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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
R E P O R T
[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
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Hudson River Valley Special Resource
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) Secretary.--The term ``Secretary'' means the Secretary of
(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
(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
(C) protect and respect the rights of private land
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
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
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.
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
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
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. 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.
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
CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
If enacted, this bill would make no changes in existing
ADDITIONAL VIEWS ON H.R. 4003, HUDSON RIVER VALLEY SPECIAL RESOURCE
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
We look forward to including this amendment in subsequent
legislation authorizing studies for new Park designations and
welcome the support of our Democrat colleagues.