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S. 3551: Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 1, 2022 (Introduced).


II

117th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3551

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

February 1, 2022

(for himself and Mr. King) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources

A BILL

To require the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to carry out certain activities to enhance recreational opportunities for gateway communities, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Gateway Community and Recreation Enhancement Act.

2.

Definitions

In this Act:

(1)

Gateway community

The term gateway community means a community that serves as an entry point or is adjacent to a recreation destination (including a recreation destination on Federal land) at which there is consistently high, in the determination of the Secretaries, seasonal or year-round visitation.

(2)

Secretaries

The term Secretaries means—

(A)

the Secretary of the Interior; and

(B)

the Secretary of Agriculture, acting through the Chief of the Forest Service.

3.

Visitation pilot program

(a)

In general

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, using existing funds available to the Secretaries, the Secretaries, in partnership with gateway communities, State and local outdoor recreation and tourism agencies, local governments, Tribal governments, data and technology companies, and other relevant stakeholders, shall carry out a pilot program for the purposes described in subsection (b).

(b)

Purposes

Under the pilot program carried out under subsection (a), the Secretaries shall, with respect to each Federal land management unit selected for participation in the pilot program under subsection (c), make available to the public, either directly or through partner organizations—

(1)

data on visitation, including data and resources publicly available from existing nongovernmental platforms, at—

(A)

the Federal land management unit; and

(B)

to the extent available, recreation sites managed by any other Federal agency, a State agency, or a local agency located near the Federal land management unit; and

(2)

through different media platforms, information about lesser-known recreation sites (including recreation sites managed by any other Federal agency, a State agency, or a local agency) located near the Federal land management unit, in an effort to disperse visitation among recreational sites.

(c)

Locations

(1)

In general

The Secretaries shall select Federal land management units to participate in the pilot program carried out under subsection (a) in accordance with this subsection.

(2)

Feedback; support of gateway communities

In selecting a Federal land management unit to participate in the pilot program carried out under subsection (a), the Secretaries shall—

(A)

solicit feedback from gateway communities; and

(B)

select a Federal land management unit that is supported by the applicable gateway community.

(3)

Initial numbers of Federal land management units

(A)

In general

The Secretaries shall select for participation in the pilot program carried out under subsection (a)—

(i)

15 Federal land management units managed by the Department of the Interior; and

(ii)

5 Federal land management units managed by the Forest Service.

(B)

Expansion

Not later than 5 years after the date of enactment of this Act, in addition to the Federal land management units selected for the pilot program under subparagraph (A), the Secretaries shall select for participation in the pilot program carried out under subsection (a) 80 additional Federal land management units managed by the Secretaries, not fewer than 50 of which shall be Federal land management units managed by the Department of the Interior.

(d)

Existing programs

The Secretaries may use existing programs or products of the Secretaries to carry out this section.

(e)

Effect

Nothing in this section authorizes the Secretaries—

(1)

to monitor or record the movements of a visitor to Federal land;

(2)

to restrict, interfere with, or monitor a private communication of a visitor to Federal land;

(3)

to take possession of any documents, data, or other personal effects of a visitor to Federal land; or

(4)

to collect—

(A)

information from owners of land adjacent to Federal land; or

(B)

information on non-Federal land.

4.

Gateway community partnerships

Using existing funds available to the Secretaries, the Secretaries shall—

(1)

collaborate with State and local governments, Tribal governments, housing authorities, applicable trade associations, nonprofit organizations, and other relevant stakeholders—

(A)

to improve the understanding of the economic impacts of visitation on gateway communities; and

(B)

to identify community needs in gateway communities, including housing shortages, demands on existing municipal infrastructure, and accommodation and management of sustainable visitation; and

(2)

in accordance with existing law, seek to address community needs in gateway communities identified under paragraph (1)(B) by—

(A)

entering into cooperative agreements, memoranda of understanding, or similar agreements with gateway communities;

(B)

offering leases, rights-of-way, or easements;

(C)

entering into public-private partnerships; or

(D)

providing financial assistance under existing programs.