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                                                       Calendar No. 225
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     110-95

======================================================================
 
 REVISION OF FEASIBILITY AND SUITABILITY STUDIES OF EXISTING NATIONAL 
                            HISTORIC TRAILS

                                _______
                                

                 June 26, 2007.--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. 580]

    The Committee on the Energy and Natural Resources, to which 
was referred the bill (S. 580), to amend the National Trails 
System Act to require the Secretary of the Interior to update 
the feasibility and suitability studies of four national 
historic trails, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment, and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                         Purpose of the Measure

    The purpose of S. 580 is to amend the National Trails 
System Act to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to update 
the feasibility and suitability studies of four National 
Historic Trails.

                          Background and Need

    The National Trails System Act (16 U.S.C. 1241 et seq.) 
authorizes the establishment of National Scenic, Historic and 
Recreation trails. S. 580 would amend that Act to authorize 
studies of additional routes for four prominent National 
Historic Trails: the Oregon National Historic Trail, a primary 
route for emigrants to the West; the Mormon Pioneer National 
Historic Trail, which commemorates the 1846-47 journey of 
Mormon settlers from Illinois to Utah; the California National 
Historic Trail, which traces access routes to the 1849 
California Gold Rush; and the Pony Express National Historic 
Trail, which commemorates the eighteen-month running of the 
Pony Express and its dashing delivery of mail from Missouri to 
California in ten days.
    Congress designated the Oregon and Mormon trails as 
components of the National Trails System in 1978 and the 
California and Pony Express trails in 1992. More recently, 
dozens of additional routes and cutoffs have been identified 
which may qualify as integral parts of these trails. Rather 
than following a single mainline route, the pioneers often 
followed a system of trails, braided to follow water and grass, 
avoid conflicts, save time, and even access additional sites.
    S. 580 is necessary because the National Trails System Act 
does not provide for additions to trails subsequent to their 
designation by Congress. The bill would authorize the Secretary 
of the Interior to study the feasibility and suitability of 
adding new routes to each of these trails. Any designation of 
these new routes as components of the National Trails System 
would require subsequent legislation.
    The Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express 
trails overlap one another in many locations and several of the 
routes and cutoffs proposed for study in S. 580 are already 
part of one or another of the designated trails. These shared 
routes are prominent where the trails depart from various 
points along the Missouri River, and other shared locations 
include routes in western Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, 
Idaho, Nevada, and California. The study of these additional 
routes and cutoffs will help assure greater historical accuracy 
along these routes.

                          Legislative History

    S. 580 was introduced by Senator Hatch on February 14, 
2007. Senator Bennett was added as a cosponsor on March 22, 
2007. During the 109th Congress, the Committee considered 
similar legislation, S. 54, also sponsored by Senator Hatch. 
The Committee ordered S. 54 to be favorably reported on 
February 16, 2005 (S. Rept. 109-44), and the bill passed the 
Senate by unanimous consent on July 26, 2005.
    During the 108th Congress, the Committee considered a 
similar bill, S. 635. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a 
hearing on S. 635 on May 6, 2003 (S. Hrg. 108-47). S. 635 was 
ordered reported, with amendments, by a voice vote on June 9, 
2003 (S. Rept. 108-64), and passed the Senate by unanimous 
consent on June 16, 2003. The House of Representatives did not 
consider the bill prior to the sine die adjournment of the 
108th Congress.
    Similar legislation, H.R. 37, was sponsored by 
Representative Bereuter in the 107th Congress and passed the 
House on June 6, 2001, by a voice vote. Companion legislation, 
S. 213, was introduced by Senator Hatch and others on January 
30, 2001. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on 
both bills on March 7, 2002 (S. Hrg. 107-522). At its business 
meeting on July 31, 2002, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources ordered H.R. 37 to be favorably reported, as amended 
(S. Rept. 107-259). H.R. 37 passed the Senate by a voice vote 
on November 19, 2003, but was not considered by the House prior 
to the sine die adjournment of the 108th Congress.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an 
open business session on May 23, 2007, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
580.

                         Summary of the Measure

    S. 580 amends section 5 of the National Trails System Act 
(16 U.S.C. 1244) to add a new subsection (g). The new 
subsection directs the Secretary of the Interior to revise the 
feasibility and suitability studies for the Oregon National 
Historic Trail, the Pony Express National Historic Trail, the 
California National Historic Trail and the Mormon Pioneer 
National Historic Trail, along with shared routes between the 
California and Oregon trails, for consideration of possible 
additions to the trails. The studies are to be completed and 
submitted to Congress not later than 3 fiscal years from the 
date funds are made available for the study.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimate of the cost of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
                                                      May 30, 2007.
Hon. Jeff Bingaman,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 580, a bill to amend 
the National Trails System Act to require the Secretary of the 
Interior to update the feasibility and suitability studies of 
four national historic trails.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

S. 580--A bill to amend the National Trails System Act to require the 
        Secretary of the Interior to update the feasibility and 
        suitability studies of four national historic trails

    S. 580 would direct the Department of the Interior to 
update the feasibility studies of four national historic trails 
to include numerous shared routes, cutoff trails, and other 
trail segments. (The four trails affected are the Oregon, Pony 
Express, California, and Mormon Pioneer National Historic 
Trails.) The bill would require the department to report its 
findings on the potential trail additions within three years of 
receiving funding for the studies.
    Assuming the availability of appropriated funds, CBO 
estimates that it would cost $160,000 over the next three years 
to conduct all of the required studies of trail segments 
specified by the bill. Enacting the legislation would not 
affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 580 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
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. 580. 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. 580, as ordered reported.

                        Executive Communications

    The testimony provided by the National Park Service on S. 
580 at the April 26, 2007 hearing on S. 580 follows:

 Statement of Daniel N. Wenk, Deputy Director, National Park Service, 
                       Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 580, a bill to amend 
the National Trails System Act to update the feasibility and 
suitability studies of the Oregon, Pony Express, California, 
and Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trails (NHTs).
    The Department supports S. 580, which is similar to 
legislation the Department supported during the 108th Congress. 
While the Department supports the authorization of these 
studies, we also believe that any funding requested should be 
directed first toward completing previously authorized studies.
    S. 580 would update the feasibility and suitability studies 
and make recommendations through the examination of additional 
routes and cutoffs not included in the initial studies of all 
four trails. The Secretary of the Interior would determine if 
any of these routes and cutoffs are eligible as additions to 
the four NHTs at the completion of these studies and report 
back to the Congress on those deemed appropriate for addition 
to the trails.
    The feasibility study for the Oregon NHT was completed in 
1977, the study for the Mormon Pioneer NHT in 1978, and the one 
for the California and Pony Express NHTs in 1987. Since those 
studies have been completed, additional routes and cutoffs were 
identified that may qualify as segments of these trails. The 
National Trails System Act does not provide the authority to 
evaluate and add additional routes and cutoffs without certain 
legislative amendments.
    The Oregon NHT, authorized in 1978, commemorates the 
``primary route'' used by emigrants beginning in 1841 between 
Independence, Missouri and Oregon City, Oregon. Traveled by 
thousands, the trail contained routes and cutoffs used through 
the years. These secondary routes had substantial emigrant 
traffic over several decades that demonstrate historical 
significance and may be worthy of examination in an updated 
study.
    The authorization of the Mormon NHT in 1978 commemorates 
the journey of the pioneer party in 1846-1847 from Nauvoo, 
Illinois, to Salt Lake City, Utah. As with the Oregon NHT, 
emigrant traffic occurred on many additional routes during the 
Mormon migration westward. As with the other trails, these 
routes frequently coincide with one another. Preliminary data 
indicate significant historic traffic along many of these 
routes.
    Authorized in 1992, the California NHT commemorates the 
gold rush to the Sierra Nevada. Dozens of routes and cutoffs 
were traveled by thousands of pioneers, but no single route 
dominated.
    The Pony Express NHT was included in the same authorizing 
legislation as the California NHT. It commemorates the efforts 
of this nation struggling to establish a system of 
communication across the Trans-Missouri west. The trail 
primarily follows routes beginning at St. Joseph, Missouri and 
ending in San Francisco, California. The firm of Russell, 
Majors, and Waddell, a Missouri freighting company, established 
and operated the Pony Express for one and a half years before 
it fell on hard times and ceased to exist. A short section of 
the trail, from the Missouri River into Kansas, may be worthy 
of study and is included in S. 580.
    All four trails overlap one another in many locations and 
several of the routes and cutoffs proposed for study in S. 580 
are already part of designated trails. These shared routes are 
prominent where the trails depart from various points along the 
Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, particularly in the Kansas 
City, St. Joseph, Nebraska City, Council Bluffs and Omaha 
areas. Several other shared locations include routes in western 
Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada and 
California.
    The National Trail System Act requires that studies of 
lands proposed for trails be made in consultation with Federal, 
State, and local agencies, as well as nonprofit trail 
organizations. Between 1994 and 1999, the National Park 
Service--in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management, 
USDA Forest Service, trail advocacy groups and others--
completed the Comprehensive Management and Use Plan and 
Environmental Impact Statement (1999) for the four trails. This 
was the initial plan for the recently established California 
and Pony Express NHTs as well as revised plans for the earlier 
established Oregon and Mormon Pioneer NHTs. S. 580 would allow 
for the consideration of these additional alternates and 
cutoffs by authorizing an update of the original studies done 
for these four trails to evaluate which are eligible for 
designation as NHT segments. S. 580 maintains the requirements 
of the National Trail System Act to work closely with Federal 
agencies, State, local and tribal governments, local landowners 
and other interested parties. We anticipate the cost of 
updating these studies to be approximately $300,000.
    The intent of the National Trails System Act is one of 
respecting private property rights. Given that historic trails 
cross public and private lands, the development of strong 
partnerships is critical to administering and managing the 
historic trails and achieving preservation of trail resources 
and interpretation of the trail to the public. The four 
national trails in this legislation demonstrate existing public 
and private partnerships.
    This concludes my testimony. I would be happy to respond to 
any questions that you or 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, changes in existing law made by 
the bill S. 580, as ordered reported, are shown as follows: 
(existing law proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black 
brackets, new matter is printed in italic, existing law in 
which no change is proposed is shown in roman):

                    Public Law 90-543--Oct. 2, 1968


                        (16 U.S.C. 1241 et seq.)


  AN ACT To establish a national trails system, and for other purposes

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``National Trails System 
Act''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 5. NATIONAL SCENIC AND NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAILS.

    (a) National Scenic and national historic trails shall be 
authorized and designated only by Act of Congress. There are 
hereby established the following National Scenic and National 
Historic Trails:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

    (g) Revision of Feasibility and Suitability Studies of 
Existing National Historic Trails.--
          (1) Definitions.--In this subsection:
                  (A) Route.--The term ``route'' includes a 
                trail segment commonly known as a cutoff.
                  (B) Shared route.--The term ``shared route'' 
                means a route that was a segment of more than 
                one historic trail, including a route shared 
                with an existing national historic trail.
          (2) Requirements for revision.--
                  (A) In general.--The Secretary of the 
                Interior shall revise the feasibility and 
                suitability studies for certain national trails 
                for consideration of possible additions to the 
                trails.
                  (B) Study requirements and objectives.--The 
                study requirements and objectives specified in 
                subsection (b) shall apply to a study required 
                by this subsection.
                  (C) Completion and submission of study.--A 
                study listed in this subsection shall be 
                completed and submitted to Congress not later 
                than 3 complete fiscal years from the date 
                funds are made available for the study.
          (3) Oregon national historic trail.--
                  (A) Study required.--The Secretary of the 
                Interior shall undertake a study of the routes 
                of the Oregon Trail listed in subparagraph (B) 
                and generally depicted on the map entitled 
                ``Western Emigrant Trails 1830/1870'' and dated 
                1991/1993, and of such other routes of the 
                Oregon Trail that the Secretary considers 
                appropriate, to determine the feasibility and 
                suitability of designation of one or more of 
                the routes as components of the Oregon National 
                Historic Trail.
                  (B) Covered routes.--The routes to be studied 
                under subparagraph (A) shall include the 
                following:
                          (i) Whitman Mission route.
                          (ii) Upper Columbia River.
                          (iii) Cowlitz River route.
                          (iv) Meek cutoff.
                          (v) Free Emigrant Road.
                          (vi) North Alternate Oregon Trail.
                          (vii) Goodale's cutoff.
                          (viii) North Side alternate route.
                          (ix) Cutoff to Barlow road.
                          (x) Naches Pass Trail.
          (4) Pony express national historic trail.--The 
        Secretary of the Interior shall undertake a study of 
        the approximately 20-mile southern alternative route of 
        the Pony Express Trail from Wathena, Kansas, to Troy, 
        Kansas, and such other routes of the Pony Express Trail 
        that the Secretary considers appropriate, to determine 
        the feasibility and suitability of designation of one 
        or more of the routes as components of the Pony Express 
        National Historic Trail.
          (5) California national historic trail.--
                  (A) Study required.--The Secretary of the 
                Interior shall undertake a study of the 
                Missouri Valley, central, and western routes of 
                the California Trail listed in subparagraph (B) 
                and generally depicted on the map entitled 
                ``Western Emigrant Trails 1830/1870'' and dated 
                1991/1993, and of such other and shared 
                Missouri Valley, central, and western routes 
                that the Secretary considers appropriate, to 
                determine the feasibility and suitability of 
                designation of one or more of the routes as 
                components of the California National Historic 
                Trail.
                  (B) Covered routes.--The routes to be studied 
                under subparagraph (A) shall include the 
                following:
                          (i) Missouri valley routes.--
                                  (I) Blue Mills-Independence 
                                Road.
                                  (II) Westport Landing Road.
                                  (III) Westport-Lawrence Road.
                                  (IV) Fort Leavenworth-Blue 
                                River route.
                                  (V) Road to Amazonia.
                                  (VI) Union Ferry Route.
                                  (VII) Old Wyoming-Nebraska 
                                City cutoff.
