NPCA submitted the following positions on legislation being considered by the House Federal Lands subcommittee during a hearing on June 23, 2016.
H.R. 2167: Public Lands Service Corps Act of 2015 – NPCA supports this bill that would amend the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 by expanding authority of the land and water management agencies to provide service opportunities for young Americans to help restore our country’s natural, cultural and historical resources. The legislation also amends the current law by extending the non-competitive hiring authority for former corps members to two years and allows military veterans to participate in conservation corps up to age 35. It also establishes an Indian Youth Service Corps in order for Indian youth to participate in conservation projects located on Indian lands.
H.R. 4387: Tule Lake National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2016 – NPCA opposes this bill as currently written. We support the intent of the bill to establish the Tule Lake National Historic Site as a freestanding, separate unit of the National Park System rather than as a sub-unit of the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument. However, there are provisions in H.R. 4387 that need to be modified or removed. NPCA opposes Sections 3(d)(4)(c ), 5, and 6, which would constrain the National Park Service from adequately managing the site and its historic and cultural resources.
Section 3(d)(4)(c ) creates unnecessary and duplicative consultation measures given the existing public input opportunities in the park planning process. Section 5 prevents the President and Secretary of the Interior from designating or acquiring lands for inclusion in the historic site outside of the proposed boundaries unless certain conditions are met. This would unnecessarily prevent the President or Secretary from exercising their ability to provide further protection to this important national historic site. Section 6 may impair the Park Service’s authority to work with neighboring entities to reduce impacts to the historic integrity of the park and its solemn historic nature.
The Tule Lake Segregation Center is the site where Japanese Americans were sent if the U.S. Government deemed them “disloyal.” The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument was created to celebrate and tell the stories of the valor by military personnel during World War II, including Pearl Harbor and the Battle of the Aleutians site in Alaska. The Tule Lake site focuses on the history of Japanese American incarceration during the war, an important and different story to be told in a site separate from the Valor National Monument.
H.R. 5114: 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act of 2016 – The 21st Century Conservation Service Corps (21CSC) is a bold initiative that addresses the need for maintenance and restoration on our public lands, waters, and natural and cultural resources while also providing service and work-experience opportunities for young people and veterans. The 21CSC is a public-private partnership that encourages veterans and young people, the next generation of public land stewards, to invest in the preservation of America’s great outdoors. NPCA supports this bill.
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Climate and Conservation Program Manager.