Text: S.429 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in Senate (02/17/2005)


109th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. 429


To establish the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area in the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and for other purposes.


IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 17, 2005

Mr. Lieberman (for himself, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Kennedy, and Mr. Kerry) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To establish the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area in the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 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 “Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area Act”.

SEC. 2. Findings and purposes.

(a) Findings.—Congress finds the following:

(1) The upper Housatonic Valley, encompassing 29 towns in the hilly terrain of western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut, is a singular geographical and cultural region that has made significant national contributions through its literary, artistic, musical, and architectural achievements, its iron, paper, and electrical equipment industries, and its scenic beautification and environmental conservation efforts.

(2) The upper Housatonic Valley has 139 properties and historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places including—

(A) five National Historic Landmarks—

(i) Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, Lenox, Massachusetts;

(ii) Herman Melville’s home, Arrowhead, Pittsfield, Massachusetts;

(iii) W.E.B. DuBois’ Boyhood Homesite, Great Barrington, Massachusetts;

(iv) Mission House, Stockbridge, Massachusetts; and

(v) Crane and Company Old Stone Mill Rag Room, Dalton, Massachusetts; and

(B) four National Natural Landmarks—

(i) Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield, Massachusetts, and Salisbury, Connecticut;

(ii) Beckley Bog, Norfolk, Connecticut;

(iii) Bingham Bog, Salisbury, Connecticut; and

(iv) Cathedral Pines, Cornwall, Connecticut.

(3) Writers, artists, musicians, and vacationers have visited the region for more than 150 years to enjoy its scenic wonders, making it one of the country’s leading cultural resorts.

(4) The upper Housatonic Valley has made significant national cultural contributions through such writers as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, and W.E.B. DuBois, artists Daniel Chester French and Norman Rockwell, and the performing arts centers of Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Norfolk (Connecticut) Chamber Music Festival, Jacob’s Pillow, and Shakespeare & Company.

(5) The upper Housatonic Valley is noted for its pioneering achievements in the iron, paper, and electrical generation industries and has cultural resources to interpret those industries.

(6) The region became a national leader in scenic beautification and environmental conservation efforts following the era of industrialization and deforestation and maintains a fabric of significant conservation areas including the meandering Housatonic River.

(7) Important historical events related to the American Revolution, Shays’ Rebellion, and early civil rights took place in the upper Housatonic Valley.

(8) The region had an American Indian presence going back 10,000 years and Mohicans had a formative role in contact with Europeans during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

(9) The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area has been proposed in order to heighten appreciation of the region, preserve its natural and historical resources, and improve the quality of life and economy of the area.

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

(1) To establish the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area in the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

(2) To implement the national heritage area alternative as described in the document entitled “Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area Feasibility Study, 2003”.

(3) To provide a management framework to foster a close working relationship with all levels of government, the private sector, and the local communities in the upper Housatonic Valley region to conserve the region’s heritage while continuing to pursue compatible economic opportunities.

(4) To assist communities, organizations, and citizens in the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in identifying, preserving, interpreting, and developing the historical, cultural, scenic, and natural resources of the region for the educational and inspirational benefit of current and future generations.

SEC. 3. Definitions.

In this Act:

(1) HERITAGE AREA.—The term “Heritage Area” means the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, established in section 4.

(2) MANAGEMENT ENTITY.—The term “Management Entity” means the management entity for the Heritage Area designated by section 4(d).

(3) MANAGEMENT PLAN.—The term “Management Plan” means the management plan for the Heritage Area specified in section 6.

(4) MAP.—The term “map” means the map entitled “Boundary Map Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area”, numbered P17/80,000, and dated February 2003.

(5) SECRETARY.—The term “Secretary” means the Secretary of the Interior.

