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                                                      Calendar No. 680
115th Congress      }                                    {      Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session         }                                    {     115-394

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



 
                         EVERY KID OUTDOORS ACT

                                _______
                                

               November 28, 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 H.R. 3186]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, to which was 
referred the bill (H.R. 3186) to establish an Every Kid 
Outdoors program, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                                PURPOSE

    The purpose of H.R. 3186 is to establish an Every Kid 
Outdoors program, to provide free access to federal land and 
waters for certain students.

                          BACKGROUND AND NEED

    The ``Every Kid in a Park'' initiative was launched by 
President Obama in February 2015 as part of the lead-up to the 
2016 National Park Service (NPS) Centennial Celebration. The 
initiative was initially described as a ``call to action'' to 
``inspire the next generation to discover all that America's 
public lands and waters have to offer.'' The program initially 
provided fourth grade students and their families' free 
admission to all National Parks and other federal lands and 
waters for a year. Expanding beyond the first year of the 
initiative, the Every Kid in A Park program eventually included 
the distribution of planning information and educational 
materials for teachers and families as well as the inclusion of 
transportation grants (in partnership with the National Park 
Foundation), all of which continue today.
    In Fiscal Year 2017, the President's Budget included a 
request (through the NPS) to fund 100 ``Every Kid in a Park'' 
initiatives at $20 million, including funding to support park-
level coordinators at a cost of $8.5 million, as well as $11.5 
million for transportation costs. Although not specifically 
funded by Congress, the Centennial Challenge grant program 
funded some aspects of the program.
    The ``Every Kid in a Park'' program has continued each year 
since its inception, despite some reported efforts to eliminate 
the program. In addition, several states have worked with the 
NPS and the National Park Foundation to coordinate programming. 


    H.R. 3186 builds upon the ``Every Kid in a Park'' program 
by authorizing free passes to all federal public lands for all 
fourth graders and age-equivalent homeschoolers, renaming the 
program ``Every Kid Outdoors,'' and codifying the program. H.R. 
3186 also allows for additional collaborative opportunities 
between the Department of the Interior (DOI) and State Park 
systems, as well as between DOI and the Department of 
Education.

                          LEGISLATIVE HISTORY

    Representative Tsongas introduced H.R. 3186 in the House of 
Representatives on July, 11, 2017. The Committee on Natural 
Resources favorably reported H.R. 3186, as amended, on August 
3, 2018 (H. Rept. 115-880), and the measure was passed by the 
House of Representatives on September 12, 2018, by a vote of 
383 to 2.
    Senators Heinrich and Alexander introduced companion 
legislation, S. 1522, on July 10, 2017. The Subcommittee on 
National Parks conducted a hearing on S. 1522 on July 19, 2017.
    The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met in open 
business session on October 2, 2018 and ordered H.R. 3186 
favorably reported.

                        COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION

    The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, in 
open business session on October 2, 2018, by a majority voice 
vote of a quorum present, recommends that the Senate pass H.R. 
3186.

                      SECTION-BY-SECTION ANALYSIS

Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 provides the short title.

Section 2. Definitions

    Section 2 contains key definitions.

Section 3. Every Kid Outdoors Program

    Subsection (a) directs the Secretaries of the Interior, 
Agriculture, Commerce, and the Army to establish jointly the 
``Every Kid Outdoors'' program, to provide free access to 
federal land and waters for students (defined as fourth graders 
or home-schooled learners 10 years of age residing in the 
United States, including territories or possessions of the 
United States) and accompanying individuals.
    Subsection (b) authorizes the Secretaries to issue an 
annual pass to the students, which provides for free access to 
all Federal lands and waters that are subject to an entrance, 
standard amenity, or day use fee. The subsection further 
specifies the number of people who may accompany the student on 
the free pass and details the effective time period of the 
pass.
    Subsection (c) authorizes the Secretaries, in carrying out 
the program, to collaborate with State Park systems that opt to 
implement a complementary Every Kid Outdoors State park pass; 
coordinate with the Secretary of Education to implement the 
program; maintain a publicly available website with program 
information; provide visitor services for the program; and 
provide approved partners of the Federal land and waters with 
opportunities to participate in the program.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary of the Interior, in 
coordination with each of the other Secretaries, to prepare a 
comprehensive annual report to Congress detailing the program's 
implementation, the number and geographical distribution of 
student participants, and the number of passes distributed by 
the program.
    Subsection (e) sunsets the program seven years after the 
Act's enactment.

