H.R.1449 - Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Act of 1995104th Congress (1995-1996)
|Sponsor:||Rep. Roberts, Pat [R-KS-1] (Introduced 04/06/1995)|
|Committees:||House - Resources|
|Latest Action:||09/28/1996 For Further Action See H.R.4236. (All Actions)|
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Text: H.R.1449 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)
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Introduced in House (04/06/1995)
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 1449 Introduced in House (IH)] 104th CONGRESS 1st Session H. R. 1449 To provide for the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas, and for other purposes. _______________________________________________________________________ IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 6, 1995 Mr. Roberts (for himself and Mrs. Meyers of Kansas) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Resources _______________________________________________________________________ A BILL To provide for the establishment of the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas, 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 ``Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Act of 1995''. SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES. (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following: (1) Of the 400,000 square miles of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American Continent, less than 1 percent remains, primarily in the Flint Hills of Kansas. (2) In 1991, the National Park Service conducted a special resource study of the Spring Hill Ranch, located in the Flint Hills of Kansas. (3) Such study concludes that the Spring Hill Ranch-- (A) is a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass ecosystem, and includes buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places pursuant to section 101 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470a) which represent outstanding examples of Second Empire and other 19th Century architectural styles; and (B) is suitable and feasible as a potential addition to the National Park System. (4) The National Park Trust, which owns the Spring Hill Ranch, has agreed to permit the National Park Service-- (A) to purchase a portion of the ranch, as specified in this Act; and (B) to manage the ranch in order to-- (i) conserve the scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife of the ranch; and (ii) provide for the enjoyment of the ranch in such manner, and by such means, as will leave such scenery, natural and historic objects, and wildlife unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. (b) Purposes.--The purposes of this Act are as follows: (1) To preserve, protect, and interpret for the public an example of a tallgrass prairie ecosystem on the Spring Hill Ranch, located in the Flint Hills of Kansas. (2) To preserve and interpret for the public the historic and cultural values represented on the Spring Hill Ranch. SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS. As used in this Act: (1) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee'' means the Advisory Committee established under section 7. (2) Preserve.--The term ``Preserve'' means the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve established under section 4. (3) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of the Interior. (4) Trust.--The term ``Trust'' means the National Park Trust, Inc. (which is a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation), or any successor-in-interest, subsidiary, affiliate, trustee, or legal representative of the National Park Trust, Inc. that possesses legal or equitable ownership or management rights with respect to land and improvements on land that constitutes any portion of the Preserve. SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF TALLGRASS PRAIRIE NATIONAL PRESERVE. (a) In General.--In order to provide for the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of the Spring Hill Ranch area of the Flint Hills of Kansas, for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations, there is hereby established the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. (b) Description.--The Preserve shall consist of the lands, waters, and interests therein, including approximately 10,894 acres, generally depicted on the map entitled ``Boundary Map, Flint Hills Prairie National Monument'' numbered NM-TGP 80,000 and dated June 1994, more particularly described in the deed filed at 8:22 a.m. of June 3, 1994, with the Office of the Register of Deeds in Chase County, Kansas, and recorded in Book L-106 at pages 328 through 339, inclusive. In the case of any difference between such map and legal description, such legal description shall govern, except that if, as a result of a survey, the Secretary determines that there is a discrepancy with respect to the boundary of the Preserve that may be corrected by making minor changes to the map or legal description, the Secretary is directed to make such minor changes. The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service of the Department of the Interior. SEC. 5. ADMINISTRATION OF NATIONAL PRESERVE. (a) In General.--The Secretary shall administer the Preserve in accordance with this Act, the cooperative agreements described in subsection (f)(1), and the provisions of law generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including the Act entitled ``An Act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes'', approved August 25, 1916 (16 U.S.C. 1, 2 through 4) and the Act of August 21, 1935 (49 Stat. 666; 16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.). (b) Application of Regulations.