Committee to vote on 2 new national parks
Written byLAURA PETERSEN, Greenwire
Two bills to establish national parks and four other public lands measures will be marked up by the full Natural Resources Committee this week.
Lawmakers will consider H.R. 5987, which would establish a national park commemorating the Manhattan Project, which led to the creation of the nuclear bomb. The park would include three locations that figured prominently in the bomb's development -- Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Los Alamos, N.M.; and Hanford, Wash.
The proposal has broad support, including from the National Park Service and Department of Energy, and has companion legislation in the Senate.
"While some differences remain between the House and Senate bills, there is genuine bipartisan desire in both the House and Senate to advance this proposal into law -- and to do everything we can to make that happen this year," said Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), who introduced the bill, at a hearing last month (E&E Daily, June 29).
The committee will mark up another proposal that appears to have broad support that would upgrade Pinnacles National Monument to a national park, H.R. 3641 from Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.). The central California park unit contains unique geological features and endangered California condor habitat, and local communities want to raise its profile to attract more tourists (E&E Daily, June 4).
Also on the docket is legislation (H.R. 5958) from Rep. Bob Turner (R-N.Y.) to rename the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in honor of former Sen. James L. Buckley, a member of the Conservative Party from New York. NPS officials said they oppose the idea because there is not a strong link between Buckley and the refuge (E&E Daily, June 29).
The committee will also mark up:
-H.R. 4606 from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), which would authorize the issuance of right of way permits for natural gas pipelines in Glacier National Park.
-H.R. 4484 from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), which would provide for the conveyance of a small parcel of National Forest System land in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Utah to Brigham Young University.
-H.R. 4100 from Delegate Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam), which would strengthen enforcement mechanisms to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and amend the Tuna Conventions Act of 1950 to implement the Antigua Convention.