Hearings and Business Meetings

SD-366 Energy Committee Hearing Room 02:30 PM

Dr. Janet Snyder Matthews

Associate Director for Cultural Resources , National Park Service

TESTIMONY OF JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 435, TO AMEND THE WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT TO DESIGNATE A SEGMENT OF THE FARMINGTON RIVER AND SALMON BROOK FOR STUDY FOR POTENTIAL ADDITION TO THE NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM.

September 22, 2005
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Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 435, a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act to designate a segment of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  The Department supports enactment of this legislation with one technical amendment.

While the Department supports the authorization of this study, it is important that future funding requests go towards completing previously authorized studies.  There are currently 25 studies in progress, and we hope to complete and transmit 6 to Congress by the end of 2005.  Therefore, the Department will focus the funding provided towards completing these studies.

S. 435 presents the opportunity to build from the success of the Upper Farmington River, which was designated a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in 1994.  At that time, the partnership-based model of Wild and Scenic River designations, with a limited federal role and no federal land acquisition authority, was essentially an experiment.  Now, 11 years later, it is a testament to the success of that partnership approach that the Lower Farmington and Salmon Brook communities, the State of Connecticut, and the Farmington River Watershed Association have all come together to seek a similar study. 

The portion of the Farmington River under consideration runs approximately 40 miles from the Upper Farmington’s downstream endpoint to the Connecticut River.  The Lower Farmington has its own distinct character that compliments the “outstandingly remarkable” fish, wildlife, historic and recreational resources that qualified the upper river for designation.  A notable historic feature, the Farmington Canal, served as an important regional transportation link from its opening in 1825 until the mid-1840’s when railroad tracks were laid upon its obsolete towpath.  Today, much of this feature is being converted into a recreational multi-use path and greenway, providing outstanding access to recreational, scenic and historic attributes of the river valley.

In July 2005, results of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey of the Lower Farmington and Salmon Brook uncovered what is believed to be the State of Connecticut’s largest populations of the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel (Alasmidonta heterodon). Salmon Brook is a major tributary of the Farmington River, and is well known for its outstanding scenery and trout fishing. 

It is significant that the communities and interest groups associated with the Lower Farmington and Salmon Brook have had the unique opportunity to observe and interact with the National Park Service and the Farmington River Coordinating Committee (created to oversee management of the Upper Farmington Wild and Scenic segment) for more than ten years.  The development of these relationships should facilitate the completion of the study required by this legislation.

The Department suggests one amendment to S. 435.  Section 2 of the bill requires that a report on results of the study be submitted to the Senate and House authorizing committees no later than three years after the date of enactment of the Act.  We believe it more feasible to provide that this occur no later than three years after funds are made available based on the number of studies currently being conducted by the Department.

This concludes my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman.  I will be happy to answer any questions you or other committee members may have regarding this bill.

 
Proposed amendment to S. 435, Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the State of Connecticut for study for potential addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

On p. 2, line 17, strike “the date of enactment of this Act” and insert “funds are made available to carry out this Act”.

STATEMENT OF JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S.  1096, A BILL TO AMEND THE WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS ACT TO DESIGNATE PORTIONS OF THE MUSCONETCONG RIVER IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AS A COMPONENT OF THE NATIONAL WILD AND SCENIC RIVERS SYSTEM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

September 22, 2005

 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before the Committee to present the Department of the Interior’s position on S. 1096, a bill to amend the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by designating portions of the Musconetcong River in New Jersey as a component of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  The Department supports enactment of S. 1096.

The Musconetcong River is the largest New Jersey tributary to the Delaware River.  The area of the river, nestled in the heart of the New Jersey Highlands, contains a remarkably diverse array of natural and cultural resources.  The limestone geologic features present in the Musconetcong River corridor are unique in the state, and the steep slopes and forested ridges in the upper segments of the river corridor contrast with the historic villages, pastures, and rolling agricultural lands at the middle and lower end of the river valley.

The impetus for the designation of the Musconetcong began in 1991, when residents in the Mucsoncetcong River Valley organized a petition drive in support of efforts to protect the river.  The petitions called for the protection of the Musconetcong River under both the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and New Jersey Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

In 1992, Congress passed legislation authorizing the National Park Service to study the eligibility and suitability of the Lower Delaware River for addition to the National Wild and Scenic River System.  In 1997, 18 of 19 Musconetcong River municipalities voted to have the National Park Service determine the eligibility and suitability of the Musconetcong River for designation into the National Wild and Scenic River System.  As a part of the study effort, a Musconetcong Advisory Committee, comprised of residents representing each municipality, was formed.  This committee, with assistance from the National Park Service through its authority to study the Lower Delaware River, completed a Resource Assessment and Eligibility and Classification Report (1999) as well as a Musconetcong River Management Plan (April, 2003).  The report found that approximately 24 miles of the river are eligible for inclusion into the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System because of their free-flowing nature and outstandingly remarkable recreational, scenic, cultural, and wildlife and habitat values.

