H. Rept. 107-314 - 107th Congress (2001-2002)

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House Report 107-314 - FERN LAKE CONSERVATION AND RECREATION ACT OF 2001

[House Report 107-314]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



107th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                    107-314

======================================================================



 
           FERN LAKE CONSERVATION AND RECREATION ACT OF 2001

                                _______
                                

December 4, 2001.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Hansen, from the Committee on Resources, submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 2238]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 2238) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
acquire Fern Lake and the surrounding watershed in the States 
of Kentucky and Tennessee for addition to Cumberland Gap 
National Historical Park, and for other purposes, 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 all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Fern Lake Conservation and Recreation 
Act of 2001''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

  (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
          (1) Fern Lake and its surrounding watershed in Bell County, 
        Kentucky, and Claiborne County, Tennessee, is within the 
        potential boundaries of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park 
        as originally authorized by the Act of June 11, 1940 (54 Stat. 
        262; 16 U.S.C. 261 et seq.).
          (2) The acquisition of Fern Lake and its surrounding 
        watershed and its inclusion in Cumberland Gap National 
        Historical Park would protect the vista from Pinnacle Overlook, 
        which is one of the park's most valuable scenic resources and 
        most popular attractions, and enhance recreational 
        opportunities at the park.
          (3) Fern Lake is the water supply source for the city of 
        Middlesboro, Kentucky, and environs.
          (4) The 4500-acre Fern Lake watershed is privately owned, and 
        the 150-acre lake and part of the watershed are currently for 
        sale, but the Secretary of the Interior is precluded by the 
        first section of the Act of June 11, 1940 (16 U.S.C. 261), from 
        using appropriated funds to acquire the lands.
  (b) Purposes.--The purposes of the Act are--
          (1) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to use 
        appropriated funds if necessary, in addition to other 
        acquisition methods, to acquire from willing sellers Fern Lake 
        and its surrounding watershed, in order to protect scenic and 
        natural resources and enhance recreational opportunities at 
        Cumberland Gap National Historical Park; and
          (2) to allow the continued supply of water from Fern Lake to 
        the city of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and environs.

SEC. 3. LAND ACQUISITION, FERN LAKE, CUMBERLAND GAP NATIONAL HISTORICAL 
                    PARK.

