Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (09/16/1996)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Richmond National Battlefield Park

Title II: Shenandoah National Park

Title III: Shenandoah Valley National Battlefields

Title I: Richmond National Battlefield Park - Amends Federal law to revise the boundaries of the Richmond National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to acquire lands within the Park's boundary. Permits the acquisition of privately owned lands only with the owner's consent.

(Sec. 104) Requires the Secretary to: (1) interpret, for the benefit of visitors to the Park and the general public, the Battles of Richmond in the larger context of the Civil War and American history, including the causes and consequences of such War and its effects on all the American people; and (2) work with Virginia, its political subdivisions, Richmond, private property owners, and the private sector to develop mechanisms to protect and interpret the resources within the Park's boundary.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) enter into cooperative agreements with the public and private sectors for purposes of carrying out this title; and (2) provide technical assistance to governmental entities, nonprofit organizations, and private property owners in the development of activities which are consistent with conserving the historic, cultural, natural, and scenic resources found within the Park's boundaries.

Title II: Shenandoah National Park - Modifies the boundary of Shenandoah National Park to include only those lands that were in Federal ownership and administered by the Secretary on the day before enactment of this title. Authorizes the Secretary to make minor boundary adjustments to allow the acceptance of donated adjacent land. Requires the Secretary to follow the recommendations of the Related Lands Study to ensure access to trailheads and other areas that will resolve conflicts with adjacent property owners if such Study has been completed on the date of such adjustments. Sets forth limitations on land acquisitions. Directs the Secretary to take steps to mitigate impacts associated with visitor use at trailheads and other visitor access points around the perimeter of the Park.

Title III: Shenandoah Valley National Battlefields - Establishes the Shenandoah Valley National Battlefields. Permits the Secretary to acquire lands within the boundary of the Battlefields by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or exchange. Prohibits land acquisition without the owner's consent and through condemnation.

(Sec. 305) Requires the Battlefields to be managed in accordance with a Shenandoah Valley National Battlefields plan that includes recommendations: (1) of potential boundary modifications to the Battlefields, including modifications to the historic core of each unit, and the potential addition of new units; and (2) to Virginia (and political subdivisions thereof) for the management, protection, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the historic core areas.

(Sec. 306) Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) establish partnerships and enter into cooperative agreements with other Federal, State, and local agencies and private persons and organizations concerning lands within the Battlefields and historic core areas; and (2) award grants and provide technical assistance to property owners within the Battlefields and historic core areas to provide for the preservation and interpretation of their natural, cultural, and historic resources and to governmental entities to assist with the planning, development, and implementation of comprehensive plans or other appropriate documents that are consistent with and designed to protect historic character of the Battlefields and historic core areas. Prohibits the Federal share of such grants from exceeding the amount of non-Federal funds provided for the preservation, interpretation, planning, development, or implementation with respect to which the grant is awarded.

(Sec. 308) Establishes the Shenandoah Valley National Battlefields Commission which shall develop the plan, advise the Secretary, assist State and local governments in managing, protecting, and interpreting the natural, cultural, and historical resources within the historic core areas, and encourage protection of such resources within the Battlefields and such areas. Directs the Commission to conduct a regular review of any plan, guideline, regulation, ordinance, and document (plan) with respect to which the Secretary has awarded a grant. Authorizes the Commission to recommend suspending any such grant regarding such plan if it finds that the plan or its implementation is no longer consistent with the protection of the historic character of the Battlefields and historic core areas. Directs the Secretary to suspend any such grant award that is modified in a manner that is inconsistent with such protection.

(Sec. 310) Authorizes appropriations. Makes such funds available until expended.