The Musconetcong River Management Plan was developed cooperatively and calls for a management framework that acknowledges the importance and preference for local leadership, and the additional protections afforded by national wild and scenic river designation.  A key principle of the management framework as proposed in the plan is that existing institutions will continue to play primary roles in the long-term protection of the Musconetcong River.  With respect to facilitating and coordinating potentially diverse interests among residents, landowners, municipalities, counties, states and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the plan proposes the formation of a Musconetcong River Management Committee.

The bill provides that the administration for the 24.2-mile designated river segment is to be consistent with the cooperatively developed Musconetcong River Management Plan (2003) and is to be undertaken in cooperation with federal, state, county and municipal governments.  The bill also identifies an additional river segment that would be suitable for designation by the Secretary of the Interior only at such time as it can be demonstrated that adequate local support for such designation exists within the affected local jurisdictions.  The costs associated with a designated wild and scenic river in the Northeast Region of the National Park Service average $150,000 annually (for cooperative agreements with river partner organizations), and we would expect the costs to be similar for this river, although the expenditures per river will likely decline as more designated rivers have to share limited resources.  The region will handle the work associated with the newly designated river with existing staff.  Any funding for cooperative agreements with the river’s partner organizations will be dependent upon annual appropriations and departmental funding priorities.

This completes my prepared statement.  I would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding this bill.

STATEMENT OF JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 1310, TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO ALLOW THE COLUMBIA GAS TRANSMISSION CORPORATION TO INCREASE THE DIAMETER OF A NATURAL GAS PIPELINE LOCATED IN DELAWARE WATER GAP NATIONAL RECREATION AREA.

September 22, 2005


Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 1310, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation to increase the diameter of a natural gas pipeline located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  The Department supports enactment of this legislation with one technical amendment.

This bill provides for the Secretary of the Interior to enter into an agreement with the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation, for no consideration, to grant an easement to permit the enlargement of an existing natural gas pipeline from a diameter of 14 inches to no more than 20 inches.  It provides for the Corporation to submit resource information and appropriate restoration and mitigation plans under terms and conditions that assure  the protection of the natural and cultural resources of the national recreation area.  In addition, the Corporation will have to comply with other requirements for certification set forth by the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission to permit an increase in the diameter of the pipeline.  Finally, the bill states that the Secretary shall not grant any additional increases in the pipeline’s diameter and limits the pipeline’s right-of-way to its existing 50-feet width.

Pipeline 1278 is a part of the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation’s interstate pipeline network that delivers natural gas to the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states from production areas in the southwest and Appalachia, 3.5 miles of which runs through sections of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.  Pipeline 1278 was constructed in the mid-1940’s on easements purchased from landowners. When land was acquired for the national recreation area, five parcels of land were acquired subject to easements for pipeline 1278.

Pipeline 1278 underwent periodic testing in 2002.  The inspection showed that the pipeline was showing its age, and there were numerous instances that the wall of the pipeline was thinning.  The Corporation was issued a Corrective Action Order by the Department of Transportation.  The order required the Corporation to reduce the operating pressure in the pipeline until such time as all anomalies in the pipeline could be repaired.  A determination was made by the Corporation that the best way to repair the current pipeline was to replace the existing pipeline with a new, state of the art, cathodically protected steel pipe.  At the same time, the Corporation decided to upgrade the diameter of the pipeline from 14 inches to 20 inches.

The National Park Service does not have legal authority to issue rights-of-way for petroleum pipelines across parklands.  The deeds for the five parcels of land, subject to easements for the Corporation pipeline, are very specific about the rights that the Corporation purchased back in the 1940’s.  Congressional action is needed to allow the increase in pipeline size on two of the parcels totaling 800 feet of parkland.  Congressional action is not required for the remaining three parcels, since the deeds permit the increase in pipeline size.

This legislation simply permits the Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation to fully utilize an easement they purchased 50 years ago.  By order of the Department of Transportation, the pipeline must be repaired or replaced, and the replacement of the current pipeline with one of a larger diameter does not increase the impact to parklands of the replacement project.  The permit issued to the Corporation has sufficient safeguards in it to insure the rehabilitation and restoration of parklands disturbed by the replacement project.

