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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 
                               following

                              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 
their work.
    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 
soldiers.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    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 
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 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 
Office:

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 
governments.
    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.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    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 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

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