Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

                                                       Calendar No. 689
108th Congress                                                   Report
 2d Session                                                     108-333


                August 25, 2004.--Ordered to be printed

   Filed, under authority of the order of the Senate of July 22, 2004


   Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3768]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the Act (H.R. 3768) to expand the Timucuan Ecological 
and Historic Preserve, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, reports favorably thereon without 
amendment and recommends that the Act do pass.

                         Purpose of the Measure

    The purpose of H.R. 3768 is to expand the boundary of the 
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, to include 8.5 acres 
of land in Nassau County, Florida.

                          Background and Need

    The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (Preserve) is 
located in northeastern Florida within the city limits of 
Jacksonville. The preserve has within its boundaries Federal, 
State and city park lands, as well as over 300 private 
landowners. The National Park Service works cooperatively with 
these agencies and private citizens to preserve the natural and 
cultural history of the Preserve.
    H.R. 3768 expands the Preserve's boundary to include an 8.5 
acre parcel of land adjacent to American Beach, a significant 
historical site representing African-American achievement 
during the Jim Crow era. Abraham Lincoln Lewis, a prominent 
African-American businessman and president of the Afro-American 
Life Insurance Company, purchased American Beach in 1932. The 
only racially integrated beach in Florida, and one of the few 
in the Nation, American Beach flourished as an ocean-side 
resort for blacks from all parts of the country and became a 
symbol of African-American social and economic autonomy. 
Although most of the visitors to American Beach were ordinary 
working class citizens, anthropologist and folklorist Zora 
Neale Hurston, heavyweight champion Joe Louis, entertainer Cab 
Calloway and civil rights leader A. Phillip Randolph are known 
to have vacationed on American Beach. American Beach has been 
designated by the Florida Commission on African-American 
History as a site on the Florida Black Heritage Trail.
    In 2004, the Amelia Island Plantation arranged to donate 
the land adjacent to American Beach to the National Park 
Service. The donated land is not currently within the 
congressionally authorized boundary of the Timucuan Ecological 
and Historic Preserve. H.R. 3768 expands the boundary of the 
Preserve to include these donated lands.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 3768 was introduced by Representative Crenshaw on 
February 4, 2004. The House Resources Committee ordered H.R. 
3768, as amended, favorably reported (H. Rpt. 108-393) on May 
5, 2004 and the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 
by a voice vote on May 17, 2004.
    A companion measure, S. 1672, was introduced by Senator 
Nelson on September 29, 2003. The Subcommittee on National 
Parks held a hearing on S. 1672 on May 20, 2004.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered H.R. 
3768 favorably reported on July 14, 2004.

                        Committee Recommendation

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open 
business session on July 14, 2004, by a unanimous voice vote of 
a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 3768, as 
described herein.

                      Section by Section Analysis

    Section 1 entitles this bill the ``Timucuan Ecological and 
Historic Preserve Boundary Revision Act of 2003.''
    Section 2 amends section 201(a) of Public Law 100-249 (16 
U.S.C. 698n) to add approximately 8.5 acres of land located in 
Nassau County, Florida. This section directs the Secretary of 
the Interior to raise the boundary of the Preserve accordingly 
and to make a map available for public inspection in 
appropriate offices of the National Park Service.

                   Cost and Budgetary Considerations

    The following estimates of the cost of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office.

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, July 16, 2004.
Hon. Pete V. Domenici,
Chairman, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3768, the Timucuan 
Ecological and Historic Preserve Boundary Revision Act of 2004.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Deborah Reis.
                                       Douglas Holtz-Eakin,

H.R. 3768--Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve Boundary Revision 
        Act of 2004

    H.R. 3768 would expand the boundary of the Timucuan 
Ecological and Historic Preserve in Florida to include an 8.5-
acre parcel known as the American Beach. Based on information 
provided by the National Park Service and the property's 
current owners. CBO estimates that the Federal Government would 
not incur any significant cost to acquire and maintain the 
undeveloped beach site. We expect that the property would be 
donated to the NPS in fiscal year 2005 and would remain 
undeveloped. Annual costs to administer the extra acreage would 
be minimal. Enacting this legislation would not affect direct 
spending or revenues.
    H.R. 3768 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would have no significant impact on the budgets of state, 
local, or tribal governments.
    On May 17, 2004, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
3768 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Resources on 
May 5, 2004. The two versions of the legislation are identical, 
as are the estimated costs.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
The estimate was approved by Peter H. Fontaine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Evaluation

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out H.R. 3768.
    The bill is not a regulatory measure in the sense of 
imposing Government-established standards or significant 
economic responsibilities on private individuals and 
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of H.R. 3768.

