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Ms. Debbie StabenowSenatorU.S. Senate
The Honorable Susan CollinsU.S. Senate
Rick SantorumThe Honorable
Witness Panel 1
Mr. Steve MartinDeputy DirectorNational Park Service
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 584 AND H.R. 432, THE BETTY DICK RESIDENCE PROTECTION ACT.
JULY 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 584 and H.R. 432, bills that would require the Secretary of the Interior to permit continued occupancy and use of certain lands and improvements within Rocky Mountain National Park.
The Department supports the general goal of S. 584 and H.R. 432 to allow the National Park Service (NPS) to resolve the merits of Mrs. Betty Dick’s desire to continue to live in the home inside Rocky Mountain National Park where she has lived for more than 25 years. Currently, the NPS does not have clear statutory authority to address these unique situations. In this testimony, we recommend certain amendments that will address both Mrs. Dick’s needs while recognizing the public’s purchase and ownership of this property.
As drafted, the pending legislation will only address Mrs. Dick’s unique situation. The Department also would be willing to work with the Committee to develop a broader solution, one that would provide NPS with clear statutory authority to address expiring reservations of use and occupancy in other situations with similar merit. We look forward to working with the Committee on this issue.
On April 14, 2005, the Department testified in opposition to H.R. 432 at a hearing before the House Subcommittee on National Parks. However, since that time, the Department has recognized the need for a broader solution in light of the several hundred reservations of use and occupancy that will expire over the next 10 years. Some of these existing reservations may present circumstances similar in merit to Mrs. Dick’s.
S. 584 and H.R. 432 would allow the continued use and occupancy of land within Rocky Mountain National Park by Betty Dick for the remainder of her life. The bills also state that the use and occupancy of the land would be governed by the conditions stated in the 1980 settlement agreement. Under these conditions, Betty Dick would be required to make an annual payment of $300 to the Secretary of the Interior and she would be prohibited from constructing any new structures on the property.
We regret the difficult situations that sometimes arise from the expiration of private use and occupancy leases located within National Parks. Mrs. Dick has been a model tenant in Rocky Mountain National Park. The park has always enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, a congenial relationship with her, and she is a familiar summer resident of the Grand Lake community opening her home to park staff and residents of the community alike. Park staff always feel welcome in Mrs. Dick’s home and have frequently stopped by to discuss this issue and other items of mutual interest relating to the park.
The situation that is the subject of these bills is the result of a commitment made by Mr. Dick, Mrs. Dick’s late husband, to vacate the property that he sold to the NPS 25 years ago. We understand and appreciate that this commitment has caused anxiety and stress for Mrs. Dick.
In 1977, the NPS purchased 66.5 acres from Marilyn Dick, the ex-wife of George Fredrick Dick for $214,000. The title company that handled the transaction overlooked the fact that Mr. Dick had retained a right of first refusal to purchase the property if his ex-wife ever decided to sell. Mr. Dick sued the NPS and his former wife in U.S. District Court. In a legally binding Memorandum of Settlement Agreement, signed by the parties in 1980, the NPS retained ownership of the property and agreed to lease approximately 23 acres to Mr. Dick and his heirs for a period of 25 years for $7,500, which equates to $300 per year. Mr. Dick died in 1992. His second wife, Betty Dick, survives him and now occupies the premises during the summer months. As the heir of Mr. Dick, Betty Dick had a leasehold interest in the property that expired July 16, 2005.
Mrs. Dick has contacted the NPS about extending her use and occupancy on a preferential basis for the remainder of her life. The NPS lacks the authority to grant such an extension either through existing leasing authority or special use permit authority. NPS does have the authority to issue leases competitively in most circumstances; issuing leases noncompetitively is limited to leases to units of government or non-profit organizations under certain circumstances. NPS is also is required to charge rent at least equal to fair market value, and the rent payment is kept by the park.
NPS cannot issue special use permits to extend use and occupancy for a life term under current authorities. However, NPS does have authority under certain circumstances to issue a two-year special use permit, with the possibility of re-issuance as long as the justifying circumstances apply, that would allow an individual with an expired use and occupancy to remain on the premises. Some of the criteria include situations in which NPS would be unable to remove the structure for a significant period of time (e.g., because of the need to complete planning requirement or the lack of available funds); the structure has or may have historical significance that would be endangered if vacated; or termination of residency would create undue hardship to the occupant (this provision requires the structure to be the primary residence of the individual). Special use permits also may only be issued for rent equal to the fair market value rent for the property, and the rent would be deposited in the U.S. Treasury. Under our current authority, we have offered Mrs. Dick such a special use permit that allows her to remain on her property for a period of time while NPS conducts a planning process to consider the options and determine an appropriate use for the property taking into account the interests of American taxpayers and park visitors, and park resources.
Mrs. Dick has verbally indicated that she will not accept the offer of a special use permit because it does not address her request for a life estate. A written offer has been sent to her that asks for her reconsideration of the NPS offer. While she has not yet responded to the request for reconsideration, she has accepted our offer to remain at her summer home for the remainder of this season as we await the outcome of the pending legislation. In accepting this offer, Mrs. Dick has stated her appreciation to park staff for allowing her to continue her normal routine for this summer.
The Department would support S. 584 and H.R. 432, if amended in a way that balances the merits of Mrs. Dick’s situation with the public’s interest in this property, which was purchased and is owned for the benefit of the American people. First, the Department would recommend that the bills be amended to reduce the acreage she occupies from 23 acres to approximately three to five acres that contain the house and outbuildings and her access to the Colorado River. The balance of the property would then be available for park visitors, including access to the river. This would require producing a new map, which we would be happy to provide to Mrs. Dick and to the public.
In addition, we suggest that Mrs. Dick’s continued occupancy of the property should be subject to fair market value rent, based upon an appraisal of the property, with the rent being retained by the park.
Finally, we suggest that the bill be amended to name Mrs. Dick as the sole beneficiary of the legislation, and that language be added to allow the termination of the lease in the event that Mrs. Dick is no longer able to use the property in the summer or is unable or unwilling to pay the annual fees. We would be happy to work with the Subcommittee staff to develop these amendments.
Throughout the country, there are many instances where the NPS has purchased private inholdings and permitted former landowners to remain on the property for a period of time, usually 25 years, through a “Reservation of Use and Occupancy.” The United States pays a reduced purchase price to account for the value of the retained use. This acquisition tool saves taxpayer dollars and allows the former owner to continue to enjoy the property for a set period of time. As we noted earlier, the Department also would like to work with the Committee to develop a broader solution – one that would provide the NPS with clear statutory authority to address the expiring reservations of use and occupancy in situations where there is merit. We look forward to working with the Committee on this effort.
