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Text of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act

This bill was introduced on March 7, 2007, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted. The text of the bill below is as of Jan 5, 2007 (Introduced).

This is not the latest text of this bill.

Source: GPO

I

110th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 319

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 5, 2007

(for himself, Mr. Cantor, Mrs. Jo Ann Davis of Virginia, Mr. Tom Davis of Virginia, Mrs. Capito, Mr. Scott of Virginia, Mr. Platts, Mr. Moran of Virginia, and Mr. McCrery) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources

A BILL

To establish the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title; table of contents

(a)

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area Act.

(b)

Table of contents

The table of contents for this Act is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Definitions.

Sec. 3. Findings and purposes.

Sec. 4. Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

Sec. 5. Authorities and duties of management entity.

Sec. 6. Approval or disapproval of management plan.

Sec. 7. Provision of financial and technical assistance.

Sec. 8. Duties of other Federal entities.

Sec. 9. Sunset for grants and other assistance.

Sec. 10. Requirements for inclusion of private property.

Sec. 11. Private property protection.

Sec. 12. Use of Federal funds from other sources.

Sec. 13. Authorization of appropriations.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Heritage area

The term Heritage Area means the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

(2)

Management entity

The term management entity means The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, a Virginia nonprofit corporation referred to in section 4(c), or its successor entity.

(3)

Management plan

The term management plan means the management plan for the Heritage Area.

(4)

Partner

The term partner means—

(A)

a Federal, State, or local governmental entity; and

(B)

an organization, private industry, or individual involved in promoting the conservation and preservation of the historical, cultural, and recreational resources of the Heritage Area.

(5)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.

3.

Findings and purposes

(a)

Findings

The Congress finds the following:

(1)

Numerous sites of significant American heritage are situated within the boundaries of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area established by section 4, which runs from Gettysburg in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, generally along Route 15 in Maryland, looping to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, back to the Route 15/231 area to Monticello in Albemarle County in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

(2)

Included among the numerous historically significant sites, structures, battlefields, and districts are 8 homes of former United States Presidents, the largest concentration of Civil War battlefields in the country, the greatest concentration of rural historic districts in the country, 15 National Historic Landmarks, two World Heritage Sites, 15 Main Street Communities, 11 units of the National Park System, 52 Historic Districts, and a significant concentration of Rural Historic Districts, which are collectively and individually of national significance in the history of the United States.

(3)

In 1996, a collaborative public-private partnership, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, Scenic America, private citizens, and a four-State coalition of local and regional governmental and private sector organizations, began an initiative to assess historic sites along the Route 15 corridor and surrounding areas. The initiative issued a comprehensive study of significant sites and structures (cataloguing over 13,000 buildings already on the National Register of Historic Places) associated with Native American, African American, European American, Colonial American, Revolutionary, and Civil War history, and concluded that the sites possess historical, cultural, and architectural value of national significance and retain a high degree of historical integrity.

(4)

The preservation and interpretation of the sites within the Heritage Area will make a vital contribution to the understanding of the development and heritage of the United States for the education and benefit of present and future generations.

(5)

The Secretary of the Interior is responsible for protecting the historical and cultural resources of the United States.

(6)

There are significant examples of those resources within the Heritage Area that merit the involvement of the Federal Government to develop programs and projects, in cooperation with the management entity and local and State governmental bodies, to adequately conserve, support, protect, and interpret this heritage.

(7)

Partnerships between Federal, State, and local governments, the regional entities of such governments, the private sector, and citizenry offer the most effective opportunities for the enhancement and management of the historical sites throughout the four-State Heritage Area to promote the cultural and historical attractions of the Heritage Area for visitors and the local economy.

(8)

The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership would be an appropriate management entity for the Heritage Area.

(b)

Purposes

The purposes of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area are—

(1)

to preserve, support, conserve, and interpret the legacy of the American history created along the Heritage Area;

(2)

to promote heritage, cultural and recreational tourism and to develop educational and cultural programs for visitors and the general public;

(3)

to recognize and interpret important events and geographic locations representing key developments in the creation of America, including Native American, Colonial American, European American, and African American heritage;

(4)

to recognize and interpret the effect of the Civil War on the civilian population of the Heritage Area during the war and post-war reconstruction period; and

(5)

to enhance a cooperative management framework to assist the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the State of West Virginia, and their units of local government, the private sector, and citizens residing in the Heritage Area in conserving, supporting, enhancing, and interpreting the significant historic, cultural and recreational sites in the Heritage Area.

