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104th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 104-701
WALHALLA NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY CONVEYANCE ACT
July 24, 1996.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Young of Alaska, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 3546]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(H.R. 3546) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey
the Walhalla National Fish Hatchery to the State of South
Carolina, having considered the same, report favorably thereon
with an amendment and recommend that the bill as amended do
The amendment is as follows:
Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu
thereof the following:
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Walhalla National Fish Hatchery
SEC. 2. CONVEYANCE OF WALHALLA NATIONAL FISH HATCHERY TO THE STATE OF
(a) Conveyance Requirement.--Within 180 days after the date of the
enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior shall convey to
the State of South Carolina without reimbursement all right, title, and
interest of the United States in and to the property described in
subsection (b), for use by the South Carolina Department of Natural
Resources as part of the State of South Carolina fish culture program.
(b) Property Described.--The property referred to in subsection (a)
is the property known as the Walhalla National Fish Hatchery, located
on Indian Camp Creek and the East Fork of Chattooga River off of State
Secondary Highway 325 in northern Oconee County, South Carolina,
consisting of 76.2 acres (more or less), all improvements and related
personal property under the control of the Secretary that is located on
that property, including buildings, structures, and equipment, and all
easements, leases, and water rights relating to that property.
(c) Reversionary Interest.--If any of the property conveyed to the
State of South Carolina under this section is used for any purpose
other than the use authorized under subsection (a), all right, title,
and interest in and to all property conveyed under this section shall
revert to the United States. The State of South Carolina shall ensure
that all property reverting to the United States under this subsection
is in substantially the same or better condition as at the time of
transfer to the State.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 3546 is to direct the Secretary of the
Interior to convey the Walhalla National Fish Hatchery to the
State of South Carolina.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
The Walhalla National Fish Hatchery (NFH) is located in the
Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwest corner of the State of
South Carolina. It is in the Sumter National Forest of Oconee
County and is 23 miles from the Town of Walhalla.
The Hatchery property consists of approximately 78 acres.
This land was originally purchased by Oconee County from the
Whitewater River Lumber Company for $1,040. It was donated by
Oconee County to the Federal Government for the specific
purpose of building a fish cultural station.
In 1930, Congress officially established the site, under
the legislative authority of the White Act, as a National Fish
Hatchery. The Hatchery was initially known as the Indian Camp
Fish Culture Station and then as the Chattooga Fish Hatchery.
The first fish stocking took place in 1937.
In the early years, the Hatchery produced fish that were
used mainly for stocking in the forest streams of South
Carolina. This was later expanded to include streams in
Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee. For most of its history,
Walhalla has raised brook, brown and rainbow trout. It also
provided trout eggs to numerous Federal and State hatcheries
across the country. Brook trout production ceased in 1986.
In recent years, the Hatchery produced fish primarily for
Federal waters within Georgia and South Carolina. In fact,
681,300 rainbow trout and 406,600 brown trout were distributed
in 1995. When available, surplus fish were provided to the
Cherokee Indian Tribal Hatchery in North Carolina.
According to data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service, over 45,800 anglers fish for trout in South Carolina
waters for a total of 66,700 days of effort annually. This
activity produces an annual economic impact of $12,664,000.
On January 23, 1996, operational control over the Walhalla
NFH was transferred by a Memorandum of Understanding from the
Federal Government to the State of South Carolina. This
transfer was necessary because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service intended to close this facility because it is no longer
essential to the Service's nationwide stocking program.
This facility is extremely important to the State of South
Carolina because it is the only public source for brown trout,
there is no reasonable alternative for stocking the State's
waters, and without these fish, there is no viable sport
fishing for trout. While privately produced trout are
available, this option was explored and rejected because of a
lack of supply control, cost fluctuations and the potential
introduction of diseases.
The Hatchery, which was constructed in 1937 by the Civilian
Construction Corps and the Works Progress Administration,
consists of a coal house, feed storage building, garages and a
workshop, the hatchery building, office building and storage,
and three residences. Between 1955 and 1965, several major
improvements were made to the Hatchery in order to modernize
and increase production capabilities. For instance, the
original 34 circular ponds were replaced by 20 so-called
production raceways, a food preparation/cold storage facility
was built, and a multi-purpose building with spaces for an
office, a shop, and garage areas was constructed. While there
has been no recent cost appraisal of the Hatchery facilities,
the author of the bill has indicated that the land has been
currently assessed at $125,000.
