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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 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [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 
following:

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 
        the Interior.
          (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 
Historic Site.
  (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 
Service.
  (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 
Carolina.

                  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 
lands.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    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 
follows:


    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 
voice vote.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

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 
        adjustment

    Section 3(a) increases the acquisition authority of the 
Secretary for the Historic Site by 110 acres as depicted on the 
referenced map.
    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.
    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 
apply.
    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 
Office:

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 
exchange.
    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.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

                            Dissenting Views

    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 
vote.
    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 
reasonable amendment.
    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.

                                   Rob Bishop.
                                   Stevan Pearce.
                                   Bill Sali.
                                   Doug Lamborn.
                                   Bill Shuster.
                                   Cathy McMorris Rodgers.
                                   Chris Cannon.
                                   Jeff Flake.
                                   Dean Heller.
                                   Louis Gohmert.
                                   Tom Cole.
                                   Don Young.