Summary: H.R.4690 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.4690. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (03/26/1992)

Title I: Recreation Admission Fees and Use Fees - America the Beautiful Passport Act of 1991 - Amends the Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 to repeal provisions mandating charges for entrance or admission fees only at designated units of the National Park System or National Recreation Areas administered by the Departments of the Interior or of Agriculture (Departments).

Authorizes the Secretaries of such Departments (Secretaries) to charge admission fees at any land and water area which they administer and designate for such charges.

Limits the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to charge admission fees to national recreation areas, national monuments, national volcanic monuments, national scenic areas, and developed recreation complexes within the National Forest System.

Replaces an annual admission permit known as the Golden Eagle Passport with an America the Beautiful Passport for admission into any such designated area. Makes such passport valid for the 12-month period beginning in the month of sale (currently, only for the calendar year for which the fee is paid). Requires the Secretaries to set a $30 fee for such permit in lieu of the maximum $25 fee. Authorizes them to change the fee under specified conditions.

Releases the holder of a permit under this Act from additional fees charged for specified Federal recreation areas, except for overnight camping fees or the use of group facilities. (Currently, a permit does not authorize uses for which additional fees are charged.)

Revises provisions for specific geographic permits to authorize the Secretaries to make an admission permit available and valid for a 12-month period beginning in the month of sale for one or more designated areas in a particular geographic area.

Conveys the privileges of, and subjects such permit to the same terms and conditions as, the America the Beautiful Passport (currently the Golden Eagle Passport), except that it shall be valid only for admission into the specific area or areas indicated at the time of purchase.

Mandates a $15 fee for such permit under specified circumstances. (Currently, a maximum $15 fee is charged for such permit regardless of how many units of the park system are covered.)

Requires funds collected from the sales of the permits to be allocated directly to those areas which collected them.

Authorizes the Secretaries to permit State or local government units, organizations, businesses, and nonprofit entities to sell and collect fees for the America the Beautiful Passport for a maximum six-month period and to withhold reasonable amounts up to, but not exceeding, ten percent of the gross fees collected from such sales as reimbursement for necessary expenses.

Requires the sellers to provide information to America the Beautiful Passport purchasers about recreation activities on Federal lands.

Requires all net receipts from the sales of permits under this Act to be deposited into a special account in the Treasury to be available at the end of each fiscal year for appropriation to any agency collecting fees under this Act to fund the agency portion of challenge cost-share agreements.

Establishes the Federal Recreation Fee Advisory Commission to prepare biannually an advisory report for the Secretaries regarding the admission fee system, including: (1) the fee charged for the America the Beautiful Passport; (2) the designation of sites where admission fees are collected; (3) the amount of fees at designated and proposed sites; and (4) whether the Passport should waive recreation fees. Terminates the Commission upon its fourth biannual report to the Secretaries.

Names specified "developed recreation complexes."

Authorizes the Secretary to charge an admission fee at other developed recreation complexes within the National Forest System in addition to those listed under this Act.

Repeals specified fees for a single-visit permit at any designated area (allowing the administering Secretary, in his or her own discretion, to charge a reasonable admission fee).

Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, with the advice and consent of the Secretary of Agriculture, to change such fees upon the Commission's recommendation. Requires notification of specified congressional committees before any fee increase can go into effect.

Limits Golden Age Passport general admission into any area to the holder and spouse (currently any other accompanying persons, especially children, are also included).

Provides that no admission fee may be charged under this Act of any person less than 16 years of age (currently, 16 years of age or less).

Repeals limitations on admission fees for single visits at the following parks: (1) Yellowstone National Park; (2) Grand Teton National Park; and (3) Grand Canyon National Park.

Revises Federal agency authority to collect daily recreation use fees, limiting it to developed recreation sites such as campgrounds and picnic grounds which have been developed for public use, swimming sites, boat launch ramps, and managed parking lots.

Authorizes an agency to issue a special recreation permit for backcountry overnight camping.

Revises provisions that require Federal agencies to deposit fees collected under this Act into a special account in the Treasury to repeal the exception from such mandate for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Requires the National Park Service as well as all agencies collecting such fees to make them available for resource management, visitor services, maintenance, and fee collection on lands and waters administered by such agency.

Repeals provisions that: (1) allocate amounts covered into the special account for the National Park Service; and (2) establish the distribution formula for such allocations.

Prescribes guidelines for the Secretary of Agriculture when collecting national forest system recreation use receipts.