Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
105th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 1st Session                                                    105-245
_______________________________________________________________________


 
                AMERICAN LAND SOVEREIGNTY PROTECTION ACT

                                _______
                                

 September 5, 1997.--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 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 901]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 901) to preserve the sovereignty of the United States 
over public lands and acquired lands owned by the United 
States, and to preserve State sovereignty and private property 
rights in non-Federal lands surrounding those public lands and 
acquired lands, having considered the same, report favorably 
thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill as 
amended do pass.
  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 ``American Land Sovereignty Protection 
Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

  (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
          (1) The power to dispose of and make all needful rules and 
        regulations governing lands belonging to the United States is 
        vested in the Congress under article IV, section 3, of the 
        Constitution.
          (2) Some Federal land designations made pursuant to 
        international agreements concern land use policies and 
        regulations for lands belonging to the United States which 
        under article IV, section 3, of the Constitution can only be 
        implemented through laws enacted by the Congress.
          (3) Some international land designations, such as those under 
        the United States Biosphere Reserve Program and the Man and 
        Biosphere Program of the United Nations Scientific, 
        Educational, and Cultural Organization, operate under 
        independent national committees, such as the United States 
        National Man and Biosphere Committee, which have no legislative 
        directives or authorization from the Congress.
          (4) Actions by the United States in making such designations 
        may affect the use and value of nearby or intermixed non-
        Federal lands.
          (5) The sovereignty of the States is a critical component of 
        our Federal system of government and a bulwark against the 
        unwise concentration of power.
          (6) Private property rights are essential for the protection 
        of freedom.
          (7) Actions by the United States to designate lands belonging 
        to the United States pursuant to international agreements in 
        some cases conflict with congressional constitutional 
        responsibilities and State sovereign capabilities.
          (8) Actions by the President in applying certain 
        international agreements to lands owned by the United States 
        diminishes the authority of the Congress to make rules and 
        regulations respecting these lands.
  (b) Purpose.--The purposes of this Act are the following:
          (1) To reaffirm the power of the Congress under article IV, 
        section 3, of the Constitution over international agreements 
        which concern disposal, management, and use of lands belonging 
        to the United States.
          (2) To protect State powers not reserved to the Federal 
        Government under the Constitution from Federal actions 
        designating lands pursuant to international agreements.
          (3) To ensure that no United States citizen suffers any 
        diminishment or loss of individual rights as a result of 
        Federal actions designating lands pursuant to international 
        agreements for purposes of imposing restrictions on use of 
        those lands.
          (4) To protect private interests in real property from 
        diminishment as a result of Federal actions designating lands 
        pursuant to international agreements.
          (5) To provide a process under which the United States may, 
        when desirable, designate lands pursuant to international 
        agreements.

SEC. 3. CLARIFICATION OF CONGRESSIONAL ROLE IN WORLD HERITAGE SITE 
                    LISTING.

  Section 401 of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 
1980 (Public Law 96-515; 94 Stat. 2987) is amended--
          (1) in subsection (a) in the first sentence, by--
                  (A) striking ``The Secretary'' and inserting 
                ``Subject to subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e), the 
                Secretary''; and
                  (B) inserting ``(in this section referred to as the 
                `Convention')'' after ``1973''; and
          (2) by adding at the end the following new subsections:
  ``(d)(1) The Secretary of the Interior may not nominate any lands 
owned by the United States for inclusion on the World Heritage List 
pursuant to the Convention, unless--
          ``(A) the Secretary finds with reasonable basis that 
        commercially viable uses of the nominated lands, and 
        commercially viable uses of other lands located within 10 miles 
        of the nominated lands, in existence on the date of the 
        nomination will not be adversely affected by inclusion of the 
        lands on the World Heritage List, and publishes that finding;
          ``(B) the Secretary has submitted to the Congress a report 
        describing--
                  ``(i) natural resources associated with the lands 
                referred to in subparagraph (A); and
                  ``(ii) the impacts that inclusion of the nominated 
                lands on the World Heritage List would have on existing 
                and future uses of the nominated lands or other lands 
                located within 10 miles of the nominated lands; and
          ``(C) the nomination is specifically authorized by a law 
        enacted after the date of enactment of the American Land 
        Sovereignty Protection Act and after the date of publication of 
        a finding under subparagraph (A) for the nomination.
  ``(2) The President may submit to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President of the Senate a proposal for 
legislation authorizing such a nomination after publication of a 
finding under paragraph (1)(A) for the nomination.
  ``(e) The Secretary of the Interior shall object to the inclusion of 
any property in the United States on the list of World Heritage in 
Danger established under Article 11.4 of the Convention, unless--
          ``(1) the Secretary has submitted to the Speaker of the House 
        of Representatives and the President of the Senate a report 
        describing--
                  ``(A) the necessity for including that property on 
                the list;
                  ``(B) the natural resources associated with the 
                property; and
                  ``(C) the impacts that inclusion of the property on 
                the list would have on existing and future uses of the 
                property and other property located within 10 miles of 
                the property proposed for inclusion; and
          ``(2) the Secretary is specifically authorized to assent to 
        the inclusion of the property on the list, by a joint 
        resolution of the Congress after the date of submittal of the 
        report required by paragraph (1).''.
  ``(f) The Secretary of the Interior shall submit an annual report on 
each World Heritage Site within the United States to the Chairman and 
Ranking Minority member of the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives and of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of 
the Senate, that contains for the year covered by the report the 
following information for the site:
          ``(1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the site.
          ``(2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours related 
        to management of the site.
          ``(3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the site.
          ``(4) A summary and account of the disposition of complaints 
        received by the Secretary related to management of the site.''.

