The text of the bill below is as of Mar 15, 2005 (Referred to Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.
HR 694 RFS
March 15, 2005
Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To enhance the preservation and interpretation of the Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act'.
SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
The purposes of this Act are to--
(1) recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history by African Americans known as the Gullah/Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida;
(2) assist State and local governments and public and private entities in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida in interpreting the story of the Gullah/Geechee and preserving Gullah/Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music; and
(3) assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah/Geechee for the benefit and education of the public.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
For the purposes of this Act, the following definitions apply:
(1) COMMISSION- The term `Commission' means the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission established under this Act.
(2) HERITAGE CORRIDOR- The term `Heritage Corridor' means the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor established by this Act.
(3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
SEC. 4. GULLAH/GEECHEE CULTURAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR.
(a) Establishment- There is established the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Heritage Corridor shall be comprised of those lands and waters generally depicted on a map entitled `Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor' numbered GGCHC 80,000 and dated September 2004. The map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service and in an appropriate State office in each of the States included in the Heritage Corridor. The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register, as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, a detailed description and map of the boundaries established under this subsection.
(2) REVISIONS- The boundaries of the heritage corridor may be revised if the revision is--
(A) proposed in the management plan developed for the Heritage Corridor;
(B) approved by the Secretary in accordance with this Act; and
(C) placed on file in accordance with paragraph (1).
(c) Administration- The Heritage Corridor shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
SEC. 5. GULLAH/GEECHEE CULTURAL HERITAGE CORRIDOR COMMISSION.
(a) Establishment- There is hereby established a commission to be known as the `Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission' whose purpose shall be to assist Federal, State, and local authorities in the development and implementation of a management plan for those land and waters specified in section 4.
(b) Membership- The Commission shall be composed of 15 members appointed by the Secretary as follows:
(1) Four individuals nominated by the State Historic Preservation Officer of South Carolina and two individuals each nominated by the State Historic Preservation Officer of each of Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida and appointed by the Secretary.
(2) Two individuals from South Carolina and one individual from each of Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida who are recognized experts in historic preservation, anthropology, and folklore, appointed by the Secretary.
(c) Terms- Members of the Commission shall be appointed to terms not to exceed 3 years. The Secretary may stagger the terms of the initial appointments to the Commission in order to assure continuity of operation. Any member of the Commission may serve after the expiration of their term until a successor is appointed. A vacancy shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(d) Termination- The Commission shall terminate 10 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
SEC. 6. OPERATION OF THE COMMISSION.
(a) Duties of the Commission- To further the purposes of the Heritage Corridor, the Commission shall--
(1) prepare and submit a management plan to the Secretary in accordance with section 7;
(2) assist units of local government and other persons in implementing the approved management plan by--
(A) carrying out programs and projects that recognize, protect, and enhance important resource values within the Heritage Corridor;
(B) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits and programs within the Heritage Corridor;
(C) developing recreational and educational opportunities in the Heritage Corridor;
(D) increasing public awareness of and appreciation for the historical, cultural, natural, and scenic resources of the Heritage Corridor;
(E) protecting and restoring historic sites and buildings in the Heritage Corridor that are consistent with heritage corridor themes;
(F) ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs identifying points of public access and sites of interest are posted throughout the Heritage Corridor; and
(G) promoting a wide range of partnerships among governments, organizations, and individuals to further the purposes of the Heritage Corridor;
(3) consider the interests of diverse units of government, business, organizations, and individuals in the Heritage Corridor in the preparation and implementation of the management plan;
(4) conduct meetings open to the public at least quarterly regarding the development and implementation of the management plan;
(5) submit an annual report to the Secretary for any fiscal year in which the Commission receives Federal funds under this Act, setting forth its accomplishments, expenses, and income, including grants made to any other entities during the year for which the report is made;
(6) make available for audit for any fiscal year in which it receives Federal funds under this Act, all information pertaining to the expenditure of such funds and any matching funds, and require all agreements authorizing expenditures of Federal funds by other organizations, that the receiving organization make available for audit all records and other information pertaining to the expenditure of such funds; and
(7) encourage by appropriate means economic viability that is consistent with the purposes of the Heritage Corridor.
(b) Authorities- The Commission may, for the purposes of preparing and implementing the management plan, use funds made available under this Act to--
(1) make grants to, and enter into cooperative agreements with, the States of South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, political subdivisions of those States, a nonprofit organization, or any person;
(2) hire and compensate staff;
(3) obtain funds from any source including any that are provided under any other Federal law or program; and
(4) contract for goods and services.
SEC. 7. MANAGEMENT PLAN.
(a) In General- The management plan for the Heritage Corridor shall--
(1) include comprehensive policies, strategies, and recommendations for conservation, funding, management, and development of the Heritage Corridor;
(2) take into consideration existing State, county, and local plans in the development of the management plan and its implementation;
(3) include a description of actions that governments, private organizations, and individuals have agreed to take to protect the historical, cultural, and natural resources of the Heritage Corridor;
(4) specify the existing and potential sources of funding to protect, manage, and develop the Heritage Corridor in the first 5 years of implementation;
(5) include an inventory of the historical, cultural, natural, resources of the Heritage Corridor related to the themes of the Heritage Corridor that should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, or maintained;
(6) recommend policies and strategies for resource management that consider and detail the application of appropriate land and water management techniques, including the development of intergovernmental and interagency cooperative agreements to protect the Heritage Corridor's historical, cultural, and natural resources;
(7) describe a program for implementation of the management plan including plans for resources protection, restoration, construction, and specific commitments for implementation that have been made by the Commission or any government, organization, or individual for the first 5 years of implementation;
(8) include an analysis and recommendations for the ways in which Federal, State, or local programs may best be coordinated to further the purposes of this Act; and
(9) include an interpretive plan for the Heritage Corridor.
