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109th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     109-433

======================================================================
 
 TO REDESIGNATE THE MASON NECK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE IN VIRGINIA AS 
       THE ELIZABETH HARTWELL MASON NECK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE





                                _______
                                

   April 25, 2006.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

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

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3682]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Resources, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3682) to redesignate the Mason Neck National Wildlife 
Refuge in Virginia as the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck 
National Wildlife Refuge, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3682 is to redesignate the Mason Neck 
National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia as the Elizabeth Hartwell 
Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge was 
administratively created on February 1, 1969. The Refuge, 
located in Lorton, Virginia, was established for the protection 
of nesting, feeding and roosting habitat for bald eagles. In 
fact, it was the first such wildlife refuge created to protect 
what was then an endangered species. The original land, which 
was 845 acres, was purchased from funds allocated under the 
Land and Water Conservation Fund. Until 1974, Mason Neck was a 
subunit of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
    Over time, the Refuge has grown. As of September 30, 2004, 
1,488 acres have been purchased at a cost of $7,235,360, and an 
additional 789 acres are leased from the Northern Virginia 
Regional Park Authority. Currently, the Refuge, situated along 
the Potomac River on the Mason Neck Peninsula, consists of 
2,277 acres of hardwood and pine forest, 300 acres of 
freshwater marshes and over 4 miles of coastline. This urban 
refuge has the largest freshwater marsh in Northern Virginia, 
the largest Great Blue heron rookery in the Mid-Atlantic 
region, and has more than 200 species of birds, 44 species of 
reptiles and amphibians and 31 species of mammals.
    Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge offers ideal habitat 
for eagles and it is, therefore, not surprising that the Refuge 
is listed as one of the top locations in the lower 48 states 
for viewing bald eagles. According to the U.S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, eagles use the mature forests for shelter and 
nesting sites and the bays, marshes and rivers for foraging 
activities. It has been estimated that a number of bald eagles 
nest within the Refuge and up to 100 birds winter within the 
Refuge boundaries.
    In addition, to wildlife observation, the Refuge offers 
other forms of wildlife dependent recreation including 
environmental education, fishing and hunting. According to the 
most recent figures, there are about 30,000 people who visited 
the Refuge each year.
    The term ``Mason Neck'' refers to George Mason who built 
the Gunston Hall Plantation and was one of the richest planters 
in Virginia. He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses, was 
the original author of the Virginia Bill of Rights and 
represented the State at the Constitutional Convention in 1787.
    This legislation which would rename the Refuge as the 
Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge. 
Elizabeth Hartwell, who was affectionately called the ``Eagle 
Lady,'' was a leading environmentalist who successfully led a 
campaign to protect the Mason Neck Peninsula for the 
preservation of the American bald eagle. Due to her tireless 
leadership, the 2,277-acre Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge, 
the 1,804-acre Mason Neck State Park and the 1,003-acre Pohick 
Bay Regional Park were established.
    As a lifetime Virginian, she dedicated her life to 
conservation causes and her list of public service achievements 
included winning the Conservation Award of the National Capital 
Area Federation of Garden Clubs in 1967, and being named 
Fairfax County's Citizen of the Year in 1971. She also served 
as Vice Chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Park 
Authority, Chairman of the Citizens Council for a Clean 
Potomac, Vice President of the Conservation Council of Virginia 
and as a long-time member of the Northern Virginia Potomac 
River Basin Commission. She also founded the 11-member 
Conservation Committee for Mason Neck, organized the Friends of 
Mason Neck and was a Board Member of the Audubon Naturalist 
Society of the Central Atlantic States.
    Between 1965 and 1983, Mrs. Hartwell was credited with 
stopping at least 21 separate environmental threats to Mason 
Neck. These threats included efforts to: provide a deep-water 
port for ocean going vessels; an outer beltway highway plan 
through the Refuge; a garbage landfill for the District of 
Columbia; a liquified natural gas pipeline; and a major sewer 
line construction project. There are many people who believe 
that the Mason Neck National Wildlife Refuge would not exist 
today had it not been for Mrs. Elizabeth Hartwell. In addition, 
a number of local organizations such as the Hallowing Point 
Citizens Association, the Lorton Federation of Citizens 
Associations and the Mason Neck Citizens Association have 
endorsed this designation. Sadly, Mrs. Hartwell died at the age 
of 76 of congestive heart failure on December 14, 2000.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3682 was introduced on September 7, 2005, by 
Congressman Tom Davis (R-VA). The bill was referred to the 
Committee on Resources, and within the Committee to the 
Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans. On December 6, 2005, the 
Subcommittee held a hearing on the bill. On March 29, 2006, the 
Full Resources Committee met to consider the bill. The 
Subcommittee on Fisheries and Oceans 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 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. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B) 
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 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
    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, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    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 received the following cost estimate 
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office:

H.R. 3682--A bill to redesignate the Mason Neck National Wildlife 
        Refuge in Virginia as the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason Neck 
        National Wildlife Refuge

    H.R. 3682 would redesignate the Mason Neck National 
Wildlife Refuge in Virginia as the Elizabeth Hartwell Mason 
Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Based on information from the 
Department of the Interior and assuming the availability of 
appropriated funds, CBO estimates that any resulting change in 
federal spending would be negligible. The bill would not affect 
direct spending or revenues.
    H.R. 3682 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Megan Carroll. 
This estimate was approved by Paul R. Cullinan, Chief, Human 
Resources Cost Estimates Unit for the Budget Analysis Division.

                    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 would make no changes in existing 
law.