Text: S.249 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Reported to Senate (02/16/2005)

Calendar No. 13

109th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 249

[Report No. 109-6]


To establish the Great Basin National Heritage Route in the States of Nevada and Utah.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2005

Mr. Reid (for himself, Mr. Ensign, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Hatch) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

February 16, 2005

Reported by Mr. Domenici, without amendment


A BILL

To establish the Great Basin National Heritage Route in the States of Nevada and Utah.

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 “Great Basin National Heritage Route Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds that—

(1) the natural, cultural, and historic heritage of the North American Great Basin is nationally significant;

(2) communities along the Great Basin Heritage Route (including the towns of Delta, Utah, Ely, Nevada, and the surrounding communities) are located in a classic western landscape that contains long natural vistas, isolated high desert valleys, mountain ranges, ranches, mines, historic railroads, archaeological sites, and tribal communities;

(3) the Native American, pioneer, ranching, mining, timber, and railroad heritages associated with the Great Basin Heritage Route include the social history and living cultural traditions of a rich diversity of nationalities;

(4) the pioneer, Mormon, and other religious settlements, and ranching, timber, and mining activities of the region played and continue to play a significant role in the development of the United States, shaped by—

(A) the unique geography of the Great Basin;

(B) an influx of people of Greek, Chinese, Basque, Serb, Croat, Italian, and Hispanic descent; and

(C) a Native American presence (Western Shoshone, Northern and Southern Paiute, and Goshute) that continues in the Great Basin today;

(5) the Great Basin housed internment camps for Japanese-American citizens during World War II, 1 of which, Topaz, was located along the Heritage Route;

(6) the pioneer heritage of the Heritage Route includes the Pony Express route and stations, the Overland Stage, and many examples of 19th century exploration of the western United States;

(7) the Native American heritage of the Heritage Route dates back thousands of years and includes—

(A) archaeological sites;

(B) petroglyphs and pictographs;

(C) the westernmost village of the Fremont culture; and

(D) communities of Western Shoshone, Paiute, and Goshute tribes;

(8) the Heritage Route contains multiple biologically diverse ecological communities that are home to exceptional species such as—

(A) bristlecone pines, the oldest living trees in the world;

(B) wildlife adapted to harsh desert conditions;

(C) unique plant communities, lakes, and streams; and

(D) native Bonneville cutthroat trout;

(9) the air and water quality of the Heritage Route is among the best in the United States, and the clear air permits outstanding viewing of the night skies;

(10) the Heritage Route includes unique and outstanding geologic features such as numerous limestone caves, classic basin and range topography with playa lakes, alluvial fans, volcanics, cold and hot springs, and recognizable features of ancient Lake Bonneville;

(11) the Heritage Route includes an unusual variety of open space and recreational and educational opportunities because of the great quantity of ranching activity and public land (including city, county, and State parks, national forests, Bureau of Land Management land, and a national park);

(12) there are significant archaeological, historical, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreational resources in the Great Basin to merit the involvement of the Federal Government in the development, in cooperation with the Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership and other local and governmental entities, of programs and projects to—

(A) adequately conserve, protect, and interpret the heritage of the Great Basin for present and future generations; and

(B) provide opportunities in the Great Basin for education; and

(13) the Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership shall serve as the management entity for a Heritage Route established in the Great Basin.

(b) Purposes.—The purposes of this Act are—

(1) to foster a close working relationship with all levels of government, the private sector, and the local communities within White Pine County, Nevada, Millard County, Utah, and the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation;

(2) to enable communities referred to in paragraph (1) to conserve their heritage while continuing to develop economic opportunities; and

(3) to conserve, interpret, and develop the archaeological, historical, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreational resources related to the unique ranching, industrial, and cultural heritage of the Great Basin, in a manner that promotes multiple uses permitted as of the date of enactment of this Act, without managing or regulating land use.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) GREAT BASIN.—The term “Great Basin” means the North American Great Basin.

(2) HERITAGE ROUTE.—The term “Heritage Route” means the Great Basin National Heritage Route established by section 4(a).

(3) MANAGEMENT ENTITY.—The term “management entity” means the Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership established by section 4(c).

(4) MANAGEMENT PLAN.—The term “management plan” means the plan developed by the management entity under section 6(a).

(5) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Director of the National Park Service.

SEC. 4. Great Basin National Heritage Route.

(a) Establishment.—There is established the Great Basin National Heritage Route to provide the public with access to certain historical, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreational resources in White Pine County, Nevada, Millard County, Utah, and the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation in the State of Nevada, as designated by the management entity.