That concludes my remarks. Mr. Chairman, I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 1154, A BILL TO EXTEND THE ACADIA NATIONAL PARK ADVISORY COMMISSION, TO PROVIDE IMPROVED VISITOR SERVICES AT THE PARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 1154, a bill to extend the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, to provide improved visitor services at the park, and for other purposes. The Department supports enactment of this bill with two technical amendments.
If enacted, S.1154 would accomplish three objectives. First, it would extend the life of the 16-member Acadia National Park Advisory Commission, which is set to expire in September 2006, for an additional 20 years. Second, the bill would increase the park’s land acquisition ceiling from $9.1 million to $28 million. Third, it would authorize Acadia National Park to participate in the planning, construction, and operation of an intermodal transportation center outside the park’s boundaries.
Acadia National Park Advisory Commission
The Acadia National Park Advisory Commission has been in operation for almost 20 years, and continues to be a valuable asset that enhances communication between park managers and local communities. The Commission’s state and local representatives participate actively, and they strongly support its continuation. The cost of administering the Commission is minimal and is covered by the park’s operating budget.
Increase in Land Acquisition Ceiling
Acadia National Park’s authorized land acquisition ceiling of $9.1 million has been reached, although there are over 100 tracts left to be acquired to complete the park as authorized by Congress in 1986. Land prices on Mount Desert Island, where Acadia National Park is located, have increased dramatically since 1986 and may continue to do so if local home-inflation trends continue. Many willing landowners are anxious to sell, but the park cannot buy the land because the land acquisition ceiling does not permit the use of sufficient appropriated funds, thus leaving valuable resources within the park threatened with incompatible development.
The current law allowing Congress to exceed the ceiling by 10% or $1 million per year has resulted in an additional $8.9 million appropriated over the ceiling, for a total appropriation of $18 million for land acquisition at Acadia National Park to date. However, because the current law is limited to $1 million per year, it does not adequately address situations where available tracts are valued higher than $1 million. If these undeveloped tracts within the boundaries of the park are developed with new structures, acquisition costs will increase. Acquiring these lands sooner rather than later is more cost-effective for the National Park Service in the long run. In addition, the park currently faces encroachment issues, where private landowners use adjacent park lands for swing sets, hot tubs, sheds and the like. The proposed $28 million ceiling would allow the National Park Service to acquire all parcels of land that are located within the boundary of the park that are currently available for sale.
Incompatible development within park boundaries can degrade the natural and cultural values that are important to the visitors of Acadia National Park. There are also “spillover” impacts from use of private lands that are surrounded by park land including noise and light impacts, which tend to drive the public away from these parts of the park. Finally, larger blocks of land are more cost-effective to manage than smaller discontinuous parcels that are owned by multiple owners and thus, result in higher boundary monitoring and patrol costs.
Intermodal Transportation Center
The intermodal transportation center is the final piece of a three-phase transportation strategy that was developed with the assistance of an interagency team of transportation and park managers. The interagency team was established pursuant to the 1997 Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Interior to comprehensively address public transportation in and around our national parks. Language within S. 1154 authorizing Acadia National Park to participate in the planning, construction and operation of an intermodal transportation center outside park boundaries is essential for completion of a highly successful transportation system that operates through a consortium of twenty partners. These partners include the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Maine Department of Transportation, and many local interests who developed this transportation strategy and have combined their resources to offer the Island Explorer, a bus system that uses clean propane-powered vehicles to move visitors around the Island. The operational costs are paid for by a special transportation fee imposed at Acadia, state and local funds, and business contributions.
Daily summer use of the Island Explorer has averaged 3,700 riders and more than 1.5 million riders have used the popular system since it began in 1999. Traffic congestion on Mount Desert Island and the negative impacts of too many vehicles in Acadia National Park have been reduced, and the park’s air quality has improved annually.
Currently, overnight visitors are picked up at their lodgings by the Island Explorer, but the increasing numbers of day use visitors do not have access to the transit system because it lacks a central parking and bus boarding area. As planned, the project calls for developing an off-island intermodal transportation center to serve day users of Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. The center is needed to maximize the benefits of the transit system and to fully achieve the project’s goals of reducing traffic congestion, preserving park resources and the visitor experience, and ensuring a vibrant tourist economy.
The proposed center would be strategically located on Route 3 (the only road to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park) in Trenton, Maine. A non-profit partner will acquire the land using donated funds. The Maine Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration will have the lead in the planning and construction of the center, which will include parking for day users, a visitor orientation facility highlighting park and regional points of interest, a bus boarding area, and a bus maintenance garage.
Most of the proposed facility would be built with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation to the State of Maine. The National Park Service would be responsible for the design, construction, and operation of all or part of the visitor orientation portion of the center, which would include exhibits, media presentations, and general information for park visitors bound for Acadia National Park. The National Park Service might also contribute to maintenance and operation of the facility. The proposed center would replace the park’s inadequate Thompson Island Information Center, which is too small to accommodate the large number of summer visitors to the park, contains out-of-date exhibits, and is not optimally located to intercept visitors.
We would recommend two technical amendments be made to section 4 of the bill. First, we need to clarify that the Secretary would be authorized to conduct activities that facilitate the dissemination of information relating to the Island Explorer or any successor to the Island Explorer in case the transit system is renamed. Second, in order to preserve flexibility in how resources are allocated, we would recommend that the word “may” be used instead of “shall”.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to comment. This concludes my prepared remarks and I will be happy to answer any questions you or other committee members might have.
Technical amendments to S. 1154, the Acadia National Park Improvement Act of 2005
On p. 2, line 9, strike “shall” and insert “may”.
On p. 2, line 26, strike “system;” and insert “system or any successor transit system;”.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES CONCERNING S. 1166, A BILL TO EXTEND THE AUTHORIZATION OF KALAUPAPA NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ADVISORY COMMISSION
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 1166, a bill to extend the authorization of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park Advisory Commission. The advisory commission is due to expire on December 22, 2005; this bill would extend the commission another twenty years, until December 22, 2025.
The Department supports this legislation with amendments described later in this statement. Extending the duration of the Kalaupapa National Historical Park Advisory Commission for another 20 years would enable a panel of knowledgeable and dedicated individuals to provide guidance during the coming years when the park will be anticipating the change from a patient community to a more traditional national park unit.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park was established in 1980 by Public Law 96-565 to preserve and interpret the settlement on the Kalaupapa Peninsula on the island of Molokai, and to provide a well-maintained residential community for the patients with Hansen’s disease (leprosy). The enabling legislation gave primary consideration to the rights and needs of the resident patients so long as they remained there. However, the legislation also anticipated the day when there would no longer be a resident patient community at Kalapaupa by providing for a reevaluation of the policies governing the management, administration, and public use of the park once that occurs.
