Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?
                                                       
                                                       
115th Congress    }                                         {   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session       }                                         {  115-233

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



 
       STE. GENEVIEVE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ESTABLISHMENT ACT

                                _______
                                

                 April 25, 2018.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Murkowski, from the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                         [To accompany S. 1335]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (S. 1335) to establish the Ste. Genevieve 
National Historic Site in the State of Missouri, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of S. 1335 is to establish the Ste. Genevieve 
National Historical Park in the State of Missouri.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    Ste. Genevieve was founded circa 1750 by French Canadian 
settlers, most of whom came from earlier settlements just 
across the Mississippi in present-day Illinois. Though 
resources such as salt and lead attracted settlers to the west 
side of the Mississippi, the rich soil was the greatest draw. 
Ste. Genevieve was primarily an agricultural settlement, with 
free and enslaved residents working in the Grand Champ, or 
Common Field, a large area of privately held, long agricultural 
lots surrounded by one large fence.
    After a series of floods, the most severe of which occurred 
in 1785, the town was moved inland approximately three miles, 
to where it stands today. Residents continued to work the 
Common Field, which though smaller, is still cultivated today. 
Ste. Genevieve became a hub of trade. Following the 
Revolutionary War, there was an influx of British Americans 
that intensified following the Louisiana Purchase, expanding 
the village. Ste. Genevieve retains many of its historic 
buildings, landscapes, and community characteristics.
    Ste. Genevieve is one of the oldest National Historic 
Landmark districts in the country. When a portion of the 
district was initially designated as such in 1960, it was 
recognized for the unique concentration of French vertical log 
architecture--the largest extant collection of this 
architecture in North America. The most notable feature of 
French vernacular log architecture is the use of logs 
vertically, rather than horizontally, as seen in buildings in 
the frontier settlements of people of other ethnic European 
extractions. With new research and an expanded understanding of 
French settlement in the mid-Mississippi ``Illinois Country,'' 
new resources have been identified and the nationally 
significant district encompasses much of the City of Ste. 
Genevieve and agricultural landscapes and archeological sites 
in Ste. Genevieve County.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    S. 1335 was introduced by Senators Blunt and McCaskill on 
June 12, 2017.
    A companion measure, H.R. 2888, was introduced in the House 
of Representatives by Rep. Jason Smith on June 12, 2017, and 
referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. The Committee 
on Natural Resources favorably reported H.R. 2888 (H. Rept. 
115-540) on February 2, 2018. H.R. 2888 passed the House of 
Representatives by voice vote on February 5, 2018.
    The Senate Subcommittee on National Parks conducted a 
hearing on S. 1335 and H.R. 2888 on February 14, 2018.
    In the 114th Congress, similar legislation, S. 2954, was 
introduced by Senators Blunt and McCaskill on May 19, 2016. The 
Subcommittee on National Parks held a hearing on S. 2954 on 
June 15, 2016. The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 
ordered S. 2954 favorably reported with amendments on July 13, 
2016 (S. Rept. 114-332).
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on March 8, 2018, and ordered S. 1335 and H.R. 
2888 favorably reported.
    Similar language was included in section 7134 of S. 1460, 
the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 (Cal. 162). On 
March 23, 2018, Section 7134 of S. 1460 was incorporated by 
reference and enacted into law as a part of the Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2018 (Public Law 115-141).

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on March 8, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass S. 
1335.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 contains the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 defines key terms.

