Policy Update Nov 14, 2017

Position on H.R. 801, H.R. 2888 & H.R. 4266

NPCA submitted the following positions to the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands ahead of a hearing scheduled for November 15, 2017.

H.R. 801: Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act – NPCA supports this bill to designate the Route 66 National Historic Trail. Since its establishment in 1926, Route 66 has been an emblem of 20th Century American culture, and a gateway to the national parks of the western United States. Linking Chicago and Los Angeles with Grand Canyon National Park, Petrified Forest National Park and other iconic landscapes, Route 66 provided an increasingly mobile public with unprecedented access to the Southwest’s shared treasures. In the process, the road itself became a destination. Route 66’s architecture and artifacts continue to spark interest in history and culture throughout the Midwest winding past the iconic Gateway Arch to the West at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis. The road itself was primary inspiration for the establishment of Mojave Trails National Monument, which contains the longest intact section of the historic highway.

With sections preserved in both Petrified Forest National Park and Mojave Trails National Monument, the history of Route 66 is inextricably interwoven with that of our Southwestern and Midwestern national parks. Route 66 helped make the national parks what they are today. It is a treasure well worth celebrating and protecting.

H.R. 2888: Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park Establishment Act – NPCA supports this legislation to establish a new unit of the National Park System in the state of Missouri. Established in the mid-1700s, Ste. Genevieve was the first settlement on the west bank of the Mississippi River and is still the only surviving French Colonial village in the U.S. In May 2016, the National Park Service released a comprehensive Special Resource Study of the site. The study found that a portion of the Ste. Genevieve historic district meets criteria for national significance and suitability, and that certain resources within the district are feasible to manage as a unit and would benefit from direct NPS management.

H.R. 4266: Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act – NPCA supports this bill to address the boundary of Acadia National Park and provide for some additional administrative provisions. The bill would codify the Schoodic Peninsula addition to the park, an area of pristine beauty and with improved public amenities to allow visitors to camp, bike and hike the Schoodic Woods while finding peace and solitude along Maine’s stunning and undeveloped coastline. NPCA also supports the permanent authorization of the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission as it plays an integral role in providing local feedback to creatively problem solve and move toward successes at Acadia National Park. We also support the modification of the land use designation for the Tremont School to allow for public uses. NPCA supports language to allow the park to transfer or exchange land up to 10 acres on a case-by-case basis, including when there are land survey errors or road realignments.

NPCA is concerned with Section 109: Continuation of Certain Traditional Uses as it lists specific organisms that would be allowed for harvesting, as regulated by the State of Maine. NPCA supports allowing the Park Service at Acadia to monitor and regulate harvesting practices in the inter-tidal zone surrounding the park, though only using traditional methods. NPCA seeks a clarification of legislative intent that “traditional” does not include mechanized harvesting, but rather “non-mechanized” or “by-hand” methods.