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111th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     111-436

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



 
             HUDSON RIVER VALLEY SPECIAL RESOURCE STUDY ACT

                                _______
                                

 March 11, 2010.--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 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 4003]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred the 
bill (H.R. 4003) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to 
conduct a special resource study to evaluate resources in the 
Hudson River Valley in the State of New York to determine the 
suitability and feasibility of establishing the site as a unit 
of the National Park System, and for other purposes, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.
  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Hudson River Valley Special Resource 
Study Act''.

SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of 
        the Interior.
          (2) Study area.--The term ``study area''--
                  (A) means the portion of the Hudson River that flows 
                from Rodgers Island at Fort Edward to the southern-most 
                boundary of Westchester County, New York; and
                  (B) includes any relevant sites and landscapes within 
                the counties in New York that abut the area described 
                in subparagraph (A).

SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION OF STUDY.

  (a) In General.--As soon as funds are made available for this 
purpose, the Secretary shall complete a special resource study of the 
Hudson River Valley in the State of New York to evaluate--
          (1) the national significance of the area; and
          (2) the suitability and feasibility of designating the area 
        as a unit of the National Park System.
  (b) Study Guidelines.--In conducting the study under subsection (a), 
the Secretary shall--
          (1) use the criteria for the study of areas for potential 
        inclusion in the National Park System in accordance with 
        section 8(c) of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5(c));
          (2) determine the effect of the designation of the area as a 
        unit of the National Park System on existing commercial and 
        recreational activities, including but not limited to hunting, 
        fishing, trapping, recreational shooting, motor boat use, off-
        highway vehicle use, snowmobile use, and on the authorization, 
        construction, operation, maintenance, or improvement of energy 
        production and transmission infrastructure, and the effect on 
        the authority of State and local governments to manage those 
        activities;
          (3) identify any authorities that will compel or permit the 
        Secretary to influence local land use decisions (such as 
        zoning) or place restrictions on non-Federal land if the area 
        is designated a unit of the National Park System; and
          (4) closely examine park unit models, in particular national 
        river and recreation areas, as well as other landscape 
        protection models, that--
                  (A) encompass large areas of non-Federal lands within 
                their designated boundaries;
                  (B) foster public and private collaborative 
                arrangements for achieving National Park Service 
                objectives; and
                  (C) protect and respect the rights of private land 
                owners.

SEC. 4. REPORT.

  Not later than 36 months after the date that funds are first made 
available for this purpose, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee 
on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee 
on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report on the findings, 
conclusions, and recommendations of the study authorized by this Act.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 4003 is to direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate 
resources in the Hudson River Valley in the State of New York 
to determine the suitability and feasability of establishing 
the site as a unit of the National Park System, and for other 
purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The Hudson River played an important role in the history of 
area Native American communities and figured prominently in 
American history following Henry Hudson's successful 
exploration of the river in 1609. Crucial events relating to 
the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, the 
debate over the Constitution, the Industrial Revolution and 
Robert Fulton's first successful steamboat voyage, the life of 
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and the modern labor and 
environmental movements all took place in the Hudson River 
Valley.
    Since 1966 with the creation of the Hudson River Valley 
Commission, the federal government, joined by the state 
governments of New Jersey and New York and local 
municipalities, recognized the important cultural legacy of the 
river valley as well as its troubled environmental state. The 
commission set in motion future planning directives that would 
designate and celebrate important historical attributes of the 
river valley, look for ways to expand recreational 
opportunities in the river corridor, and establish a process 
for returning the river valley to a healthier state.
    The passage of legislation in 1996 establishing the Hudson 
River Valley National Heritage Area provided a framework for 
additional heritage tourism opportunities in the river valley. 
By establishing specific themes that highlight the historic, 
social and environmental history of the valley, the National 
Heritage Area encouraged area governments to work closely with 
private groups and businesses to encourage area tourism.
    H.R. 4003 would direct the Interior Department to study the 
resources of the Hudson River Valley in New York to determine 
the area's suitability and feasibility for inclusion in the 
National Park System. The study would encompass nearly 200 
river miles in 12 counties, from Fort Edward, south of 
Adirondack State Park, to the entrance to New York City. The 
bill directs the Department to examine other units of the 
National Park System such as national river and recreation 
areas, and other landscape protection models that could serve 
as an example.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 4003 was introduced on November 3, 2009 by 
Representative Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY). The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee 
to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Pubic Lands. 
On January 21, 2010, the subcommittee held a hearing on the 
bill. Representatives of the Department of the Interior spoke 
in favor of the legislation. A representative of the Property 
Rights Foundation of America, Inc. spoke in opposition.
    On February 24, 2010, the Subcommittee was discharged from 
further consideration of H.R. 4003 and the full Natural 
Resources Committee met to consider the bill. Representative 
Hinchey, (D-NY) offered an amendment in the nature of a 
substitute to strike the findings, extend the duration of the 
study from 24 to 36 months, refer to the study as a ``special 
resource study,'' and correct the pubic law citation.
    Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (R-UT) offered an 
amendment to the amendment in the nature of a substitute that 
would instruct the Secretary of the Interior to determine the 
effects of National Park Service designation on a variety of 
recreational, commercial, and energy concerns in the Hudson 
River Valley. The amendment also would instruct the Secretary 
to determine any authorities that will compel or permit the 
Secretary to influence local land use decisions or place 
restrictions on non-federal land. The amendment was adopted by 
a roll call vote of 35 to 0, as follows:


    The amendment in the nature of a substitute, as amended, 
was then adopted by voice vote. H.R. 4003, as amended, was then 
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
voice vote.

            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 direct the Secretary of the 
Interior to Conduct a special resource study to evaluate 
resources in the Hudson River Valley in the State of New York 
to determine the suitability and feasibility of establishing 
the site as a unit of the National Park System, and for other 
purposes.
    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 
Office:

H.R. 4003--Hudson River Valley Special Resource Study Act

    H.R. 4003 would require the National Park Service (NPS) to 
conduct a study of the Hudson River Valley in New York to 
evaluate the national significance of the area and to determine 
the feasibility and suitability of designating the valley as a 
unit of the National Park System. Based on information provided 
by the NPS and assuming the availability of appropriated funds, 
CBO estimates that conducting the required study would cost 
less than $500,000 over the next three years. Enacting H.R. 
4003 would not affect revenues or direct spending; therefore, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
    H.R. 4003 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 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.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    H.R. 4003 does not contain any congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined in 
clause 9 of rule XXI.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing 
law.

  ADDITIONAL VIEWS ON H.R. 4003, HUDSON RIVER VALLEY SPECIAL RESOURCE 
                               STUDY ACT

    We are pleased that by an overwhelming bipartisan vote the 
Committee adopted the Bishop of Utah Amendment that requires 
the National Park Service to document activities that will be 
limited or eliminated by a park designation to follow the 
authorized study. As Congress considers additions to the 
National Park System, the public is entitled to know which 
existing activities, such as hunting, fishing, boating, 
snowmobiling, and energy production and transmission, will be 
prohibited or limited. National Park designation comes with an 
abundance of regulations and direct federal management, and it 
is important that people living in the affected area know ahead 
of time how much authority over their local affairs will be 
ceded to the federal government.
    The Bishop amendment also requires the National Park 
Service to detail the various authorities in their holster that 
will allow it to become involved in local land-use planning and 
zoning decisions that restrict the property rights of 
neighboring homeowners and communities. The citizens included 
in and around any designation must be made aware that whatever 
can be seen, heard, or sometimes even smelled from the park may 
fall under the guardianship of a federal bureaucrat, where 
property rights and economic health do not enter into the 
decision-making process.
    We look forward to including this amendment in subsequent 
legislation authorizing studies for new Park designations and 
welcome the support of our Democrat colleagues.

                                   Rob Bishop.
                                   Doc Hastings.