With a patient population of fewer than 40, it is likely that sometime before 2025, there will no longer be a resident patient community at Kalaupapa. At that time, the reevaluation of policies governing the park will be undertaken, as required by the law establishing the park. An advisory commission in operation until 2025 could offer important guidance to the National Park Service, as it seeks to provide for the settlement’s last remaining patients and transition the park from a site that is primarily a patient community to one that is more broadly available for public uses.
While we believe it is critically important to have the involvement of the patient community on the advisory board for as long as possible, we believe that an extension of the advisory commission for 20 years, by necessity, needs to be accompanied by a change in the allowable composition of the commission. Section 108(a) of P.L. 96-565 provides for the Secretary of the Interior to appoint seven members to the 11-member advisory commission who are present or former patients, elected by the patient community. We recommend amending this section to provide for the Secretary to appoint seven members who are knowledgeable about Kalapaupa’s history and have a strong interest in the preservation of the settlement’s history, if patients are unable to serve on the commission. We support retaining the requirement currently in law that the other four members be appointed from recommendations submitted by the Governor of Hawaii.
For similar reasons, we also recommend amending Section 108(d) of P.L. 96-565. This section requires the Secretary to consult with the commission on a training program for the patients, among other matters, and provides for public visitation levels to be determined by the commission on the basis of a patient referendum. For the next phase of decision-making, we believe it would be more appropriate to amend Section 108(d) to specify that the commission should recommend to the Secretary the long-term strategic planning, education, and outreach efforts that should be undertaken by the National Park Service for the park and should advise the Secretary about appropriate visitation levels for the park.
We would be pleased to work with the subcommittee on language for amendments to Sections 108(a) and 108(d).
In the 25 years since Congress passed the enabling legislation for Kalaupapa National Historical Park, the National Park Service has built a strong relationship with many of the residents and the State of Hawaii. We have learned a lot – about Hansen’s disease, inequality, renewal and hope – through our relationship with these individuals and their families. We want those who have helped us understand the history of what happened at Kalaupapa to be involved in framing the story for the future. Providing for the advisory commission for the park to remain in existence for another 20 years will help ensure that this goal is achieved.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my testimony. I will be happy to answer questions you or the other members of the subcommittee may have.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING S. 1346, THE
LIGHTHOUSE AND MARITIME HERITAGE ACT MICHIGAN
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S.1346, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of the maritime heritage sites in the state of
The Department does not support S. 1346. While
Michiganis rich in historic treasures linked to its Great Lakes’ heritage and the coastlines of the state are home to important resources such as wetlands, dunes, and threatened and endangered species and plants, we believe the best of these cultural and natural resources are already being conserved and interpreted for the enjoyment of the public.
S. 1346 would authorize a study to determine the potential economic and tourism benefits of preserving, protecting, and interpreting the State’s maritime resources. It would recommend management alternatives for the most effective long-term protection and interpretation of the resources. The study also would address ways to link communities, waterways, monuments, parkways, national and state parks, and state historic sites on the national, regional, state and local levels into a Michigan Maritime Heritage Destination Network. S. 1346 would require a report to be submitted to Congress not later than 18 months after funds are made available that describes the results of the study. The bill would authorize funding of $500,000 for the study.
All four National Park Service (NPS) units in
Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Keweenaw National Historical Park, , and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore already preserve and interpret historic maritime resources identified in the provisions of S. 1346. These parks contain historic maritime landscapes of a size and quality unique on the Great Lakes and rare elsewhere on the Isle Royale National Park coastlines. The maritime heritage resources at all four NPS sites are interpreted and presented to the public in a variety of ways. Symbols of the maritime history of Lake Superior are preserved at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore at three former Coast Guard stations and the Au Sable Light Station, which is perhaps the finest example on the United States Great Lakesof late 1800’s vintage masonry lighthouses. At , the majority of cultural resources are related to copper mining. Some of the success of that industry was attributed to the waterways of Keweenaw National Historical Park Lake Superiorand the role that copper played in building ships and boats to this day. Thus, this site adds another dimension to the maritime heritage of the area.
Copper mining on the
islandof Isle Royaleand the growth of Lake Superior shipping led to the establishment of four lighthouses around . These lighthouses, three of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and numerous shipwrecks of both national and state significance scattered throughout Isle Royale National Park give clear indication of the traffic and danger the waters of Isle Royale National Park Lake Superiorposed to sailing vessels throughout history. The area was a base for a thriving commercial fishing industry from the 1830’s until the park’s establishment in 1931.
The maritime resources at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore include an 1858 lighthouse, three original Life-Saving Service /Coast Guard stations, eight historic rescue boats, and hundreds of museum artifacts. Cultural landscapes highlight the maritime and agricultural resources of the area. The waters of
Lake Michiganhave played a key role in the settlement of the state.
There are indoor and outside exhibits, walking tours, living history, boat tours and audio-visual programs at these park sites. Scores of school groups make trips to these sites where history comes alive to enhance their social science studies. During the summers, national park rangers, Volunteers-in Park (VIPs), and various park partners staff museums, visitor centers, and historic structures to provide the general public with enthusiasm and knowledge of the maritime heritage resources.
The state of
also has made great efforts to preserve and protect important cultural and natural resources. Michigan has listed over one thousand sites on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes state parks, historic houses, commercial and residential areas, farm and factory complexes, cemeteries, monuments, as well as ships and shipwreck sites. The state has developed a database that includes the stories and details of wrecks and rescues of 1,500 shipwrecks as well as information on the 11 underwater preserves and other important historical facts. There are 120 lighthouses along the coastline, the oldest ones being over 180 years old. And Michigan established the first fresh water marine sanctuary in the Great Lakes area, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, to maintain stewardship over and interpret a large collection of shipwrecks. There are numerous museums, hotels, historic ships and boats, locks and ports, and underwater preserves related to the maritime industry. Michigan
The Great Lakes are a critical part of
’s economy and quality of life. Millions of people use the Michigan Great Lakeseach year to enjoy beaches, good fishing and boating. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Keweenaw National Historical Park, , and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will continue to ensure that outstanding natural and cultural resources will be protected for generations to come. Isle Royale National Park
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared testimony. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the committee may have.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 652, TO PROVIDE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE REHABILITATION OF THE BENJAMIN FRANKLIN NATIONAL MEMORIAL IN PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 652, a bill to provide financial assistance for the rehabilitation of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the development of an exhibit to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. The Department does not support this bill.
