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110th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 110-157
CARL SANDBURG HOME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE BOUNDARY REVISION ACT OF 2007
May 17, 2007.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 1100]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 1100) to revise the boundary of the Carl Sandburg
Home National Historic Site in the State of North Carolina, and
for other purposes, 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 all after the enacting clause and insert the
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Carl Sandburg Home National Historic
Site Boundary Revision Act of 2007''.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
For the purposes of this Act:
(1) Map.--The term ``map'' means the map entitled ``Sandburg
Center Alternative'' numbered 445/80,017 and dated April 2007.
(2) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
(3) Historic site.--The term ``Historic Site'' means Carl
Sandburg Home National Historic Site.
SEC. 3. CARL SANDBURG HOME NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENT.
(a) Acquisition Authority.--The Secretary may acquire from willing
sellers by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or
exchange not more than 110 acres of land, water, or interests in land
and water, within the area depicted on the map, to be added to the
(b) Visitor Center.--To preserve the historic character and landscape
of the site, the Secretary may also acquire up to five acres for the
development of a visitor center and visitor parking area adjacent to or
in the general vicinity of the Historic Site.
(c) Boundary Revision.--Upon acquisition of any land or interest in
land under this section, the Secretary shall revise the boundary of the
Historic Site to reflect the acquisition.
(d) Availability of Map.--The map shall be on file and available for
public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park
(e) Administration.--Land added to the Historic Site by this section
shall be administered as part of the Historic Site in accordance with
applicable laws and regulations.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 1100 is to revise the boundary of the
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in the State of North
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is dedicated to
preserving the legacy of Carl Sandburg and communicating the
stories of his works, life and significance as an American
poet, writer, and historian. The Carl Sandburg Home National
Historic Site preserves and interprets the farm, Connemara,
where Sandburg and his family lived for the last 22 years of
his life (1945-1967). The historic site was established as a
unit of the National Park System in 1968.
The historic site's enabling legislation authorized the
purchase of 248 acres. A boundary expansion was authorized in
1980 to accept 16 acres of land donated by the North Carolina
Nature Conservancy. The National Park Service currently owns
263 of the 264 acres within the legislative boundary.
As required by the National Park Service's policies on land
protection, the historic site's 2003 General Management Plan
(GMP) identified and evaluated boundary adjustments that may be
necessary or desirable in order to carry out the purposes of
the historic site. The preferred alternative from the GMP, as
reflected in the resulting Record of Decision, recommended a
boundary addition of 115 acres, of which not more than 5 acres
are for the construction of a new visitor center and parking
lot. Congressional authorization is required to expand the
boundary of the historic site.
H.R. 1100 authorizes the Secretary to acquire up to 115
acres of lands or interests therein from willing sellers by
donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or
exchange; upon acquisition, the Secretary is required to update
the boundary of the historic site to include the acquired
H.R. 1100 was introduced on February 15, 2007 by
Representative Heath Shuler (D-NC). The bill was referred to
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to
the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
On April 17, 2007 the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill.
On April 19, 2007, the Subcommittee met to mark up the bill.
Representative Shuler offered an amendment in the nature of a
substitute that made technical changes to the bill to
incorporate a map of the boundary additions and bring the
legislation into conformance with recent legislation
authorizing boundary expansions. Representative Rob Bishop (R-
UT) offered an amendment to Representative Shuler's amendment
to reduce the boundary addition from 115 acres to 5 acres. It
was not adopted by a roll call vote of 7 yeas to 8 nays, as
The Shuler amendment was adopted by voice vote. The bill
was then forwarded to the Full Committee as amended by voice
vote. On May 2, 2007, the Full Natural Resources Committee met
to consider the bill and agreed to consider a committee print
incorporating the subcommittee amendment as original text.
Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an amendment to reduce
the boundary addition from 115 to 5 acres . It was not adopted
by voice vote. Representative Dean Heller (R-NV) offered an
amendment to eliminate the authorization of appropriated funds
for use in acquiring 110 acres of the boundary addition. It was
not adopted by voice vote. The bill, as amended, was then
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 entitles the bill the ``Carl Sandburg Home
National Historic Site Boundary Revision Act of 2007.''
Section 2. Definitions
Section 2 defines the terms used in this act.
Section 3. Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site boundary
Section 3(a) increases the acquisition authority of the
Secretary for the Historic Site by 110 acres as depicted on the
Section 3(b) authorizes the Secretary to acquire up to 5
additional acres for the purposes of the development of a
visitor center and parking area.