SEC. 4. PROHIBITION AND TERMINATION OF UNAUTHORIZED UNITED NATIONS 
                    BIOSPHERE RESERVES.

  Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 
(16 U.S.C. 470a-1 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:
  ``Sec. 403. (a) No Federal official may nominate any lands in the 
United States for designation as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man and 
Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and 
Cultural Organization.
  ``(b) Any designation on or before the date of enactment of the 
American Land Sovereignty Protection Act of an area in the United 
States as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man and Biosphere Program of 
the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization 
shall not have, and shall not be given, any force or effect, unless the 
Biosphere Reserve--
          ``(1) is specifically authorized by a law enacted after that 
        date of enactment and before December 31, 2000;
          ``(2) consists solely of lands that on that date of enactment 
        are owned by the United States; and
          ``(3) is subject to a management plan that specifically 
        ensures that the use of intermixed or adjacent non-Federal 
        property is not limited or restricted as a result of that 
        designation.
  ``(c) The Secretary of State shall submit an annual report on each 
Biosphere Reserve within the United States to the Chairman and Ranking 
Minority member of the Committee on Resources of the House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of 
the Senate, that contains for the year covered by the report the 
following information for the reserve:
          ``(1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the 
        reserve.
          ``(2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours related 
        to management of the reserve.
          ``(3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the 
        reserve.
          ``(4) A summary and account of the disposition of the 
        complaints received by the Secretary related to management of 
        the reserve.''.

SEC. 5. INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS IN GENERAL.

  Title IV of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 
(16 U.S.C. 470a-1 et seq.) is further amended by adding at the end the 
following new section:
  ``Sec. 404. (a) No Federal official may nominate, classify, or 
designate any lands owned by the United States and located within the 
United States for a special or restricted use under any international 
agreement unless such nomination, classification, or designation is 
specifically authorized by law. The President may from time to time 
submit to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President 
of the Senate proposals for legislation authorizing such a nomination, 
classification, or designation.
  ``(b) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of lands owned by a State or local government 
shall have no force or effect unless the nomination, classification, or 
designation is specifically authorized by a law enacted by the State or 
local government, respectively.
  ``(c) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of privately owned lands shall have no force 
or effect without the written consent of the owner of the lands.
  ``(d) This section shall not apply to--
          ``(1) agreements established under section 16(a) of the North 
        American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 4413); and
          ``(2) conventions referred to in section 3(h)(3) of the Fish 
        and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 712(2)).
  ``(e) In this section, the term `international agreement' means any 
treaty, compact, executive agreement, convention, bilateral agreement, 
or multilateral agreement between the United States or any agency of 
the United States and any foreign entity or agency of any foreign 
entity, having a primary purpose of conserving, preserving, or 
protecting the terrestrial or marine environment, flora, or fauna.

SEC. 6. CLERICAL AMENDMENT.

  Section 401(b) of the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments 
of 1980 (16 U.S.C. 470a-1(b)) is amended by striking ``Committee on 
Natural Resources'' and inserting ``Committee on Resources''.