This bill would authorize financial assistance in the form of a grant to the Franklin Institute to rehabilitate the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, and to develop an interpretive exhibit relating to Benjamin Franklin to be displayed at a museum adjacent to the memorial. An amount not to exceed $10,000,000 would be authorized to be appropriated for these purposes, with the Franklin Institute required to provide matching funds.
For many years, the Department has opposed legislation authorizing appropriations for non-National Park Service construction projects. Many of these projects, like the rehabilitation of the Ben Franklin National Memorial, represent an important contribution to the preservation of our Nation’s history. However, each time such legislation is enacted and appropriations follow, it further reduces a limited amount of discretionary funds available to address the priority needs of our national parks and other programs administered by the National Park Service. With the emphasis we have placed on the President’s initiative to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog, it has become more important than ever to avoid authorizing funding for non-National Park Service projects that would likely draw funds from the National Park Service’s budget. We are committed to supporting initiatives to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin and the interpretation of his legacy, especially at Franklin Court, a unit of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, but given the current demands on National Park Service funds, we cannot support this legislation.
The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is an affiliated area of the National Park System that is owned and administered by the Franklin Institute. The Memorial includes a colossal seated marble statue of Franklin carved by sculptor James Earle Fraser, which stands in the Rotunda of the Franklin Institute’s main building at 20th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. The statue and surrounding Memorial Hall was designated as the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial on October 25, 1972 (P.L. 92-551) and made no provision for appropriated funds to be used for acquisition, development, operation or maintenance of this Memorial. The House committee report on P.L. 92-551 anticipated that the Franklin Institute would continue to operate and maintain the Memorial at no cost to the government.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) entered into on November 6, 1973, falls under the administrative authority of Independence National Historical Park. The MOA outlines the major responsibilities of each party regarding the operations of the national memorial. The Franklin Institute agreed to preserve the memorial in perpetuity, that no substantial alterations or repairs be taken without Secretarial approval, that the public shall be admitted without charge to the memorial, and that there will be equal employment opportunities. In turn, the Secretary agreed to include the memorial in publications, to make appropriate references to it in the interpretive and information programs of Independence National Historical Park, and to cooperate with the Institute in all appropriate and mutually agreeable ways on behalf of the memorial.
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to comment. This concludes my prepared remarks, and I will be happy to answer any questions you or other committee members might have.
STATEMENT OF STEPHEN P. MARTIN, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 958, TO AMEND THE NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT TO DESIGNATE THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER TRAIL IN THE STATES OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AS A NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL.
July 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior’s views on S. 958, a bill to amend the National Trails System Act to designate the Star-Spangled Banner Trail as a National Historic Trail.
The Department supports S. 958, which would designate an approximately 290-mile land and water trail extending from southern Maryland through the District of Columbia and Virginia along the Chesapeake Bay. The land routes would follow existing public roads, along which British and American troops traveled. The bill would require the Secretary to encourage public participation and consult with landowners, Federal, State, and local agencies on the administration of the trail. The bill would prohibit land or interest in land outside the exterior boundaries of any federally administered area from being acquired for the trail without the consent of the owner.
The proposed National Historic Trail would commemorate the events leading up to the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. These events include the British invasion of Maryland, the Battle of Bladensburg, the burning of the White House and the Capitol, the burning of the Washington Navy Yard, and the Battle for Baltimore in the summer of 1814. The route of the invasion is known and documented, and the proposed trail would follow it as closely as practical.
The War of 1812 and the Chesapeake Campaign of 1814 had long-lasting and far-reaching effects on the United States and American culture. It represented the first major test of our infant democracy, contributed to the formation of a national identity, and demonstrated the importance of a strong military and the need for coastal defenses. During the campaign, other events occurred that are significant to our nation’s heritage, particularly the writing of the poem commemorating a key battle -- the Battle for Baltimore. Francis Scott Key’s poem, the words of which comprise our National Anthem, celebrated the resiliency of the young nation and the flag he described as “The Star-Spangled Banner” during the successful defense of Fort McHenry. The events provide important testimony, too, about the roles of the enslaved and civilians in the early defense of the nation.
Should S. 958 be enacted, the National Park Service, subject to availability of funds, would prepare a comprehensive management plan with widespread public participation to identify the goals and objectives for trail preservation, research, interpretation, public use, trail marking, and cooperative management. The bill recognizes the advantages offered by the regional nature of the trail and the many organizations interested in and associated with the history of the Chesapeake Campaign. Several key trail-related resources, such as Fort McHenry and the White House, are owned by the Federal government. We anticipate that other trail-related resources such as structures within Old Town Alexandria in Virginia or Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Maryland will primarily remain in local or private ownership.
In 1999, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Study Act (Public Law 106-135) was enacted authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to study the potential route of a Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. The history, background, integrity, and national significance of the trail were researched and analyzed. The criteria for national trails, set forth in the National Trails Systems Act, were applied, and five of the eight trail study segments were found to meet the necessary criteria. The proposed 290-mile trail would only include these five segments.
Providing conservation and enjoyment of, public access to, and interpretation of the historic route and its resources has been a growing focus of both public and private initiatives in recent years as the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 approaches. In Maryland, a grassroots initiative was undertaken to raise public awareness of the important events that occurred in the Chesapeake region in the summer of 1814 during the War of 1812. Historians and regional groups recognized the untold stories and legacy of the events of the Chesapeake Campaign and the need for protection and interpretation of related historical resources.
The proposed trail represents an opportunity for an effective partnership among Federal, State, and local governments, a dedicated trail organization, and the many public and private site managers to administer and maintain a federally designated commemorative trail along the historic routes of the Chesapeake Campaign. Because of its emphasis on partnerships, this approach provides the greatest flexibility for resource protection while creating a framework for interpretation and visitor experience.
Mr. Chairman, that concludes my remarks and I would be happy to respond to any questions that you and the committee may have.
Witness Panel 2
Dr. Steve BelkoManagerMichigan Lighthouse Project
STATEMENT OF DR. STEVE BELKO, MANAGER OF THE
LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE, CONCERNING S. 1346, TO DIRECT THE SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR TO CONDUCT A STUDY OF MARITIME SITES IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. MICHIGAN JULY 28, 2005
Mr. Chairman and fellow subcommittee members, I want to thank you for the opportunity to present the position of Michigan's lighthouse interests, both governmental and nonprofit, regarding S. 1346, entitled the "Michigan Lighthouse and Maritime Heritage Act," a bill to direct the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a study of maritime sites in the state of Michigan.