The one technical amendment we suggest would be to correct the right-of-way number on p. 2, line 9 by striking “16414” and inserting “16413”.

This concludes my prepared testimony, Mr. Chairman.  I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the committee might have.

 
Proposed amendment to S. 1310, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Natural Gas Pipeline Enlargement Act.

On page 2, line 9, strike “16414” and insert ”16413”.

STATEMENT OF JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 1378, THE NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT AMENDMENTS ACT OF 2005.

 

September 22, 2005

 

 

 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to discuss the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 1378, a bill to amend the National Historic Preservation Act to provide appropriation authorization and improve the operations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. 

 

The Department supports S. 1378 with an amendment to extend the authorization of the Historic Preservation Fund for ten years until 2015.

 

S. 1378 would extend the authorization of the Historic Preservation Fund for an additional six years.  The bill would also make a number of changes to the authority for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) by increasing the membership of the ACHP, authorizing the governor appointed to the ACHP to have a designee serve in his place, revising the number of members that constitute a quorum, revising various financial and administrative authorities of the ACHP, authorizing the ACHP to solicit donations, and authorizing the ACHP to enter into cooperative agreements with other federal agencies to improve the effectiveness of the administration of grant or assistance programs to help meet the purposes of the National Historic Preservation Act. 

In addition, the bill also changes the authorization level for the ACHP from $4 million per fiscal year to such sums as may be necessary.  It also makes the ACHP permanent instead of reauthorizing the ACHP for the standard five-year period. 

 

The Historic Preservation Fund grew out of the recommendations of the 1966 Special Committee on Historic Preservation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  The Special Committee recommended the establishment of a grant program to State and local governments to carry out inventory and survey programs in coordination with the National Park Service.  In 1970, a historic preservation grant program was established and administered by the National Park Service in partnership with State governments on a cost-sharing basis. In 1976, the Historic Preservation Fund was created with revenues from Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas production.

 

Over the years, the Historic Preservation Fund has provided essential support to the State Historic Preservation Offices that operate the national program at the State level. 

Through the work of our partners in the States, we can cite significant achievements over the past year:

 

  • The National Park Service approved 1,537 new listings, which include 46,619 properties, in the National Register of Historic Places.  This brings the total number of National Register properties to 79,617 listings that include over 1.4 million properties. 
  • Jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service, and in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Officers, the Historic Preservation Tax Incentives resulted in the rehabilitation of over 1,200 historic properties listed in the National Register, creating over 15,000 new housing units and generating $3.8 billion in leveraged private investment—all during 2004.  Since its inception in 1976, this tax incentives program has generated over $33 billion in historic preservation activity.
  • In FY 2005, the Save America’s Treasures (SAT) grant program awarded a total of 145 matching grants in 43 states and the District of Columbia totaling $29.5 million. 337 applications were received that totaled $134 million. The SAT program is administered by the National Park Service, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

 

Over the years, the Historic Preservation Fund authority has been a highly flexible authority for developing targeted grant programs that address the broad purposes of the National Historic Preservation Act.  They include the grants to Indian Tribes to support Tribal Historic Preservation Offices and project grants to preserve America’s native cultures; grants to Historically Black Colleges and Universities to preserve significant campus buildings; the Save America’s Treasures Grant Program for threatened nationally significant properties; and more recently, the Preserve America grant program for heritage tourism, including education, and economic revitalization.  These grant programs not only preserve historic resources, they attract new economic investment.

 

Reauthorization of the ACHP also is an important objective as we work with this critical governmental agency to help protect historic resources while facilitating government-sponsored development.   We are working closely with the ACHP on a number of important initiatives, including the Preserve America program and compliance tools. 

 

We understand that the ACHP will discuss the specific provisions of S. 1378 that affect the ACHP.  We believe these changes will increase the ACHP’s effectiveness and strengthen the important role the ACHP has played in preserving the historic resources of our country. 

 

As recommended at the beginning of this testimony, the Department believes that the authorization of the Historic Preservation Fund should be extended for ten years instead of six.  The fund is now almost 40 years old.  It has been highly successful in meeting the objectives established by Congress in preserving the historic resources of this country.  We believe this success calls for a longer authorization than previously has been provided, while allowing Congress the traditional oversight role it has always maintained.  The proposed amendment is attached to the testimony.

 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks.  I would be pleased to answer any questions you or members of the committee may have.


Proposed amendment to S. 1378, National Historic Preservation Act Amendments Act of 2005.

 

On page 2, line 6 strike “2011” and insert “2015”.