                          Purpose of the Bill

    H.R. 901 will restore the Constitutional role of Congress 
in managing lands belonging to the United States, preserve the 
sovereignty of the United States over these lands, and protect 
State sovereignty and private property rights in non-federal 
lands adjacent to federal lands.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    H.R. 901 asserts the Constitutional power of Congress over 
management and use of lands belonging to the United States. 
Under Article IV, section 3 of the United States Constitution, 
the power to make all needful rules and regulations governing 
lands belonging to the United States is vested in Congress. Yet 
over the last 25 years, an increasing expanse of our nation's 
public lands have been included in various international land 
use programs, most notably United Nations Biosphere Reserves 
and World Heritage Sites, with virtually no Congressional 
oversight or approval. The international agreement covering 
World Heritage Sites, for example, largely leaves Congress out 
of the nomination process.
    United Nations World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves 
are under the jurisdiction of the United Nations Educational, 
Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage 
Sites are natural scenic areas or cultural monuments recognized 
by UNESCO under the Convention Concerning Protection of the 
World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Biosphere Reserves are 
part of the U.S. Man and Biosphere Program which operates in 
conjunction with a worldwide program under UNESCO. The U.S. Man 
and Biosphere Program is not authorized by Congress and has no 
legislative direction. Over 68 percent of the land in our 
national parks, preserves and monuments have been designated as 
United Nations World Heritage Sites, Biosphere Reserves or 
both. Biosphere Reserves alone cover an area about the size of 
Colorado, our eighth largest State. There are now 47 UNESCO 
Biosphere Reserves and 20 World Heritage Sites in the United 
States.
    In becoming a party to these international land use 
agreements through Executive Branch action, the United States 
may be indirectly agreeing to terms of international treaties, 
such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, to which the 
United States is not a party or which the United States Senate 
has refused to ratify. For example, The Seville Strategy for 
Biosphere Reserves recommends that participating countries 
``integrate biosphere reserves in strategies for biodiversity 
conservation and sustainable use, in plans for protected areas, 
and in the national biodiversity strategies and action plans 
provided for in Article 6 of the Convention on Biological 
Diversity.'' Furthermore, the Strategic Plan for the U.S. 
Biosphere Reserve Program published in 1994 by the U.S. State 
Department states that a goal of the U.S. Biosphere Reserve 
Program is to ``create a national network of biosphere reserves 
that represents the biogeographical diversity of the United 
States and fulfills the internationally established roles and 
functions of biosphere reserves.''
    Also disturbing is that designation of Biosphere Reserves 
and World Heritage Sites rarely involves consulting the public 
and local governments. At two hearings held on H.R. 901 and 
another hearing held on a similar bill in the 104th Congress 
(H.R. 3752), state and local electedofficials as well as 
grassroots citizen activists from Alaska, Arkansas, Missouri, 
Minnesota, New Mexico, and New York testified that no one consulted 
with the public or local governments when international land 
designations were made in their states. The domestic designation 
process for World Heritage Sites and Biosphere Reserves is so 
controversial that the Alaska and Colorado state legislatures both have 
passed resolutions in support of H.R. 901. In addition, the Kentucky 
State Senate recently passed a resolution opposing creation of any 
biosphere reserves within Kentucky and supporting the concepts embodied 
in H.R. 901.
    In fact, UNESCO policy apparently discourages an open 
nomination process for World Heritage Sites. The Operational 
Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage 
Convention state:

          In all cases, as to maintain the objectivity of the 
        evaluation process and to avoid possible embarrassment 
        to those concerned, State [national] parties should 
        refrain from giving undue publicity to the fact that a 
        property has been nominated . . . pending the final 
        decision of the Committee of the nomination in 
        question. Participation of the local people in the 
        nomination process is essential to make them feel a 
        shared responsibility with the State party in the 
        maintenance of the site, but should not prejudice 
        future decision-making by the committee.

    By allowing these international land use designations, the 
United States promises to protect designated areas and regulate 
surrounding lands if necessary to protect the designated site. 
Honoring these international agreements could force the federal 
government to prohibit or limit some uses of private lands 
outside the designated reserve unless our country wants to 
break a pledge to other nations. At a minimum, this puts U.S. 
land policy-makers in an awkward position.
    Federal regulatory actions could cause a significant 
adverse impact on the value of private property and on the 
local and regional economy. The involvement of the World 
Heritage Committee (WHC) in the National Environmental Policy 
Act review process for the New World Mine Project near 
Yellowstone National Park, a World Heritage Site, exemplifies 
this problem. The New World Mine Project is outside of the 
boundary of Yellowstone National Park and is not included in 
the World Heritage Site. In fact, nearly all of the proposed 
minesite is located on private property, and U.S. law (16 
U.S.C. 470a-1(c)) prohibits including any non-federal property 
within a U.S. World Heritage Site without the consent of the 
owner.
    The fact that the proposed project was not a part of the 
Yellowstone World Heritage Site did not prevent the WHC from 
holding a ``hearing'' on the project. Creation of a buffer 
zone, possibly ten times as large as the Park, was suggested by 
at least one member of the WHC. However, by excluding the 
federal lands on which a small part of the New World Mine 
Project lies from an adjoining wilderness area, Congress had 
already determined not to create such a buffer zone and to make 
these lands available for multiple uses, including mining.
    It is clear from this example, that at best, World Heritage 
Site and Biosphere Reserve designations give the international 
community an open invitation to interfere in U.S. domesticland 
use decisions. More seriously, these international agreements 
potentially have several significant adverse effects on the American 
system of government. Federal land use policy making authority is 
further centralized at the federal/Executive Branch level, and the role 
that ordinary citizens have in the making of this policy through their 
elected representatives is diminished. The Executive Branch may also 
invoke these international agreements in an attempt to administratively 
achieve an action within the jurisdiction of Congress, but without 
consulting Congress.

                            Committee Action

    H.R. 901 was introduced on February 27, 1997, by 
Congressman Don Young (R-AK). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources.
    On May 5, 1997, the Committee held a field oversight 
hearing in Tannersville, N.Y. on the U.S. Man and Biosphere 
Program. Ten witnesses testified.
    Seven witnesses, including a Member of Congress, supported 
H.R. 901. The Honorable Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-NY), testifying 
in support of H.R. 901, stated that the Champlain-Adirondacks 
Biosphere Reserve, in the northern part of his district, was 
designated in 1989 without Congressional hearings or any input 
from local citizens. He also said that the nomination of the 
Catskills region (including the Tannersville area) as a 
Biosphere Reserve was withdrawn after strong opposition was 
expressed by federal, state and local officials and residents 
of the region. Local elected officials confirmed that there is 
little or no input by the public or elected officials into 
Biosphere Reserve designations. A town supervisor from the 
Adirondacks region said, ``Most of us didn't find out [about 
the Champlain-Adirondacks Biosphere Reserve] until the next 
year. We need H.R. 901 so citizens are included, local 
government can have a voice and Congress can oversee this 
program,'' he added.
    Three witnesses, including two from local environmental 
groups, opposed H.R. 901. They contended that a Biosphere 
Reserve designation is honorary, boosts tourism and helps bring 
funds for scientific research. They also said that requiring 
Congressional approval of these designations would impose an 
unnecessary restriction on the program. One of the local 
environmental witnesses stated, ``Congress is simply too 
unwieldy to deal with this [Biosphere Reserve nominations].''
    On June 10, 1997, the Committee held a legislative hearing 
in Washington, D.C., on H.R. 901. A total of 13 witnesses 
testified.
    Nine witnesses, including two state legislators, testified 
in support of H.R. 901. As during earlier hearings, elected 
officials and citizen activists confirmed that there is little 
or no input by the public or elected officials into World 
Heritage or Biosphere Reserve designations. One witness from 
Arkansas outlined the problems associated with the proposed 
``Ozark Highland Man and Biosphere Plan'' which was advanced 
without public input and which has now apparently been 
withdrawn after strong public opposition developed following 
discovery of the proposal. Another witness, a rancher from 
Arizona, while supporting H.R. 901, said the bill didnot go far 
enough. He related how an environmental group is attempting to get a 
60-acre privately-owned livestock watering hole on his family ranch 
listed as an international ``wetland of importance'' under a little-
known wetlands treaty, the Ramsar Convention. He stated, ``We do not 
believe as a family that we need that international oversight'' and 
went on to recommend that H.R. 901 include the Ramsar Convention. A 
Cornell University professor of government testified that a serious 
principle is at stake in these international land reserve programs. He 
said, ``Our government should be accountable to our people and should 
not be bringing in foreign authorities and parading them around as if 
they have some important say-so about what the American people do with 
their own resources in this county. . . . I think it is very reasonable 
of Congress to put its foot down and say we don't want to be involved 
in this, and certainly, we don't want to be involved in this without 
Congressional say-so, case-by-case,'' he added.
    The Acting Director, National Park Service, stated that the 
Interior Department opposes H.R. 901 and would recommend that 
the President veto the bill, if passed by Congress.
    The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and International 
Environmental and Scientific Affairs, Department of State, 
testified that the Department of State strongly opposes H.R. 
901. He further stated that the State Department supports both 
the World Heritage Convention and the United States Man and 
Biosphere Program.
    Two witnesses, one from an environmental group and another 
from a historical preservation group, opposed H.R. 901. They 
asserted that, if enacted, H.R. 901 would straitjacket U.S. 
implementation of the World Heritage Convention and other 
international treaties and voluntary programs designed to 
conserve our natural and cultural heritage. The environmental 
witness further testified that the biosphere reserve program is 
a voluntary program, involving federal-state-local 
partnerships. He added that this program ``plays a constructive 
role in the conservation and management of our nationally 
significant resources, state and local environments, and local 
economies.''
    On June 25, 1997, the Full Resources Committee met to 
consider H.R. 901. Based on testimony during the legislative 
hearing, Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth (R-ID) offered an 
amendment to require Congressional approval of sites nominated 
under the Ramsar Convention on International Wetlands. The 
amendment was adopted by voice vote. The bill as amended was 
then ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives 
by a roll call vote of 26-9, as follows:





                      Section-by-Section Analysis

Section 1. Short Title.

    This section states that the Act may be cited as the 
``American Land Sovereignty Protection Act''.

Section 2. Findings and Purpose.

    Section 2 makes eight findings which basically state that: 
(1) the constitutional power to make rules and regulations 
governing lands belonging to the United States belongs to 
Congress; (2) actions in creating lands with international 
designations may affect the use and value of nearby or 
intermixed non-federal lands; and (3) actions by the President 
in applying international designations to lands owned by the 
United States may conflict with Congressional constitutional 
responsibilities.
    This section further states that the purpose of H.R. 901 is 
to assert the power of Congress over the management and use of 
lands belonging to the United States, to protect State powers 
not reserved to the federal government, and to ensure that no 
United States citizen suffers any diminishment or loss of 
individual rights or private property rights as a result of 
federal actions designating lands pursuant to international 
agreements.

Section 3. Clarification of Congressional Role in World Heritage Site 
        Listing.

    Section 3 amends the National Historic Preservation Act to 
compel the Secretary of the Interior to require the legislative 
consent of Congress to any nomination of a property located in 
the United States for inclusion on the World Heritage List 
pursuant to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the 
World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The Secretary may not 
nominate a property until he makes a finding that existing 
commercially viable uses of the nominated land or land within 
ten miles of the nomination will not be adversely affected by 
inclusion on the World Heritage List, and he must submit a 
report to Congress describing the impacts that inclusion on the 
World Heritage List would have on the natural resources 
associated with these lands. The Secretary is also required to 
obtain Congressional approval before assenting to the 
designation of any United States site on the World Heritage 
List as a Site in Danger under the World Heritage Convention. 
The Secretary must submit an annual report to Congress 
providing specified information on each World Heritage site 
within the United States.

Section 4. Prohibition and Termination of Unauthorized United Nations 
        Biosphere Reserves.

    Section 4 amends the National Historic Preservation Act to 
prohibit federal officials from nominating any land in the 
United States for designation as a Biosphere Reserve. Existing 
United States Biosphere Reserves are terminated unless: (1) the 
Biosphere Reserve is specifically authorized in subsequently 
enacted law by December 31, 2000; (2) the designated Biosphere 
Reserve entirely consists of lands owned by the United States; 
and (3) a management plan for theBiosphere Reserve has been 
implemented which specifically provides for the protection of 
nonfederal property rights and uses. The Secretary of State is to 
submit an annual report to Congress providing specified information on 
each Biosphere Reserve in the United States.

Section 5. International Agreements in General.

    Section 5 amends the National Historic Preservation Act to 
prohibit federal officials from designating any land in the 
United States for a special or restricted use under any 
international agreement unless such designation is specifically 
approved by law. ``International agreement'' means any treaty, 
compact, executive agreement, convention, or bilateral 
agreement between the United States and any foreign entity or 
agency of any foreign entity, having a primary purpose of 
conserving, preserving, or protecting the terrestrial or marine 
environment, flora, or fauna. The amendments made by this 
section do not apply to agreements established under the North 
American Wetlands Conservation Act, and conventions referred to 
in section 3(h)(3) of the Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 
1978.
    Lands owned by State or local governments may not be 
included within the boundaries of any area designated for a 
special or restricted use under any international agreement 
unless the designation is approved by a law enacted by the 
State or local government, respectively.
    No privately owned lands may be included within the 
boundaries of any area designated for a special or restricted 
use under any international agreement unless the owner of the 
property concurs with such action in writing.

Section 6. Clerical Amendment.

    This section updates a reference to the Committee on 
Resources in the National Historic Preservation Act Amendments 
of 1980.