--The regulations issued by the Secretary concerning the National Park Service that provide for the proper use, management, and protection of persons, property, and natural and cultural resources shall apply within the boundaries of the Preserve. (c) Facilities.--For purposes of carrying out the duties of the Secretary under this Act relating to the Preserve, the Secretary may, with the consent of the landowner-- (1) directly or by contract, construct, reconstruct, rehabilitate, or develop essential buildings, structures, and related facilities including roads, trails, and other interpretive facilities on real property that is not owned by the Federal Government and is located within the Preserve; and (2) maintain and operate programs in connection with the Preserve. (d) Liability.-- (1) Landowners.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person who owns any land or interest in land within the Preserve shall be liable for injury to, or damages suffered by, any other person who is injured or damaged while upon the land within the Preserve if-- (A) such injury or damages result from any act or omission of the Secretary or any officer, employee, or agent of the Secretary; or (B) such liability would arise solely by reason of the ownership by the defendant of such land or interest in land and such injury or damages are not proximately caused by the wanton or willful misconduct of the defendant. (2) Liability of united states and officers and employees of the united states.--(A) Nothing in this subsection or in any other provision of this Act may be construed to exempt the Federal Government, or any officer or employee of the Federal Government, from any liability for any act or omission for which the Federal Government, or such officer or employee, as the case may be, would otherwise be liable under any applicable provision of law. (B) Nothing in this subsection or in any other provision of this Act may be construed to impose on the Federal Government, or any officer or employee of the Federal Government, any liability for any act or omission of any other person or entity for any act or omission of such other person or entity for which the Federal Government, or such officer or employee, as the case may be, would otherwise not be liable under any applicable provision of law. (e) Fees.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Preserve shall be considered a designated unit of the National Park System, including for the purposes of charging entrance and admission fees under section 4 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l-6a). (f) Agreements and Donations.-- (1) Agreements.--The Secretary is authorized to expend Federal funds for the cooperative management of private property within the Preserve for research, resource management (including pest control and noxious weed control, fire protection, and the restoration of buildings), and visitor protection and use. The Secretary may enter into one or more cooperative agreements with public or private agencies, organizations, and institutions to further the purposes of this Act (as specified in section 2(b)), including entering into a memorandum of understanding with the appropriate official of the county in which the Preserve is located to provide for such services as law enforcement and emergency services. (2) Donations.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may solicit, accept, retain, and expend donations of funds, property (other than real property), or services from individuals, foundations, corporations, or public entities for the purposes of providing programs, services, facilities, or technical assistance that further the purposes of this Act. (g) General Management Plan.-- (1) In general.--Not later than the termination date of the third full fiscal year beginning after the date of establishment of the Preserve, the Secretary shall prepare and submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives a general management plan for the Preserve. (2) Consultation.--In preparing the general management plan, the Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Park Service, shall consult with-- (A)(i) appropriate officials of the Trust; and (ii) the Advisory Committee established under section 7; and (B) adjacent landowners, appropriate officials of nearby communities, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, and the Kansas Historical Society, and other interested parties. (3) Content of plan.--The general management plan shall provide for the following: (A) Maintaining and enhancing the tallgrass prairie ecosystem within the boundaries of the Preserve. (B) Public access and enjoyment of the property that is consistent with the conservation and proper management of the historical, cultural, and natural resources of the ranch, lands of adjoining landowners, and surrounding communities. (C) Interpretive and educational programs covering the natural history of the prairie, the cultural history of Native Americans, and the legacy of ranching in the Flint Hills region. (D) Provisions requiring the application of applicable State law concerning the maintenance of adequate fences within the boundaries of the Preserve. In any case in which an activity of the National Park Service requires fences that exceed the legal fence standard otherwise applicable to the Preserve, the National Park Service shall pay the additional cost of constructing and maintaining the fences to meet the applicable requirements for that activity. (E) Provisions requiring the Secretary to comply with applicable State noxious weed, pesticide, and animal health laws. (F) Provisions requiring compliance with applicable Federal and State water laws and waste disposal laws (including regulations) and any other applicable law. (G) Provisions requiring the Secretary to honor each valid existing oil and gas lease for lands within the boundaries of the Preserve (as described in section 4(b)) that is in effect on the date of enactment of this Act. (H) Provisions requiring the Secretary to offer to enter into an agreement with each individual who, as of the date of enactment of this Act, holds rights for cattle grazing within the boundaries of the Preserve (as described in section 4(b)). SEC. 6. LIMITED AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE. (a) In General.