The adjacent 26 acres, which were also donated to the
Federal Government by Oconee County, are not affected by this
transfer and they will remain under the jurisdiction of the
U.S. Forest Service.
In its fiscal year 1996 budget submission, the Clinton
Administration recommended that a number of Federal fish
hatcheries, including Walhalla NFH, be transferred to willing
States. This facility, therefore, qualifies for the three years
of declining Federal transitional assistance.
H.R. 3546 was introduced on May 29, 1996, by Congressman
Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The bill was referred to the Committee
on Resources and within the Committee to the Subcommittee on
Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans.
On June 13, 1996, the Subcommittee held a hearing on H.R.
3546. Testifying in support of the bill were Congressman
Lindsey Graham and Mr. William Knapp, Chief, Division of Fish
Hatcheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In his testimony,
Mr. Knapp said that ``all parties will benefit from the
conveyance of ownership of [the Walhalla NFH].''
On June 27, 1996, the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife
and Oceans met to mark up H.R. 3546. At that time, Mr. Studds
offered an amendment to clarify the reversionary language in
section 2 of the bill. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
The bill, as amended, was then ordered reported favorably to
the Full Committee on Resources by voice vote.
On July 17, 1996, the Committee on Resources met to
consider H.R. 3546. There were no amendments and the Committee
ordered the bill reported to the House of Representatives by
voice vote, in the presence of a quorum.
Section 1. Short title
This bill may be cited as the ``Walhalla National Fish
Hatchery Conveyance Act''.
Section 2. Conveyance of Walhalla National Fish Hatchery to the State
of South Carolina
Section 2(a) directs the Secretary of the Interior to
convey to the State of South Carolina, within 180 days and
without reimbursement, all right, title, and interest of the
United States in the Hatchery property for use by the South
Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Section 2(b) states that the fish hatchery is located in
Oconee County, South Carolina, consists of 76.2 acres and
includes buildings, structures, and equipment and all
easements, leases, and water rights relating to that property.
Section 2(c) mandates that the property shall revert to the
United States if the State of South Carolina decides to no
longer use the property as part of the State's fish culture
program and requires the State to ensure that the property is
in substantially the same or better condition at the time of
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
With respect to the requirements of clause 2(l)(3) of rule
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, and clause
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives,
the Committee on Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
INFLATIONARY IMPACT STATEMENT
Pursuant to clause 2(l)(4) of rule XI of the Rules of the
House of Representatives, the Committee estimates that the
enactment of H.R. 3546 will have no significant inflationary
impact on prices and costs in the operation of the national
COST OF THE LEGISLATION
Clause 7(a) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison by the
Committee of the costs which would be incurred in carrying out
H.R. 3546. However, clause 7(d) of that rule provides that this
requirement does not apply when the Committee has included in
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office
under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XI
1. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(B) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, H.R.
3546 does not contain any new budget authority, spending
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures.
2. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(D) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee has received no report of oversight findings and
recommendations from the Committee on Government Reform and
Oversight on the subject of H.R. 3546.
3. With respect to the requirement of clause 2(l)(3)(C) of
rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the
Committee has received the following cost estimate for H.R.
3546 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE COST ESTIMATE
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, July 23, 1996.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
reviewed H.R. 3546, the Walhalla National Fish Hatchery
Conveyance Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee on
Resources on July 17, 1996.
H.R. 3546 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to
convey to the state of South Carolina the Walhalla National
Fish Hatchery, without reimbursement. Because this facility is
already operated by the state, we expect that implementing H.R.
3546 would have no significant impact on the federal budget.
The bill would not affect direct spending or receipts;
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
H.R. 3546 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in Public Law 104-4 and would impose no
costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contacts are Deborah
Reis (for federal costs), and Marjorie Miller (for the state
and local impact).
June E. O'Neill, Director.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
H.R. 3546 contains no unfunded mandates.
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, H.R. 3546 would make no changes in existing