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Calendar No. 242
109th Congress Report
1st Session 109-150
STAR-SPANGLED BANNER NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL ACT
October 19, 2005.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Domenici, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,
submitted the following
R E P O R T
[To accompany S. 958]
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was
referred the bill (S. 958) to amend the National Trails System
Act to designate the Star-Spangled Banner Trail in the States
of Maryland and Virginia and the District of Columbia as a
National Historic Trail, having considered the same, reports
favorably thereon with amendments and recommends that the bill,
as amended, do pass.
The amendments are as follows:
1. On page 2, strike lines 7 through 10 and insert the
``(A) In general.--The Star-Spangled Banner National
Historic Trail, a trail consisting of water and
overland routes totaling approximately 290 miles
extending from southern''.
2. On page 2, line 18, strike ``draft''.
Purpose of the Measure
The purpose of S. 958 is to designate the Star-Spangled
Banner Trail in the States of Maryland and Virginia and the
District of Columbia as a National Historic Trail.
Background and Need
National Historic Trails are components of the National
Trails System which commemorate major routes of historic travel
and major events that have shaped American history. To date, 15
National Historic Trails have been established, including the
Lewis and Clark, Pony Express, Selma to Montgomery, Trail of
Tears, and most recently the El Camino Real de los Tejas
National Historic Trails. To be designated as a National
Historic Trail, a trail must meet three basic criteria: it must
be nationally significant, have a documented route through maps
or journals, and provide recreational opportunities.
Presently there is little recognition of the events that
made up the War of 1812 outside of Fort McHenry. The sites
along the National Historic Trail would mark some of the most
important events of the War of 1812. The trail, commemorating
the only combined naval and land attack on the United States,
begins with the June 1814 battles between the British Navy and
the American Chesapeake Flotilla in St. Leonard's Creek in
Calvert County, and ends at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, site of
the composition of our National Anthem, and the defeat of the
British. A series of land and water trails connecting these
important sites would provide the public with a thematically
consistent account of the events that made up the War of 1812.
S. 958 was introduced by Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski on
April 28, 2005. The Subcommittee on National Parks held a
hearing on S. 958 on July 28, 2005. At its business meeting on
September 28, 2005, the Committee on Energy and Natural
Resources ordered S. 958, with amendment, favorably reported.
The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in open
business session on September 28, 2005, by a voice vote of a
quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 958, if
amended as described herein.
During consideration of S. 958, the Committee adopted two
clarifying amendments. The first makes clear that the 290-mile
trail is comprised of a series of water and overland routes.
The second clarifies that the suitability and feasibility
report prepared by the National Park Service was a final and
not a draft report.
Section 1 cites the Act as the `Star-Spangled Banner
National Historic Trail Act.'
Section 2 amends the National Trails System Act to
designate the 290-mile long Star-Spangled Banner National
Historic Trail, in Maryland, the District of Columbia and
Virginia. The section also sets forth the administration
requirements for the trail.
Cost and Budgetary Considerations
The following estimate of costs of this measure has been
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
S. 958--Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Act
S. 958 would amend the National Trails System Act to
designate the Star-Spangled Banner Trail as a National Historic
Trail. The trail of almost 300 miles would cover parts of
Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia to commemorate
the events leading up to the writing of the ``Star-Spangled
Banner'' during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. The
National Park Service (NPS) would administer the trail and
coordinate the efforts of public and private entities on trail
administration, planning, development, and maintenance.
Based on information provided by the NPS and assuming the
availability of appropriated funds, CBO estimates that
establishing, developing, and administering the proposed
historic trail would cost about $2 million over the 2006-2010
period. Of this amount, we estimate that the NPS would spend a
total of $325,000 over the next two years to prepare a
comprehensive management plan for the trail. In addition, we
estimate that the NPS would spend about $400,000 annually
beginning in 2007 for archeological surveys, trail maintenance,
development of access sites, and interpretive signs.
S. 958 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Matthew
Pickford. 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 S. 958. The bill is not a regulatory measure in
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals
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 S. 958, as ordered reported.
The views of the Administration on S. 958 were included in
testimony received by the Committee at a hearing on the bill on
July 28, 2005 as follows:
Statement of Stephen P. Martin, Deputy Director, National Park Service,
Department of the Interior
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for
the opportunity to appear before you today to present the
Department of the Interior's views on S. 958, a bill to amend
the National Trails System Act to designate the Star-Spangled
Banner Trail as a National Historic Trail.
The Department supports S. 958, which would designate an
approximately 290-mile land and water trail extending from
southern Maryland through the District of Columbia and Virginia
along the Chesapeake Bay. The land routes would follow existing
public roads, along which British and American troops traveled.
The bill would require the Secretary to encourage public
participation and consult with landowners, Federal, State, and
local agencies on the administration of the trail. The bill
would prohibit land or interest in land outside the exterior
boundaries of any federally administered area from being
acquired for the trail without the consent of the owner.
The proposed National Historic Trail would commemorate the
events leading up to the writing of ``The Star-Spangled
Banner'' during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812.
These events include the British invasion of Maryland, the
Battle of Bladensburg, the burning of the White House and the
Capitol, the burning of the Washington Navy Yard, and the
Battle for Baltimore in the summer of 1814. The route of the
invasion is known and documented, and the proposed trail would
follow it as closely as practical.
The War of 1812 and the Chesapeake Campaign of 1814 had
long-lasting and far-reaching effects on the United States and
American culture. It represented the first major test of our
infant democracy, contributed to the formation of a national
identity, and demonstrated the importance of a strong military
and the need for coastal defenses. During the campaign, other
events occurred that are significant to our nation's heritage,
particularly the writing of the poem commemorating a key
battle--the Battle for Baltimore. Francis Scott Key's poem, the
words of which comprise our National Anthem, celebrated the
resiliency of the young nation and the flag he described as
``The Star-Spangled Banner'' during the successful defense of
Fort McHenry. The events provide important testimony, too,
about the roles of the enslaved and civilians in the early
defense of the nation.
Should S. 958 be enacted, the National Park Service,
subject to availability of funds, would prepare a comprehensive
management plan with widespread public participation to
identify the goals and objectives for trail preservation,
research, interpretation, public use, trail marking, and
cooperative management. The bill recognizes the advantages
offered by the regional nature of the trail and the many
organizations interested in and associated with the history of
the Chesapeake Campaign. Several key trail-related resources,
such as Fort McHenry and the White House, are owned by the
Federal government. We anticipate that other trail-related
resources such as structures within Old Town Alexandria in
Virginia or Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Maryland
will primarily remain in local or private ownership.
In 1999, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Study Act (Public Law 106-135) was enacted authorizing the
Secretary of the Interior to study the potential route of a
Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The history,
background, integrity, and national significance of the trail
were researched and analyzed. The criteria for national trails,
set forth in the National Trails Systems Act, were applied, and
five of the eight trail study segments were found to meet the
necessary criteria. The proposed 290-mile trail would only
include these five segments.
Providing conservation and enjoyment of, public access to,
and interpretation of the historic route and its resources has
been a growing focus of both public and private initiatives in
recent years as the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches.
In Maryland, a grassroots initiative was undertaken to raise
public awareness of the important events that occurred in the
Chesapeake region in the summer of 1814 during the War of 1812.
Historians and regional groups recognized the untold stories
and legacy of the events of the Chesapeake Campaign and the
need for protection and interpretation of related historical
The proposed trail represents an opportunity for an
effective partnership among Federal, State, and local
governments, a dedicated trail organization, and the many
public and private site managers to administer and maintain a
federally designated commemorative trail along the historic
routes of the Chesapeake Campaign. Because of its emphasis on
partnerships, this approach provides the greatest flexibility
for resource protection while creating a framework for
interpretation and visitor experience.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my remarks and I would be
happy to respond to any questions that you and the committee
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
S. 958, 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 90-543--OCT. 2, 1968
AN ACT To establish a national trails system, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. This Act may be cited as the ``National Trails
* * * * * * *
NATIONAL SCENIC TRAILS
Sec. 5. (a) National scenic trails shall be authorized and
designated only by Act of Congress. There are hereby
established as the initial National Scenic Trails:
* * * * * * *
(25) Star-spangled banner national historical
(A) In general.--The Star-Spangled Banner
National Historic Trail, a trail not consisting
of water and overland routes totaling
approximately 290 miles extending from southern
Maryland through the District of Columbia and
Virginia, and north to Baltimore, Maryland,
commemorating the Chesapeake Campaign of the
War of 1812 (including British invasion of
Washington, District of Columbia, and its
associated feints and the Battle of Baltimore
in summer 1814), as generally depicted on the
maps contained in the report entitled `Star-
Spangled Banner National Historic Trail
Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact
Statement,' and dated March 2004.
(B) Map.--A map generally depicting the trail
shall be maintained on file and available for
public inspection in the appropriate offices of
the National Park Service.
(C) Administration.--Subject to subparagraph
(E)(ii), the trail shall be administered by the
Secretary of the Interior.
(D) Land acquisition.--No land or interest in
land outside the exterior boundaries of any
federally administered area may be acquired by
the United States for the trail except with the
consent of the owner of the land or interest in
(E) Public participation.--The Secretary of
the Interior shall--
(i) encourage communities, owners of
land along the trail, and volunteer
trail groups to participate in the
planning, development, and maintenance
of the trail; and
(ii) consult with other affected
landowners and Federal, State, and
local agencies in the administration of
(F) Interpretation and assistance.--Subject
to the availability of appropriations, the
Secretary of the Interior may provide to State
and local governments and nonprofit
organizations interpretive programs and
services and, through Fort McHenry National
Monument and Shrine, technical assistance, for
use in carrying out preservation and
development of, and education relating to the
War of 1812 along, the trail.