I must emphasize from the very start of my testimony, that Sen. Stabenow's bill is the most important piece of legislation to date aiding and facilitating the preservation of
's rich maritime heritage and providing an unparalleled opportunity for continued economic growth in our state. As an expert both on lighthouse preservation efforts and on comprehensive heritage studies, such as proposed under S. 1346, I cannot express enough how critical this bill is to the people of our state, to our maritime heritage, and to our local economies. Michigan
It is no secret that the state of
-- the Michigan Great Lakesstate -- is one of this nation's premier maritime destinations, with a rich maritime heritage and culture stretching back long before European colonization and settlement. From Native American fishermen and French fur traders, to Great Lakesshipping supporting the great copper, iron ore, and lumber legacy of , to pristine and rugged shorelines, the people of Michigan have indeed a maritime heritage worthy of treasuring and exhibiting for all to enjoy. The state contains twelve maritime-related national landmarks, two extensive national lakeshores, and the only fresh water national maritime sanctuary. Our state's history -- its settlement, its development, its economy, and its culture -- cannot be told without emphasizing first and foremost our extensive maritime legacy. Michigan
It is also no secret that the cornerstone of
's maritime heritage are the numerous historic lighthouses stretched across our great state. The state of Michigan has over 120 historic lighthouses -- more than any other state. Many reside along the extensive 3,200 miles of Michigan ’s shoreline; some stand miles offshore on remote islands or isolated shoals. All have historical and architectural significance and are either listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. These architectural wonders once served as crucial beacons to Michigan Great Lakesshipping, but now they have yielded to the advance of technology. The era of global positioning has made the Fresnel lens antiquated to all but recreational boaters and lighthouse enthusiasts. Simple metal poles supporting computerized navigation instruments have replaced the brick and steel towers with their adjacent keeper’s dwellings and ancillary outbuildings.
Yet these historic structures still attest to the rich maritime history of the state. Their very presence still commands awe from those who catch sight of them and lighthouse lore never fails to capture the attention of all who pass their way.
’s lighthouses, many in a state of disrepair and in danger of disintegrating, stand witness to the great age of the lighthouse keepers and their isolated lives struggling to keep the shipping lanes of the Michigan Great Lakessafe. Dedicated groups endeavoring to save this integral part of the state’s history have restored some of ’s lighthouses. Several of these lighthouses now house museums devoted to lighthouse history and maritime culture, and are open to the public for their pleasure and education. Many more lighthouses, however, are in dire need of restoration. Without quality stewards to preserve, maintain, and exhibit these ailing structures, they will certainly vanish from the landscape, only to exist in our collective memory, in old photographs, or in dusty log books. Michigan ’s lighthouses have become the state’s most identifiable icon, gracing tourism guides, welcome centers, city logos, and countless marquees, billboards, business publications, and storefronts. Travel Michigan , the state's "tourism bureau," has as its logo, a lighthouse, and the State of Michigan 's official website likewise sports a lighthouse, the beautifully restored Big Sable Point Light Station residing along the blue waters of Michigan Lake Michigan. Rescuing these historic structures and maintaining them for public enjoyment has obviously emerged as one of ’s most popular endeavors. Michigan
S. 1346 provides the people of
with a comprehensive plan for rescuing and restoring our lighthouses and other maritime structures and landscapes. The study will assess the needs and outline the costs of preserving our historic lighthouses and maritime resources; it will identify funding sources critical to a successful campaign for restoring and exhibiting our maritime history; and, it will provide the necessary and much-needed direction for implementing preservation projects, for establishing methods of interpreting our rich maritime heritage, and for laying out a long-term strategy for future restoration efforts. And I must add, that this bill will not only benefit Michigan and the Michigan Great Lakesregion, it will also provide a model for other states to follow as they, too, preserve their own heritage and historical resources.
As important, this study will generate a centralized and complete inventory of our state's maritime resources, by bringing together the knowledge of local, regional, state, and national entities interested in saving
's maritime resources. The bill will further establish and facilitate healthy partnerships among all levels of government and throughout all the communities lying along our shoreline, and combine their talents and skills in creating a network of organizations and individuals dedicated to preserving and exhibiting Michigan's abundant maritime resources. The creation of the Michigan Maritime Heritage Destination Network will undoubtedly link all maritime interests and resources in our state into a working cooperative, providing shared information and technical expertise, mapping out future preservation efforts, and guaranteeing the successful exhibition of Michigan 's lighthouses and maritime heritage for generations to come. Michigan
Passage of S. 1346 is not only imperative for preserving our state's maritime heritage, it is equally critical for boosting the future economic potential of our state. Tourism is the second largest industry in
, and with our largest industry (the automotive industry) currently facing hard times, we must invest in the state's ability to attract substantial numbers of tourists. Our maritime heritage can indeed draw great numbers of tourists, and our maritime heritage and resources are indeed the foundation for increasing our tourism base. As such, S. 1346 will help guide the state of Michigan in implementing a strong and effective plan of action for expanding and capitalizing on the tourist-oriented sector of our state's economy. Preservation of the state's lighthouses and other maritime structures and resources will bring much-needed dollars into local communities, directly affecting other segments of the local economies, from restaurants, hotels, and gas stations, to retail shops and local attractions. In short, this bill is imperative for the economic growth and vitality of the local communities directly affected by this legislation, and it will yield significant economic dividends for the state of Michigan and for the Michigan Great Lakesregion in general.
In closing, the lighthouse and maritime interests within the state of Michigan vigorously support passage of S. 1346, providing the people of Michigan and of the Great Lakes overall with a comprehensive plan for emphasizing the importance of the maritime heritage of the region and for augmenting the economic development of the local communities residing along the extensive Great Lakes shoreline.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my remarks. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of your committee may have.
Dr. Dennis WintPresident and CEOThe Franklin Institute
Testimony of Dennis M. Wint
To the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks
(chaired by Sen. Craig Thomas – WY)
366 Dirksen Senate Office Building
July 28, 2005–
I am Dr. Dennis Wint, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Franklin Institute of
. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I very much appreciate your willingness to consider Senate Bill 652, to authorize Federal funding for the rehabilitation of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, our nation’s primary and most-visited monument to
. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to the sponsors of this legislation, Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Rick Santorum, for their steadfast support for this project. Franklin
Mr. Chairman, I would like to begin by thanking you and the Subcommittee for helping to pass this legislation in the Senate during the 108th Congress. Despite our best efforts, unfortunately, the House did not have the time needed to consider the measure through regular order. I am pleased to report that on
April 14, 2005, Congressman Jim Gerlach introduced companion legislation, House of Representatives Bill 1645, so that the House will again have an opportunity to join the Senate in considering this bill.
I am appearing today to respectfully urge the Subcommittee to favorably report this legislation because it will authorize the appropriation of funding that is critical to the integrity of one of our nation’s most awe-inspiring national memorials.
