IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 20, 2010
Mrs. Gillibrand introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Newtown Battlefield located in Chemung County, New York, and the suitability and feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System, and for other purposes.
1779 Battle of Newtown study
Congress finds as follows:
In 1972, the Newtown Battlefield was recognized by the Federal Government as a significant historic resource by the designation of the Newtown Battlefield National Historic Landmark, consisting of approximately 2,100 acres in the towns of Ashland, Chemung, and Elmira in the County of Chemung, New York.
The Sullivan Campaign of 1779 was a significant event in the history of American Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Newtown, fought on August 29, 1779, was the most significant military engagement of the Sullivan Campaign.
The National Park Service’s 2007 Report on the Historic Preservation of Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Sites in the United States categorized Newtown Battlefield as a Class A site.
The designation of Newtown Battlefield as a Class A site evinces a conclusion that the battlefield is a site of a military action with a vital objective or result that shaped the strategy, direction, outcome, or perception of the Revolutionary War.
The report also found that Newtown Battlefield is a site that has experienced little alteration since the Revolutionary War and that it is largely unprotected by other public historic preservation agencies or nonprofit organizations.
For purposes of this Act:
The term Newtown Battlefield means the area encompassed by the 1972 designation of the Newtown Battlefield National Historic Landmark, and other associated lands related to the Battle of Newtown located in the towns of Elmira, Chemung, and Ashland, in Chemung County, New York.
The term Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior.
Not later than 1 year after the date that funds are made available for this section, the Secretary shall conduct a special resource study to evaluate the significance of the Newtown Battlefield in Chemung County, New York, as well as the suitability and feasibility of its inclusion in the National Park System.
Criteria for study
In conducting the study authorized by this Act, the Secretary shall use the criteria for the study of areas for potential inclusion in the National Park System contained in section 8(b) of Public Law 91–383 (16 U.S.C. 1a–5(b)).
Content of study
The study shall include an analysis of the following:
The significance of the Battle of Newtown to the Sullivan Campaign and the significance of the Campaign in relation to the military objectives of the Continental Army in 1779.
Opportunities for public enjoyment of the Newtown Battlefield.
Any operational, management, and private property issues that need to be considered if the Newtown Battlefield were added to the National Park System.
A determination of the feasibility of administering the Newtown Battlefield considering its size, configuration, ownership, costs, and other factors.
An evaluation of the adequacy of other alternatives for the management and resource protection of the Newtown Battlefield.
An analysis of the impact, economic and otherwise, on the Chemung County community, of the inclusion of Newtown Battlefield into the National Park System.
Submission of report
Upon completion of the study, the Secretary shall submit a report on the findings of the study to the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate.