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                                                        Calendar No. 63
                                                        
115th Congress}                                            { Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session  }                                            { 115-50

======================================================================

 
 OCMULGEE MOUNDS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK BOUNDARY REVISION ACT OF 2017

                                _______
                                

                  May 9, 2017.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 538]

     [Including cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (H.R. 638) to redesignate Ocmulgee National 
Monument in the State of Georgia and revise its boundary, and 
for other purposes, having considered the same, reports 
favorably thereon with an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute and recommends 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 ``Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical 
Park Boundary Revision Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
          (1) Historical park.--The term ``Historical Park'' means the 
        Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in the State of 
        Georgia, as redesignated by section 3(a)(1).
          (2) Map.--The term ``map'' means the map entitled ``Ocmulgee 
        National Monument Proposed Boundary Adjustment'', numbered 363/
        125996, and dated January 2016.
          (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (4) Study area.--The term ``study area'' means the Ocmulgee 
        River corridor between the cities of Macon, Georgia, and 
        Hawkinsville, Georgia.

SEC. 3. OCMULGEE MOUNDS NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK.

    (a) Redesignation.--
          (1) In general.--The Ocmulgee National Monument, established 
        pursuant to the Act of June 14, 1934 (48 Stat. 958, chapter 
        519), shall be known and designated as the ``Ocmulgee Mounds 
        National Historical Park''.
          (2) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
        document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
        ``Ocmulgee National Monument'' shall be deemed to be a 
        reference to the ``Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park''.
    (b) Boundary Adjustment.--
          (1) In general.--The boundary of the Historical Park is 
        revised to include approximately 2,100 acres of land, as 
        generally depicted on the map.
          (2) Availability of map.--The map shall be on file and 
        available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of 
        the National Park Service.
    (c) Land Acquisition.--
          (1) In general.--The Secretary may acquire land and interests 
        in land within the boundaries of the Historical Park by 
        donation, purchase from a willing seller with donated or 
        appropriated funds, or exchange.
          (2) Limitation.--The Secretary may not acquire by 
        condemnation any land or interest in land within the boundaries 
        of the Historical Park.
    (d) Administration.--The Secretary shall administer any land 
acquired under subsection (c) as part of the Historical Park in 
accordance with applicable laws (including regulations).

SEC. 4. OCMULGEE RIVER CORRIDOR SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY.

    (a) In General.--The Secretary shall conduct a special resource 
study of the study area.
    (b) Contents.--In conducting the study under subsection (a), the 
Secretary shall--
          (1) evaluate the national significance of the study area;
          (2) determine the suitability and feasibility of designating 
        the study area as a unit of the National Park System;
          (3) consider other alternatives for preservation, protection, 
        and interpretation of the study area by the Federal Government, 
        State or local government entities, or private and nonprofit 
        organizations;
          (4) consult with interested Federal agencies, State or local 
        governmental entities, private and nonprofit organizations, or 
        any other interested individuals; and
          (5) identify cost estimates for any Federal acquisition, 
        development, interpretation, operation, and maintenance 
        associated with the alternatives.
    (c) Applicable Law.--The study required under subsection (a) shall 
be conducted in accordance with section 100507 of title 54, United 
States Code.
    (d) Report.--Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds 
are first made available to carry out the study under subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Natural Resources of the 
House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the Senate a report that describes--
          (1) the results of the study; and
          (2) any conclusions and recommendations of the Secretary.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of H.R. 538 is to redesignate the Ocmulgee 
National Monument in the State of Georgia as the Ocmulgee 
Mounds National Historical Park and to revise its boundary.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia, was 
authorized by Congress in 1934 and created by land donations in 
1936 to protect Native American antiquities in an area known as 
the Ocmulgee Old Fields at Macon. The park commemorates Native 
Americans who first arrived in the area during the Paleo-Indian 
period hunting Ice Age mammals. Different cultures occupied 
this land for thousands of years. The Mississippian culture 
arrived here around A.D. 900, farming the river's floodplain 
terraces and constructing earthen mounds for their elite. The 
mounds still remain today for all to see. The National Trust 
for Historic Preservation has identified the Old Fields as 
being among the nation's richest archaeological landscapes.
    At the time Ocmulgee National Monument was authorized and 
created in the mid-1930s, the nation was struggling and 
suffering under the Great Depression. The deep economic 
downturn was long-lasting and had an impact on every aspect of 
human and economic life. The Great Depression also had an 
effect on Ocmulgee National Monument, as preservation of much 
of the cultural landscape was not completed, leaving 
significant portions of the ancient archaeology unprotected.
    H.R. 538 is needed to redesignate the Ocmulgee National 
Monument as the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and to 
expand the park boundaries by 2,100 acres to include additional 
archeologically significant sites.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Representatives Sanford Bishop and Austin introduced H.R. 
538 on January 13, 2017. On January 30, 2017, H.R. 538 passed 
the House of Representatives on a vote of 396-8.
    On January 12, 2017, similar legislation, S. 135, was 
introduced by Senators Isakson and Perdue in the Senate.
    In the 114th Congress, similar legislation, S. 1696, was 
introduced by Senators Isakson and Perdue on June 25, 2015. The 
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on the measure on 
June 15, 2016. The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
met in open business session on July 13, 2016, and ordered S. 
1696 favorably reported as amended (S. Rept. 114-318).
    Representatives Sanford Bishop and Austin introduced 
similar legislation, H.R. 482, in the House of Representatives, 
on January 22, 2015. H.R. 482 was reported by the Committee on 
Natural Resources on March 2, 2016 (H. Rept. 114-442), and 
passed the House of Representatives by voice vote on March 22, 
2016.
    In the 113th Congress, Representative Bishop introduced 
H.R. 4991 on June 26, 2014. Senators Isakson and Chambliss 
introduced similar legislation, S. 2580, on July 10, 2014.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on March 30, 2017, and ordered H.R. 538 
favorably reported as amended.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 30, 2017, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 
538, if amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During its consideration of H.R. 538, the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources adopted an amendment in the nature 
of a substitute to eliminate buffer zone and land acquisition 
language and modify special resource study language. The 
amendment is further described in the section-by-section 
analysis.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 contains key definitions.

Section 3. Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

    Section 3(a) redesignates the Ocmulgee National Monument as 
the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park and requires that 
any reference in a regulation, law, map, document, paper, or 
other record of the United States to Ocmulgee National Monument 
be deemed to be a reference to Ocmulgee Mounds National 
Historical Park.
    Subsection (b)(1) revises the boundary to include 
approximately 2,100 additional acres of land. Subsection (b)(2) 
directs the map to be on file in appropriate National Park 
Service (NPS) offices and available for public inspection.
    Subsection (c)(1) authorizes the Secretary to acquire land 
or interests in land within the boundary of the Historical Park 
by donation, purchase from a willing seller with donated or 
appropriate funds, or exchange.
    Subsection (c)(2) prohibits acquisition of land and 
interest in land by condemnation.
    Subsection (d) designates the Secretary to administer any 
acquired land in accordance with applicable laws and 
regulations.

Section 4. Ocmulgee River Corridor Special Resource Study

    Subsections (a) and (b) of section 4 direct the Secretary 
to conduct a special resource study of the Ocmulgee River 
corridor between the cities of Macon, Georgia, and 
Hawkinsville, Georgia to determine the national significance of 
the study area; the suitability and feasibility of designating 
the land in the study area to the National Park System; and the 
methods and means for interpretation and protection of the 
study area by the NPS, other Federal, State, or local 
government entities, or private or nonprofit organizations.
    Subsection (c) requires the study to be conducted in 
accordance with applicable law.
    Subsection (d) directs the Secretary to submit a report on 
the study, including any recommendations, to the House 
Committee on Natural Resources and the Senate Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources within three years after the funds 
are made available to carry out the study.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    H.R. 538 would redesignate the Ocmulgee National Monument 
in Georgia as the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, 
authorize the expansion of the newly designated park's 
boundaries, and authorize a special resource study of the 
Ocmulgee River corridor.
    The legislation stipulates that the National Park Service 
(NPS) may acquire approximately 2,100 acres of additional land 
through a donation, with donated funds, with appropriated 
amounts, or through a land exchange. Based on recent sale 
prices of comparable tracts of land in the areas where land 
would be purchased, and information from the NPS, CBO estimates 
that the cost to acquire and administer the land would be about 
$2 million over the 2018-2022 period, assuming the land was 
acquired with appropriated funds over the next five years. 
Total costs would depend on the average price per acre which, 
according to local property sales records, could range from 
$500 per acre to $1,500 per acre. Based on information from the 
NPS, CBO estimates that developing the resource study would 
have an insignificant cost.
    Enacting H.R. 538 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. CBO 
estimates that enacting H.R. 538 would not increase net direct 
spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 
10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    H.R. 538 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 Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy 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 H.R. 538. 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 H.R. 538, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    H.R. 538, as ordered 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

    Because H.R. 538 is similar to legislation considered by 
the Committee in the 114th Congress, the Committee did not 
request Executive Agency views. The testimony provided by the 
National Park Service at the hearing before the Subcommittee on 
National Parks on June 15, 2016, follows:

   Statement of Dr. Stephanie Toothman, Associate Director, Cultural 
   Resources, Partnerships and Science, National Park Service, U.S. 
                       Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's 
testimony regarding H.R. 482 and S. 1696, bills to redesignate 
Ocmulgee National Monument in the State of Georgia and revise 
its boundary, and for other purposes.
    The Department supports S. 1696 and would support H.R. 482 
if amended in accordance with this testimony. This legislation 
has three components: it would redesignate the national 
monument, expand the monument's boundaries, and authorize a 
special resource study of the Ocmulgee River corridor in 
Georgia from Macon to Hawkinsville. With respect to the special 
resource study, the Department feels that priority should be 
given to the 24 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 Congress.
    Ocmulgee National Monument, authorized by Congress in 1934 
and established by Presidential proclamation in 1936 after the 
purchase of lands by local citizens, encompasses 701 acres in 
two separate units. The Main Unit (656 acres), includes seven 
prehistoric mounds, a funeral mound, a reconstructed earth 
lodge, prehistoric trenches, and numerous archeological 
features. This unit also includes the site of a British 
colonial trading post dating to 1690 (which the Creek Indians 
frequented), the historic Dunlap House, an Art Moderne visitor 
center, Civil War earthworks, substantial urban green space, 
six miles of hiking trails, and a picnic area. The smaller 
Lamar Mounds Unit (45 acres), named for a Late Mississippian 
agricultural society, is located about two and one-half miles 
southeast of the Main Unit. Both sites are part of a larger 
archeological area known as the Ocmulgee Old Fields.
    In 1999, the Ocmulgee Old Fields was listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places as a ``traditional cultural 
property,'' the first location in the eastern United States to 
receive this designation. The monument and surrounding area is 
the site of one of the largest archeological investigations in 
North American history. The investigation and recovery of 
artifacts and information in this area was instrumental in the 
development of scientific archeology. The traditional cultural 
property extends well beyond the current boundaries of the 
monument to encompass areas traditionally associated with the 
cultural beliefs and practices of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation 
and related tribes.


                             redesignation


    H.R. 482 and S. 1696 would redesignate Ocmulgee National 
Monument as ``Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park'', a 
more appropriate name for the site. For generations, Middle 
Georgians have known Ocmulgee National Monument simply as ``the 
Indian mounds.'' The addition of the word ``mounds'' to the 
name would not only clarify the identity of the site for 
residents of the region, it would also give all potential 
visitors a better idea of the principal resource of the site. 
In addition, the title ``National Historical Park'' recognizes 
the complexity of the site and the fact that it is much more 
than a collection of Indian mounds. The proposed title also 
provides better identification of the site as a unit of the 
National Park System.


                          boundary adjustment


    H.R. 482 and S. 1696 would also expand the boundary of the 
Ocmulgee National Monument consistent with the preferred 
alternative of a boundary study the National Park Service 
completed in 2014. The study evaluated lands that were part of 
the Ocmulgee Old Fields and found that approximately 2,100 
acres of these lands were suitable and feasible for inclusion 
in the monument. These additional lands would link Ocmulgee's 
Main Unit and the Lamar Unit and create a contiguous park unit 
of approximately 2,800 acres.
    Of the 2,100 acres proposed for inclusion in the monument, 
approximately 707 acres (34% of expansion area) would likely be 
acquired by donation. The remaining lands, approximately 1,350 
acres (66% of expansion area) would likely be acquired through 
purchase from willing sellers. Based on tax assessments, the 
value of the private tracts that would be purchased is just 
under $2 million, but actual acquisition costs could be higher. 
Costs would eventually be incurred to demolish non-historic 
structures. Some relatively low-cost improvements for 
recreational enhancement are anticipated, such as trailhead 
kiosks, maintenance of old roadbeds for biking/hiking trails, 
and installation of canoe launching facilities. Funding for 
these activities would be subject to the availability of 
appropriations.
    The proposed boundary expansion enjoys strong community 
support. Resolutions in favor of the expansion have been passed 
by the Board of Commissioners of Wilkinson County, the Macon-
Bibb County Commission, the Historic Macon Foundation, Inc., 
the Georgia Small Business Lender Board of Directors, and the 
Hawkinsville-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce. Other 
organizations and governmental entities have also expressed 
support for the expansion, including Altamaha River Keeper, the 
Georgia Conservancy, Main Street Macon, New Town Macon, the 
Macon Chamber of Commerce, the Middle Georgia Regional 
Commission Council, the Macon-Bibb County Convention and 
Visitors Bureau, the Mayor and City Council for the City of 
Perry, the Georgia River Network, the National Trust for 
Historic Preservation, Save our Rivers INC. and the Macon-Bibb 
County Urban Development Authority.


                         special resource study


    H.R. 482 and S. 1696 would also authorize the Secretary to 
conduct a special resource study of the Ocmulgee River corridor 
between Macon and Hawkinsville, a distance of about 50 miles 
and an area encompassing approximately 70,000 acres. Although 
the study area would be contiguous with Ocmulgee National 
Monument, the size of the area and the complexity of resources 
warrant the authorization of a special resource study, rather 
than another boundary study. The study area would encompass a 
patchwork of privately and publicly owned land, including the 
Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and two State of Georgia 
wildlife management areas. It would also include much of the 
Ocmulgee Old Fields Traditional Cultural Property not already 
included in the national monument or the proposed expansion of 
the monument. We estimate that this study would cost 
approximately $350,000 to $500,000. Funding for this proposed 
study would need to be allocated from the set amount of funding 
that Congress appropriates for all special resource studies.
    The Department supports S. 1696 as introduced and would 
support H.R. 482 as passed by the House if amended to conform 
to the language in S. 1696. As passed by the House, H.R. 482 
makes the establishment of the expanded boundary subject to the 
written consent of the owners of properties that would be 
included within the new boundary. This places landowners, 
rather than Congress or the Administration, in the position of 
determining the boundary of a federal park, which we believe is 
inappropriate. This provision has the potential to create legal 
and practical confusion over the boundary since it is possible 
that a landowner could give consent, then change his or her 
mind and withdraw consent or convey the property to another 
owner who withdraws consent. If the intent of this language is 
to ensure that no land is included within the park boundary 
without the consent of the landowner, we recommend amending the 
bill to provide that the park boundary shall not be adjusted 
unless and until a specified property is acquired for the park. 
By waiting to include land in the boundary until it is acquired 
by the federal government, this approach avoids entirely the 
potential problems we see with the approach used in the House 
bill. Our recommended approach has precedent in other park 
laws.
    H.R. 482 allows land acquisition by donation or exchange 
only, not purchase. At this time, only about one third of the 
land in the proposed boundary adjustment area is anticipated to 
be donated. We support allowing the purchase from a willing 
seller with donated or appropriated funds, as provided by S. 
1696. This language would also render unnecessary the 
prohibition on condemnation included in H.R. 482.
    H.R. 482 also includes language that says that an activity 
outside the boundary shall not be precluded because it can be 
heard or seen inside the park boundary. The Department has 
concerns about this language. It is misleading, as it suggests 
that the NPS may have authority to preclude activities outside 
the boundaries, which it does not. Of even greater concern, 
however, is that the language could discourage park managers 
from addressing threats to park resources from external 
sources. Even though the NPS does not control what happens 
outside of its boundaries, park managers have a responsibility 
under the NPS Organic Act and other laws to work with owners of 
properties outside of park boundaries to resolve problems that 
could negatively impact the resources the NPS is responsible 
for protecting.
    Finally, we note that S. 1696 as introduced has blank lines 
for references for a map that would depict the boundaries of 
the expanded and redesignated Ocmulgee Mounds National 
Historical Park. The National Park Service has developed a map 
to accompany this bill and we would be happy to submit the map 
to the bill's sponsor and the committee.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. I would be happy 
to answer any questions that 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 as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]