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110th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 110-839
MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK BOUNDARY REVISION ACT
September 11, 2008.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on
the State of the Union and ordered to be printed
Mr. Rahall, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the
R E P O R T
[To accompany H.R. 5853]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 5853) to expand the boundary of the Minute Man
National Historical Park in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
to include Barrett's Farm, and for other purposes, having
considered the same, report favorably thereon without amendment
and recommend that the bill do pass.
PURPOSE OF THE BILL
The purpose of H.R. 5853 is to modify the boundary of the
Minute Man National Historical Park in Massachusetts to include
Barrett's Farm, and for other purposes.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
Minute Man National Historical Park was established by
Congress on September 21, 1959, to preserve, protect, and
interpret many of the historic sites and structures associated
with the opening battles of the American Revolution. The Park
encompasses 967 acres in total and is located in three
geographical units in Concord, Lexington, and Lincoln,
In December 2006, Congress directed the National Park
Service (NPS) to study and assess the suitability of including
the Colonel James Barrett Farm (Barrett's Farm) as part of the
Park. The Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Study
and Environmental Assessment was completed in August 2007, and
concluded that the farmhouse, which is ``remarkably well
preserved,'' and surrounding farmland met the criteria for
expansion and should be included within the Park.
Colonel James Barrett was a leading Revolutionary War
patriot and military figure and his farm, in Concord, played a
significant role in the events leading up to the opening
battles of the Revolutionary War at Lexington and Concord in
H.R. 5853 will permit the inclusion of a total of 67 acres
within the Park boundary and add significant historical
properties to the Park--but most of those will continue to be
cooperatively managed by private groups and the local
government. However, the NPS envisions acquiring 4.5 acres that
specifically includes the Barrett farmhouse and the adjacent
farmland. The Secretary is only authorized to acquire land from
willing sellers with donated or appropriated funds, or by
donation or exchange.
This bill enjoys the support of the entire Massachusetts
Congressional delegation. A companion bill, S. 2513, supported
by both Senators from Massachusetts, was reported out of the
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by voice vote.
H.R. 5853 was introduced on April 17, 2008 by
Representative Tsongas (D-MA). The bill was referred to the
Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the
Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. At a
hearing before the Subcommittee on July 15, 2008, the
Administration testified in support of the bill.
On July 23, 2008, the Subcommittee was discharged from
further consideration of the legislation and the Full Natural
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Representative
Sali (R-ID) offered an amendment requiring that the lands added
to the park would be exclusively governed by state and local
laws regarding the possession or use of a weapon, including a
concealed weapon. The Sali amendment was not agreed to by a
recorded vote of 9 yeas and 11 nays, as follows:
The bill was then ordered favorably reported to the House
of Representatives by voice vote.
Section 1. Short title
Section 1 provides that the Act may be cited as the
``Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act''.
Section 2. Minute Man National Historical Park boundary revision.
Subsection 2(a) directs that the boundary of the Minute Man
National Historical Park is to be modified to include the area
generally depicted on the map entitled ``Minute Man National
Historical Park Proposed Boundary'' and numbered 406/81001,
dated July 2007. It further provides that the map shall be made
available and on file for inspection by the public in the
appropriate offices of the National Park Service at the
Department of the Interior.
Subsection 2(b) allows for the acquisition of certain
lands. It provides that the Secretary of the Interior may
acquire land, or interest in land, within the area of the
modified boundary described in subsection (a). It stipulates
that the land may only be purchased from willing sellers with
donated or appropriated funds, by donation, or by exchange.
Subsection 2(c) states that lands added to the park under
Section 2 shall be administered by the Secretary of the
Interior as part of the Minute Man National Historical Park,
and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.
CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY STATEMENT
Article I, section 8 of the Constitution of the United
States grants Congress the authority to enact this bill.
COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII
1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(2) of rule XIII of the
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(3)(B)
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the
Congressional Budget Act of 1974.
2. Congressional Budget Act. As required by clause 3(c)(2)
of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and
section 308(a) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, this
bill does not contain any new budget authority, spending
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in
revenues or tax expenditures.
3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or
objective of this bill is to expand the boundary of the Minute
Man National Historical Park in the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts to include Barrett's Farm, and for other
4. Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate. Under clause
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of
Representatives and section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act
of 1974, the Committee has received the following cost estimate
for this bill from the Director of the Congressional Budget
H.R. 5853--Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act
H.R. 5853 would modify the boundary of the Minute Man
National Historical Park in Massachusetts. Based on information
provided by the National Park Service (NPS) and assuming
appropriation of the necessary amounts, CBO estimates that
implementing the legislation would cost $2.5 million over the
2009-2013 period. Enacting the bill would have no effect on
revenues or direct spending.
The bill 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.
H.R. 5853 would add about 70 acres to the boundary of the
historical park and authorize the NPS to acquire the additional
acreage by purchase, donation, or exchange. CBO expects that
most of the land to be added by the bill would continue to be
owned and managed by the town of Concord. We estimate that the
NPS would purchase less than five acres, including the site of
the James Barrett Farm, for about $2 million in 2009. Federal
costs to restore and develop that property would not be
significant because the current owner, a local nonprofit
organization, is currently restoring it with private donations.
Finally, we estimate that ongoing costs to operate and maintain
the new property would be about $100,000 a year.
On May 20, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for S.
2513, the Minute Man National Historical Park Boundary Revision
Act, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and
Natural Resources on May 7, 2008. S. 2513 and H.R. 5853 are
very similar, and the estimated costs of the two versions of
the legislation are the same.
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Deborah Reis.
The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant
Director for Budget Analysis.
COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4
This bill contains no unfunded mandates.
H.R. 5853 does not contain any congressional earmarks,
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in
clause 9(d), 9(e) or 9(f) of rule XXI.
PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW
This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing