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111th Congress Report
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session 111-482
BUFFALO SOLDIERS IN THE NATIONAL PARKS STUDY ACT
May 18, 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. 4491]
[Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]
The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred
the bill (H.R. 4491) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior
to conduct a study of alternatives for commemorating and
interpreting the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in the early
years of the National Parks, 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. 4491 is to authorize the Secretary of
the Interior to conduct a study of alternatives for
commemorating and interpreting the role of the Buffalo Soldiers
in the early years of the National Parks.
BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION
H.R. 4491 would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to
initiate a study to determine effective ways to commemorate the
Buffalo Soldiers and their role in helping to protect, build,
and preserve America's national parks, as well as to ascertain
the suitability and feasibility of potential historic sites,
national landmarks, and a national historic trail related to
In the late 19th and early 20th century, America's Buffalo
Soldiers--the all-African American cavalrymen of the U.S.
Army--rode from the San Francisco Presidio to the foothills of
the Sierra Nevada Mountains, serving as the protectors of
several of the country's first national parks. Led by Lt.
Colonel Charles Young--the first African American
superintendent of Yosemite National Park--these de facto
rangers built trails, preserved the giant sequoias, and
protected the wildlife of Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks
from poaching during these critical, formative years.
H.R. 4491 directs the Secretary of the Interior to research
the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in protecting these nascent
parks and examine, among other things, the possible creation of
a National Historic Trail along the route used by these
H.R. 4491 was introduced on January 10, 2010 by
Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA). The bill was referred to
the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee to
the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.
On February 25, 2010, the Subcommittee held a hearing on the
bill during which the National Park Service testified in favor
of the legislation.
On May 5, 2010, the Subcommittee on National Parks,
Forests, and Public Lands was discharged from further
consideration of H.R. 4491 and the full Natural Resources
Committee met to consider the bill. The bill was ordered
favorably reported to the House of Representatives by voice
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 authorize the Secretary of the
Interior to conduct a study of alternatives for commemorating
and interpreting the role of the Buffalo Soldiers in the early
years of the National Parks.
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. 4491--A bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct
a study of alternatives for commemorating and interpreting the
role of the Buffalo Soldiers in the early years of the National
Parks, and for other purposes
H.R. 4491 would require the National Park Service (NPS) to
conduct a study of alternatives for honoring the Buffalo
Soldiers (members of several African-American regiments within
the U.S. Army established after the Civil War). Based on
information from the NPS and assuming the availability of
appropriated funds, CBO estimates that conducting the study
would cost about $400,000 over the next three years. Enacting
H.R. 4491 would not affect direct spending or revenues;
therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures would not apply.
H.R. 4491 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal
The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jeff LaFave. 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. 4491 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