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                                                        Calendar No. 58
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                     109-42
======================================================================

 
               UINTAH RESEARCH AND CURATORIAL CENTER ACT

                                _______
                                

                 March 17, 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. 182]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 182) to provide for the establishment of 
the Uintah Research and Curatorial Center for Dinosaur National 
Monument in the States of Colorado and Utah, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
with an amendment and recommends that the bill, as amended, do 
pass.
    The amendment is as follows:
    On page 2, line 4, strike ``Uintah'' and insert ``Uinta''.

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

    The purpose of S. 182 is to authorize the establishment of 
the Uintah Research and Curatorial Center in Utah near Dinosaur 
National Monument.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Dinosaur National Monument was designated by President 
Woodrow Wilson in 1915. Since that time, the Monument has been 
a haven for both amateur and expert dinosaur enthusiasts. Known 
worldwide as one of the most productive sites for Jurassic era 
fossils and bones, the Monument has over 600,000 artifacts in 
its collection. The collection is housed in 17 separate 
facilities in the park and many of them are unavailable to the 
public. In addition, many of the artifacts are at risk because 
they are not stored in facilities that meet National Park 
Service standards for artifact storage.
    S. 182 would establish the Uintah Research and Curatorial 
Center (Center). The 22,500 square foot facility would be 
constructed outside the Monument's boundary at a site near the 
Utah Field House of Natural History Museum (Museum) in Vernal, 
Utah. The curatorial and research facility will fill the role 
of fossil and archeological collection center and archive for 
the Monument. Additionally, it will fill operational 
requirements for the park and other partners, including the 
Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. By locating 
the Center adjacent to the Museum, interns, park staff, and 
visiting scholars will have access to the Museum's exhibit 
space, classrooms, conference rooms, and education facilities. 
S. 182 would also authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
accept the donation of the building site. The National Park 
Service estimates the total cost of building the Center to be 
approximately $8.7 million.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Senator Bennett introduced S. 182 on January 26, 2005. 
During the 108th Congress, the Committee considered identical 
legislation (S. 1678). Senator Bennett introduced S. 1678 on 
September 9, 2003. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources' Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 
1678 on June 8, 2004. At the business meeting on September 15, 
2004, the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 
1678 favorably reported (S. Rept. 108-363), with an amendment 
in the nature of a substitute. S. 1678 passed the Senate, as 
amended, by unanimous consent on October 10, 2004. The House of 
Representatives did not consider the bill prior to the sine die 
adjournment of the 108th Congress.
    At its business meeting on February 16, 2005, the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 182 favorably 
reported with a technical amendment.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an open 
business session on February 16, 2005, by a voice of a quorum 
present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 182, if amended as 
described herein.

                          COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS

    During its consideration of S. 182, the Committee adopted 
an amendment in the nature of a substitute and an amendment to 
the title. The amendments correct the title and the text of the 
bill to reflect the correct spelling of ``Uinta.''

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 entitles this bill the ``Uintah Research and 
Curatorial Act.''
    Section 2 defines key terms used in the Act.
    Section 3(a) authorizes the Secretary of Interior 
(Secretary) to establish the Uintah Research and Curatorial 
Center (Center).
    Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretary to accept the 
donation of not more than five acres of land located in Uintah 
County, near Vernal, Utah, as identified on the map referenced 
in section 2.
    Subsection (c) requires the map referenced in section 2 to 
be on file for public inspection in appropriate National Park 
Service offices.
    Subsection (d) describes the authorized function of the 
Center.
    Subsection (e) directs the Secretary to administer the land 
described in subsection (b). The land is not to be a part of 
the Dinosaur National Monument and as such is not subject to 
laws or regulations applicable to the Monument; however, the 
Secretary is authorized to promulgate any regulations necessary 
for the management of the Center. This section also allows the 
Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements to provide for 
curatorial, research and operational services.
    Section 4 authorizes the appropriation of $8,800,000 to 
carry out this Act.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

S. 182--Uintah Research and Curatorial Center Act

    S. 182 would direct the Department of the Interior to 
establish a research and curatorial center near the Dinosaur 
National monument, which is located in Colorado and Utah. The 
bill would authorize the department to acquire by donation up 
to five acres of land around Vernal, Utah, as a site for the 
new center. The facility would be used to store and conduct 
research on fossils and other items owned by the National Park 
Service (NPS) and other collectors. Under the bill, the center 
could be managed, operated, or used by governmental agencies, 
educational institutions, or nonprofit organizations through 
cooperative agreements between the department and those 
entities. S. 182 would authorize the appropriation of $8.8 
million to carry out these activities.
    Based on information provided by the NPS and assuming 
appropriation of the authorized amount, CBO estimates that the 
Federal Government would spend $8.8 million over the next 5 
years to construct the research and curatorial center. We 
estimate that the cost of furnishing, equipping, operating, and 
maintaining the center after 2010 would be about $400,000 a 
year, assuming the availability of appropriated funds. Enacting 
S. 182 would not affect revenues or direct spending.
    The legislation 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. 182.
    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. 182.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    During the 108th Congress, the Committee considered similar 
legislation (S. 1678). The views of the Administration were 
included in testimony received by the Committee at a hearing on 
S. 1678 in the 108th Congress on June 8, 2004, as follows:

  Statement of Janet Snyder Matthews, Associate Director for Cultural 
      Resources, National Park Service, Department of the Interior

    Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for 
the opportunity to appear before you today to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 1678, a bill to 
establish the Uintah Research and Curatorial Center in the city 
of Vernal, Utah. We thank Senator Bennett and the other members 
of the Utah delegation for their interest and support in 
protecting the resources of Dinosaur National Monument, the 
site for which the Center is intended.
    The Department of the Interior supports this bill with a 
technical amendment, to accurately reflect the correct spelling 
of the name of the center--Uinta. The partners have chosen to 
spell the name of the center in the same way the Uinta 
Mountains are spelled and not the County of Uintah. We also 
have a current version of the map that more accurately shows 
the location of the center in its relationship to other partner 
structures on the site.
    S. 1678 would authorize the National Park Service to 
establish the Uinta Research and Curatorial Center on land 
outside the boundary of Dinosaur National Monument. The land 
would be acquired by donation from the city of Vernal, Utah and 
be no more than five acres. S. 1678 would authorize the center 
to be used for the curation, storage, and research of the 
museum collection of Dinosaur National Monument and provide for 
curation of other collections held by other federal agencies, 
tribes, and universities under the guidelines of cooperative 
agreements with the Secretary. The State of Utah, local 
agencies, academic institutions, and appropriate private 
nonprofit entities may also enter into agreements to manage and 
use the site. The bill requires that the land not become part 
of the Monument or be subject to laws and regulations 
applicable to the Monument. This language is common when 
Congress has authorized NPS administrative sites in the past.
    Dinosaur National Monument was established on October 9, 
1915 to protect an extraordinary deposit of dinosaur remains of 
the Jurassic period. While the park contains many other 
significant resources, the centerpiece continues to be the 
paleontological specimens for which the park was originally 
established. They are considered by the scientific community as 
internationally significant and represent the single best 
window into the life of Jurassic dinosaurs. The collection 
contains type specimens from which specific dinosaurs are 
named, as well as many one-of-a-kind specimens. The collection 
is heavily used by outside researchers as well as the NPS. The 
collection also contains significant archaeological, 
biological, archival, and historic objects that preserve the 
cultural and natural history of the park.
    The 1986 General Management Plan identified a need for a 
collections building and upgraded lab facilities under the 
preferred alternative. In the late 1990's Utah State Parks 
began planning for the construction/reconstruction of the Utah 
Field House Museum in Vernal. The park began working with the 
State to develop a partnership to provide collections space for 
the state as well as the park.The Field House Museum received 
$5.5 million from the State of Utah for the reconstruction, to be co-
located with the collections building on property acquired by the City 
of Vernal and Uintah County. The portion of the property for the Uinta 
Research and Curatorial Center is being donated to the National Park 
Service (approximately one- fourth of the lot, estimated value of 
approximately $375,000).
    The 2001 Collection Management Report identified 609,000 
items in the collection. The collections are currently stored 
in 11 different facilities throughout the park, including 
garages, most of which meet few NPS museum standards. 
Maintenance and curation has been deferred due to lack of space 
or proper facility to prepare for storage. Of the 957 museum 
standards currently applicable to the park, the park barely 
meets 50% of them.
    This new facility would allow the park to meet nearly 98% 
of those standards. Of particular importance are the health and 
safety concerns from radon gas production in the enclosed areas 
where radioactive specimens are currently stored. Due to lack 
of space, park staff must conduct their duties in the aisles of 
the old paleo lab at the Quarry Visitor Center. This lab, as 
well as the entire Center, is in serious need of 
rehabilitation, having suffered extensive structural distress 
since its construction in the 1950's. As such, the Quarry 
Visitor provides neither adequate storage space nor a suitable 
environment for staff to work in. The NPS has a project planned 
to stabilize and rehabilitate the historic Quarry Visitor 
Center in FY 2007 as part of the five-year line-item 
construction program.
    The Uinta Center will provide for approximately 22,500 
square feet of work and storage space and cost approximately 
$8.8 million, which covers only the construction of the 
building. Funding for the construction is currently programmed 
for FY 2007. In addition, one-time costs for moving the 
collection, equipping the laboratory, furnishing offices, and 
meeting IT needs are estimated to be approximately $400,000. 
Additional recurring costs for the operation of the center--
either through direct additional NPS funding, or partnerships 
with other agencies that have expressed an interest in using 
the facility, are estimated to be approximately $250,000 to 
$300,000 per year. This includes additional staffing to perform 
administrative and maintenance functions as well as basic 
operational costs (utilities, necessary supplies, materials and 
equipment).
    A decision was made early in the process not to include the 
site as part of the monument. The site is not contiguous with 
the present park boundary and is nearly fourteen miles from the 
closest park entrance. However, it is in the City of Vernal, 
Utah and is the site for the newly constructed Utah Field House 
of Natural History Museum. The State will be the primary 
partner with the NPS. The Field House will provide visitors and 
residents access to the museum and programs on the natural 
history of the area, while the Uinta Center will provide the 
storage and research function of a world-class museum. Other 
partners in the project include the City of Vernal, Utah and 
Uintah County who have donated the land for the project. Both 
communities see this venture as an economic benefit and an 
enhancement to the surrounding region's tourism efforts. The 
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Ashley National Forest 
will also work with us and store their collections here.
    The Uinta Research and Curatorial Center is another example 
of the goal of the Department and the National Park Service to 
meet the needs of the agency while working with partners. The 
Center will provide proper storage for irreplaceable artifacts, 
improve working conditions for staff and visiting scientists, 
partner with the state to provide educational opportunities, 
and give visitors the chance to discover the many wonders of 
eastern Utah.
    That concludes my remarks, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy 
to respond to any questions you and the committee may 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. 182 as ordered 
reported.