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                                                        Calendar No. 13
109th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 1st Session                                                      109-6

======================================================================

 
                GREAT BASIN NATIONAL HERITAGE ROUTE ACT

                                _______
                                

               February 16, 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. 249]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 249) to establish the Great Basin 
National Heritage Route in the States of Nevada and Utah, 
reports favorably thereon without amendment and recommends that 
the bill do pass.

                         PURPOSE OF THE MEASURE

    The purpose of S. 249 is to establish the Great Basin 
National Heritage Route in the States of Nevada and Utah.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The Great Basin National Heritage Route includes a wide 
range of important components of the Western landscape. The 
Fremont, Shoshone, Utah, and Paiute Indians, the explorers, 
trappers, miners, farmers, and ranchers all traveled through 
this area. Some stayed and made their homes here. The 
attractions of the high desert valleys and mountains were 
irresistible. They found treasures in this semi-arid region--
the soothing green of a mountain stream, the jewel of an alpine 
lake tucked behind a high ridge, the subtle colors of the 
landscape washed with wildflowers in a wet year, singed with 
earth tones in a drought. Aspects of pre-historic, pioneer, 
mining, and World War II era internment camps are all present 
along the Great Basin National Heritage Route.
    Islands of diversity rising into the sky, the mountains of 
the Great Basin are surrounded by a sea of desert. The 
elevation change is sometimes more than a mile from valley 
floor to mountain top. Sagebrush and greasewood in the valleys 
give way to juniper and pinyon forests in the foothills. 
Bristlecone Pines--some more than 3,000 years old--and other 
tall timber grow on high peaks.
    The Great Basin Heritage Area Partnership is a grass roots 
organization incorporated as a non-profit organization in the 
States of Nevada and Utah. It works toward preserving the 
heritage of that central area of the Great Basin which includes 
Millard County, Utah; White Pine County, Nevada; the Duckwater 
Shoshone Reservation; and the Ely Shoshone Reservation.
    The Great Basin contains a nationally distinct landscape 
defined by patterns of human activity within spectacular 
natural resources. Its history, cultural, natural and 
recreational resources are of national importance. 
Establishment of the Great Basin Heritage Route will assist in 
the preservation and interpretation of the area's unique and 
important resources for the benefit of all Americans.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 249 was introduced by Senators Reid, Bennett, and Ensign 
on February 1, 2005. During the 108th Congress, the Committee 
considered identical legislation, S. 840. S. 840 was introduced 
by Senators Reid, Bennett, Ensign, and Hatch on April 9, 2003. 
The text of S. 840 was incorporated into S. 1521, which passed 
the Senate by unanimous consent on December 7, 2004. The House 
of Representatives did not consider the bill prior to the sine 
die adjournment of the 108th Congress.
    At a business meeting on February 9, 2005, the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources ordered S. 249 favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in an 
open business session on February 9, 2005, by a unanimous voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
249.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

    Section 1 entitles the bill ``Great Basin National Heritage 
Route Act.''
    Section 2 sets forth congressional findings.
    Section 3 defines key terms in the Act.
    Section 4 establishes the Great Basin National Heritage 
Route Act and describes the counties and reservation within the 
States of Utah and Nevada to be included within the Heritage 
Route. This section also designates the Great Basin Heritage 
Route Partnership as the management entity and describes the 
composition of the Board of Directors.
    Section 5 describes the memorandum of understanding to be 
entered into by the Secretary of the Interior with consultation 
from Governors of the States of Utah and Nevada, tribal 
governments of Indian tribes and the management entity.
    Subsection (b) describes inclusions within the memorandum 
including a description of the Heritage Route, goals and 
objectives, management entity, statements of the financial 
commitment of partners, and the roles of the States of Nevada 
and Utah for management of the Heritage Route.
    Subsection (c) requires the Secretary of the Interior 
(Secretary) provide for local participation in developing the 
memorandum.
    Subsection (d) defines procedures for amendments to the 
memorandum of understanding.
    Section 6 requires the management entity to prepare a 
management plan for the Heritage Route and sets forth elements 
of the plan.
    Subsection (d) sets forth requirements and deadlines for 
the submission, approval or disapproval, and amendment of the 
proposed management of the plan.
    Section 7 sets forth the authorities and duties of the 
management entity.
    Section 8 states that the Secretary may provide technical 
and financial assistance upon request by the management entity 
for development and implementation of the management plan. 
Priority will be given to actions that facilitate conservation 
of significant resources and for opportunities consistent with 
the resources of the heritage area.
    Section 9 states that the Act does not grant any Federal 
agency regulatory authority and will have no effect on the 
authority of any local, State or Federal Government to regulate 
land use or environmental quality designations as provided for 
by law.
    Section 10 authorizes to be appropriated $1 million to 
carry out this Act, with no more than $1 million authorized to 
be appropriated in any given fiscal year. The Federal share may 
not exceed 50 percent of the total costs of any given activity.
    Section 11 terminates the authority to assist the 
management entity 15 years after the date of enactment.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

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

                                                 February 14, 2005.
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 S. 249, the Great Basin 
National Heritage Route Act.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Lisa Cash 
Driskill.
            Sincerely,
                                               Douglas Holtz-Eakin.
    Enclosure.

S. 249--Great Basin National Heritage Route Act

    S. 249 would establish the Great Basin National Heritage 
Route through Nevada and Utah and would designate the Great 
Basin Heritage Route Partnership as the managing entity for the 
area. The nonprofit corporation would be responsible for 
developing and implementing a management plan for the 
protection, development, and management of cultural and other 
area resources. Finally, the legislation would authorize the 
appropriation of $10 million, not to exceed $1 million 
annually, for technical and financial assistance to the 
partnership over the next 15 years.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing S. 249 would cost $10 million over 
the next 10 to 15 years. Such amounts would be used to cover a 
portion of the costs of planning, establishing, operating, and 
interpreting the heritage area. Enacting this legislation would 
have no effect on revenues or direct spending.
    S. 249 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 Lisa Cash 
Driskill. 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. 249.
    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. 249.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    On February 9, 2005, the Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources requested legislative reports from the Department of 
the Interior setting forth executive views of S. 249. These 
views had not been received at the time this report was filed. 
When the reports become available, the Chairman will request 
that they be printed in the Congressional Record for the advice 
of the Senate.

                        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. 249 as ordered 
reported.