Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       Calendar No. 272
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                    109-171

======================================================================
 
       CATOCTIN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL RECREATION AREA DESIGNATION ACT

                                _______
                                

                October 27, 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. 777]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 777) to designate Catoctin Mountain Park 
in the State of Maryland as the ``Catoctin Mountain National 
Recreation Area'', and for other purposes, 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, line 6, strike ``in 1952, approximately 
5,000'' and insert ``in 1954, approximately 4,400''.
    2. On page 3, line 11, strike ``841/80444, and dated August 
14, 2002'' and insert ``841/80444B and dated April 2005'' .

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

    The purpose of S. 777 is to designate Catoctin Mountain 
Park as the Catoctin Mountain National Recreation Area.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Catoctin Mountain Park, located in northern Maryland, was 
established in 1935 by the National Industrial Recovery Act as 
the Catoctin Recreation Demonstration Area (RDA) and 
transferred to the National Park Service by Executive Order 
7496 on November 14, 1936. On July 7, 1942, the Presidential 
Retreat was established in the park. President Roosevelt called 
the Camp ``Shangri-La'' after the mountain kingdom in James 
Hilton's book Lost Horizon. It was renamed Camp David in 1953 
by President Eisenhower in honor of his grandson. On June 11, 
1954, approximately 4,400 acres south of Route 77 was 
transferred to the State of Maryland and became Cunningham 
Falls State Park. The current designation of the remaining part 
of the Catoctin RDA was changed to Catoctin Mountain Park on 
July 12, 1954. The park includes 5,770 acres with an average 
annual visitation of 700,000.
    Catoctin Mountain Park is continually misidentified as 
either containing lake and beach areas associated with 
Cunningham Falls State Park or as being operated by the State 
of Maryland. Designation of the area as a National Recreation 
Area will eliminate the confusion andbe more consistent with 
similar recreation areas.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 777 was introduced by Senator Sarbanes on April 13, 
2005. Similar legislation, S. 328, was introduced by Senators 
Sarbanes and Mikulski in the 108th Congress. The Committee 
ordered S. 328 favorably reported on March 19, 2003 (S. Rept. 
10824). S. 328 passed the Senate by unanimous consent on April 
7, 2003. No further action occurred in the House of 
Representatives prior to the sine die adjournment of the 108th 
Congress.
    The Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 777 
on April 28, 2005, (S. Hrg. 10974). At its business meeting on 
September 28, 2005, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources ordered S. 777 favorably reported with amendments.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    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. 777 if 
amended as described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During its consideration of S. 777 the Committee adopted 
two technical amendments. One corrected an acreage reference in 
one of the findings and the other provided an updated map 
reference.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 entitles the bill the ``Catoctin Mountain 
National Recreation Area Designation Act.''
    Section 2 contains congressional findings and a statement 
of purpose.
    Section 3 defines key terms used in the bill.
    Section 4 redesignates Catoctin Mountain Park as the 
Catoctin Mountain Park National Recreation Area as depicted on 
the referenced map. The section contains standard language 
directing the Secretary of the Interior to administer the park 
in accordance with the laws generally applicable to units of 
the National Park System.
    Section 5 authorizes the appropriation of such sums as are 
necessary.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of costs of this measure has been 
provided by the Congressional Budget Office:

S. 777--Catoctin Mountain National Recreation Area Designation Act

    S. 777 would redesignate the Catoctin Mountain Park in 
Maryland as the Catoctin Mountain National Recreation Area. The 
bill would authorize the appropriation of whatever amounts are 
necessary to implement the redesignation.
    CBO estimates that implementing S. 777 would have no 
significant effect on the federal budget. The 5,800-acre park, 
which is already a unit of the National Park System, would 
continue to be operated by the National Park Service under its 
existing authority. The bill would have no effect on the park's 
boundaries, facilities, or operations. We expect that onetime 
costs to revise park brochures, maps, and signs would be 
minimal because most such revisions would take place in 
conjunction with scheduled reprinting and other routine park 
operations. CBO estimates that enacting S. 777 would not affect 
revenues or direct spending.
    S. 777 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.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis. 
This 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. 777. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 777, as ordered reported.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The views of the Administration on S. 777 were included in 
testimony received by the Committee at a hearing on the bill on 
April 28, 2005 as follows:

   Statement of Michael Soukup, Associate Director, Natural Resource 
   Stewardship and Science, National Park Service, Department of the 
                                Interior

