a voice vote of a quorum 
present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 2388, if amended as 
described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENT

    During the consideration of S. 2388, the committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute which incorporated 
technical, clarifying and conforming changes.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 designates the short title of the bill as the 
``Beaufort, South Carolina Study Act of 2002.''
    Section 2 defines key terms used in the bill.
    Section 3 directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a special resource study, sets forth requirements for 
conducting the study and consultation, and provides that a 
report on the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the 
study be submitted to the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the 
House of Representatives within 3 years from the date on which 
funds are made available.
    Section 4 directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a National Historic Landmark theme study identifying sites and 
resources that are significant to the Reconstruction Era. The 
section also sets forth requirements for conducting the study 
and provides that a report on the findings, conclusions, and 
recommendations of the study be submitted to the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on 
Resources of the House of Representatives within 3 fiscal years 
from the date on which funds are made available.
    Section 5 authorizes the appropriation of such sums as are 
necessary to carry out the Act.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                   Washington, DC, August 12, 2002.
Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
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. 2388, the Beaufort, 
South Carolina Study Act of 2002.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                         Robert A. Sunshine
                                    (For Dan L. Crippen, Director).
    Enclosure.

S. 2388--Beaufort, South Carolina Study Act of 2002

    S. 2388 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
conduct a study of Beaufort County, South Carolina, to 
determine whether historical sites within it are suitable and 
feasible for inclusion in the National Park System. The bill 
also would direct the Secretary to conduct a national historic 
landmark study to identify sites in the United States that are 
significant to the Reconstruction Era. S. 2388 would authorize 
the appropriation of whatever amounts are necessary for the two 
studies and require the Secretary to report findings and 
recommendations to the Congress within three years of receiving 
funds.
    Assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO 
estimates that it would cost about $300,000 over the next three 
years to complete the required studies and report. Enacting the 
bill would not affect spending or receipts; therefore, pay-as-
you-go procedures would not apply.
    S. 2388 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
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. 2388. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
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 the 
enactment of S. 2388, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The pertinent legislative report received by the Committee 
from the Department of the Interior setting forth Executive 
agency recommendations relating to S. 2388 is set forth below:

                   U.S. Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                      Washington, DC, July 1, 2002.
Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for the opportunity to present 
the Department of the Interior's views on S. 2388, the National 
Reconstruction Study Area Act of 2002.
    The Department supports S. 2388 with amendments. However, 
the Department did not request additional funding for this 
study in Fiscal Year 2003. We believe that any funding 
requested should be directed towards completing previously 
authorized studies. Presently, there are 37 studies pending, of 
which we hope to transmit at least 7 to Congress by the end of 
2002. To meet the President's Initiative to eliminate the 
deferred maintenance backlog, we must continue to focus our 
resources on caring for existing areas in the National Park 
System. Thus, we have concerns about potential new funding 
requirements for new park units, national trails, wild and 
scenic rivers or heritage areas. To estimate these potential 
new funding requirements the Administration will identify in 
each study all of the costs to establish, operate and maintain 
the new site. At this time, those costs are unknown.
    S. 2388 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a special resource study of historical sites in the historic 
district of Beaufort, South Carolina, relating to the 
Reconstruction Era. The study would evaluate the sites' 
national significance and the suitability and feasibility of 
designating them as a unit of the National Park System. The 
bill calls for the study to be conducted in accordance with 
P.L. 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-1 et seq.), which contains the 
criteria for studying areas for potential inclusion in the 
National Park System, except that it requires the study to be 
completed within two years after funds are made available for 
the study, rather than three years as the law provides for.
    The Reconstruction Era is generally considered to be the 
period between 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation took 
effect, and the withdrawal of Federal troops from the South 
following the Compromise of 1877 that resolved the contested 
presidential election of 1876. The term ``Reconstruction'' 
reflects both the literal rebuilding of the war-ravaged South 
and the more metaphorical rebuilding of the Union following the 
divisive and destructive conflict. It was a controversial, 
difficult, and violent period in American history characterized 
by the adoption of new constitutional amendments and laws, the 
establishment of new institutions, and the occurrence of 
significant political events allsurrounding the efforts to 
reincorporate the South into the Union and to provide newly freed 
slaves with political rights and opportunities to improve their lives.
    The Beaufort, South Carolina area contains a number of 
sites that are associated with events and individuals 
significant to the Reconstruction Era. Among these are the Penn 
School on St. Helena Island, the location of an important 
educational experiment in that era; the Freedmen's Bureau, 
located at Beaufort College, where the Federal Government 
conducted official business regarding emancipated slaves; the 
Freedman's Village of Mitchellville on Hilton Head Island; and 
sites associated with Robert Smalls, an African-American who 
served in the U.S. House of Representatives during the 
Reconstruction Era.
    The Department recommends several amendments to S. 2388. 
Most significantly, we believe that it would be appropriate to 
add an authorization of a National Historic Landmark theme 
study on the Reconstruction Era that would be conducted in 
tandem with this proposed special resource study. A theme study 
would enable the National Park Service to establish a context 
for determining the significance of different sites related to 
Reconstruction in relationship to one another. Although 
historians generally view the Beaufort sites that would be 
studied under S. 2388 as historically significant, the National 
Park Service has not determined how significant these sites are 
in comparison to other sites associated with Reconstruction. A 
theme study would help provide that information.
    In addition, we recommend the following changes to S. 2288:
    First, we recommend that the short title in Section 1 be 
changed to reflect that the study would center on sites in 
Beaufort County, South Carolina.
    Second, we recommend that the seventh finding in Section 2 
be deleted. That finding says that ``the National Park System 
does not have a park or historic site that focuses primarily on 
the preservation and interpretation of the Reconstruction 
Era.'' This is a factual matter that has yet to be verified. 
The existence, or lack, of Reconstruction Era resources in the 
National Park System would be investigated in the study as part 
of determining whether the Beaufort sites would be a suitable 
addition to the National Park System.
    Third, we recommend that the language defining the study 
area in Section 3 should be revised to be consistent with the 
specific sites cited. As drafted, the bill says the study area 
means sites in the historic district of Beaufort, but then it 
names several sites that are outside of the city of Beaufort. 
This matter could be addressed by referencing the County of 
Beaufort, which encompasses all the sites named in the bill.
    Fourth, we recommend that the time frame for the study 
provided in Section 4 be lengthened from two years to three 
years, and that the study be required to determine the 
``national significance'' of the area as well as its 
suitability and feasibility for inclusion in the National Park 
System. These changes would be consistent with P.L. 91-383, as 
amended by the National Park Service Omnibus Management Act of 
1998 (P.L. 105-391).
    We would be happy to work with the subcommittee to develop 
amendments for the purposes described above.
    The Office of Management and Budget advises that there is 
no objection to the presentation of this report from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program.
            Sincerely,
                                              Craig Manson,
               Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 2388, as 
ordered reported.