4.

Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area

(a)

Establishment

There is hereby established the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area.

(b)

Boundaries

(1)

In general

The Heritage Area shall consist of the 175-mile region generally following the Route 15 corridor and surrounding areas from Adams County, Pennsylvania, through Frederick County, Maryland, including the Heart of the Civil War Maryland State Heritage Area, looping through Brunswick, Maryland, to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, back through Loudoun County, Virginia, to the Route 15 corridor and surrounding areas encompassing portions of Loudoun and Prince William Counties, Virginia, then Fauquier County, Virginia, portions of Spotsylvania and Madison Counties, Virginia, and Culpepper, Rappahannock, Orange, and Albemarle Counties, Virginia. The boundaries of the Heritage Area shall include all of those lands and interests as generally depicted on the map titled Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, numbered P90/80,000, and dated October 2006.

(2)

Map

The map referred to in paragraph (1) shall be on file in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.

(c)

Management entity

The management entity for the Heritage Area shall be The Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, a Virginia nonprofit corporation.

(d)

Board of trustees

The board of trustees of the management entity shall include representatives from a broad cross-section of the individuals, agencies, organizations, States, and governments that—

(1)

are partners of the management entity; and

(2)

will oversee the development and implementation of the management plan.

5.

Authorities and duties of management entity

(a)

Authorities of the management entity

(1)

Authority to accept funds

The management entity may accept funds from any Federal source and from States and their political subdivisions, private organizations, nonprofit organizations, or any other person to carry out its authorities and duties under this Act.

(2)

Use of funds

The management entity may use funds made available under this Act for purposes of preparing, updating, and implementing the management plan. Such purposes may include the following:

(A)

Making grants to, and entering into cooperative agreements with, States and their political subdivisions, private organizations, non-profit organizations or any other person.

(B)

Hiring and compensating staff.

(C)

Entering into contracts for goods, services, and leases for office space.

(D)

Undertaking any other initiatives that advance the purposes of the Heritage Area.

(b)

Management plan

The management entity shall develop a management plan for the Heritage Area that—

(1)

presents comprehensive strategies and recommendations for conservation, funding, management, and development of the Heritage Area;

(2)

takes into consideration existing State, county, and local plans and involves residents, public agencies, and private organizations working in the Heritage Area;

(3)

includes a description of actions that units of government and private organizations and individuals have decided to undertake in furtherance of the purposes of this Act;

(4)

specifies the existing and potential sources of funding to protect, support, manage, and develop the Heritage Area;

(5)

includes an inventory of the natural, historical, cultural, architectural, scenic, and recreational resources in the Heritage Area that wish to be preserved, restored, supported, managed, developed, or maintained, because of the national historic significance of the resources;

(6)

includes an analysis of ways in which local, State, and Federal programs may coordinate to promote the purposes of this Act; including recommendations from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the States of Maryland and West Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and political subdivisions thereof) for the management, protection, support, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the Heritage Area;

(7)

identifies appropriate partners and partnerships among Federal, State, and local governments, regional entities, and the private sector in furtherance of the purposes of the Act;

(8)

includes locations for visitor contact and major interpretive facilities;

(9)

includes provisions for appropriate living history demonstrations and battlefield reenactments;

(10)

includes provisions for implementing a continuing program of interpretation for resident, student, and visitor education concerning the resources and values of the Heritage Area;

(11)

includes provisions for a uniform historical marker and wayside exhibit program in the Heritage Area, including a provision for marking, with the consent of the owner, historic structures and properties that are contained within the historic core areas and contribute to the understanding of the Heritage Area;

(12)

includes provisions for the protection and interpretation of the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Heritage Area consistent with this Act; and

(13)

includes provisions for the development of educational outreach programs for students of all ages to further the understanding of the vast resources within the Heritage Area.

(c)

Deadline for submission; prerequisites

(1)

Deadline

The management entity shall submit the management plan to the Secretary not later than the end of the three-year period beginning on the date on which funds are first made available for this Act.

(2)

Prerequisites

Before submitting the management plan to the Secretary, the management entity shall ensure that—

(A)

the Commonwealth of Virginia, the States of Maryland and West Virginia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and any political subdivision thereof that would be affected by the management plan, receives a copy of the management plan;

(B)

adequate notice of availability of the management plan is provided through publication in appropriate local newspapers in the area of the Heritage Area;

(C)

at least one public hearing is conducted by the management entity at a location within the Heritage Area in each congressional district included in whole or in part in the Heritage Area to review and receive comments on the management plan; and

(D)

a committee made up of elected officials of local governments within the boundaries of the Heritage Area, including mayors, town and county council chairs, and members of borough commissions and boards of supervisors, has had an opportunity to review, comment on, and approve (by majority vote) the management plan.

(d)

Termination of funding

If a management plan is not submitted to the Secretary in accordance with subsection (c), the Secretary shall not, after the end of the period specified in such subsection, provide any grant or other assistance under this Act with respect to the Heritage Area until a management plan for the Heritage Area is submitted to the Secretary.

(e)

Duties of management entity

The management entity shall—

(1)

give priority to implementing actions set forth in the management plan;

(2)

assist units of government, regional planning organizations, and nonprofit organizations in—

(A)

establishing and maintaining interpretive materials and exhibits in the Heritage Area;

(B)

developing historical and cultural resources and educational programs in the Heritage Area;

(C)

increasing public awareness of and appreciation for the natural, historical, cultural, architectural, scenic, and recreational resources and sites in the Heritage Area;

(D)

the restoration of any historic building relating to the themes of the Heritage Area;

(E)

ensuring that clear signs identifying access points and sites of interest are put in place throughout the Heritage Area; and

(F)

carrying out other actions that the management entity determines to be advisable to fulfill the purposes of this Act;

(3)

encourage by appropriate means economic viability in the Heritage Area consistent with the purposes of this Act;

(4)

consider the interests of diverse governmental, business, nonprofit groups, and individuals within the Heritage Area; and

(5)

for any year in which Federal funds have been provided to implement the management plan—

(A)

conduct public meetings at least annually regarding the implementation of the management plan;

(B)

submit an annual report to the Secretary setting forth accomplishments, expenses and income, and each person to which any grant was made by the management entity in the year for which the report is made; and

(C)

require, for all agreements entered into by the management entity authorizing expenditure of Federal funds by any other person, that the person making the expenditure make available to the management entity for audit all records pertaining to the expenditure of such funds.

(f)

Prohibition on the acquisition of real property

The management entity may not use Federal funds received under this Act to acquire real property or any interest in real property. No State or local subdivision of a State shall use any Federal funds received pursuant to this Act to acquire any interest in real property by condemnation or otherwise.

6.

Approval or disapproval of management plan

(a)

Time for consideration; criteria

The Secretary, in consultation with the Governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the States of Maryland and West Virginia, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall approve or disapprove a management plan submitted under section 5 not later than 180 days after receiving the plan. In considering the plan, the Secretary shall take into consideration the following criteria:

(1)

The extent to which the management plan, when implemented, would adequately preserve, support and protect the significant historical, cultural and recreational resources of the Heritage Area.

(2)

The level of public participation in the development of the management plan.

(3)

The extent to which the board of trustees of the management entity is representative of the local governments affected and a wide range of interested organizations and citizens.

(b)

Action following disapproval

If the Secretary disapproves a management plan, the Secretary shall advise the management entity in writing of the reasons for the disapproval and shall make recommendations for revisions in the management plan. The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a proposed revision within 180 days after the date it is submitted.

(c)

Approving changes

The Secretary shall review and approve or disapprove any amendment to the management plan that would make a substantial change to the management plan, as determined by the Secretary. The review and approval or disapproval of an amendment shall be conducted in the manner provided under subsections (a) and (b). Funds appropriated under this Act may not be expended to implement the changes made by such an amendment unless and until the Secretary approves the amendment.

(d)

Effect of inaction

If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove the management plan or amendment thereto within 180 days after it is submitted to the Secretary, then the management plan or amendment shall be deemed to have been approved by the Secretary.

(e)

Availability of annual reports

The management entity shall post each annual report prepared under section 5(e)(5)(B) on a website maintained by the management entity.