Section 3(c) requires the Secretary to revise the boundary
of the Historic Site upon acquisition of land under this
Section 3(d) requires that the referenced map be on file in
the appropriate National Park Service offices.
Section 3(e) requires that land added to the Historic Site
under this section be administered as part of the Historic Site
in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
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 Natural Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United
States grants 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. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not
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 Committee has received the following cost estimate
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget
H.R. 1100--Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site Boundary Revision
Act of 2007
H.R. 1100 would authorize the National Park Service (NPS)
to acquire 115 acres to be added to the boundary of the Carl
Sandburg Home National Historic Site in North Carolina. Under
the bill, the NPS could acquire that acreage, or lesser
property interests such as easements, by purchase, donation, or
Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO
estimates that implementing H.R. 1100 would cost $7 million
over the next several years. We estimate that about half of
that amount would be used by the NPS to acquire about 115 acres
of land near the existing historic site. (Such costs could be
lower if the NPS can acquire easements for some of the
acreage.) The remaining funds would be used to construct and
equip a visitor center and related facilities near the site. We
estimate that costs to manage the additional acreage and
operate new visitor facilities would be less than $500,000 a
year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. This
estimate is based on information provided by the NPS. Enacting
H.R. 1100 would have no effect on direct spending or revenues.
H.R. 1100 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.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
This estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
H.R. 1100 does not contain any congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in
clause 9(d), 9(e) or (f) of rule XXI.
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. 1100 is an egregious example of land-grabbing
legislation. Despite a legislative hearing and two markups,
neither the Majority, nor the bill's sponsor have ever made a
compelling case for this boundary expansion. To be fair, the
National Park Service did make a case for a five acre expansion
for a visitor center and parking lot to address safety concerns
and to enhance the visitor experience. The additional 110 acres
have been proposed to protect a ``viewshed.'' Notwithstanding
the inherent problems with creating buffer zones, this bill has
the additional complication of attempting to protect a view
that is not visible from the actual park unit. From the
evidence presented to the Committee, and accepted by the
Majority, the land in question is not visible from nearly the
entire historic site. Rather the viewshed is on the other side
of a ridge which marks the park's boundary. The 110 proposed
acres are clearly out of view of the Carl Sandburg home, which
this National Park unit is designed to preserve and interpret.
We have seen no evidence that this augmentation of the immense
federal estate will in any way enhance the visitor experience
or even protect the National Historic Site.
A Henderson County Commissioner testified on the bill that
when the Sandburg Historic Site was established, it was limited
to preserving the home of Carl Sandberg. Now, as he explained,
the park has ``evolved'', and here we are, having found yet
another way to increase the federal inventory of land.
This site was designed to recognize the great author Carl
Sandberg, not about creating another plan for federal land use
controls on private property. The County of Henderson appears
to be in much better financial shape than the U.S. Government,
with revenues exceeding expenditures. If this land is critical
to its future, perhaps it should float a bond issue for open
space and buy it.
On April 19, 2007, in subcommittee markup, Congressman Rob
Bishop offered a responsible amendment to reduce the authorized
boundary expansion from 115 acres to 5 acres, providing
sufficient land for the Park Service's needs. This amendment
was defeated on a party line 7-8 vote following a shameful
extension which delayed the vote's conclusion long enough for
the Majority to round up the necessary votes to defeat it.
Equally abhorrent was the Chairman's decision to disenfranchise
a Republican committee member who was present. After the
Majority located a sufficient number of votes to defeat this
reasonable amendment, they ended the roll call despite the
presence of another Republican Committee member who wanted to
At the full committee markup on May 2, 2007, again the
Majority offered no convincing justification for the land
acquisition, but offered that National Park Service wants this
land. This Committee rarely hears from the National Park
Service about land it does not want, and its desire to own more
property hardly constitutes a hurdle. Congressman Bishop again
offered his amendment to authorize acquisition of 5 acres to
enhance the visitor experience. This was rejected by Majority
as was a compromise amendment offered by Congressman Heller
that would have authorized the 115 acre boundary expansion if
the land was donated, purchased with donated funds, or acquired
by exchange. Characteristically, the Majority rejected this
We realize that our colleagues in the Majority have grown
weary of hearing about the National Park Service's maintenance
backlog, but even they should be able to understand that there
are more immediate needs in the National Park System than its
endless expansion. Now is not the time to continue feeding the
National Park Service's appetite for land acquisition and
further exacerbate its backlogged responsibilities.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers.