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Calendar No. 658
110th Congress Report
2d Session 110-306
LEWIS AND CLARK NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL EXTENSION STUDY ACT OF 2007
April 10, 2008.--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. 1991]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 1991) to authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and
feasibility of extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic
Trail to include additional sites associated with the
preparation and return phase of the expedition, and for other
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon
with amendments and recommends that the bill, as amended, do
The amendments are as follows:
1. On page 2, line 5, strike ``2007'' and insert ``2008''.
2. On page 3, lines 9 and 10, strike ``the inclusion of the
Eastern Legacy sites'' and insert ``adding the Eastern Legacy
sites to the Trail''.
3. On page 3, line 20, strike ``2'' and insert ``3''.
The purpose of S. 1991 is to authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to conduct a study to determine the suitability and
feasibility of extending the Lewis & Clark National Historic
Trail to include sites associated with the preparation or
return phases of the expedition in the eastern United States.
BACKGROUND AND NEED
The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail was designated
in 1978 and covers the 3,700-mile-long route traveled by the
Lewis and Clark expedition from 1804-1806, beginning at Wood
River, Illinois, and extending to the mouth of the Columbia
River in Oregon.
Although the trail officially begins at the confluence of
the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, which has traditionally
been regarded as the starting point of the expedition,
preparation for the trip began much earlier. After President
Jefferson authorized the expedition, Meriwether Lewis traveled
throughout many of the eastern United States acquiring supplies
and receiving training before heading out to Ohio to meet up
with William Clark.
S. 1991 authorizes the National Park Service to conduct a
study to determine whether the route of the pre-expedition
travels as well as the routes covered after the expedition
returned to St. Louis in 1806, should be added to the existing
national historic trail.
S. 1991 was introduced by Senator Bunning on August 3,
2007. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S.
1991 on November 8, 2007. (S. Hrg. 110-282.) At its business
meeting on January 30, 2008, the Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources ordered S. 1991 favorably reported, with
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on January 30, 2008, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 1991, if
amended as described herein.
During its consideration of S. 1991, the Committee adopted
three amendments. The first amendment updates the date
reference in the short title. The second amendment requires the
study to analyze the potential impact that adding sites in the
eastern United States to the Lewis and Clark National Historic
Trail would have on those sites. The final amendment extends
the time for completion of the study from two to three years.
Section 1 contains the short title, the ``Lewis and Clark
National Historic Trail Extension Study Act of 2008''.
Section 2 defines key terms used in the Act.
Section 3(a) directs the Secretary of the Interior (the
``Secretary'') to conduct a study to determine the suitability
and feasibility of extending the Lewis and Clark National
Historic Trail to include sites associated with the preparation
or return phases of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and
including sites in Virginia, the District of Columbia,
Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio,
Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois.
Subsection (b) requires the Secretary, in conducting the
study, to evaluate the routes associated with the preparation
and return phases of the expedition, evaluate the suitability
and feasibility of adding those sites to the National Historic
Trail, analyze the potential impact that adding the sites to
the trail will have on those sites, and analyze the potential
impact that adding the sites to the trail will have on tourist
visitation in the western portion of the trail.
Subsection (c) states that the study shall use the criteria
used for studies of areas for potential inclusion in the
National Park System, as described in section 8 of Public Law
91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5).
Subsection (d) requires the Secretary to complete the study
within three years after the date on which funds are first made
available for the study, and to transmit the study to the House
and Senate authorizing committees, including any conclusions
and recommendations of the Secretary.
COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
S. 1991--Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Extension Study Act of
S. 1991 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to
conduct a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of
extending the Lewis and Clark National Historic trail to
include sites in 11 states and the District of Columbia.
Assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates
that implementing S. 1991 would have an insignificant effect on
discretionary spending. Enacting this legislation would have no
effect on direct spending or revenues.
The bill contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
S. 1991 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to
conduct a study on the suitability and feasibility of adding
the Eastern Legacy sites to the existing Lewis and Clark
National Historic Trail. The Eastern Legacy sites include
locations associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition within
11 states and the District of Columbia. The Secretary would
report to the Congress on the results of this study within two
years. Based on information from the National Park Service, CBO
estimates that implementing S. 1991 would cost less than
$500,000 over the 2008-2010 period, subject to availability of
On November 20, 2007, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for
H.R. 3998, the America's Historical and Natural Resources
Legacy Study Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on
Natural Resources on November 7, 2007. That legislation is
identical to S. 1991. As such, the estimated costs are the
The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are Deborah Reis
and Daniel Hoople. This estimate was approved by Peter H.