Unveiled in 1938, The Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is on the same scale as the Abraham Lincoln Memorial and features a Pantheon-inspired marble rotunda and massive white-marble statue of a seated, introspective
. The statue was created by the great American sculptor James Earle Fraser, whose works include the Franklin Nickel and a bust of then Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt which is housed in the Senate’s own collection. Buffalo
This national memorial is unique, because unlike other national memorials throughout the
, it does not receive an annual allocation of Federal funds to support programs, operations, or preventative maintenance. United States
Founded in 1824, The Franklin Institute is one of the nation’s premier science and technology museums and also serves as custodian of the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
In the spirit of inquiry and discovery embodied by Benjamin Franklin, the mission of The Franklin Institute is to honor the lifetime achievements of Franklin - America’s distinguished scientist, statesman, inventor, diplomat, and founding father, and to foster the development of a scientifically and technologically literate society.
Indeed, The Franklin Institute brings
’s legacy of inquiry, discovery, and learning to nearly one million visitors each year, more than 350,000 of whom are schoolchildren. Every visit to The Franklin Institute begins with a moment of reflection and inspiration in the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial. Franklin
In 1972, Public Law 92-511 designated this site as the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial.
In 1973, a Memorandum of Agreement, executed between the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Franklin Institute, directed the Department of Interior to cooperate with the Institute in “all appropriate and mutually agreeable ways in the preservation and presentation of the Benjamin Franklin Memorial Hall as a national memorial.” Under the terms of the 1973 Agreement, the Institute is required to admit the public to the Memorial free of charge.
However, The Franklin Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and, over the last 67 years, the burden of maintaining this National Memorial has been the total responsibility of the Institute. Nearly $20 million has been expended from the Institute’s operating and capital budgets to preserve and maintain the Memorial since it’s opening in 1938.
In spite of our diligent efforts, I regret to inform the Subcommittee that this national treasure has fallen victim to the pressures of time, especially the exterior and interior marble surfaces and structures that house the statue of Benjamin Franklin.
The Interior Department has not provided any federal funding for maintaining this National Memorial, with the exception of a $300,000 “Save
’s Treasures” grant awarded in Fiscal Year 2000 with support from Senators Specter and Santorum. Although this funding did help to improve America accessibility to the Memorial, it left other structural issues unresolved. To address these issues, The Franklin Institute is currently engaged in a private fundraising campaign that will match dollar for dollar any funds invested by the Department of the Interior. ADA
Mr. Chairman, 2006 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin. Given this important opportunity for our Nation to remember and celebrate
, we are eager to commence work to renovate and restore the Memorial. Timely passage of this legislation will make our plan possible. Franklin
In July 2002, President George W. Bush signed into law House Resolution 2362, that created the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission. This Commission, which I co-chair with Senator Specter, specifically recommends rededication of and other appropriate activities related to the National Memorial.
Since the Memorial Hall’s opening, tens of millions of Americans have had the opportunity to salute
’s remarkable impact in Franklin . As we continue to develop plans to welcome visitors from throughout the world during the Franklin Tercentenary, it is vital that we begin a meticulous restoration process that will make the Memorial a place of appropriate reverence to Dr. Franklin on the upcoming momentous anniversary of his birth. Philadelphia
Our private fundraising campaign will help match our request for federal assistance. However, it is critical for The Franklin Institute to secure this authorization and subsequent appropriations to ensure that the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial is preserved and presented to future generations in a manner befitting Benjamin Franklin’s enormous legacy for our Nation.
A rehabilitated Memorial will present
and his inspirational story for the study and observation of future generations of Americans and citizens worldwide. Franklin
Accordingly, I respectfully urge this Subcommittee to support Senate Bill 652 so that it may be enacted prior to the national celebration of
's life beginning in January 2006. Franklin
Thank you for your invitation to testify on this very important matter and I would be delighted to answer any questions that you or other distinguished Members of Subcommittee may have.
Dr. Ralph Eshelman
Testimony of Dr. Ralph Eshelman
S. 958 The Star-Spangled National Historic Trail Designation
before the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks
of the Committee of Energy and Natural Resources
July 28, 2005
First I would like to thank the Chair and the members of this Subcommittee on National Parks to allow me to testify in support of an amendment to the National Trail System Act to add a new historic trail, the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. I have been involved in cultural resource preservation and management for over thirty-five years and served as the historian for the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Study. I can think of no existing or potential historic trail in the United States that is more deserving of this national distinction then the trail we are now considering.
The Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail Study was approved by the Secretary of Interior after exhaustive research and review by numerous scholars and several public presentations. The proposed Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail meets all the criteria for designation as required by the National Trail System Act. Below is a brief summary of the significance of the War of 1812, how the Star-Spangled Banner came about as a result of this war, criteria upon which the proposed trail was determined eligible for National designation, and a personal perspective on the potential significance of inclusion of this proposed trail into the National Trail System.
What was the War of 1812? Because it took place only 29 years after the United States secured its freedom from England, the War of 1812 is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Second War for Independence." However, the British were not fighting to regain their former American
colonies. Rather, they sought to protect their remaining North American interest, Canada. The Revolutionary War (Loyalists versus Revolutionists) and American Civil War (Yankees versus Rebels) were in many instances a war of brother against brother. The War of 1812 was an
international conflict (Great Britain versus the United States), even though Americans were divided over it (Federalists Doves versus Democrat-Republican Hawks). New Englanders were especially against the war, while the South and West largely favored it.
What caused the War of 1812? It is estimated that by 1807 over 1,000 Maryland sailors alone had been illegally and unwillingly pressed into service on British warships, mostly to help England fight Napoleon. On June 21, 1807, the US frigate Chesapeake left the Washington Navy Yard and sailed down the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay into the Atlantic. It was soon hailed by the larger British warship HMS Leopard, which demanded that the frigate muster its crew so a search could be conducted for British "deserters." The Chesapeake refused, whereupon the British opened fire, killing three American sailors, then boarded and took four men, two of whom were black and two of whom were nephews of George Washington. President Thomas Jefferson, trying to avoid war, retaliated by placing an embargo on all English goods. However, this curtailed commerce, which especially upset New Englanders, since they controlled most American shipping, and thus their fortunes were most threatened. As a result, there was talk of secession.
While the new administration under President James Madison emphasized the maritime issues with England, the war was largely a result of the desire for national expansion. The southern and western slaveholding states, led by War Hawks such as John C. Calhoun and Henry Clay, wanted
war with Britain in order to push the annexation of Canada, expand the western and southern frontiers, remove the threat of alliance between Britain and the Indians of the Great Lakes region, and help prevent slaves from escaping beyond American borders. While valid maritime issues did exist, they were less the cause of the war than a pretext for public outcry, as expressed by the slogan that it was necessary to protect "free trade and sailors rights." After a war vote that barely passed in the Senate, President Madison signed the declaration of war against Great Britain on June 18, 1812. American opposition to the war was as widespread as that during the Vietnam War.