(b) Boundaries.—The management entity shall determine the specific boundaries of the Heritage Route.

(c) Management entity.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership shall serve as the management entity for the Heritage Route.

(2) BOARD OF DIRECTORS.—The Great Basin Heritage Route Partnership shall be governed by a board of directors that consists of—

(A) 4 members who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for Millard County, Utah;

(B) 4 members who are appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for White Pine County, Nevada; and

(C) a representative appointed by each Native American Tribe participating in the Heritage Route.

SEC. 5. Memorandum of understanding.

(a) In general.—In carrying out this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Governors of the States of Nevada and Utah and the tribal government of each Indian tribe participating in the Heritage Route, shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the management entity.

(b) Inclusions.—The memorandum of understanding shall include information relating to the objectives and management of the Heritage Route, including—

(1) a description of the resources of the Heritage Route;

(2) a discussion of the goals and objectives of the Heritage Route, including—

(A) an explanation of the proposed approach to conservation, development, and interpretation; and

(B) a general outline of the anticipated protection and development measures;

(3) a description of the management entity;

(4) a list and statement of the financial commitment of the initial partners to be involved in developing and implementing the management plan; and

(5) a description of the role of the States of Nevada and Utah in the management of the Heritage Route.

(c) Additional requirements.—In developing the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the Secretary and the management entity shall—

(1) provide opportunities for local participation; and

(2) include terms that ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, timely implementation of all aspects of the memorandum of understanding.

(d) Amendments.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall review any amendments of the memorandum of understanding proposed by the management entity or the Governor of the State of Nevada or Utah.

(2) USE OF FUNDS.—Funds made available under this Act shall not be expended to implement a change made by a proposed amendment described in paragraph (1) until the Secretary approves the amendment.

SEC. 6. Management plan.

(a) In general.—Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the management entity shall develop and submit to the Secretary for approval a management plan for the Heritage Route that—

(1) specifies—

(A) any resources designated by the management entity under section 4(a); and

(B) the specific boundaries of the Heritage Route, as determined under section 4(b); and

(2) presents clear and comprehensive recommendations for the conservation, funding, management, and development of the Heritage Route.

(b) Considerations.—In developing the management plan, the management entity shall—

(1) provide for the participation of local residents, public agencies, and private organizations located within the counties of Millard County, Utah, White Pine County, Nevada, and the Duckwater Shoshone Reservation in the protection and development of resources of the Heritage Route, taking into consideration State, tribal, county, and local land use plans in existence on the date of enactment of this Act;

(2) identify sources of funding;

(3) include—

(A) a program for implementation of the management plan by the management entity, including—

(i) plans for restoration, stabilization, rehabilitation, and construction of public or tribal property; and

(ii) specific commitments by the identified partners referred to in section 5(b)(4) for the first 5 years of operation; and

(B) an interpretation plan for the Heritage Route; and

(4) develop a management plan that will not infringe on private property rights without the consent of the owner of the private property.

(c) Failure to submit.—If the management entity fails to submit a management plan to the Secretary in accordance with subsection (a), the Heritage Route shall no longer qualify for Federal funding.

(d) Approval and disapproval of management plan.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after receipt of a management plan under subsection (a), the Secretary, in consultation with the Governors of the States of Nevada and Utah, shall approve or disapprove the management plan.

(2) CRITERIA.—In determining whether to approve a management plan, the Secretary shall consider whether the management plan—

(A) has strong local support from a diversity of landowners, business interests, nonprofit organizations, and governments associated with the Heritage Route;

(B) is consistent with and complements continued economic activity along the Heritage Route;

(C) has a high potential for effective partnership mechanisms;

(D) avoids infringing on private property rights; and

(E) provides methods to take appropriate action to ensure that private property rights are observed.

(3) ACTION FOLLOWING DISAPPROVAL.—If the Secretary disapproves a management plan under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—

(A) advise the management entity in writing of the reasons for the disapproval;

(B) make recommendations for revisions to the management plan; and

(C) not later than 90 days after the receipt of any proposed revision of the management plan from the management entity, approve or disapprove the proposed revision.

(e) Implementation.—On approval of the management plan as provided in subsection (d)(1), the management entity, in conjunction with the Secretary, shall take appropriate steps to implement the management plan.

(f) Amendments.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall review each amendment to the management plan that the Secretary determines may make a substantial change to the management plan.