 

STATEMENT OF JANET SNYDER MATTHEWS, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES CONCERNING S. 1627, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO CONDUCT A SPECIAL RESOURCES STUDY TO EVALUATE RESOURCES ALONG THE COASTAL REGION OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE AND TO DETERMINE THE SUITABILITY AND FEASIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A UNIT OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM IN DELAWARE.

 

September 22, 2005

 

 

 

Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 1627, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a Special Resources Study along the coastal region of the State of Delaware.  The Department supports enactment of the legislation with one amendment regarding the time period provided for the study.

 

While the Department supports the authorization of this study, it is important that future funding requests go towards completing previously authorized studies.  There are currently 25 studies in progress, and we hope to complete and transmit 6 to Congress by the end of 2005.  Therefore, the Department will focus the funding provided towards completing these studies.

 

The coastal region of the state of Delaware has a long and distinguished history of Native American occupation, colonial settlement and contributions to this nation’s heritage.  The region was populated by the Lenni Lenape and Nanticoke tribes before the period of European discovery.  Early explorations of Delaware’s coastline were made by the Spaniards and Portuguese in the sixteenth century, by Henry Hudson in 1609 under the auspices of the Dutch, by Samuel Argall in 1610, by Cornelius May in 1613, and by Cornelius Hendricksen in 1614.  During a storm, Argall was blown off course and sailed into a strange bay, which he named in honor of his governor - Lord De La Warr.

 

In 1631, 11 years after the landing of the English pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts, the first white settlement was established by the Dutch.  This was followed in 1638 by the first Swedish settlement at "The Rocks" on the Christina River, where a fort was built called “Fort Christina” after the young queen of Sweden.  Fort Christina in Wilmington, with a monument created by the noted sculptor Carl Milles and presented by the people of Sweden, perpetuates the memory of these first settlers and preserves "The Rocks" where they first landed. 

 

In the autumn of 1655, Peter Stuyvesant came from New Amsterdam with a Dutch fleet, subjugated the Swedish settlements, and established the authority of the Colony of New Netherlands throughout the area.  The Dutch were eventually replaced by the English.  In 1776 at the time of the Declaration of Independence, Delaware not only declared itself free from the British Empire, but also established a state government entirely separate from Pennsylvania.  The State became the first to ratify the United States Constitution on December 7, 1787.

 

The importance of the Delaware Bay and River to coastal defense during the American Revolution, the War of 1812 and the Civil War was marked by the establishment of fortifications to thwart enemy ships from traversing the Delaware River to Philadelphia. Many of these resources remain to remind current generations of past struggles for independence, early nationhood, and preservation of the Union.  Delaware became an important component of the Underground Railroad prior to the elimination of slavery during the Civil War.  The Delaware River was and remains an important transportation link connecting Delaware and portions of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to world markets.

 

The coastal region of Delaware also contains important natural resources adjacent to and including Delaware Bay and the Delaware River.  It provides resource-based recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and crabbing.  Delaware Bay is a major staging area for shorebird migration with truly spectacular numbers visible during the peak of migration.  The region is replete with state parks and wildlife areas that protect resources and provide important opportunities for the public to appreciate and enjoy Delaware’s natural treasures.

 

The region also has played an important role in industry, including the exploitation of water power.  The outbreak of the Civil War, for example, found Wilmington with a strong industrial base, which responded to meet the great demands of waging war. Wilmington products included ships, railroad cars, gunpowder, shoes, tents, uniforms, blankets and other war-related goods. By 1868, Wilmington was producing more iron ships than the rest of the country combined and it rated first in the production of gunpowder and second in carriages and leather.  Industries thrived along the Delaware, especially the chemicals and materials company that was founded by the Dupont family in the 19th century and continues to be one of the largest chemical-related companies in the world.

 

The Department suggests one amendment to S. 1627.  Section 4 of the bill requires that a report on findings, conclusions and recommendations of the study be submitted to the Senate and House authorizing committees no later than one year after funds are made available to carry out the Act.  We believe it more feasible to provide that this occur no later than three years after funds are made available based on the number of Special Resource Studies currently being conducted by the Department. 

 

If this study is authorized, the Department expects to coordinate this study with the recently authorized Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Watertrail study, which will be evaluating resources along the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries including portions in the State of Delaware.

 

Mr. Chairman, that concludes my testimony.  I will be pleased to answer any questions from members of the Committee.

 


 

Proposed amendment to S. 1627, Delaware National Coastal Special Resources Study Act.

 

On page 4, line 11, strike “1 year” and insert ”3 years”.