                        Executive Communications

    On May 30, 2004, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior and the Office of Management and Budget setting 
forth Executive agency recommendations on S. 1672, the Senate 
companion measure to H.R. 3768. These reports had not been 
received when this report was filed. The testimony provided by 
the Department of the Interior at the Subcommittee hearing on 
S. 1672 follows:

    Statement of Paul Hoffman, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Fish and 
             Wildlife and Parks, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to present the Department's views on S. 1672, a 
bill to expand the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in 
    The Department supports S. 1672. The bill would authorize 
the National Park Service (NPS) to expand the preserve boundary 
to include American Beach, a unique historic recreational area 
established in the 1920s for African-Americans during the 
segregated ``Jim Crow'' era. The 12.5 acre boundary expansion, 
including the existing structures and beachfront, will not 
result in additional operational costs to the NPS because the 
area would be managed with existing staff.
    S. 1672 authorizes a boundary expansion for the Timucuan 
Preserve to encompass 12.5 acres of the remaining American 
Beach area. The 12.5-acre area is significant because it 
includes important remnants of the beach, natural dune, and 
remaining historic structures associated with the prominent era 
of American Beach resort use. Consistent with many other areas 
within the boundary of the Timucuan Preserve, the NPS would 
cooperate with other agencies and private landowners in 
managing land within its boundary.
    Inclusion of American Beach will facilitate preservation 
and understanding of this important site. Within the 12.5-acre 
expansion area, the NPS anticipates receiving 8.5 acres by 
donation from the Amelia Island Plantation. The remaining four 
acres are in private ownership and are currently for sale. 
Although within the boundary expansion area, NPS has no plans 
to purchase these four acres. Like other areas of the Timucuan 
Preserve that are outside of NPS ownership, the NPS would work 
cooperatively with appropriate agencies and interested private 
landowners to help to manage and interpret American Beach 
resources. Nassau County officials and private citizens support 
expansion of the park boundary and donation of American Beach 
land to the NPS.
    Abraham Lincoln Lewis, co-founder and president of the 
Afro-American Life Insurance Company, founded American Beach in 
1920 as a place where executives and employees of the company 
could enjoy ocean beach recreational activities in the ``Jim 
Crow'' era when such opportunities were severely limited. 
However, word soon spread and Africa-Americans from Atlanta, 
Tuskegee, and other parts of the south came to the beach town 
to buy property and spend their summers free from reminders of 
segregation and discrimination. The resort also had low rates 
that allowed the less affluent accessibility for day 
gatherings. The African-American working class came to the 
resort from farming towns across South Georgia, North Florida, 
and Alabama.
    In the 1940s and 1950s American Beach became the place 
where African-Americans went for recreation and relaxation 
without seeing a ``White Only'' sign, the rule for beaches in 
the southeast at that time. Many writers, artists, and 
entertainment and sports celebrities enjoyed the town's special 
vacation land atmosphere. At American Beach, entertainers like 
Ray Charles and Duke Ellington played in the local clubs.
    The Amelia Island Plantation, a private corporation on 
Amelia Island, intends to donate 8.5 acres of the 12.5-acre 
expansion area to the NPS. The proposed donation would ensure 
that the legacy of conservation on behalf of Abraham Lincoln 
Lewis and the Afro-American Life Insurance Company is 
preserved. The 8.5-acre donation consists of a natural sand 
dune that is currently open to visitor use through a 
conservation easement, and associated scrub and maritime 
hammock habitat. The dune and surrounding habitat were 
protected from development in the original designs for American 
Beach. The Amelia Island Plantation Corporation later preserved 
the site intact when it purchased the property. Natural habitat 
values of the site include high species diversity with 
relatively little disturbance and few exotic species, and 
habitat for the threatened loggerhead turtle.
    The proposed expansion area also includes important 
remaining structures from the ``Jim Crow'' era, including the 
cotillion area where people gathered to be entertained by 
celebrities. One home (Ervin's Rest) was listed on the National 
Register of Historic Places in 1998. In 2002 the American Beach 
Historic District was listed on the National Register in 
recognition of its African-American cultural heritage. The NPS, 
other agencies, and private landowners will cooperatively 
manage structures that remain within the boundary expansion 
    Created by segregation and abandoned after integration, 
American Beach has struggled against a powerful tide. 
Development of large condominium and resort complexes on Amelia 
Island has encroached on the remnants of this African-American 
resort community. As a result, American Beach has decreased in 
acreage from its most prosperous size of 200+ acres to only 60 
acres that remain today. Inclusion of the proposed 12.5 acres 
within the Timucuan Preserve will help preserve critical 
components of American Beach and its unique association with 
African-American heritage.
    The General Management Plan for the Timucuan Preserve 
outlines a partnership approach to management. Should the 
preserve boundary be expanded, management of American Beach 
would follow this partnership model. In particular, the NPS 
would work closely with County, State, Federal, and private 
interests on lands owned by the NPS and in other sites outside 
of NPS ownership but within the preserve boundary. Through 
these partnerships, the NPS would work cooperatively to pursue 
restoration and protection of remaining historic and natural 
resources at American Beach.
    The proposed boundary expansion enjoys support from private 
landowners and local officials. Throughout Nassau and Duval 
Counties, Florida individuals and groups have demonstrated 
support for the protection and conservation of American Beach. 
American Beach has also been the subject of documentaries on 
the History Channel. As a result, high public interest in 
saving this resource has been generated.
    Mr. Chairman, this completes my testimony. I will be happy 
to answer any questions that you or any members of the 
Subcommittee may have now.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by 
H.R. 3768, as ordered 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):

