Policy Update Jan 17, 2018

Position on H.R. 443, H.R. 2987, H.R. 3058 & H.R. 3961

NPCA submitted the following positions to the House Committee on Natural Resources ahead of a markup scheduled for January 17, 2018.

H.R. 443: the James K. Polk Presidential Home Study Act – NPCA supports this legislation to study the James K. Polk Home in Columbia, Tennessee to determine significance, suitability, and feasibility of being a unit of the National Park System. The home is the only surviving residence of President Polk (besides the White House) and houses original possessions of the President and Mrs. Polk.

H.R. 2987: 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act of 2017 – NPCA supports this legislation to amend the Public Lands Corps Act to establish the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps to place young people and/or veterans in national service positions to conserve and restore our national parks and other federal lands. NPCA supports this effort to teach youth and veterans skills to successfully transition to the workforce while instilling the importance of our public lands.

H.R. 3058: Gateway Arch National Park Designation Act – NPCA supports the spirit of this legislation, but is supportive of a slight change to the wording. NPCA supports the National Park Service recommendation to redesignate the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial as the Gateway Arch National Memorial rather than the Gateway Arch National Park, as that is consistent with the current management of the unit. The park commemorates the westward movement of American explorers and pioneers and the origins of the debate over slavery through the Dred Scott case. The arch has become an icon of St. Louis and the country.

H.R. 3961: Kissimmee River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2017 - NPCA supports this legislation, which would designate segments of the Kissimmee River in Florida for possible inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System. This study is an appropriate recognition for the massive undertaking by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District to restore the Kissimmee River and greater Everglades ecosystem. Kissimmee River Restoration began in the early 1990s as a foundation project for Everglades restoration to restore the natural path of the river after its channelization into a drainage canal in the 1960s. Once completed in 2020, more than 40 square miles of floodplain will be restored, including nearly 20,000 acres of wetlands and 44 miles of historic river channel, helping with the timing and distribution of water flows into the Everglades from the headwaters region north of Lake Okeechobee. Already the area is seeing ecological benefits with birds and other wildlife returning more quickly than anticipated. This legislation helps highlight the successful federal-state partnership underway to restore America’s Everglades.