Summary: H.R.980 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (11/20/2002)

Title I: Moccasin Bend National Archeological District - Moccasin Bend National Archeological District Act - (Sec. 103) Establishes the Moccasin Bend National Archeological District (the District) as a unit of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (the Park) in Tennessee. Allows the Secretary of the Interior to acquire by donation, purchase from willing sellers, or exchange, lands and interests in lands within the exterior boundary of the District. Declares that State, country, and city-owned land and interests therein may only be acquired by donation. Allows the Secretary to acquire easements to connect noncontiguous lands in the District.

(Sec. 104) Permits the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with various entities for the restoration, preservation, development, interpretation, and use of the District. Allows the Secretary to establish and administer a visitor's center in the District. Directs the Secretary to develop a general management plan for the protection and preservation of the District's resources, which shall ensure continued access by private landowners to their property.

(Sec. 105) Repeals the Act of August 3, 1950, which established acquisition authority for the Secretary for the Park.

Title II: Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark Act - Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark Act - (Sec. 203) Designates the Fort Bayard Historic District in Grant County, New Mexico, as the Fort Bayard National Historic Landmark.

(Sec. 204) Allows the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with and provide assistance to public or private entities to protect historic resources at Fort Bayard and to provide educational and interpretive facilities and programs for the public. Prohibits the Secretary from entering into any agreements or providing assistance to any activities affecting Fort Bayard State Hospital without the concurrence of the State of New Mexico.

(Sec. 205) Authorizes appropriations.

Title III: Virgin River Dinosaur Footprint Preserve - (Sec. 302) Virgin River Dinosaur Footprint Preserve Act - Directs the Secretary to award to the city of St. George, Utah, a grant of $500,000 for the purchase of up to ten acres of land comprising the proposed Virgin River Dinosaur Footprint Preserve, if the city agrees to use the Preserve in a manner that: (1) preserves and protects paleontological resources; (2) provides opportunities for scientific research; and (3) provides the public with opportunities for educational activities. Binds any subsequent owner to such conditions if there is transfer of title.

Allows the Secretary to provide to the city: (1) financial assistance necessary for the protection of the paleontological resources; (2) technical assistance in complying with grant conditions; and (3) matching grants to carry out its duties under the cooperative agreement.

Title IV: Archeological and Cultural Heritage Protection - Enhanced Protection of Our Cultural Heritage Act of 2002 - (Sec. 402) Amends the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 to increase penalties for violating, or for counseling, procuring, soliciting, or employing another to violate, prohibitions regarding: (1) unauthorized excavation, removal, damage, alteration, or defacement of archaeological resources; (2) trafficking in archaeological resources the excavation or removal of which was wrongful under Federal law; and (3) trafficking in interstate or foreign commerce in archaeological resources the excavation, removal, sale, purchase, exchange, transportation, or receipt of which was wrongful under State or local law.

Amends the Federal criminal code to increase penalties for: (1) embezzlement and theft from Indian tribal organizations; and (2) illegal trafficking in Native American human remains and cultural items.

Provides for lesser penalties where the sum of the commercial and archaeological value of the archaeological resources involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources does not exceed $500.

Title V: Paleontological Resources Preservation Act - Paleontological Resources Preservation Act - (Sec. 505) Directs the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture (the Secretaries for this title) to: (1) manage and protect paleontological resources on Federal land using scientific principles and expertise; and (2) develop plans for inventorying, monitoring, and deriving the scientific and educational use of such resources.

(Sec. 506) Directs the Secretaries to establish a program to increase public awareness about the significance of paleontological resources.

(Sec. 507) Prohibits a person from collecting a paleontological resource from Federal land without a permit issued under this title by one of the Secretaries. Authorizes the Secretaries to allow casual collecting of common invertebrate and plant paleontological resources for scientific, educational, and recreational uses, without a permit, on certain Federal lands where not inconsistent with laws governing management of such lands and this Act. Recognizes as valid permits issued before enactment of this title.

Sets forth criteria by which the Secretaries may issue permits for paleontological resources. Requires that any paleontological resource and associated records collected under a permit be deposited in an approved repository.

Allows the Secretaries to modify, suspend, or revoke a permit under specified circumstances, including if there is a violation of a term or a condition of a permit.

(Sec. 508) States that the Secretaries may enter into agreements with non-Federal repositories regarding the curation of paleontological resources, data, and records.

(Sec. 509) Prohibits: (1) excavating, removing, or altering a paleontological resource located on Federal lands, except in compliance with this title; (2) exchanging or receiving such a resource, if the person knew or should have known such resource to have been illegally removed from Federal lands; (3) selling or purchasing a paleontological resource, if the person knew or should have known such resource to have been illegally removed from Federal lands; or (4) making or submitting false records, accounts, or identification of any paleontological resource excavated or removed from Federal lands. Imposes criminal penalties for violating this title.

(Sec. 510) Sets forth requirements for the assessment of civil penalties by the Secretaries for violations of any prohibitions contained in regulations or permits issued under this title. Requires any recovered amounts to be available for use: (1) to protect or restore the paleontological resources and sites which were the subject of the action, or to acquire sites with equivalent resources and to protect, monitor, and study the resources and sites; (2) to provide educational materials to the public about paleontological resources and sites; and (3) as a reward.

(Sec. 511) Allows the Secretaries to pay from penalties collected under this Act a reward to any person who furnishes information leading to the finding of a civil violation, or the conviction of criminal violation, with respect to which the penalty was paid. Provides for the forfeiture of all paleontological resources of a person and equipment and vehicles used in a violation of this title, upon: (1) an individual's criminal conviction or subjection to a civil penalty; or (2) a determination by a court that such resources, equipment, or vehicles were involved in a violation.

(Sec. 512) Requires that information on the nature and specific location of a paleontological resource that requires a permit under this Act or other Federal law be withheld from the public, including under the Freedom of Information Act, except under specified conditions.

(Sec. 513) Directs the Secretaries to issue such regulations as are appropriate to carry out this title, while providing opportunities for public notice and comment.

(Sec. 514) Declares that nothing in this title shall be construed to do certain things, including to: (1) modify any activity under the general mining laws, the mineral or geothermal leasing laws, laws providing for minerals materials disposal, or laws providing for the management or regulation of the activities authorized by the aforementioned laws; (2) modify any activity under existing laws and authorities relating to reclamation and multiple uses of public lands; or (3) alter or diminish the authority of a Federal agency under any other law to provide protection for paleontological resources on Federal lands in addition to the protection provided under this Act.