                   COST AND BUDGETARY CONSIDERATIONS

    The following estimate of the costs of this measure has 
been provided by the Congressional Budget Office:
    H.R. 3186 would establish the Every Kid Outdoors program, 
which would allow fourth grade students and certain 
accompanying adults free access to federal public lands and 
waters administered by the Department of the Interior, the 
Forest Service, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where an entrance fee is 
charged. Because the act would codify the existing Every Kid in 
a Park program, CBO estimates that implementing that provision 
would result in no additional costs.
    The act also would require the participating agencies to 
submit an annual report to the Congress on the program. Based 
on the costs of similar reports, CBO estimates that 
implementing that provision would cost less than $500,000 over 
the 2019-2023 period; such spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    Enacting H.R. 3186 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply.
    CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3186 would not increase 
net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four 
consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2029.
    H.R. 3186 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.
    On June 8, 2018, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
3186, the Every Kid Outdoors Act, as ordered reported by the 
House Committee on Natural Resources on May 16, 2018. The two 
pieces of legislation are similar, and CBO's estimates of their 
budgetary effects are the same.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Jon Sperl. The 
estimate was reviewed 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 H.R. 3186. The Act 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 H.R. 3186, as ordered reported.

                   CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED SPENDING

    H.R. 3186, 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 July 19, 2017, hearing on S. 1522, companion legislation to 
H.R. 3186, follows:

   Statement of Robert Vogel, Acting Deputy Director, National Park 
                Service, U.S. Department of the Interior

    Chairman Daines, Ranking Member Hirono, and members of the 
subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the 
Department of the Interior's views on S. 1522, a bill to 
establish an Every Kid Outdoors program, and for other 
purposes.
    The Department recommends that Congress defer action on S. 
1522 until we have an opportunity to review all of the 
Department's youth programs and determine the most cost-
effective strategies for engaging children, youth, and young 
adults in our nation's great outdoors.
    S. 1522 would establish in statute a program based on the 
administratively established ``Every Kid in a Park,'' which was 
an initiative launched during the National Park Service's 
Centennial in 2016 as one way to connect with and create the 
next generation of park visitors. To date, Every Kid in a Park 
has reached over 350,000 fourth graders across the country and 
has provided an outdoor classroom for teachers and students 
across our 417 national park sites and other public lands.
    S. 1522 would build upon Every Kid in a Park and continue 
to nurture and create future generations of stewards as they 
learn about their environment and conservation all while 
enjoying and recreating in America's great outdoors.
    S. 1522 would direct seven specified bureaus in four 
agencies to jointly establish the Every Kid Outdoors program to 
provide any United States fourth grader with a pass to gain 
free access to publicly accessible Federal lands and waters. 
The bureaus that would establish and administer the program 
would be the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of 
Reclamation, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanic and 
Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers. The student would request a pass which allows the 
student and accompanying individuals free entry to applicable 
Federal lands and waters managed by the above-listed agencies. 
The pass would be valid from September 1 to August 31 of the 
following year, and would require the student to be present at 
time of entry for the pass to be honored.
    S. 1522 would require the agencies to collaborate with 
state park systems interested in adopting a complimentary Every 
Kid Outdoors state park pass. It would also require the 
agencies to develop and maintain an official Every Kid Outdoors 
website that would contain essential program information. All 
the participating agencies would be authorized to provide a 
variety of visitor services in support of the Every Kid 
Outdoors program.
    The bill would require the agencies to jointly develop an 
annual report, to be submitted to Congress, describing the 
implementation and execution of the program in addition to 
capturing statistical data such as the number and the 
geographical distribution of students who participated in the 
program, and the number of passes obtained and redeemed. If the 
bill were enacted, execution of its requirements would be 
subject to the availability of appropriations and would need to 
be balanced with other competing priorities.
    In developing the Every Kid in a Park program, the 
Department focused on children 10 years of age--the age of most 
fourth graders--based on research that indicated children ages 
9-11 are at a unique developmental stage in their learning 
where they begin to understand how the world around them works 
in more concrete ways. At this stage, they are highly receptive 
to new ideas and most likely to hold positive attitudes towards 
nature and the environment. By targeting this age group year 
after year, the program aims to ensure every child in the 
United States has the opportunity to visit their Federal lands 
and waters by the time he or she is 11 years old, thereby 
establishing a lifelong connection to enjoy and protect our 
American outdoor heritage.
    If the committee acts on this bill, we recommend that the 
committee amend the bill in several areas: to include home-
schooled students; to better define ``access'' to public lands; 
and to allow coordination with the Department of Education. We 
would be happy to work with the sponsors and the committee on 
language for these amendments.
    Chairman Daines, this concludes my statement. I would be 
pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the 
subcommittee might 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 Act as ordered 
reported.

                                  [all]