Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Public Law No: 114-289 (12/16/2016)

(This measure has not been amended since it was passed by the Senate on December 10, 2016. The summary of that version is repeated here.)

National Park Service Centennial Act

TITLE I--NATIONAL PARK CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE FUND

(Sec. 101) This bill establishes the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund to finance signature projects and programs to enhance the National Park System.

All amounts received from sales by the National Park Service (NPS) of National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Passes that exceed $10 million shall be deposited into the Challenge Fund as offsetting collections and shall remain available until expended.

Funds collected and deposited into the Challenge Fund:

  • shall be used for projects or programs approved by Interior to further the mission of the NPS and to enhance visitor experience in system units;
  • may not be used for the acquisition of lands or interests in lands; and
  • may only be used if matched, on at least a 1-to-1 basis, by nonfederal donations (including funds and fairly valued durable goods and materials) to the NPS for signature projects or programs.

Interior shall:

  • develop a list of signature projects and programs eligible for funding from the Challenge Fund;
  • submit such list to Congress; and
  • prioritize deferred maintenance projects, physical improvements to visitor services facilities, and trail maintenance.

Interior may periodically add any signature project or program to the list and notify Congress of such addition.

Interior shall provide, with the President's annual budget submission, a summary of the status and funding of signature projects and programs.

(Sec. 102) Interior (for a federal land management agency) and the Department of Agriculture (USDA) (for the Forest Service) shall make the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass available to any U.S. citizen or person residing in the United States who is 62 years of age or older for:

  • a period of 12 months from the date of issuance at a cost of $20; and
  • the lifetime of the passholder at a cost (currently $10) equal to the cost of the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass.

The bill requires Interior and USDA to make the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass available for no additional cost, if the individual provides evidence that he or she has purchased a 12-month pass for each of the four previous years.

TITLE II--NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION ENDOWMENT

National Park Foundation Endowment Act

(Sec. 202) The National Park Foundation shall establish the Second Century Endowment for the National Park Service as a special account.

With respect to the endowment:

  • $10 million shall be deposited into it from amounts received from the sales of Federal Recreational Lands Passes, and
  • in addition to deposits otherwise authorized, it shall consist of any gifts, devises, or bequests provided to the National Park Foundation.

Funds in the endowment shall be made available to the National Park Foundation as offsetting collections for projects and activities approved by Interior that further the NPS mission and purposes.

Gifts, devises, or bequests in the endowment and any accrued interest or dividends earned thereon, shall be available to the National Park Foundation for such projects and activities.

No federal funds received for the endowment may be used by the National Park Foundation for administrative expenses.

TITLE III--NATIONAL PARK NEXT GENERATION STEWARDS

(Sec. 301) Interior shall ensure that management of system units and related areas is enhanced by the availability and use of a broad program of the highest quality interpretation and education.

Interior may undertake a program of regular evaluation of interpretation and education programs to ensure that they:

  • adjust to how people learn and engage with the natural world and shared heritage as embodied in the NPS;
  • reflect different cultural backgrounds, ages, education, gender, abilities, ethnicity, and needs;
  • demonstrate innovative approaches to management and incorporate emerging learning and communications technology; and
  • reflect current scientific and academic research, content, methods, and audience analysis.

Interior may:

  • coordinate with park partners and volunteers in the delivery of quality programs and services to supplement those provided by the NPS as part of a park's Long Range Interpretive Plan;
  • support interpretive partners by providing opportunities to participate in interpretive training; and
  • collaborate with other organizations to develop, promote, and make available educational opportunities related to resources of the system and programs.

(Sec. 302) The Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 is amended to: (1) increase from 25 to 30 the age limit for Public Lands Corps participants, and (2) extend from 120 days to 2 years the period during which noncompetitive hiring status may be given to a former corps participant.

(Sec. 303) The bill increases funding for the Volunteers-In-Parks Program.

TITLE IV--NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION AUTHORITIES

(Sec. 401) The Secretary of the Interior and the Director of the National Park Foundation shall be non-voting, ex officio members of the Foundation Board (currently, the Secretary and the Director are voting members).

The Chairman of the board shall be elected by the board from among its members for a two-year term. (Currently, the Secretary shall be the Board Chairman and the Director shall be Board Secretary.)