(6) STATE.—The term “State” means the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

SEC. 4. Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

(a) Establishment.—There is established the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

(b) Boundaries.—The Heritage Area shall be comprised of—

(1) part of the Housatonic River’s watershed, which extends 60 miles from Lanesboro, Massachusetts to Kent, Connecticut;

(2) the towns of Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Kent, Norfolk, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, and Warren in Connecticut;

(3) the towns of Alford, Becket, Dalton, Egremont, Great Barrington, Hancock, Hinsdale, Lanesboro, Lee, Lenox, Monterey, Mount Washington, New Marlboro, Pittsfield, Richmond, Sheffield, Stockbridge, Tyringham, Washington, and West Stockbridge in Massachusetts; and

(4) the land and water within the boundaries of the Heritage Area, as depicted on the map.

(c) Availability of map.—The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

(d) Management Entity.—The Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, Inc. shall be the management entity for the Heritage Area.

SEC. 5. Authorities, prohibitions and duties of the Management Entity.

(a) Duties of the Management Entity.—To further the purposes of the Heritage Area, the management entity shall—

(1) prepare and submit a management plan for the Heritage Area to the Secretary in accordance with section 6;

(2) assist units of local government, regional planning organizations, and nonprofit organizations in implementing the approved management plan by—

(A) carrying out programs and projects that recognize, protect and enhance important resource values within the Heritage Area;

(B) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits and programs within the Heritage Area;

(C) developing recreational and educational opportunities in the Heritage Area;

(D) increasing public awareness of and appreciation for natural, historical, scenic, and cultural resources of the Heritage Area;

(E) protecting and restoring historic sites and buildings in the Heritage Area that are consistent with heritage area themes;

(F) ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs identifying points of public access and sites of interest are posted throughout the Heritage Area; and

(G) promoting a wide range of partnerships among governments, organizations and individuals to further the purposes of the Heritage Area;

(3) consider the interests of diverse units of government, businesses, organizations and individuals in the Heritage Area in the preparation and implementation of the management plan;

(4) conduct meetings open to the public at least semi-annually regarding the development and implementation of the management plan;

(5) submit an annual report to the Secretary for any fiscal year in which the management entity receives Federal funds under this Act, setting forth its accomplishments, expenses, and income, including grants to any other entities during the year for which the report is made;

(6) make available for audit for any fiscal year in which it receives Federal funds under this Act, all information pertaining to the expenditure of such funds and any matching funds, and require in all agreements authorizing expenditures of Federal funds by other organizations, that the receiving organizations make available for such audit all records and other information pertaining to the expenditure of such funds; and

(7) encourage by appropriate means economic viability that is consistent with the purposes of the Heritage Area.

(b) Authorities.—The management entity may, for the purposes of preparing and implementing the management plan for the Heritage Area, use Federal funds made available through this Act to—

(1) make grants to the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, their political subdivisions, nonprofit organizations and other persons;

(2) enter into cooperative agreements with or provide technical assistance to the State of Connecticut and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, their political jurisdictions, nonprofit organizations, and other interested parties;

(3) hire and compensate staff, which shall include individuals with expertise in natural, cultural, and historical resources protection, and heritage programming;

(4) obtain money or services from any source including any that are provided under any other Federal law or program;

(5) contract for goods or services; and

(6) undertake to be a catalyst for any other activity that furthers the purposes of the Heritage Area and is consistent with the approved management plan.

(c) Prohibitions on the acquisition of real property.—The management entity may not use Federal funds received under this Act to acquire real property, but may use any other source of funding, including other Federal funding outside this authority, intended for the acquisition of real property.

SEC. 6. Management Plan.