Section 3. Establishment of the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park

    Section 3(a) establishes the Ste. Genevieve National 
Historical Park in the State of Missouri as a unit of the 
National Park System. The establishment of the Ste. Genevieve 
Historical Park is conditioned on the Secretary determining 
that sufficient land has been acquired for the Historical Park 
to constitute a manageable unit and entering into a written 
agreement providing that land owned by the State, the City of 
Ste. Genevieve, or other entity within the Historic District 
shall be managed consistent with the purposes of the Act.
    Subsection (b) establishes the boundaries of the Historical 
Park as generally depicted on the referenced map.
    Subsection (c) requires that the map be on file and 
available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of 
the National Park Service.
    Subsection (d) authorizes the Secretary to acquire any land 
or interest in land within the boundary of the Historical Park 
or any nationally significant property identified in the 
special resource study within the Historic District by 
donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or 
exchange. Upon acquisition of any property within the Historic 
District, the Secretary is directed to revise the boundary of 
the Historical Park to include the property.
    Subsection (e) requires the Secretary to administer the 
Historical Park in accordance with this Act and applicable law. 
The Secretary is further directed to prepare the general 
management plan within three years of receiving funding and to 
submit the general management plan to the Committee on Natural 
Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.
    Subsection (f) authorizes the Secretary to provide 
technical assistance and enter into cooperative agreements with 
the owner of a nationally significant property within the 
Historical Park or the Historical District to identify, mark, 
interpret, improve, and restore the property. Cooperative 
agreements shall provide access, at reasonable times, to public 
portions of the property, for the purposes of conducting 
visitors through the property and interpreting the property for 
the public. The Federal cost share of this agreement is limited 
to 50 percent. The non-Federal share of an activity carried out 
under a cooperative agreement may be in the form of donated 
property, goods, or services rendered. No changes or 
alterations shall be made to any property or project covered by 
a cooperative agreement entered into unless the Secretary and 
the other party to the agreement concur with the changes or 
alterations.
    Subsection (g) states that nothing in the Act authorizes 
the Secretary to assume overall financial responsibility for 
the operation, maintenance, or management of the Historic 
District.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    S. 1335 would establish the Ste. Genevieve National 
Historical Park as a unit of the National Park System in the 
state of Missouri. The bill would authorize the National Park 
Service (NPS) to acquire approximately 13 acres of land, 
including historic houses, for inclusion in the park by 
donation, exchange, or purchase.
    Once the necessary parcels of land are acquired, the NPS 
would be authorized to establish the park and would incur costs 
to operate and maintain the park's properties and facilities. 
The bill would require the agency to develop a management plan 
for the park and would authorize the agency to provide 
interpretive tours and educational programs within the park. 
Finally, S. 1335 would authorize the NPS to provide technical 
assistance and to enter into cooperative agreements with 
nonfederal entities to preserve historically significant 
property related to the park.
    Using information from the NPS and from local officials in 
Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, about the properties in question, CBO 
estimates that acquiring the 13 acres of property would cost 
less than $500,000. CBO expects that the property owned by the 
state of Missouri would likely be donated to the NPS and 
property owned by private individuals would be purchased by the 
NPS with appropriated funds over the next five years.
    In addition, CBO estimates that the NPS would spend about 
$1 million per year on maintenance and operating costs for the 
park once the properties are acquired for a total cost of $6 
million over the 2019-2023 period; such spending would be 
subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
    Enacting S. 1335 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting S. 1335 would not increase net 
direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2028.
    S. 1335 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On December 15, 2017, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 2888, the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park 
Establishment Act, as ordered reported by the House Committee 
on Natural Resources on December 13, 2017. On April 10, 2018, 
CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 2888, the Ste. 
Genevieve National Historical Park Establishment Act, as 
ordered reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural 
Resources on March 8, 2018. The pieces of legislation are 
similar, and CBO's estimates of their budgetary effects are the 
same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Janani 
Shankaran. The estimate was approved by H. Samuel Papenfuss, 
Deputy Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                      REGULATORY IMPACT EVALUATION

    In compliance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee makes the following 
evaluation of the regulatory impact which would be incurred in 
carrying out S. 1335. The bill is not a regulatory measure in 
the sense of imposing Government-established standards or 
significant economic responsibilities on private individuals 
and businesses.
    No personal information would be collected in administering 
the program. Therefore, there would be no impact on personal 
privacy.
    Little, if any, additional paperwork would result from the 
enactment of S. 1335, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    S. 1335, as ordered reported, does not contain any 
congressionally directed spending items, limited tax benefits, 
or limited tariff benefits as defined in rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate.