  (a) Definitions.--In this section:
          (1) Fern lake.--The term ``Fern Lake'' means Fern Lake 
        located in Bell County, Kentucky, and Claiborne County, 
        Tennessee.
          (2) Land.--The term ``land'' means land, water, interests in 
        land, and any improvements on the land.
          (3) Park.--The term ``park'' means Cumberland Gap National 
        Historical Park, as authorized and established by the Act of 
        June 11, 1940 (54 Stat. 262; 16 U.S.C. 261 et seq.).
          (4) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior, acting through the Director of the National Park 
        Service.
  (b) Acquisition Authorized.--The Secretary may acquire for addition 
to the park lands consisting of approximately 4,500 acres and 
containing Fern Lake and its surrounding watershed, as generally 
depicted on the map entitled ``Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, 
Fern Lake Watershed'', numbered 380/80,004, and dated May 2001. The map 
shall be on file in the appropriate offices of the National Park 
Service.
  (c) Authorized Acquisition Methods.--
          (1) In general.--Notwithstanding the Act of June 11, 1940 (16 
        U.S.C. 261 et seq.), the Secretary may acquire lands described 
        in subsection (b) by donation, purchase with donated or 
        appropriated funds, or exchange. However, the lands may be 
        acquired only with the consent of the owner.
          (2) Easements.--At the discretion of the Secretary, the 
        Secretary may acquire land described in subsection (b) that is 
        subject to an easement for water supply facilities and 
        equipment associated with the withdrawal and delivery of water 
        by a utility from Fern Lake to the city of Middlesboro, 
        Kentucky, and environs.
  (d) Boundary Adjustment and Administration.--Upon the acquisition of 
land under this section, the Secretary shall revise the boundaries of 
the park to include the land in the park. Subject to subsection (e), 
the Secretary shall administer the acquired lands as part of the park 
in accordance with the laws and regulations applicable to the park.
  (e) Special Issues Related to Fern Lake.--
          (1) Protection of water supply.--The Secretary shall manage 
        public recreational use of Fern Lake, if acquired by the 
        Secretary, in a manner that is consistent with the protection 
        of the lake as a source of untreated water for the city of 
        Middlesboro, Kentucky, and environs.
          (2) Sale of water.--
                  (A) Contract with utility.--Upon the Secretary's 
                acquisition of land that includes Fern Lake, the 
                Secretary shall enter into a contract to sell untreated 
                water from the lake to a utility that delivers and 
                distributes water to the city of Middlesboro, Kentucky, 
                and environs. The Secretary shall ensure that the terms 
                and conditions of the contract are consistent with 
                National Park Service policies for the protection of 
                park resources, provided that the terms and conditions 
                do not adversely affect the delivery and distribution 
                of water to the city of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and 
                environs.
                  (B) Proceeds from water.--The Secretary shall 
                negotiate a reasonable return to the United States for 
                the sale of the water, which the Secretary may receive 
                in the form of reduced charges for water service. 
                Proceeds from the sale of the water, reduced by any 
                offsets for water service to the park, shall be 
                available for expenditure by the Secretary at the park 
                without further appropriation.
  (f) Consultation Requirements.--In order to better manage Fern Lake 
and its surrounding watershed, if acquired by the Secretary, in a 
manner that will facilitate the provision of water for municipal needs 
as well as the establishment and promotion of new recreational 
opportunities made possible by the addition of Fern Lake to the park, 
the Secretary shall consult with--
          (1) appropriate officials in the States of Kentucky, 
        Tennessee, and Virginia, and political subdivisions of these 
        States;
          (2) organizations involved in promoting tourism in these 
        States; and
          (3) other interested parties.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 2238 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to acquire Fern Lake and the surrounding watershed 
in the States of Kentucky and Tennessee for addition to 
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, and for other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is situated in 
and around Cumberland Mountain in Kentucky, Tennessee, and 
Virginia. It was established in 1940 to preserve the natural 
passage through the Appalachian Mountains and the region around 
it. First used by large migrating animals, then by Native 
Indians, it was the first and best avenue for settlement of the 
interior of the nation. From 1775-1823, during the Gap's 
heyday, 300,000 people crossed the Cumberland Gap into 
Kentucky.
    The enabling legislation authorized the Park area to 
encompass up to 50,000 acres. To date, Cumberland Gap National 
Historical Park consists of 20,500 acres. The 4,500 acres 
associated with the acquisition would be within the size 
authorized by the original legislation.
    Fern Lake and the surrounding watershed is important to the 
residents of Middlesboro, Kentucky, as it is their primary 
source for drinking water. The area also continues to be 
threatened with immediate development. Acquisition of the 
property by the National Park Service would ensure that the 
land is not developed, the watershed and scenic views are 
preserved, and recreational opportunities are enhanced at 
Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. The primary land owner 
values the land at approximately $5 million and is a willing 
seller. According to the bill's author, Congressman Harold 
Rogers (R-KY), the announcement of the sale of these lands for 
inclusion in the Park has generated strong support from 
citizens in the tri-state area.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 2388 was introduced on June 19, 2001, by Congressman 
Harold Rogers (R-KY) and was referred to the Committee on 
Resources. On November 13, 2001, the Subcommittee held a 
hearing on the bill. On November 15, 2001, the Subcommittee met 
to mark up the bill. No amendments were offered and the bill 
was ordered favorably reported to the Full Committee by 
unanimous consent. On November 28, 2001, the Full Resources 
Committee met to consider the bill. Congressman George 
Radanovich (R-CA) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute that made the following changes to the original 
text: (1) required the National Park Service to only ensure the 
continued supply of water from Fern Lake to the City of 
Middlesboro, Kentucky, and not the purity of the water prior to 
its treatment; (2) corrected a map reference; (3) directed the 
Secretary to contract with a utility to deliver and distribute 
water to the City of Middlesboro, Kentucky, and to ensure that 
the contract will be consistent with National Park Service 
policies, provided that the terms do not adversely affect the 
delivery and distribution of the water to Middlesboro, 
Kentucky; and (4) directed the Secretary to negotiate a 
reasonable return to the government for the sale of the water. 
The amendment was adopted by unanimous vote. The bill, as 
amended, was then ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII 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 this bill.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) 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 this bill. The Committee believes that 
enactment of this bill will have little impact on the budget of 
the United States. The value of the property authorized to be 
acquired is estimated at $5 million. It is unclear if the 
property will be acquired by purchase (with appropriated or 
donated funds), donation or exchange. In addition, the United 
States may also receive offsetting revenue from the sale of 
water under this bill, although the amount to be received is 
unclear at this time. Finally, there may be additional minor 
costs associated with management of the increased acreage at 
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park by the National Park 
Service if the land is acquired.
    2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2) 
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and 
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this 
bill does not contain any new budget authority, credit 
authority, or an increase or decrease in tax expenditures. The 
United States may receive funds from the sale of water under 
this bill, but this amount is undetermined at this time. Any 
funds received may be spent without further appropriation for 
the benefit of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. This bill does 
not authorize funding and therefore, clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives does not 
apply.
    4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has requested but not received a cost 
estimate for this bill from the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill will not change existing law.