(2) USE OF FUNDS.—Funds made available under this Act shall not be expended to implement an amendment described in paragraph (1) until the Secretary approves the amendment.

SEC. 7. Authority and duties of management entity.

(a) Authorities.—The management entity may, for purposes of preparing and implementing the management plan, use funds made available under this Act to—

(1) make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, a State (including a political subdivision), an Indian tribe, a private organization, or any person; and

(2) hire and compensate staff.

(b) Duties.—In addition to developing the management plan, the management entity shall—

(1) give priority to implementing the memorandum of understanding and the management plan, including taking steps to—

(A) assist units of government, regional planning organizations, and nonprofit organizations in—

(i) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits along the Heritage Route;

(ii) developing recreational resources along the Heritage Route;

(iii) increasing public awareness of and appreciation for the archaeological, historical, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreational resources and sites along the Heritage Route; and

(iv) if requested by the owner, restoring, stabilizing, or rehabilitating any private, public, or tribal historical building relating to the themes of the Heritage Route;

(B) encourage economic viability and diversity along the Heritage Route in accordance with the objectives of the management plan; and

(C) encourage the installation of clear, consistent, and environmentally appropriate signage identifying access points and sites of interest along the Heritage Route;

(2) consider the interests of diverse governmental, business, and nonprofit groups associated with the Heritage Route;

(3) conduct public meetings in the region of the Heritage Route at least semiannually regarding the implementation of the management plan;

(4) submit substantial amendments (including any increase of more than 20 percent in the cost estimates for implementation) to the management plan to the Secretary for approval by the Secretary; and

(5) for any year for which Federal funds are received under this Act—

(A) submit to the Secretary a report that describes, for the year—

(i) the accomplishments of the management entity;

(ii) the expenses and income of the management entity; and

(iii) each entity to which any loan or grant was made;

(B) make available for audit all records pertaining to the expenditure of the funds and any matching funds; and

(C) require, for all agreements authorizing the expenditure of Federal funds by any entity, that the receiving entity make available for audit all records pertaining to the expenditure of the funds.

(c) Prohibition on the acquisition of real property.—The management entity shall not use Federal funds made available under this Act to acquire real property or any interest in real property.

(d) Prohibition on the regulation of land use.—The management entity shall not regulate land use within the Heritage Route.

SEC. 8. Duties and authorities of Federal agencies.

(a) Technical and financial assistance.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may, on request of the management entity, provide technical and financial assistance to develop and implement the management plan and memorandum of understanding.

(2) PRIORITY FOR ASSISTANCE.—In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall, on request of the management entity, give priority to actions that assist in—

(A) conserving the significant archaeological, historical, cultural, natural, scenic, and recreational resources of the Heritage Route; and

(B) providing education, interpretive, and recreational opportunities, and other uses consistent with those resources.

(b) Application of Federal law.—The establishment of the Heritage Route shall have no effect on the application of any Federal law to any property within the Heritage Route.

SEC. 9. Land use regulation; applicability of Federal law.

(a) Land use regulation.—Nothing in this Act—

(1) modifies, enlarges, or diminishes any authority of the Federal, State, tribal, or local government to regulate by law (including by regulation) any use of land; or

(2) grants any power of zoning or land use to the management entity.

(b) Applicability of Federal law.—Nothing in this Act—

(1) imposes on the Heritage Route, as a result of the designation of the Heritage Route, any regulation that is not applicable to the area within the Heritage Route as of the date of enactment of this Act; or

(2) authorizes any agency to promulgate a regulation that applies to the Heritage Route solely as a result of the designation of the Heritage Route under this Act.

SEC. 10. Authorization of appropriations.

(a) In general.—There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $10,000,000, of which not more than $1,000,000 may be made available for any fiscal year.

(b) Cost sharing.—

(1) FEDERAL SHARE.—The Federal share of the cost of any activity assisted under this Act shall not exceed 50 percent.

(2) FORM OF NON-FEDERAL SHARE.—The non-Federal share may be in the form of in-kind contributions, donations, grants, and loans from individuals and State or local governments or agencies.

SEC. 11. Termination of authority.

The authority of the Secretary to provide assistance under this Act terminates on the date that is 15 years after the date of enactment of this Act.


Calendar No. 13

109th CONGRESS
     1st Session
S. 249
[Report No. 109-6]

A BILL
To establish the Great Basin National Heritage Route in the States of Nevada and Utah.

February 16, 2005
Reported without amendment
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