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105th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 105-697
SAND CREEK MASSACRE NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE STUDY ACT OF 1998
September 9, 1998.--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 S. 1695]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill
(S. 1695) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study
the suitability and feasibility of designating the Sand Creek
Massacre National Historic Site in the State of Colorado as a
unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes,
having considered the same, report favorably thereon without
amendment and recommend that the bill do pass.
purpose of the bill
The purpose of S. 1695 is to authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of
designating the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site in
the State of Colorado as a unit of the National Park System.
background and need for legislation
S. 1695 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to conduct
a resource study to locate and identify the Sand Creek Massacre
Site located in Colorado. The study will also determine the
feasibility and suitability of designating the site as a unit
of the National Park System. The study will include cost
estimates for necessary acquisitions, development, and
operations along with identifying alternatives for the
management, administration, and protection of the area.
On November 29, 1864, approximately 450 Southern Cheyenne
and 40 Southern Arapahos camped at Sand Creek, Colorado.
Colonel John M. Chivington's Colorado volunteers, along with
125 regular army troops, attacked the unsuspecting encampment
and were responsible for the deaths of over 200 Indians. When
detailed news of the attack reached the East, many reacted with
disgust. Three formal investigations of the events collected
extensive testimony and spread it before the public in official
reports. However, the investigations into the attack, now
referred to as a massacre, resulted in no official act of any
Currently, the presumed site of the massacre is on a 1,425-
acre parcel in Kiowa County and there is a willing selling of
the property. However, the Kiowa County land in question may
not be the actual site. Researchers at the Colorado Historical
Society, who have studied the site, indicate no strong evidence
to suggest the site was the spot where the massacre took place.
Research teams began a physical search of the site expecting to
find battle remnants, including some of the four tons of
ammunition the Colorado Calvary used in the massacre. All they
found was a picket pin used to tie up horses and one .55
caliber rifle slug. Nothing was found to suggest the
bombardment of the four howitzers that Chivington's troops
used. According to the Historic Society, their search was
inconclusive. Kiowa County could be the actual location of the
massacre but there are other locations that may be the actual
massacre site, including locations in Cheyenne, Prowers, or
The Kiowa site is in a flood zone, raising the possibility
that artifacts may have been washed downstream or could be
buried deeper. The Historic Society believes additional
research needs to be done to identify the actual site of the
Sand Creek Massacre. At this time no study has been done by the
National Park Service to determine the suitability of the site
for inclusion in the National Park System, hence the need for
S. 1695. The bill authorizes such sums as necessary to carry
out the Act.
S. 1695 was introduced on March 2, 1998, by Senator Ben
Nighthorse Campbell (R-CO). On July 17, 1998, the Senate passed
S. 1695 with an amendment by unanimous consent. In the House of
Representatives, S. 1695 was referred to the Committee on
Resources, and within the Committee, to the Subcommittee on
National Parks and Public Lands. On August 5, 1998, the Full
Committee met to consider S. 1695. The Subcommittee on National
Parks and Public Lands was discharged from further
consideration of the bill by unanimous consent. No amendments
were offered and the bill was ordered favorably reported to the
House of Representatives by voice vote.
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 of the Constitution of the United
States grants Congress the authority to enact S. 1695.
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
S. 1695. 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, S. 1695
does not contain any new budget authority, spending authority,
credit authority, or an increase or decrease in revenues or tax
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 S. 1695.
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 S. 1695
from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office.
congressional budget office cost estimate
Congressional Budget Office,
Washington, DC, August 13, 1998.
Hon. Don Young,
Chairman, Committee on Resources, U.S. House of Representatives,
Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 1695, the Sand Creek
Massacre National Historic Site Preservation Act of 1998.
If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
June E. O'Neill, Director.
S. 1695--San Creek Massacre National Historic Site Preservation Act of
CBO estimates that implementing S. 1695 would cost the
federal government about $200,000 over the next 18 months,
assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. The act would
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures would not apply. S. 1695 contains no
intergovernmental or private-sector mandates and would impose
no costs of state, local, or tribal governments.
S. 1695 would direct he National Park Service (NPS) to
conduct a resource study of the Sand Creek massacre site in
Colorado. The study, which would be carried out in consultation
with the state of Colorado and local tribal governments, would
help NPS to locate the exact site of the massacre and to
evaluate the suitability and feasibility of designating it as a
unit of the National park System.
Based on information provided by NPS and assuming
appropriation of the necessary sums, we estimate that the
agency would spend about $200,000 over the next two fiscal
years to complete the study required by the act.
On July 9, 1998, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S.
1695, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources on June 24, 1998. The two versions of S. 1695
are nearly identical, and the two estimates are identical.
The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis. This estimate was
approved by Paul N. Van de Water, Assistant Director for Budget
compliance with public law 104-4
S. 1695 contains no unfunded mandates.
changes in existing law
If enacted, S. 1695 would make no changes in existing law.