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H.R. 548 (111th): Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2009


The text of the bill below is as of Mar 4, 2009 (Referred to Senate Committee). The bill was not enacted into law.


IIB

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 548

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

March 4, 2009

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

AN ACT

To assist citizens, public and private institutions, and governments at all levels in planning, interpreting, and protecting sites where historic battles were fought on American soil during the armed conflicts that shaped the growth and development of the United States, and for other purposes.

1.

Short Title

This Act may be cited as the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Act of 2009.

2.

American Battlefield Protection Program

The purpose of this Act is to assist citizens, public and private institutions, and governments at all levels in planning, interpreting, and protecting sites where historic battles were fought on American soil during the armed conflicts that shaped the growth and development of the United States, in order that present and future generations may learn and gain inspiration from the ground where Americans made their ultimate sacrifice.

3.

Preservation assistance

(a)

In general

Using the established national historic preservation program to the extent practicable, the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the American Battlefield Protection Program, shall encourage, support, assist, recognize, and work in partnership with citizens, Federal, State, local, and tribal governments, other public entities, educational institutions, and private nonprofit organizations in identifying, researching, evaluating, interpreting, and protecting historic battlefields and associated sites on a National, State, and local level.

(b)

Financial assistance

To carry out subsection (a), the Secretary may use a cooperative agreement, grant, contract, or other generally adopted means of providing financial assistance.

(c)

Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated $3,000,000 annually to carry out this section, to remain available until expended.

4.

Battlefield acquisition grant program

(a)

Definitions

In this section:

(1)

Battlefield Report

The term Battlefield Report means the document entitled Report on the Nation's Civil War Battlefields, prepared by the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission, and dated July 1993.

(2)

Eligible entity

The term eligible entity means a State or local government.

(3)

Eligible site

The term eligible site means a site—

(A)

that is not within the exterior boundaries of a unit of the National Park System; and

(B)

that is identified in the Battlefield Report.

(4)

Secretary

The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the American Battlefield Protection Program.

(b)

Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a battlefield acquisition grant program under which the Secretary may provide grants to eligible entities to pay the Federal share of the cost of acquiring interests in eligible sites for the preservation and protection of those eligible sites.

(c)

Nonprofit partners

An eligible entity may acquire an interest in an eligible site using a grant under this section in partnership with a nonprofit organization.

(d)

Non-Federal share

The non-Federal share of the total cost of acquiring an interest in an eligible site under this section shall be not less than 50 percent.

(e)

Limitation on land use

An interest in an eligible site acquired under this section shall be subject to section 6(f)(3) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (16 U.S.C. 460l–8(f)(3)).

(f)

Willing sellers

Acquisitions of land and interests in land under this Act shall be limited to acquisitions, from willing sellers only, of conservation easements and fee-simple purchases of eligible sites.

(g)

Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to provide grants under this section $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2013.

5.

Repeal

This Act shall be repealed on September 30, 2019.

Passed the House of Representatives March 3, 2009.

Lorraine C. Miller,

Clerk.