Activities of the National Park Foundation to solicit, accept, administer, and use any gifts, devises, or bequests for the benefit of, or in connection with, the NPS, shall be undertaken after consultation with the Director to ensure that these activities are consistent with NPS programs and policies.

(Sec. 402) The bill reauthorizes the National Park Foundation through FY2023.

Amounts made available under such reauthorization:

  • may be advanced each fiscal year to the National Park Foundation in a lump sum without regard as to when expenses are incurred, and
  • shall be provided to the National Park Foundation for use to match contributions made to the Foundation.

No funds made available under such reauthorization may be used by the National Park Foundation for administrative expenses. Nor may the foundation deposit such funds into any fund that will be invested or earn interest in any way.

TITLE V--MISCELLANEOUS

(Sec. 501) The bill adds the General Chairman of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers to the membership of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

After January 20, 2017, the council chairman shall be appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, serve at the President's will, serve full time, and be compensated at the rate for Level V of the Executive Schedule Pay Rates.

The chairman shall serve for a four-year term and may be reappointed once, for a total of up to eight years of service. The term of a chairman shall start on January 20 after each general presidential election.

The council chairmen, before the first appointment of a chairman in accordance with this bill, shall receive $100 per diem when engaged in the performance of council duties, and shall receive reimbursement for necessary traveling and subsistence expenses incurred in their performance.

(Sec. 502) Interior may propose to amend the terms of an existing concessions contract to provide new and additional services where they are determined necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the system unit in which they are located and are highly consistent with the preservation and conservation of the unit's resources and values. These new and additional services shall not represent a material change to the required and authorized services as set forth in the applicable prospectus or contract.

TITLE VI--TECHNICAL CORRECTIONS TO NATIONAL PARK AND PROGRAM LAWS

(Sec. 601) The bill adjusts the amounts of acreage for those lands within the Lava Beds National Monument in California known as the Black Lava and Schonchin Lava Flows.

TITLE VII--VISITOR EXPERIENCE IMPROVEMENTS AUTHORITY

(Sec. 701) Interior may award and administer commercial services contracts (and related professional services contracts) for the operation and expansion of commercial visitor facilities and visitor services programs in system units.

The contracts that may be awarded shall be limited to those that are necessary and appropriate for public use and enjoyment of the system unit in which they are located, and that are consistent with the preservation and conservation of the unit's resources and values.

Such contracts may be awarded without regard to federal laws and regulations governing procurement by federal agencies, except for those related to federal government contracts governing working conditions and wage rates, including the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), specified sections of the Davis-Bacon Act, and any civil rights provisions otherwise applicable to the ANILCA and such sections of the Davis-Bacon Act.

Interior may issue a commercial services contract under this section when the contract meets the objectives of expanding, modernizing, and improving the condition of commercial visitor facilities and the services provided to visitors.

No contract may be awarded under this section:

  • for providing outfitter and guide services as described in specified federal law, or
  • to authorize the provision of facilities or services for which Interior has granted a preferential right of renewal to an existing concessioner.

Interior shall award commercial services contracts through a competitive selection process.

Before awarding a new contract, Interior shall publicly solicit proposals for such contract, and in connection with such solicitation, Interior shall prepare a request for proposals and publish a notice of its availability.

A commercial services contract entered into pursuant to this title shall be awarded for a term not exceeding 10 years.

The bill states that a person or entity awarded a contract under this section shall not receive any leasehold surrender interest in capital improvements constructed under the terms of that contract.

The bill establishes a revolving fund which shall be available to Interior for:

  • expenses necessary for the management, improvement, enhancement, operation, construction, and maintenance of commercial visitor services and facilities; and
  • payment of possessory interest and leasehold surrender interest.

Funds collected by Interior pursuant to contracts awarded under this section shall be credited to the revolving fund.

Interior is authorized to transfer to the revolving fund, without reimbursement, any additional funds or revenue generated in connection with the functions to be carried out under this section.

Interior shall use amounts in the revolving fund to further this title's purposes. Nor may funds from such fund be used to decrease the availability of services and programs to the public.

The bill states that the authority given to Interior under this section shall expire seven years after enactment of this section.

TITLE VIII--NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION AMENDMENTS ACT

National Historic Preservation Amendments Act

(Sec. 802) The bill extends the Historic Preservation Fund through FY2023.

Interior may accept nominations by federal agencies for the inclusion of properties on the National Register of Historic Places only in accordance with the nomination requirements described by this bill.