                           Public Law 100-249

 AN ACT Authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to preserve certain 
  wetlands and historic and prehistoric sites in the St. Johns River 
                Valley, Florida, and for other purposes

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
the United States of America in Congress assembled,

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *



    [(a) Establishment.--There is hereby]
    (a) Establishment.--
          (1) In general.--There is established in the St. 
        Johns River Valley, Florida, where the Timucuan Indians 
        lived in prehistoric and historic times, the Timucuan 
        Ecological and Historic Preserve (hereafter in this Act 
        referred to as the ``Preserve''). The Preserve shall 
        comprise the lands, waters, and interests therein 
        within the boundaries generally depicted on a map of 
        Duval County, Florida, entitled ``Timucuan Ecological 
        and Historic Preserve'' numbered NA-TEHP 80,003-A and 
        dated July 1987. the map shall be on file and available 
        for public inspection in the Office of the National 
        Park Service, Department of the Interior. The Secretary 
        of the Interior may make minor revisions in the 
        boundary of the Preserve in accordance with section 
        7(c) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 
        1965. The Preserve shall also include within its 
        boundaries all that land consisting of approximately 
        500 acres adjacent to Fort Caroline National Memorial 
        and known as the Theodore Roosevelt Preserve, being 
        land formerly owned by one Willie Brown and donated by 
        him to The Nature Conservancy.
          (2) Modification of boundary.--
                  (A) In general.--In addition to the land 
                described in paragraph (1), the Preserve shall 
                include approximately 8.5 acres of land located 
                in Nassau County, Florida, as generally 
                depicted on the map entitled ``Timucuan 
                Ecological and Historic Preserve American Beach 
                Adjustment'', numbered 006/80012 and dated June 
                  (B) Duties of the secretary.--The Secretary 
                of the Interior shall--
                          (i) reserve the boundaries of the 
                        Preserve so as to encompass the land 
                        described in subparagraph (A); and
                          (ii) maintain the map described in 
                        subparagraph (A) on file and available 
                        for public inspection in the 
                        appropriate offices of the National 
                        Park Service.