                        EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATIONS

    The testimony provided by the Department of the Interior at 
the February 14, 2018, hearing on S. 1335 follows:

Statement of P. Daniel Smith, Deputy Director, Exercising the Authority 
    of the Director of the National Park Service, Department of the 
 Interior, Before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee 
  on National Parks, Concerning S. 1335, a Bill to Establish the Ste. 
  Genevieve National Historic Site in the State of Missouri, and for 
                             Other Purposes

    Chairman Daines, Ranking Member King, and members of the 
Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 1335, a bill to 
authorize the Secretary of the Interior to establish the Ste. 
Genevieve National Historic Site in the State of Missouri, and 
for other purposes.
    The Department supports the goals of the legislation which 
would establish the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park as 
a unit of the National Park System to preserve, protect, and 
interpret the themes of French settlement, vernacular 
architecture, and community form and farming on the frontier 
associated with Ste. Genevieve, a city along the Mississippi 
River with a nationally significant history.
    However, the National Park Service has a deferred 
maintenance backlog of over $11 billion. The Administration's 
focus is to reduce this backlog and to address other critical 
national park needs. For this reason, funding for new units to 
the national park system is not a priority in the 
Administration's FY2019 budget.
    Establishment of the park would be conditioned on the 
Secretary of the Interior acquiring sufficient land to 
constitute a manageable park unit and entering into an 
agreement providing that land owned by the state, the city of 
Ste. Genevieve or other entities within the Ste. Genevieve 
Historic District would be managed consistent with the purposes 
of the act. The national historical park would consist of a 
select portion of the larger historic district.
    S. 1335 authorizes the Secretary to provide interpretive 
tours and education programs within the historic district. It 
also allows the Secretary to provide technical assistance and 
to enter into cooperative agreements to preserve significant 
sites related to the purposes of the park.
    The Ste. Genevieve Historic District National Historic 
Landmark (NHL), established on October 9, 1960, is one of the 
oldest NHL districts in the country. This designation initially 
recognized the unique concentration of French vertical log 
architecture. Subsequent research identified the national 
significance of contemporaneous examples of British-American 
and German-American architecture that contribute to the 
compelling historical associations with French exploration and 
settlement of the United States' interior in the late 18th and 
early 19th centuries and with the American territory that was 
settled following the Louisiana Purchase.
    Ste. Genevieve offers an unparalleled opportunity to 
provide public understanding and appreciation of the themes of 
French settlement, vernacular architecture, and farming on the 
frontier. Ste. Genevieve is unique in terms of the character, 
quality, quantity, and rarity of its resources. There is no 
comparably protected or managed area interpreting these themes.
    The proposed national historical park consists of 
approximately 13 acres of publicly and privately owned historic 
properties encompassed within the Ste. Genevieve Historic 
District NHL.
    The Ste. Genevieve special resource study, completed in May 
2016, estimated the annual cost of operation of the site to be 
$800,000 to $1.2 million per year. This estimate included 
funding for NPS staffing of 6-12 FTE, for interpretive and 
educational programs, and for outreach. Any additional 
facilities and properties would increase park operational and 
maintenance costs. Additional funds for maintenance, repairs 
and capital improvements would be awarded through the National 
Park Service's competitive process, subject to service-wide 
priorities and the availability of appropriations.
    Finally, as this legislation has evolved over the last two 
years, a consensus has emerged that, if established, the Ste. 
Genevieve unit would be designated as a national historical 
park rather than a national historic site. If this is the 
intent, we recommend that the title be amended to refer to the 
establishment of the ``Ste. Genevieve National Historical 
Par'', rather than the ``Ste. Genevieve National Historic 
Site''.
    Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the 
Subcommittee may have.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    In compliance with paragraph 12 of Rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee notes that no 
changes in existing law are made by the bill as ordered 
reported.