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110th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
1st Session 110-396
MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK BOUNDARY EXPANSION ACT OF 2007
October 22, 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. 783]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the
bill (H.R. 783) to modify the boundary of Mesa Verde National
Park, 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 ``Mesa Verde National Park Boundary
Expansion Act of 2007''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSES.
(a) Findings.--Congress finds that--
(1) on June 29, 1906, Mesa Verde National Park was
established as the first national park in the United States to
preserve the works of humanity;
(2) on September 6, 1978, Mesa Verde National Park became the
first World Heritage Site designated in the United States; and
(3) Mesa Verde National Park protects some of the best
preserved and notable archeological sites of the ancient
Puebloan culture that flourished in the southwestern United
States from approximately 600-1300, including the elaborate
stone villages in the sheltered alcoves of the canyon walls
referred to as ``cliff dwellings''.
(b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are--
(1) to modify the boundary of Mesa Verde National Park--
(A) to protect the archeological sites located on
property adjacent to the Park boundary;
(B) to extend and expand the knowledge and
understanding of the ancient Puebloan culture, a major
influence in the development of the southwestern United
(C) to protect from potential development the scenic
and biological value of the pinyon-juniper covered
(i) border the Park; and
(ii) are in full view of the Park entrance
(D) to protect the largest recorded colony of the
globally imperiled Gray's Townsend Daisy, to ensure
continuation of a major wildlife corridor, and to
protect important habitat for wildlife; and
(2) to provide greater opportunities to visitors,
researchers, and surrounding communities to understand and
appreciate the natural environment of Mesa Verde and the
contributions of the ancient Puebloan culture to the region by
providing the land required to construct a contemporary museum
collections storage facility and visitor orientation center.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Map.--The term ``map'' means the map entitled ``Mesa
Verde National Park Proposed Boundary Adjustment'', numbered
307/80,180, and dated March 1, 2007.
(2) Park.--The term ``Park'' means the Mesa Verde National
Park in the State of Colorado.
(3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
SEC. 4. MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK.
(a) Acquisition of Land.--
(1) In general.--The Secretary may acquire the land or an
interest in the land described in subsection (b) for addition
to the Park.
(2) Means.--An acquisition of land under paragraph (1) may be
made by donation, purchase from a willing seller with donated
or appropriated funds, or exchange.
(b) Description of Land.--The land referred to in subsection (a)(1)
is the approximately 360 acres of land adjacent to the Park, as
generally depicted on the map.
(c) Availability of Map.--The map shall be on file and available for
inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.
(d) Boundary Modification.--The boundary of the Park shall be revised
to reflect the acquisition of the land under subsection (a).
(e) Administration.--The Secretary shall administer any land or
interest in land acquired under subsection (a)(1) as part of the Park
in accordance with the laws (including regulations) applicable to the
SEC. 5. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to
carry out this Act.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 783 is to modify the boundary of Mesa
Verde National Park.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
H.R. 783 modifies the boundary of Mesa Verde National Park
to add 362 acres and authorizes the National Park Service to
acquire this land by donation, purchase from a willing seller
with donated or appropriated funds, or exchange.
Mesa Verde National Park in Southwestern Colorado was
established in 1906 to protect lands inhabited by Ancestral
Puebloans from approximately 600 A.D. to 1300 A.D. It contains
the most complete and extensive concentration of cliff-
dwellings in the United States. Today, with more than 52,000
acres, the park preserves and protects more than 4,000
archeological sites and over 3,000,000 associated objects in
the park's research collection.
H.R. 783 authorizes acquisition of a 324-acre parcel, known
as the Henneman property, and a 38-acre parcel that the Mesa
Verde Foundation proposes to donate to the National Park
Service. Both parcels border the northeastern park boundary.
The Henneman property is in full view of the park's entrance
road and contains Ancestral Puebloan sites, an ancient pinyon-
juniper forest, and the largest recorded population of the
globally-imperiled Gray's Townsend Daisy. The property is
currently zoned for subdivision into 10-acre lots. The family
would prefer to protect the property through inclusion in the
park. The Hennemans have entered into a contract to sell their
property to the Conservation Fund by November 15, 2007,
contingent upon passage of this legislation and availability of
funds to acquire the property.