Early American forays into Canada for the most part resulted in routs, but Captain Oliver Perry's victory at Lake Erie eased the threat of British attack from the west. Still, the victory of the USS
Constitution ("Old Ironsides") over the HMS Guerriere, and American privateers who successfully took the war to the shores of England, were isolated successes among an otherwise dismal affair for America due to the small size of the U.S. regular army and navy, over reliance on volunteer militia as well as ineptitude, lack of leadership, stupidity and woeful lack of preparedness for a major conflict. By 1814 the British Navy had blockaded nearly the entire east coast reducing foreign trade to six percent of its 1807 peak. With the defeat of Napoleon England concentrated its efforts on America. The War of 1812 was the first and only time a foreign military force invaded the United States. Our young Nation’s capitol was burnt in 1814 in retaliation for America’s burning of York (now Toronto), then the capitol of Upper Canada, in April of the previous year. Had not Baltimore and Lake Champlain been successfully defended, the British probably would have crushed the United States. New England Federalists convened in Connecticut to denounce the war and weaken federal authority. Southerners called the act treason. The last major battle of the War of 1812 fought before the signing of the Peace Treaty of Ghent was the Battle for Baltimore fought on September 24-25, 1814. The American victory at the Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815, 15 days after the Treaty. While the war was over, the annexation of Canada was blocked, but the nation could now look inward and westward. Citizens for the first time had confidence in the nation and could now truly refer to themselves as Americans.
How did the Star-Spangled Banner become a national icon? The United States had done nothing to defend its capital, Washington. Only a relatively small detachment at Fort Warburton (later called Fort Washington) on the Potomac River protected the city. Although it was estimated that 15,000 militiamen could be depended upon to defend Washington, in reality the government could muster only 1,000 regular troops and about 4,000 militiamen, and of the latter only a few hundred were actually available and ready.
Although some government leaders believed that Washington was not a likely enemy target, British forces embarked upon a plan to capture the capital in 1814. The main body of the British fleet entered the Patuxent River in Maryland and landed forces at Benedict to march overland to Washington. A smaller fleet entered the Potomac, in part as a feint to make the Americans think that was the direction of the invasion, but also to take Fort Warburton and provide a water route for land forces retreating from Washington, if necessary.
With most of the regular U.S. Army on the Canadian border, the defense of the nation's capital fell largely to poorly led, poorly trained, inexperienced militia. How much could be expected of them in the face of battle-hardened British soldiers, many just arriving after defeating Napoleon in Europe?
When the British returned through Upper Marlboro after successfully capturing Washington some British deserters began plundering small nearby farms. Robert Bowie, a former governor of Maryland, enlisted Dr. William Beanes, his cousin, among others, who seized six or seven of the deserters and confined them to a jail at nearby Queen Anne Town. One of the prisoners escaped and informed his commander of the incident. A contingent of British marines was sent to arrest Bowie, Beanes, and at least one other man. The Americans were held in exchange for the British prisoners. In addition the British threatened to burn the town to the ground if the British prisoners were not released by noon the next day. When the British prisoners were released all the Americans were likewise released except Beanes who was considered the instigator of the incident and was taken and placed in confinement aboard the British flag-ship HMS Tonnant some thirty-five miles away at Benedict. Beanes’s friend, Richard W. West, hurried to Georgetown to urge his brother-in-law, U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Francis Scott Key, to arrange a mission to seek Beanes release. President James Madison authorized Key to meet with General John Mason of the U.S. Commissary for Prisoners. Mason approved the mission and gave Key a letter addressed to General Robert Ross in command of the British land forces setting forth the government’s case for Beanes’s release as a civilian noncombatant. Key was instructed to go to Baltimore and contact Colonel John Stuart Skinner, U.S. Agent for Exchange of Prisoners, to handle the negotiations. Ironically, it was Skinner who did a Revere-like ride to warn the capitol of the British approach in August 1814. Skinner and Key, set sail down the Bay from Baltimore (September 5, 1814) to near the mouth of the Potomac River on a cartel or truce ship, where they met the British fleet and boarded the HMS Tonnant under a flag of truce when Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane invited them to dinner (evening, September 7, 1814). Skinner had also obtained letters from wounded British soldiers left behind after the Battle of Bladensburg giving testimony to the kindness and treatment given them by U.S. hands. This so moved General Ross, who had ordered the arrest of Beanes, that he suggested to Cochrane to release him, but only after their planned attack on Baltimore - they did not want the American forces to learn of their next objective. Beanes, Key and Skinner, due to crowded conditions on HMS Tonnant, were ordered onboard the HMS Surprize which took the cartel in tow (September 8, 1814). During the Battle for Baltimore the three Americans at Skinner’s request were placed onboard the cartel under guard. Key was so moved by the scene of the battle that he partially composed a poem which eventually became our National Anthem. After the battle the three American’s were released on the cartel boat which sailed to Baltimore (late September 16, 1814). That night in the Indian Queen Hotel Key worked on his poem from which he produced the draft that probably is the one now on exhibit at the Maryland Historical Society. Handbills of the poem were printed the day after (September 17, 1814) Key arrived in Baltimore. Copies of the poem were distributed to every man who was at Fort McHenry during the bombardment. It was Skinner who took Key’s poem to the Baltimore Patriot which published it under the title "The Defense of Baltimore (evening 20 September 1814).
During the American Civil War federal troops often sang "The Star-Spangled Banner." In 1895 Army Regulations ordered that the song be played during the lowering of the American flag during evening retreat. The Secretary of Navy ordered it played during both morning and evening colors. By 1916 "The Star-Spangled Banner" was regarded as the official National Anthem. Yet it wasn’t until March 3, 1931, when President Herbert Hover signed the bill passed by Congress that "The Star-Spangled Banner," born in the Battle for Baltimore, officially became National Anthem of the United States.
Study Team Methodology - The Study Team researched all the resources related to the story behind the Star-Spangled Banner. The team visited those resources and linking trail to ascertain the feasibility, public access and integrity of these resources. In addition the team held a Scholar’s Roundtable of international experts on April 7, 2001. Present were: Dr. Dwight Pitcaithley, Chief Historian, National Park Service; Donald Graves, historian and scholar from Canada; Dr. Andrew Lambert, Kings College, London; Marilyn Zoidis, curator of the Star-Spangled Banner Project, Smithsonian Institution; Dr. Donald Hickey, professor at Wayne State College and specialist in the War of 1812; and Dr. Joseph Whitehorne, former staff historian for the U.S. Army. This was followed by a local historian’s workshop on April 12, 2001. Present were: Dr. William Dudley, director of the Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C.; Christopher George, editor of the Journal of the War of 1812 and author of Terror on the Chesapeake: The War of 1812 on the Bay; Dr. Fred Hopkins, Jr., expert on privateering and author; Sally Johnston, director of the Star-Spangled Banner Flag House and Museum; Dr. Stanley Quick, historian; Robert Reyes, president of the Friends of the North Point Battlefield, Inc; Scott Sheads, author and historian, Ft. McHenry; Donald Shomette, historian and author; and Lonn Taylor, historian and author of the Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem.
