H. Rept. 113-369 - 113th Congress (2013-2014)
February 28, 2014, As Reported by the Natural Resources Committee

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House Report 113-369 - RIVER PADDLING PROTECTION ACT




[House Report 113-369]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                     113-369

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



 
                     RIVER PADDLING PROTECTION ACT

                                _______
                                

 February 28, 2014.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 3492]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 3492) to provide for the use of hand-propelled 
vessels in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National 
Park, and the National Elk Refuge, 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 ``River Paddling Protection Act''.

SEC. 2. REGULATIONS SUPERSEDED.

  (a) In General.--The rivers and streams of Yellowstone National Park 
and Grand Teton National Park shall be open to hand-propelled vessels 
as determined by the director of the National Park Service within 3 
years of the date of enactment of this Act. Beginning on the date that 
is 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the following 
regulations shall have no the force or effect regarding closing rivers 
and streams of Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park 
to hand-propelled vessels:
          (1) Section 7.13(d)(4)(ii) of title 36, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, regarding vessels on streams and rivers in 
        Yellowstone National Park.
          (2) Section 7.22(e)(3) of title 36, Code of Federal 
        Regulations, regarding vessels on lakes and rivers in Grand 
        Teton National Park.
  (b) Coordination of Recreational Use.--The Fish and Wildlife Service 
shall coordinate any recreational use of hand-propelled vessels on the 
Gros Ventre River within the National Elk Refuge with Grand Teton 
National Park to ensure such use is consistent with the requirements of 
the National Wildlife Refuge Administration Act.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 3492 is to provide for the use of hand-
propelled vessels in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton 
National Park, and the National Elk Refuge.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    The rivers and streams of Yellowstone National Park were 
closed to paddling on the opening day of fishing season in 1950 
to reduce fishing pressure exerted on park waters during the 
post-war period. In 1962 Grand Teton National Park implemented 
a similar policy prohibiting paddling on all park rivers and 
streams except the Snake River and the stream connecting 
Bearpaw Lake and Jackson Lake.
    Each park policy was codified in federal regulations which 
are now over 50 years old, and numerous Americans have been 
subjected to arrest and fines for paddling these rivers. The 
National Park Service (NPS) has other common management tools 
to prevent overfishing, rendering the original purpose of the 
paddling closures and the regulations moot.
    Paddling is typically considered an appropriate activity in 
National Parks and other protected federal lands, and is 
typically managed commensurate with other similar forms of 
recreation. H.R. 3492 restores flexible management discretion 
to the NPS. Opening the rivers to paddling would encourage the 
NPS to actively manage paddling as an appropriate and 
sustainable activity.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 3492 was introduced on November 14, 2013, by 
Congresswoman Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY). The bill was referred 
to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the Committee 
to the Subcommittees on Public Lands and Environmental 
Regulation and Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular 
Affairs. On November 21, 2013, the Subcommittee on Public Lands 
and Environmental Regulation held a hearing on the bill. On 
January 28, 2014, the Natural Resources Committee met to 
consider the bill. The Subcommittees on Public Lands and 
Environmental Regulation and Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and 
Insular Affairs were discharged by unanimous consent. 
Congresswoman Lummis offered an amendment designated .029 to 
the bill; the amendment was adopted by unanimous consent. The 
bill as amended was then adopted and ordered favorably reported 
to the House of Representatives by unanimous consent.

            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.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) 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)(2)(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. 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. 3492--River Paddling Protection Act

    H.R. 3492 would nullify, within three years of the bill's 
enactment, existing regulations prohibiting hand-propelled 
vessels on streams and rivers in the Yellowstone and Grand 
Teton National Parks in the states of Wyoming, Montana, and 
Idaho. The legislation also would direct the Fish and Wildlife 
Service to coordinate the use of hand-propelled vessels on the 
Gros Ventre River within the National Elk Refuge in Wyoming. 
Under existing regulations, the National Park Service (NPS) has 
prohibited boating on five of the 168 lakes in Yellowstone 
National Park and a 1,000-foot section of the Snake River in 
Grand Teton National Park.
    Based on information provided by the Department of the 
Interior, CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 3492 would cost 
about $4 million over the 2014-2019 period, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds. In the absence of existing 
regulations, NPS would need to promulgate new regulations 
concerning the affected streams and rivers and conduct 
environmental and feasibility studies. Additionally, NPS 
operating costs would increase to manage boating on the streams 
and rivers opened by the legislation. Enacting H.R. 3492 would 
not affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-
go procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 3492 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of 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. CBO estimates that 
implementing H.R. 3492 would cost about $4 million over the 
2014-2019 period, subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds. Enacting H.R. 3492 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    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 provide for the use of hand-
propelled vessels in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton 
National Park, and the National Elk Refuge.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                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.