    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
views of the Department of the Interior on S. 777, a bill to 
designate Catoctin Mountain Park in the State of Maryland as 
the ``Catoctin Mountain National Recreation Area.''
    The Department supports S. 777 with two technical 
corrections added at the end of the testimony. This legislation 
would provide a name for Catoctin Mountain Park that is 
appropriate for the purpose and use of this unit of the 
National Park System, and it also would update the authorities 
for administering this park.
    Catoctin Mountain Park had its origins as one of 46 Great 
Depression-era Recreational Demonstration Areas established by 
the Resettlement Administration, which was authorized under the 
National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) and Executive Orders of 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The Resettlement 
Administration acquired and developed Recreational 
Demonstration Areas across the nation to provide accessible, 
low-cost, quality outdoor recreation opportunities. They were 
used for day trips, picnicking, and overnight camping by 
families, social groups, and public organizations.
    Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area, which comprised 
approximately 20,000 acres, was acquired after the area had 
sustained years of charcoal production, mountain farming, and 
harvesting of trees for timber. The Works Progress 
Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps administered 
projects at Catoctin both to put people back to work and to 
establish an outdoor recreation area for the urban dwellers of 
nearby Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland. Jurisdiction 
over the Catoctin Recreational Demonstration Area was 
transferred to the National Park Service in 1935 by Executive 
Order.
    In 1942, one of the cabin camps built at Catoctin, Camp Hi-
Catoctin, was selected by President Roosevelt as the 
Presidential Retreat we know today as Camp David. Catoctin's 
distinctive history also includes serving as an O.S.S. training 
camp during World War II, and having the first Job Corps camp 
in the United States and the nation's oldest camp for the 
disabled.
    In 1954, approximately 4,400 acres of the area was 
transferred to the State of Maryland and became Cunningham 
Falls State Park. That same year, the Director of the National 
Park Service approved the renaming of Catoctin Recreational 
Demonstration Area as ``Catoctin Mountain Park'' and Congress 
provided authority to exchange lands to consolidate holdings in 
the park. Catoctin Mountain Park is currently 5,810 acres in 
size and has an average annual visitation of 700,000. The park, 
consisting largely of eastern hardwood forest, has many 
attractions for visitors: camping, picnicking, fishing, 25 
miles of hiking trails and scenic mountain vistas.
    The proximity of Catoctin Mountain Park, Camp David, and 
Cunningham Falls State Park has caused longstanding confusion 
for visitors to the area. Catoctin Mountain Park is continually 
misunderstood as being closed to the public because of the 
presence of Camp David. Renaming the park as a ``national 
recreation area'' would offer an opportunity to reintroduce the 
park as an area that is open to public recreation. The public 
also has difficulty understanding why there is a difference 
between the activities permitted at Catoctin Mountain Park and 
those permitted at Cunningham Falls State Park. Including the 
word ``national'' in the name of Catoctin Mountain Park would 
facilitate efforts to educate the public about these 
differences and to emphasize the value the National Park 
Service places on protecting cultural and natural resources for 
future generations.
    In addition, the name ``national recreation area'' would 
also help distinguish Catoctin Mountain Park from other local 
attractions, such as the privately-owned Catoctin Wildlife 
Preserve and Zoo, which are often confused with the park. And, 
the name change would enhance the efforts of the Maryland 
Office of Tourism Development and local tourism officials to 
promote the presence of the five National Park System units 
located in Frederick County, one of which is Catoctin Mountain 
Park.
    In addition to changing the name of the Catoctin Mountain 
Park, S. 777 would provide the usual authorities that are 
included when a new unit of the National Park System is 
established. These provisions will make it easier for the 
National Park Service to administer the unit than continuing to 
rely on the piecemeal authorities that were granted since the 
1930's. The authorities provided by S. 777 include providing 
for administration of the unit in accordance with laws 
governing the National Park System, and authorizing 
appropriations for the park. It would also formally establish a 
boundary, which is essentially the exiting ownership of the 
National Park Service, and permit land acquisition that would 
allow for minor boundary adjustments although none is 
contemplated at this time. These provisions will ensure that 
the park is able to continue to appropriately administer the 
park's significant historic resources and important natural 
areas. The costs associated with this legislation would be 
negligible.
    We are currently reviewing previous authorities for 
Catoctin Mountain Park to determine whether any of them should 
be repealed in conjunction with providing the new authority for 
the park under S. 777. We will advise the subcommittee of our 
findings as soon as possible.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks. I will be happy to 
answer any questions you or the other committee members have.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill S. 777, as ordered 
reported.