Fontaine, 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. 1991. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
No personal information would be collected in administering
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal
Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the
enactment of S. 1991, as ordered reported.
CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING
S. 1991, as reported, does not contain any congressionally
directed spending items, limited tax benefits, or limited
tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the Standing Rules
of the Senate.
The testimony provided by the National Park Service at the
November 8, 2007 hearing on S. 1991 follows:
Statement of Katherine H. Stevenson, Acting Assistant Director,
Business Services, National Park Service, Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for
the opportunity to appear before you today to present the
Department of the Interior's views on S. 1991, a bill to
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study to
determine the suitability and feasibility of extending the
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail to include additional
sites associated with the preparation and return phases of the
While the Department has some concerns about the need for
the study, we do not object to the enactment of S. 1991.
However, we believe that priority should be given to the 35
previously authorized studies for potential units of the
National Park System, potential new National Heritage Areas,
and potential additions to the National Trails System and
National Wild and Scenic River System that have not yet been
transmitted to the Congress.
S. 1991 would authorize a study to determine whether the
routes followed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, whether
independently or together, in the preparation phase of the
expedition starting at Monticello, located near
Charlottesville, Virginia, and traveling to Wood River,
Illinois, and in the return phase of the expedition from Saint
Louis, Missouri, to Washington, D.C., would meet the
suitability and feasibility criteria for extending the Lewis
and Clark National Historic Trail to include these routes and
their associated sites. These sites and routes are commonly
referred to as the ``Eastern Legacy.'' These routes include
designated Lewis and Clark sites in Virginia, the District of
Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia,
Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Missouri, and Illinois. The
study also would analyze the potential impact that the
inclusion of the Eastern Legacy would have on those sites, as
well as on the tourist visitation to the western half of the
trail. The bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to
complete the study and provide its conclusions and
recommendations within two years from the date funds are first
made available for that purpose. We estimate the cost to
complete the study would be approximately $250,000 to $300,000.
There have been many discussions in recent years between
scholars and interested individuals concerning whether the
Eastern Legacy sites and routes merit inclusion in the Lewis
and Clark National Historic Trail. However, the issue of
whether this area is suitable and feasible as an administrative
unit of the National Trails System has not been addressed. S.
1991 would provide that authority.
Discussions in the past against extending the trail to
include the Eastern Legacy are focused primarily on the common
historical understanding of where the expedition itself began.
President Jefferson's instructions to Captain Meriwether Lewis
clearly imply that the expedition began with the ascent of the
Missouri River. The actual transfer of title to and power over
the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States was
not effective until March 10, 1804. Prior to that date, the
Spanish Lt. Governor of Upper Louisiana refused the
expedition's request to proceed up the Missouri; so it is clear
that the journey of exploration could not begin until after
that date. The journals of the expedition by Captains Lewis and
Clark are the official chronicles of the project. On May 14,
1804, the day the expedition left Camp Wood and began its
ascent of the Missouri River, Captain Clark wrote in his
journal ``The mouth of the River Dubois is to be considered as
the point of departure.'' In his journal, Captain Lewis stated
that he had informed President Jefferson, by letter, of the
departure; this, too, would seem to imply that the expedition
began that day.
Some believe that important locations in the Eastern Legacy
are already recognized by the trail as certified sites and that
they do not need to be connected to the Lewis and Clark
National Historic Trail. There is also some concern that
extending the trail will somehow dilute the attention to and
importance of the existing official trail.
Others point out that the expedition did not simply spring
forth from Wood River, Illinois on May 14, 1804, but involved
years of preparation at other locations. These include the
ruminations of westward expansion and manifest destiny by
Thomas Jefferson at Monticello in Virginia, the acquisition of
firearms at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Lewis' training in
medicine and scientific observation in Philadelphia, and taking
delivery of the keel boat in Pennsylvania and struggling
through low water to bring the boat down the Ohio River.
Although the field expedition ended in September 1806 with
the Corps of Discovery's return to Saint Louis, there were
still important tasks to undertake such as reporting to the
White House to brief the President on the findings of the
expedition. Some say that Lewis' death was attributable in
large part to the expedition and that his grave on the Natchez
Trace should be a part of the trail. As intended by President
Jefferson, the expedition and manifest destiny had far reaching
impacts and ramifications beyond the West to American society
as a whole, and he certainly considered that his dream of a
nation from ``sea to shining sea'' had been fulfilled, despite
the failure to find the mythical ``Northwest Passage.''
A suitability and feasibility study would take into account
the reasons for adding the Eastern Legacy by various interested
agencies, organizations, and individuals and evaluate the
merits of including the additional routes and sites in the
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared testimony. I would
be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the
subcommittee may have.
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. 1991, as