7.

Provision of financial and technical assistance

(a)

Overall assistance

Upon the request of the management entity and subject to the availability of appropriations, the Secretary may provide technical and financial assistance to the management entity to carry out its duties under this Act, including updating and implementing the management plan and, prior to approval of the management plan, providing assistance for initiatives.

(b)

Technical assistance

If the Secretary has the resources available to provide technical assistance to the management entity to carry out its duties under this Act, including updating and implementing the management plan and, prior to approval of the management plan, providing assistance for initiatives, the Secretary shall provide such assistance upon the request of the management entity. Technical assistance provided under this subsection shall be provided on a reimbursable basis, except that this subsection does not preclude the Secretary from providing nonreimbursable assistance under subsection (a).

(c)

Priority

In assisting the management entity, the Secretary shall give priority to actions that assist in—

(1)

the implementation of the management plan;

(2)

the provision of educational assistance and advice regarding management of the significant historic resources of the region;

(3)

the development and application of techniques promoting the preservation of cultural, recreational and historic properties;

(4)

the preservation, restoration, and reuse of publicly and privately owned historic buildings;

(5)

the design and fabrication of a wide range of interpretive materials based on the management plan, including, among other things, guide brochures, visitor displays, audio-visual, books, interpretive dialogues, interactive exhibits, and educational curriculum materials for public education; and

(6)

the implementation of initiatives prior to approval of the management plan.

(d)

Matching funds

As a condition of providing financial assistance under this section to the management entity, the Secretary shall require the recipient to provide matching funds in an amount equal to the amount of the financial assistance provided by the Secretary. Recipient matching funds—

(1)

shall be derived from non-Federal sources; and

(2)

may be made in the form of in-kind contributions of goods and services fairly valued.

8.

Duties of other Federal entities

Any Federal entity conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the Heritage Area shall—

(1)

consult with the Secretary and the management entity with respect to such activities;

(2)

cooperate with the Secretary and the management entity 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 that the management entity determines shall not have an adverse effect on the Heritage Area.

9.

Sunset for grants and other assistance

The Secretary may not make any grant or provide any other financial assistance under this Act after the expiration of the 15-year period beginning on the date that funds are first made available for this Act.

10.

Requirements for inclusion of private property

(a)

Notification and consent of property owners required

No privately owned property shall be preserved, conserved, or promoted under the management plan unless and until the owner of that private property has been—

(1)

notified in writing by the management entity; and

(2)

given written consent to the management entity for such preservation, conservation, or promotion.

(b)

Landowner withdrawal

Any owner of private property included within the boundaries of the Heritage Area shall have their property immediately removed from the boundaries by submitting a written request to the management entity.

(c)

Change of ownership

If private property included within the boundaries of the Heritage Area has been excluded from the Heritage Area or has not been preserved, conserved, or promoted under the management plan because the owner has not given or has withdrawn consent, upon change of ownership of that private property, the management entity may request consent from the new owners.

11.

Private property protection

(a)

Access to private property

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to—

(1)

require any private property owner to allow public access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to such private property; or

(2)

modify any provision of Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private property.

(b)

Liability

Designation of the Heritage Area 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 the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to regulate land use, including the authority of Federal, State, and local governments to make safety improvements or increase the capacity of existing roads or to construct new roads.

(d)

Participation of private property owners in heritage area

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the owner of any private property located within the boundaries of the Heritage Area to participate in or be associated with the Heritage Area.

(e)

Effect of establishment

The boundaries designated for the Heritage Area represent the area within which Federal funds appropriated for the purpose of this Act may be expended. The establishment of the Heritage Area and its boundaries shall not be construed to provide any nonexisting regulatory authority on land use within the Heritage Area or its viewshed by the Secretary, the National Park Service, or the management entity.

12.

Use of Federal funds from other sources

Nothing in this Act shall preclude the management entity from using Federal funds available under Acts other than this Act for the purposes for which those funds were authorized.

13.

Authorization of appropriations

(a)

Authorization of appropriations

Subject to subsection (b), there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act not more than $1,000,000 for any fiscal year. Funds so appropriated shall remain available until expended.

(b)

Limitation on total amounts appropriated

Not more than $10,000,000 may be appropriated to carry out this Act.