                                  (VIII) Lower Plattsmouth 
                                Route.
                                  (IX) Lower Bellevue Route.
                                  (X) Woodbury cutoff.
                                  (XI) Blue Ridge cutoff.
                                  (XII) Westport Road.
                                  (XIII) Gum Springs-Fort 
                                Leavenworth route.
                                  (XIV) Atchison/Independence 
                                Creek routes.
                                  (XV) Fort Leavenworth-Kansas 
                                River route.
                                  (XVI) Nebraska City cutoff 
                                routes.
                                  (XVII) Minersville-Nebraska 
                                City Road.
                                  (XVIII) Upper Plattsmouth 
                                route.
                                  (XIX) Upper Bellevue route.
                          (ii) Central routes.--
                                  (I) Cherokee Trail, including 
                                splits.
                                  (II) Weber Canyon route of 
                                Hastings cutoff.
                                  (III) Bishop Creek cutoff.
                                  (IV) McAuley cutoff.
                                  (V) Diamond Springs cutoff.
                                  (VI) Secret Pass.
                                  (VII) Greenhorn cutoff.
                                  (VIII) Central Overland 
                                Trail.
                          (iii) Western routes.--
                                  (I) Bidwell-Bartleson route.
                                  (II) Georgetown/Dagget Pass 
                                Trail.
                                  (III) Big Trees Road.
                                  (IV) Grizzly Flat cutoff.
                                  (V) Nevada City Road.
                                  (VI) Yreka Trail.
                                  (VII) Henness Pass route.
                                  (VIII) Johnson cutoff.
                                  (IX) Luther Pass Trail.
                                  (X) Volcano Road.
                                  (XI) Sacramento-Coloma Wagon 
                                Road.
                                  (XII) Burnett cutoff.
                                  (XIII) Placer County Road to 
                                Auburn.
          (6) Mormon pioneer national historic trail.--
                  (A) Study required.--The Secretary of the 
                Interior shall undertake a study of the routes 
                of the Mormon Pioneer Trail listed in 
                subparagraph (B) and generally depicted in the 
                map entitled ``Western Emigrant Trails 1830/
                1870'' and dated 1991/1993, and of such other 
                routes of the Mormon Pioneer Trail that the 
                Secretary considers appropriate, to determine 
                the feasibility and suitability of designation 
                of one or more of the routes as components of 
                the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail.
                  (B) Covered routes.--The routes to be studied 
                under subparagraph (A) shall include the 
                following:
                          (i) 1846 Subsequent routes A and B 
                        (Lucas and Clarke Counties, Iowa).
                          (ii) 1856-57 Handcart route (Iowa 
                        City to Council Bluffs).
                          (iii) Keokuk route (Iowa).
                          (iv) 1847 Alternative Elkhorn and 
                        Loup River Crossings in Nebraska.
                          (v) Fort Leavenworth Road; Ox Bow 
                        route and alternates in Kansas and 
                        Missouri (Oregon and California Trail 
                        routes used by Mormon emigrants).
                          (vi) 1850 Golden Pass Road in Utah.
          (7) Shared california and oregon trail routes.--
                  (A) Study required.--The Secretary of the 
                Interior shall undertake a study of the shared 
                routes of the California Trail and Oregon Trail 
                listed in subparagraph (B) and generally 
                depicted on the map entitled ``Western Emigrant 
                Trails 1830/1870''and dated 1991/1993, and of 
                such other shared routes that the Secretary 
                considers appropriate, to determine the 
                feasibility and suitability of designation of 
                one or more of the routes as shared components 
                of the California National Historic Trail and 
                the Oregon National Historic Trail.
                  (B) Covered routes.--The routes to be studied 
                under subparagraph (A) shall include the 
                following:
                          (i) St. Joe Road.
                          (ii) Council Bluffs Road.
                          (iii) Sublette cutoff.
                          (iv) Applegate route.
                          (v) Old Fort Kearny Road (Oxbow 
                        Trail).
                          (vi) Childs cutoff.
                          (vii) Raft River to Applegate.