            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.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Article I, section 8 and Article IV, section 3 of the 
Constitution of the United States grants Congress the authority 
to enact H.R. 901.

                        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. 901. 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. 
901 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. 901.
    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. 901 
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                      Washington, DC, July 1, 1997.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 901, the American 
Land Sovereignty Protection Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
            Sincerely,
                                          June E. O'Neil, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 901--American Land Sovereignty Protection Act

    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 901 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. 901 contains no private-sector 
or intergovernmental mandates as defined in the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995 and would have no impact on the 
budgets of state, local, or tribal governments.
    H.R. 901 would prohibit any federal official from 
nominating or designating any federal land for a special or 
restricted use under any international agreement unless 
specifically authorized by law, with certain exceptions. 
Moreover, the bill would make ineffective the designation of 
any area in the United States under such agreements unless the 
designation is specifically authorized either in written 
permission (from the landowner for private property), or by 
state or local law (for property owned by such governments). 
Designations of federal land would be ineffective as well, 
unless authorized by federal legislation enacted after 
enactment of H.R. 901 but before December 31, 2000. These 
provisions would affect designations of land under programs 
such as the World Heritage List and the Man and Biosphere 
Program of the United Nations. H.R. 901 would require the 
Secretaries of State and the Interior to submit annual reports 
to the Congress on each site designated under these programs. 
In addition, before nominating any federal property for the 
World Heritage List, the Secretary of the Interior would have 
to report to the Congress on the area's natural resources and 
the effects that the listing would have on existing or future 
uses of the site or other lands within a 10-mile range.
    CBO estimates that the Department of State and the 
Department of the Interior (DOI) would incur minor expenses to 
collect information (such as budget and staffing data by site) 
and to submit annual reports to the Congress. DOI also may 
incur some costs (for data gathering and reporting) if it 
chooses to nominate any sites for the World Heritage List, but 
we do not expect these to be significant. Implementing the bill 
would have no impact on other federal agencies.
    The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis. This estimate was 
approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy Assistant Director for 
Budget Analysis.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    H.R. 901 contains no unfunded mandates.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

