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Calendar No. 13
109th Congress Report
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.
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.
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.
Section 1 entitles the bill ``Great Basin National Heritage
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
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
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
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
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
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. 249.
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