The Mesa Verde Foundation has been working with the park to
design and construct a visitor information center and museum
collection facility to be located on the Foundation's 38-acre
parcel adjacent to the park entrance. The Foundation intends to
donate the parcel to the park but can not do so until the park
boundary is expanded.
H.R. 783 was introduced by Representative John Salazar (D-
CO) on January 31, 2007. 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
July 19, 2007, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On
October 10, 2007, the Subcommittee was discharged from further
consideration of H.R. 783 and the Full Natural Resources
Committee met to consider the bill. Representative Raul
Grijalva (D-AZ) offered an amendment in the nature of a
substitute to update the map reference in the bill. It was
adopted by unanimous consent. 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 ``Mesa Verde National Park
Boundary Expansion Act of 2007.''
Section 2. Findings and purposes
Section 2 contains the bill's findings and purposes, which
include the protection of archeological sites, the largest
recorded colony of the globally imperiled Gray's Townsend
Daisy, and pinyon-juniper hills that are currently outside the
park boundary and threatened by development. A further purpose
of the bill is to provide the land required to construct a
contemporary museum collections storage facility and visitor
Section 3. Definitions
Section 3 references the new official boundary map and
defines the terms ``Park'' and ``Secretary'' as used in the
Section 4. Mesa Verde National Park
Section 4(a) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to
acquire lands or interests therein described in subsection (b)
for addition to Mesa Verde National Park. Lands may be acquired
by donation, purchase from a willing seller with donated or
appropriated funds, or by exchange. Section 4(b) describes the
approximately 360 acres to be acquired, as depicted on the
referenced map. Section 4(c) states that the map shall be kept
on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate
offices of the National Park Service. Section 4(d) modifies the
park boundary to reflect the acquisition of lands under this
Act. Section 4(e) requires the Secretary to administer any
acquired land as part of Mesa Verde National Park in accordance
with the laws and regulations applicable to the park.
Section 5. Authorization of appropriations
Section 5 authorizes appropriations of such sums as may be
necessary to carry out the Act.
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. As required by
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or
objective of this bill is to modify the boundary of Mesa Verde
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. 783--Mesa Verde National Park Boundary Expansion Act of 2007
Summary: H.R. 783 would authorize the National Park Service
(NPS) to acquire about 360 acres to be added to Mesa Verde
National Park. Assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts,
CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 783 would cost $12 million
over the 2008-2012 period. Enacting H.R. 783 would not affect
direct spending or revenues.
H.R. 783 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)
and would have no significant impact on the budgets of state,
local, or tribal governments.
Estimated costs to the Federal Government: The estimated
budgetary impact of H.R. 783 is shown in the following table.
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300
(natural resources and environment).
By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Estimated Authorization Level................................. 2 10 0 0 0
Estimated Outlays............................................. 2 2 3 3 2
Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes H.R. 783
will be enacted early in fiscal year 2008. Based on information
provided by the NPS and assuming appropriation of the necessary
amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the bill would cost $2
million in 2008 and $12 million over the 2008-2012 period. Of
that amount, we estimate that the NPS would spend $2 million in
the first year to purchase a 324-acre tract of land called the
Henneman property. The remaining $10 million would be spent to
construct a visitor facility on a portion of a 38-acre property
expected to be donated to the NPS in 2008 or 2009. Some federal
construction costs could be offset by private donations to the
NPS or through cost-sharing arrangements with the Mesa Verde
We estimate that annual expenses to administer lands
acquired under the bill, including those to operate the new
visitor facility, would be less than $100,000.
Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 783
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as
defined in UMRA and would have no significant impact on the
budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
Previous CBO estimate: On June 7, 2007, CBO transmitted a
cost estimate for S. 126, the Mesa Verde National Park Boundary
Expansion Act of 2007, as ordered reported by the Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on May 23, 2007. S.
126 and H.R. 783 are identical, as are the estimated costs.
Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Deborah Reis; Impact
on state, local, and tribal governments: Lisa Ramirez-Branum;
Impact on the private sector: Amy Petz.
Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
H.R. 783 does not contain any congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(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