       THE NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1980

          * * * * * * *

    TITLE IV--INTERNATIONAL ACTIVITIES AND WORLD HERITAGE CONVENTION

  Sec. 401. (a) [The Secretary] Subject to subsections (b), 
(c), (d), and (e), the Secretary of the Interior shall direct 
and coordinate United States participation in the Convention 
Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural 
Heritage, approved by the Senate on October 26, 1973 (in this 
section referred to as the ``Convention''), in cooperation with 
the Secretary of State, the Smithsonian Institution, and the 
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. Whenever possible, 
expenditures incurred in carrying out activities in cooperation 
with other nations and international organizations shall be 
paid for in such excess currency of the country or area where 
the expense is incurred as may be available to the United 
States.
  (b) The Secretary of the Interior shall periodically nominate 
properties he determines are of international significance to 
the World Heritage Committee on behalf of the United States. No 
property may be so nominated unless it has previously been 
determined to be of national significance. Each such nomination 
shall include evidence of such legal protections as may be 
necessary to ensure preservation of the property and its 
environment (including restrictive covenants, easements, or 
other forms of protection). Before making any such nomination, 
the Secretary shall notify the [Committee on Natural Resources] 
Committee on Resources of the United States House of 
Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources of the United States Senate.
          * * * * * * *
  (d)(1) The Secretary of the Interior may not nominate any 
lands owned by the United States for inclusion on the World 
Heritage List pursuant to the Convention, unless--
          (A) the Secretary finds with reasonable basis that 
        commercially viable uses of the nominated lands, and 
        commercially viable uses of other lands located within 
        10 miles of the nominated lands, in existence on the 
        date of the nomination will not be adversely affected 
        by inclusion of the lands on the World Heritage List, 
        and publishes that finding;
          (B) the Secretary has submitted to the Congress a 
        report describing--
                  (i) natural resources associated with the 
                lands referred to in subparagraph (A); and
                  (ii) the impacts that inclusion of the 
                nominated lands on the World Heritage List 
                would have on existing and future uses of the 
                nominated lands or other lands located within 
                10 miles of the nominated lands; and
          (C) the nomination is specifically authorized by a 
        law enacted after the date of enactment of the American 
        Land Sovereignty Protection Act and after the date of 
        publication of a finding under subparagraph (A) for the 
        nomination.
  (2) The President may submit to the Speaker of the House of 
Representatives and the President of the Senate a proposal for 
legislation authorizing such a nomination after publication of 
a finding under paragraph (1)(A) for the nomination.
  (e) The Secretary of the Interior shall object to the 
inclusion of any property in the United States on the list of 
World Heritage in Danger established under Article 11.4 of the 
Convention, unless--
          (1) the Secretary has submitted to the Speaker of the 
        House of Representatives and the President of the 
        Senate a report describing--
                  (A) the necessity for including that property 
                on the list;
                  (B) the natural resources associated with the 
                property; and
                  (C) the impacts that inclusion of the 
                property on the list would have on existing and 
                future uses of the property and other property 
                located within 10 miles of the property 
                proposed for inclusion; and
          (2) the Secretary is specifically authorized to 
        assent to the inclusion of the property on the list, by 
        a joint resolution of the Congress after the date of 
        submittal of the report required by paragraph (1).
  (f) The Secretary of the Interior shall submit an annual 
report on each World Heritage Site within the United States to 
the Chairman and Ranking Minority member of the Committee on 
Resources of the House of Representatives and of the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate, that contains 
for the year covered by the report the following information 
for the site:
          (1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the 
        site.
          (2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours 
        related to management of the site.
          (3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the 
        site.
          (4) A summary and account of the disposition of 
        complaints received by the Secretary related to 
        management of the site.
          * * * * * * *
  Sec. 403. (a) No Federal official may nominate any lands in 
the United States for designation as a Biosphere Reserve under 
the Man and Biosphere Program of the United Nations 
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
  (b) Any designation on or before the date of enactment of the 
American Land Sovereignty Protection Act of an area in the 
United States as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man and 
Biosphere Program of the United Nations Educational, 
Scientific, and Cultural Organization shall not have, and shall 
not be given, any force or effect, unless the Biosphere 
Reserve--
          (1) is specifically authorized by a law enacted after 
        that date of enactment and before December 31, 2000;
          (2) consists solely of lands that on that date of 
        enactment are owned by the United States; and
          (3) is subject to a management plan that specifically 
        ensures that the use of intermixed or adjacent non-
        Federal property is not limited or restricted as a 
        result of that designation.
  (c) The Secretary of State shall submit an annual report on 
each Biosphere Reserve within the United States to the Chairman 
and Ranking Minority member of the Committee on Resources of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and 
Natural Resources of the Senate, that contains for the year 
covered by the report the following information for the 
reserve:
          (1) An accounting of all money expended to manage the 
        reserve.
          (2) A summary of Federal full time equivalent hours 
        related to management of the reserve.
          (3) A list and explanation of all nongovernmental 
        organizations that contributed to the management of the 
        reserve.
          (4) A summary and account of the disposition of the 
        complaints received by the Secretary related to 
        management of the reserve.
  Sec. 404. (a) No Federal official may nominate, classify, or 
designate any lands owned by the United States and located 
within the United States for a special or restricted use under 
any international agreement unless such nomination, 
classification, or designation is specifically authorized by 
law. The President may from time to time submit to the Speaker 
of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate 
proposals for legislation authorizing such a nomination, 
classification, or designation.
  (b) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of lands owned by a State or local 
government shall have no force or effect unless the nomination, 
classification, or designation is specifically authorized by a 
law enacted by the State or local government, respectively.
  (c) A nomination, classification, or designation, under any 
international agreement, of privately owned lands shall have no 
force or effect without the written consent of the owner of the 
lands.
  (d) This section shall not apply to--
          (1) agreements established under section 16(a) of the 
        North American Wetlands Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 
        4413); and
          (2) conventions referred to in section 3(h)(3) of the 
        Fish and Wildlife Improvement Act of 1978 (16 U.S.C. 
        712(2)).
  (e) In this section, the term ``international agreement'' 
means any treaty, compact, executive agreement, convention, 
bilateral agreement, or multilateral agreement between the 
United States or any agency of the United States and any 
foreign entity or agency of any foreign entity, having a 
primary purpose of conserving, preserving, or protecting the 
terrestrial or marine environment, flora, or fauna.
          * * * * * * *

Dissenting Views of the Honorable George Miller, the Honorable William 
  D. Delahunt, the Honorable Neil Abercrombie, the Honorable Bruce F. 
   Vento, the Honorable Maurice D. Hinchey, the Honorable Edward J. 
  Markey, the Honorable Frank Pallone, Jr. and the Honorable Sam Farr