(a) In general.—The management plan for the Heritage Area shall—

(1) include comprehensive policies, strategies and recommendations for conservation, funding, management and development of the Heritage Area;

(2) take into consideration existing State, county, and local plans in the development of the management plan and its implementation;

(3) include a description of actions that governments, private organizations, and individuals have agreed to take to protect the natural, historical and cultural resources of the Heritage Area;

(4) specify the existing and potential sources of funding to protect, manage, and develop the Heritage Area in the first 5 years of implementation;

(5) include an inventory of the natural, historical, cultural, educational, scenic, and recreational resources of the Heritage Area related to the themes of the Heritage Area that should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, or maintained;

(6) recommend policies and strategies for resource management that consider and detail the application of appropriate land and water management techniques including, but not limited to, the development of intergovernmental and interagency cooperative agreements to protect the Heritage Area’s natural, historical, cultural, educational, scenic and recreational resources;

(7) describe a program of implementation for the management plan including plans for resource protection, restoration, construction, and specific commitments for implementation that have been made by the management entity or any government, organization, or individual for the first 5 years of implementation;

(8) include an analysis and recommendations for ways in which local, State, and Federal programs, including the role of the National Park Service in the Heritage Area, may best be coordinated to further the purposes of this Act; and

(9) include an interpretive plan for the Heritage Area.

(b) Deadline and termination of funding.—

(1) DEADLINE.—The management entity shall submit the management plan to the Secretary for approval within 3 years after funds are made available for this Act.

(2) TERMINATION OF FUNDING.—If the management plan is not submitted to the Secretary in accordance with this subsection, the management entity shall not qualify for Federal funding under this Act until such time as the management plan is submitted to and approved by the Secretary.

SEC. 7. Duties and authorities of the Secretary.

(a) Technical and financial assistance.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may, upon the request of the management entity, provide technical assistance on a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis and financial assistance to the Heritage Area to develop and implement the approved management plan. The Secretary is authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with the management entity and other public or private entities for this purpose. In assisting the Heritage Area, the Secretary shall give priority to actions that in general assist in—

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

(B) providing educational, interpretive, and recreational opportunities consistent with the purposes of the Heritage Area.

(2) SPENDING FOR NON-FEDERALLY OWNED PROPERTY.—The Secretary may spend Federal funds directly on non-federally owned property to further the purposes of this Act, especially in assisting units of government in appropriate treatment of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

(b) Approval and disapproval of Management Plan.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary shall approve or disapprove the management plan not later than 90 days after receiving the management plan.

(2) CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL.—In determining the approval of the management plan, the Secretary shall consider whether—

(A) the management entity is representative of the diverse interests of the Heritage Area including governments, natural and historic resource protection organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and recreational organizations;

(B) the management entity has afforded adequate opportunity, including public hearings, for public and governmental involvement in the preparation of the management plan;

(C) the resource protection and interpretation strategies contained in the management plan, if implemented, would adequately protect the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the Heritage Area; and

(D) the Secretary has received adequate assurances from the appropriate State and local officials whose support is needed to ensure the effective implementation of the State and local aspects of the management plan.

(3) ACTION FOLLOWING DISAPPROVAL.—If the Secretary disapproves the management plan, the Secretary shall advise the management entity in writing of the reasons therefore and shall make recommendations for revisions to the management plan. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a proposed revision within 60 days after the date it is submitted.

(4) APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS.—Substantial amendments to the management plan shall be reviewed by the Secretary and approved in the same manner as provided for the original management plan. The management entity shall not use Federal funds authorized by this Act to implement any amendments until the Secretary has approved the amendments.

SEC. 8. Duties of other Federal agencies.

Any Federal agency conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the Heritage Area shall—

(1) consult with the Secretary and the management entity with respect to such activities;

(2) cooperate with the Secretary and the management entity in carrying out their duties under this Act and, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate such activities with the carrying out of such duties; and,

(3) to the maximum extent practicable, conduct or support such activities in a manner which the management entity determines will not have an adverse effect on the Heritage Area.

SEC. 9. Authorization of appropriations.

(a) In general.—There is authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this Act not more than $1,000,000 for any fiscal year. Not more than a total of $10,000,000 may be appropriated for the Heritage Area under this Act.

(b) Matching funds.—Federal funding provided under this Act may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of any assistance or grant provided or authorized under this Act.

SEC. 10. Sunset.

The authority of the Secretary to provide assistance under this Act shall terminate on the day occurring 15 years after the date of enactment of the Act.


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