Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 658
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 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 
pass.
    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''.

                                PURPOSE

    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.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    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 
amendments.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    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.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    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-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    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 
        2007

    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 
governments.
    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 
appropriated funds.
    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 
same.
    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 
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. 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.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    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 
expedition.
    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 
ordered reported.