(b) Submittal of Management Plan- The Commission shall submit the management plan to the Secretary for approval not later than 3 years after funds are made available for this Act.
(c) Failure to Submit- If the Commission fails to submit the management plan to the Secretary in accordance with subsection (b), the Heritage Corridor shall not qualify for Federal funding until the management plan is submitted.
(d) Approval or Disapproval of Management Plan-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall approve or disapprove the management plan not later than 90 days after receiving the management plan.
(2) CRITERIA- In determining whether to approve the management plan, the Secretary shall consider whether--
(A) the Commission has afforded adequate opportunity, including public hearings, for public and governmental involvement in the preparation of the management plan;
(B) the resource preservation and interpretation strategies contained in the management plan would adequately protect the cultural and historic resources of the Heritage Corridor; and
(C) the Secretary has received adequate assurances from appropriate State and local officials whose support is needed to ensure the effective implementation of the State and local aspects of the plan.
(3) ACTION FOLLOWING DISAPPROVAL- If the Secretary disapproves the management plan, the Secretary shall advise the Commission in writing of the reasons therefor and shall make recommendations for revisions to the management plan. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a proposed revision not later than 60 days after the date it is submitted.
(4) APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS- Substantial amendments to the management plan shall be reviewed and approved by the Secretary in the same manner as provided in the original management plan. The Commission shall not use Federal funds authorized by this Act to implement any amendments until the Secretary has approved the amendments.
SEC. 8. TECHNICAL AND FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE.
(a) In General- Upon a request of the Commission, the Secretary may provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of the management plan.
(b) Priority for Assistance- In providing assistance under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give priority to actions that assist in--
(1) conserving the significant cultural, historical, and natural resources of the Heritage Corridor; and
(2) providing educational and interpretive opportunities consistent with the purposes of the Heritage Corridor.
(c) Spending for Non-Federal Property-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commission may expend Federal funds made available under this Act on nonfederally owned property that is--
(A) identified in the management plan; or
(B) listed or eligible for listing on the National Register for Historic Places.
(2) AGREEMENTS- Any payment of Federal funds made pursuant to this Act shall be subject to an agreement that conversion, use, or disposal of a project so assisted for purposes contrary to the purposes of this Act, as determined by the Secretary, shall result in a right of the United States to compensation of all funds made available to that project or the proportion of the increased value of the project attributable to such funds as determined at the time of such conversion, use, or disposal, whichever is greater.
SEC. 9. DUTIES OF OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES.
Any Federal agency conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the Heritage Corridor shall--
(1) consult with the Secretary and the Commission with respect to such activities;
(2) cooperate with the Secretary and the Commission in carrying out their duties under this Act and, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate such activities with the carrying out of such duties; and
(3) to the maximum extent practicable, conduct or support such activities in a manner in which the Commission determines will not have an adverse effect on the Heritage Corridor.
SEC. 10. COASTAL HERITAGE CENTERS.
In furtherance of the purposes of this Act and using the authorities made available under this Act, the Commission shall establish one or more Coastal Heritage Centers at appropriate locations within the Heritage Corridor in accordance with the preferred alternative identified in the Record of Decision for the Low Country Gullah Culture Special Resource Study and Environmental Impact Study, December 2003, and additional appropriate sites.
SEC. 11. PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTION.
(a) Access to Private Property- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require any private property owner to permit public access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to such private property. Nothing in this Act shall be construed to modify any provision of Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private lands.
(b) Liability- Designation of the Heritage Corridor shall not be considered to create any liability, or to have any effect on any liability under any other law, of any private property owner with respect to any persons injured on such private property.
(c) Recognition of Authority to Control Land Use- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to modify any authority of Federal, State, or local governments to regulate land use.
(d) Participation of Private Property Owners in Heritage Corridor- Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the owner of any private property located within the boundaries of the Heritage Corridor to participate in or be associated with the Heritage Corridor.
(e) Effect of Establishment- The boundaries designated for the Heritage Corridor represent the area within which Federal funds appropriated for the purpose of this Act shall be expended. The establishment of the Heritage Corridor and its boundaries shall not be construed to provide any nonexisting regulatory authority on land use within the Heritage Corridor or its viewshed by the Secretary or the management entity.
(f) Notification and Consent of Property Owners Required- No privately owned property shall be preserved, conserved, or promoted by the management plan for the Heritage Corridor until the owner of that private property has been notified in writing by the management entity and has given written consent for such preservation, conservation, or promotion to the management entity.
(g) Landowner Withdrawal- Any owner of private property included within the boundary of the Heritage Corridor shall have their property immediately removed from within the boundary by submitting a written request to the management entity.
SEC. 12. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General- There is authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this Act not more than $1,000,000 for any fiscal year. Not more than a total of $10,000,000 may be appropriated for the Heritage Corridor under this Act.
(b) Cost Share- Federal funding provided under this Act may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of any activity for which assistance is provided under this Act.
(c) In-Kind Contributions- The Secretary may accept in-kind contributions as part of the non-Federal cost share of any activity for which assistance is provided under this Act.
SEC. 13. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY.
The authority of the Secretary to provide assistance under this Act shall terminate on the day occurring 15 years after the date of the enactment of this Act.
Passed the House of Representatives March 14, 2005.