Based on this study, the team determined that six of the eight identified trail segments retain integrity sufficient to result in a recommendation for their designation as a national historic trail: Criterion One. All recommended trail segments were found to be nationally significant: Criteria Two. The proposed trail segments have significant potential for public recreational use and historical interpretation as well as aesthetic appeal and patriotic appreciation: Criteria Three.
Personal Perspective - It is sad, but most of the children here in the United States if asked who made the Star-Spangled Banner and during which war was it created would answer Betsy Ross and The American Revolutionary War. Inclusion of the Star-Spangled Banner Trail within our National Trail System will help American’s and visitors alike understand and better appreciate the history behind America’s greatest icon - The Star-Spangled Banner and the poem evoked from that flag which eventually became our National Anthem. Having served for many years on the team which studied the potential for this trail, I have become keenly aware of the significance and meaning behind the Star-Spangled Banner. Every time I see the flag, whether at a baseball game, Boy Scout camp, or flying over our Capitol or over Fort McHenry, it gives me pause. Often times a chill will descend down my spine. Designation of this proposed national trail will enable our citizens to better understand and appreciate the symbolism behind this flag. Many more will get goose bumps when they see our flag and hear our National Anthem. Our patriotism will increase; our pride will fill; and our spirits will soar. I ask you, what trail now existing in the United States is more appropriate for national designation then this proposed Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail?
Mrs. Betty Dick
Mrs. Betty H. Dick
Before the Energy & Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on National Parks
United States Senate
Hearing on H.R. 432 and S. 584, a Private Bill to require the Secretary of Interior
to permit continued occupancy and use of certain lands and improvements within
Rocky Mountain National Park
Members of the Subcommittee on National Parks:
Thank you for your kind consideration of my plight. I am here to speak in
favor of H.R. 432 and/or S. 584 and to acquaint you with the reasons why you should
vote favorably on one of these pieces of legislation.
I am the widow of George F. Dick (known to his friends and family as Fred),
who died in 1992. I am 82 years old and, during the summer months, I live on a 20
acre parcel that is within the boundaries of the Rocky Mountain National Park.
This property was at one time owned by Fred and his former wife, Marilyn. In
settlement of Fred and Marilyn’s bitter divorce, Marilyn received the property and
Fred received a right of first refusal to buy it. Later, without giving Fred his right of
first refusal, Marilyn sold the property to the United States Government. When Fred
discovered that the property had been sold, he sued Marilyn and the Government,
demanding that he be given the right to buy the property under his right of first
At some point in the middle of the litigation, I married Fred and so I became
an interested bystander to the fight and witnessed the events that I want to bring to
It was after interminable depositions, hearings and the like, and thousands of
dollars spent on two law firms that Fred and I, without our lawyers, traveled to
Washington, D.C. in November 1979 to see if the case could be settled. In a meeting
with various officials representing the Department of Interior, it was agreed that the
case would be settled with Fred and I receiving a life estate in the property.
We were not mistaken in our understanding of the agreement reached in
Washington, D.C. with the Department of Interior in November 1979. Shortly after
the meeting, on November 26, 1979, the Associate Regional Director of Park
Operations at the Rocky Mountain National Park circulated a memo which recounted
the November meeting and specifically recited the Department of Interior’s
recommendation that we were to get a life estate to settle the case. This
memorandum, attached as Exhibit A, states as follows:
At this meeting, Mr. Kriz [a Department of Interior
official] suggested that from a technical land position, a
compromise whereby George and Betty Dick would obtain
a life estate on the house, surrounding outbuildings, and a
portion of the land seemed to be in order. . . . After
discussing this matter with Superintendent Brooks, we
concur with Mr. Kriz in the desirability of a life estate
Papers were drawn to settle the case based upon the agreement that we would
have a life estate. Specifically, a Stipulation (Exhibit B) and a Judgment (Exhibit C)
were drawn which expressly stated that Fred and I would have a life estate on the
But then the Government went back on its agreement that was made. In
August 1980, another set of draft settlement papers were received. Someone on the
Government’s side of the table changed the rights we were to receive from a life
estate to a term of 25 years. When Fred saw the change, he said that he was tired of
fighting this four year battle to retain the property and that, in any event, he would not
live another 25 years. So he signed it. This final settlement is attached as Exhibit D.
Fred was right about one thing. He would not live so long that there would be
a difference between a life estate and a term of 25 years. But I am still here and it
makes a difference to me.
At 82, I have a few years of life left. For the last 25 years, I been a good
neighbor to the Park and the employees who feel comfortable just dropping in for a
cup of coffee or to check on me. I have been heavily involved in the Grand Lake
community, making my home and grounds available for several organizations for
their summer picnics and cook-outs. I have served on the board of Rocky Mountain
Repertory Theater for over five years, two as president. I spent one full summer
raising $100,000 to purchase a cabin complex for housing college students who
perform each summer and thus bring a cultural aspect to the community. The Grand
Lake City Council is backing my request and I have huge support from the Grand
Lake community. As long as my health continues to be good, I intend to continue in
these community activities just as I have in the past. That, is, if I have my home to
I watched litigation that went on for too long and cost too much money. Then,
when we thought we had the matter settled, the Government changed the deal. At
that point, it was either spend more money on lawyers to fight the Government or take
what they would give us. Given that the Government could spend more money on
lawyers than we could, it was Fred’s decision to take what he could get even though
it was different from what had been agreed upon.
I respectfully ask the Subcommittee to consider the fairness the matter and to
give me what was agreed upon in November 1979.
I also ask the Subcommittee to note that I was a party to the settlement
originally made with the Government. But the settlement papers were only signed by
Fred. As a result, the contract I have with the Government has never been honored
and I have never agreed to any change. The Government’s obligation remains
outstanding that I receive a life estate in exchange for the money paid. The National
Park Service does not want to talk about that but I do.
One further thing: the Government’s contention that their hands are tied
because there was a court order is not true. The fact is that there was a settlement
between Fred and the Government, and the case was dismissed. There was no court
decree entered. If this matters, the facts ought to control.
I thank you for your consideration and I will respect whatever decision you