    H.R. 901 is an unjustified and unnecessary bill that 
addresses a phantom problem. It unfortunately caters to the 
suspicions and conspiracy theories of a tiny number of extreme 
organizations and individuals. It would seriously damage 
continued U.S. participation in important international efforts 
to protect and preserve valuable lands throughout the world, 
and it should therefore not be passed by the House.
    Under six Presidents--four Republicans and two Democrats--
the World Heritage Convention has been successfully implemented 
by the Department of the Interior. In fact, the Convention was 
a United States initiative and the United States was the first 
nation to ratify it in 1973. There are 20 United States sites 
on the World Heritage List, 17 of which are National Parks.
    Under the Convention a site may only be nominated to be 
listed by the country in which it lies. A site may only be 
listed if it contains cultural or natural resources of 
universal value, and if the national government provides a 
certain level of protection for the site. Listing as a World 
Heritage Site imposes no change in domestic law nor any 
requirement for future changes in domestic law. It does not 
give oversight, management or regulatory authority to any 
foreign national or organization. In short, the legal 
protection of a World Heritage Site is entirely the 
responsibility of the nation in which it lies.
    The U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program attempts to 
facilitate a more sustainable relationship between human beings 
and their natural environment by identifying areas rich in 
natural resources that are also suited to the program's 
cooperative approach. It brings local and regional stakeholders 
to the table in a voluntary joint planning effort, and provides 
technical assistance and limited research funding to relevant 
projects. A United States Biosphere Reserve is an honorific 
designation by the United States Man and the Biosphere Program, 
which is a domestic federal program. It does not place any 
lands or resources under the control of the United Nations or 
any other international body. As with World Heritage 
designations, Biosphere Reserve status does not impose or imply 
any land or natural resource use restrictions above and beyond 
those already in place under federal, state, and local law.
    For over 20 years, these programs have functioned 
effectively and with little controversy. Far from subjecting 
the American people to UN hegemony, these programs have allowed 
the United States to export its vision of parks to the world. 
This misguided legislation distorts the objectives and role of 
these programs by hinting at threats to United States 
sovereignty and the undermining of domestic law by these 
beneficial programs. These allegations are pure fantasy.
    At full Committee markup, an amendment was adopted that 
makes this bad bill even worse. In versions of this legislation 
reported by the Committee last Congress and introduced this 
Congress, the Department of Interior would still have been 
allowed to nominate wetland sites for listing under the 
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially 
as Waterfowl Habitat, commonly known as the Ramsar Convention. 
This treaty facilitates the conservation of waterfowl by 
providing for coordination among nations containing significant 
waterfowl habitat and by maintaining a list of wetlands sites 
of international significance. Although the Department of the 
Interior has not received a nomination, the majority, 
apparently based solely on newspaper reports of a possible 
nomination of various sites in Arizona, chose to undermine this 
highly successful international conservation effort by 
subjecting it to the same strictures as are imposed on World 
Heritage sites by this legislation.
    At the markup, considerable discussion was devoted to the 
idea that, by allowing the Department of the Interior or other 
agencies to convey these honorific designations on areas within 
the United States, Congress has somehow shirked its 
Constitutional duty to oversee public lands. We find this 
argument specious because these designations do not affect the 
use, management, or disposition of public lands. Therefore, 
Congress' authority over these lands is not affected in any 
way. Secondly, in the case of the World Heritage Convention, 
Congress has expressly delegated the authority to designate 
U.S. sites to the Secretary of the Interior.
    If Congress genuinely wishes to micromanage these 
international programs, it could assume that responsibility. 
However, the majority has not demonstrated any intention of 
supporting future legislation to nominate United States sites 
under the World Heritage or Ramsar Conventions, or to designate 
United States Biosphere Reserves. Rather than providing for 
better ``Congressional oversight'', this legislation will 
effectively end United States participation in these 
prestigious international programs.
    The majority would do better to address a multitude of 
serious issues that affect our natural resources--including the 
deteriorating condition of our national parks, the outdated 
park concessions program, the antiquated mining laws, and the 
multitude of resource subsidies that encourage environmental 
degradation at enormous cost to the taxpayer. Instead, the 
majority wastes the time of the Committee and the House with 
this needless legislation whose rationale is better suited to 
supermarket checkout counter tabloids than the floor of the 
House of Representatives.

                                   George Miller,
                                           Senior Democrat, Committee 
                                               on Resources.
                                   Neil Abercrombie,
                                   William D. Delahunt.
                                   Bruce F. Vento.
                                   Maurice D. Hinchey.
                                   Frank Pallone, Jr.
                                   Edward J. Markey.
                                   Sam Farr.