Summary: H.R.1618 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to House with amendment(s) (11/17/2003)

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Act - (Sec. 4) Establishes the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area in Georgia. Designates the Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance as the Area's management entity.

(Sec. 5) Provides for the Alliance to: (1) make grants to and enter into cooperative agreements with the State of Georgia, political subdivisions of the State, and private organizations; (2) develop and submit to the Secretary a management plan for the Area; and (3) assist units of government and nonprofit organizations in preserving resources within the Area.

Requires the Alliance, for any year in which Federal funds have been made available under this Act, to submit to the Secretary of the Interior annual reports on its accomplishments, expenses, and income.

Instructs the Alliance to: (1) make available to the Secretary for audit all records relating to the expenditure of Federal funds and any matching funds; and (2) require, with respect to all agreements authorizing expenditure of Federal funds by other organizations, that the receiving organizations make available to the Secretary for audit all records concerning the expenditure of those funds.

Prohibits the Alliance from using Federal funds made available under this Act to acquire real property or an interest in real property.

(Sec. 6) Requires the management plan to provide for the protection, enhancement, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, historical, scenic, and recreational resources of the Area. Requires that the plan be based on the preferred concept in the document entitled "Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area Feasibility Study" (February 28, 2001).

Provides that if a management plan is not submitted to the Secretary for approval within three years, the Secretary shall not provide any additional funding under this Act until such a plan is submitted to the Secretary.

Directs the Secretary to approve or disapprove the management plan, and if the plan is disapproved, to make recommendations for revisions to such plan and to allow the Alliance to submit revisions to that plan. Requires the Alliance to periodically review the plan and to submit for review and approval its recommendations for any revisions that it considers to be appropriate. Prohibits the use of any funds made available under this Act to implement any revision proposed by the Alliance until such revision is approved by the Secretary.

(Sec. 7) Authorizes the Secretary to provide financial and technical assistance to the Area to develop and implement the plan, upon request by the Alliance.

(Sec. 8) Prohibits anything in this Act from: (1) imposing an occupational, safety, conservation, or environmental regulation on the Area that is more stringent than the regulations that would be applicable to the Area, but for the Area's establishment; or (2) authorizing a Federal agency to promulgate such a regulation for the Area that is more stringent than the regulations applicable to the Area solely as a result of the Area's establishment.

Prohibits anything in this Act: (1) modifying, enlarging, or diminishing any existing authority of the Federal Government or a State or local government to regulate any use of land as provided for by law (including regulations); or (2) granting zoning or land use powers to the Alliance.

(Sec. 9) Prohibits the preservation, conservation, or promotion of any privately owned property by the management plan until the owner has been notified in writing by the Alliance and has given written consent. Allows owners of private property included within the boundary of the Area to request that their property be immediately removed.

(Sec. 10) Prohibits anything in this Act from being construed to: (1) require any private property owner to allow public access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to such private property or modify any provision of Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private property; (2) modify the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to regulate land use; and (3) require the owner of any private property located within the Area's boundaries to participate in or be associated with the Area.

Declares that the boundaries designated for the Area represent the area within which Federal funds appropriated for this Act may be expended and that the establishment of the Area and its boundaries shall not be construed to provide any nonexistent regulatory authority on land use within the Area or its viewshed by the Secretary, the National Park Service, or the Alliance.

(Sec. 11) Authorizes appropriations. Limits the Federal share of the cost of projects or activities carried out using funds made available under this Act to 50 percent.

(Sec. 12) Terminates grants or assistance for the Area on September 30, 2016.