--The Secretary is authorized and directed to acquire, by donation or purchase with donated or appropriated funds, at fair market value-- (1) not more than 180 acres of real property within the boundaries of the Preserve (as described in section 4(b)) and the improvements thereon; and (2) rights-of-way on roads that are not owned by the State of Kansas within the boundaries of the Preserve. (b) Payments in Lieu of Taxes.--For the purposes of payments made pursuant to chapter 69 of title 31, United States Code, the real property described in subsection (a)(1) shall be deemed to have been acquired for the purposes specified in section 6904(a) of such title 31. (c) Prohibitions.--No property may be acquired under this section without the consent of the owner of the property. The United States may not acquire fee ownership of any lands within the Preserve other than lands described in this section. SEC. 7. ADVISORY COMMITTEE. (a) Establishment.--There is established an advisory committee to be known as the ``Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Advisory Committee''. (b) Duties.--The Advisory Committee shall advise the Secretary and the Director of the National Park Service concerning the development, management, and interpretation of the Preserve. In carrying out such duties, the Advisory Committee shall provide timely advice to the Secretary and the Director during the preparation of the general management plan required by section 5(g). (c) Membership.--The Advisory Committee shall consist of the following 13 members, who shall be appointed by the Secretary as follows: (1) Three members shall be representatives of the Trust. (2) Three members shall be representatives of local landowners, cattle ranchers, or other agricultural interests. (3) Three members shall be representatives of conservation or historic preservation interests. (4) Three members, who shall be appointed as follows: (A) One member shall be selected from a list of nominations submitted to the Secretary by the Chase County Commission in the State of Kansas. (B) One member shall be selected from a list of nominations jointly submitted to the Secretary by appropriate officials of Strong City, Kansas, and Cottonwood Falls, Kansas. (C) One member shall be selected from a list of nominations submitted to the Secretary by the Governor of the State of Kansas. (5) One member shall be a range management specialist representing institutions of higher education (as defined in section 1201(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1141(a))) in the State of Kansas. (d) Terms.-- (1) In general.--Each member of the Advisory Committee shall be appointed to serve for a term of 3 years, except that the initial members shall be appointed as follows: (A) Four members shall be appointed, one each from paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (c), to serve for a term of 3 years. (B) Four members shall be appointed, one each from paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) of subsection (c), to serve for a term of 4 years. (C) Five members shall be appointed, one each from paragraphs (1) through (5) of subsection (c), to serve for a term of 5 years. (2) Reappointment.--Each member may be reappointed to serve for a subsequent term. (3) Expiration.--Each member shall continue to serve after the expiration of the term of the member until a successor is appointed. (4) Vacancies.--A vacancy on the Advisory Committee shall be filled in the same manner as an original appointment is made. The member appointed to fill the vacancy shall serve until the expiration of the term in which the vacancy occurred. (e) Chairperson.--The Secretary shall appoint one of the members who is a representative from the Trust appointed under subsection (c)(1) to serve as Chairperson. (f) Meetings.--Meetings of the Advisory Committee shall be held at the call of the Chairperson or the majority of the Advisory Committee. Meetings shall be held at such locations and in such manner as to ensure adequate opportunity for public involvement. In compliance with the requirements of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), the Advisory Committee shall choose an appropriate means of providing interested members of the public advance notice of scheduled meetings. (g) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum. (h) Compensation.--Each member of the Advisory Committee shall serve without compensation, except that while engaged in official business of the Advisory Committee, the member shall be entitled to travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in Government service under section 5703 of title 5, United States Code. (i) Charter.--The rechartering provisions of section 14(b) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.) are hereby waived with respect to the Advisory Committee. SEC. 8. RESTRICTION ON AUTHORITY. Nothing in this Act shall give the Secretary authority to regulate lands outside the boundaries of the Preserve. SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. There are authorized to be appropriated to the Department of the Interior such sums as may be necessary to carry out this Act. <all>