The Honorable Thomas CarperU.S. Senate
Witness Panel 1
Dr. Janet Snyder MatthewsAssociate Director for Cultural ResourcesNational 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
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
and Library Services. Instituteof Museum
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
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 Delaware tribes before the period of European discovery. Early explorations of Nanticoke ’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. Delaware
In 1631, 11 years after the landing of the English pilgrims at
, the first white settlement was established by the Dutch. This was followed in 1638 by the first Swedish settlement at "The Rocks" on the Plymouth, Massachusetts , where a fort was built called “ Christina River ” after the young queen of Fort Christina . Sweden in Fort Christina , with a monument created by the noted sculptor Carl Milles and presented by the people of Wilmington , perpetuates the memory of these first settlers and preserves "The Rocks" where they first landed. Sweden
In the autumn of 1655, Peter Stuyvesant came from
New Amsterdamwith 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 . The State became the first to ratify the United States Constitution on Pennsylvania December 7, 1787.
The importance of the
Delaware Bayand 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 Riverto . Many of these resources remain to remind current generations of past struggles for independence, early nationhood, and preservation of the Philadelphia Union. became an important component of the Underground Railroad prior to the elimination of slavery during the Civil War. The Delaware Delaware Riverwas and remains an important transportation link connecting and portions of Delaware and Pennsylvania to world markets. New Jersey
The coastal region of
also contains important natural resources adjacent to and including Delaware Delaware Bayand the Delaware River. It provides resource-based recreational opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming and crabbing. Delaware Bayis 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 ’s natural treasures. Delaware
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
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 Wilmington , 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. Delaware
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 Bayand 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”.
Witness Panel 2
Mr. Eric HammerlingExecutive DirectorFarmington River Watershed Association
TESTIMONY OF ERIC HAMMERLING, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
FARMINGTON RIVER WATERSHED ASSOCIATION
BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE
SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS
SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Energy Committee, my name is Eric Hammerling and I am the Executive Director of the Farmington River Watershed Association (FRWA), a 501©(3) non-profit organization founded in 1953 with the ongoing mission to protect the Farmington River Watershed and its amazing natural resources. I am extremely pleased to be here to testify on behalf of S. 435, “The Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook Wild & Scenic River Study Act of 2005.” At the onset, I’d like to recognize Skip Alleman, Director of the Salmon Brook Watershed Association, who made the trip down from Connecticut along with me and who represents a valued partner in conserving natural resources in our shared watershed. The Salmon Brook Watershed Association, Farmington River Coordinating Committee, Farmington Valley Archaeology Project, and American Rivers have all assembled testimony supporting this Act, and at this time, Mr. Chairman, I’d like to submit their letters of support to be incorporated into the Record of this hearing. Thank you.
This legislation would initiate a 3-year study of the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook to ascertain whether they meet the criteria for being potentially designated as Wild & Scenic. This bill is a critical step that will inform our ongoing efforts to conserve the most outstanding cultural, natural, and recreational resources of our region, and we believe there is a substantial benefit of this Study even if the final result of the Study is not the designation of the Lower Farmington or Salmon Brook as Wild & Scenic.
That being said, we are confident that these two waterbodies already merit strong consideration for gaining Wild & Scenic status because of the outstanding cultural, natural, and recreational resources that we have identified in preparation for this hearing. A few examples of this follow and are included in greater detail in the attached testimonies from other supporters:
• Botanist William Moorhead III has identified several native, rare plants in the floodplain of the Farmington River including 99% of the Starry campion found in New England, the only known population of Dwarf bulrush in a river ecosystem, the largest known population of Davis’ sedge in New England, and the only known population of Purple giant hyssop in Connecticut.
• Mussel biologist Ethan Nedeau with BioDrawversity in the summer of 2005, identified the Lower Farmington River as having the largest cluster of the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel in Connecticut, as well as hosting the greatest diversity of freshwater mussels (9 species) found in any River in southern New England.
• The Farmington River has been identified by the CT DEP as one of the most important rivers in the Connecticut River system for the restoration of Atlantic Salmon. To these migrating fish heading upstream in the Connecticut River from Long Island Sound, the Farmington River is the largest River in Connecticut they migrate into. Salmon Brook is the most important tributary to the Farmington for Atlantic salmon restoration due to the few obstructions to their migration.
• There are significant Tunxis and River Tribe native American archaeological sites throughout the floodplain. Spear and arrow points abound at Alsop Meadows in Avon, and Simsbury has identified its entire floodplain as a sensitive archaeological area. The town of Windsor, located at the confluence of the Farmington and Connecticut Rivers, is Connecticut’s first town and it boasts a rich river history. Remnants of the historic folly known as the Farmington River Canal still exist in several areas throughout the floodplain of the Farmington and Salmon Brook.
• Churning through Bloomfield, East Granby, and Simsbury, the combined waters of the Farmington and Salmon Brook course through Tariffville Gorge to provide Class II-IV whitewater kayaking 12 months a year. The Gorge is one of the only places to consistently paddle in whitewater during the summer in Southern New England. The Gorge has been the site for many whitewater canoe and kayaking competitions, and twice has included the U.S. Olympic Team whitewater slalom trials. Just upstream, the flat water section of the Farmington provides a training ground for local crew teams and for thousands of canoeists and kayakers every year sustaining local water-focused businesses like Huck Finn Adventures.
• The Farmington Valley Greenway and a spur route, the Farmington River Trail, are part of the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail covering 60 miles along the abandoned rail corridors from the Massachusetts border to New Haven. In the Farmington Valley, 25 miles of these hiking, biking, and dog-walking trails have the Farmington River as the central attraction.
• The East and West branches of Salmon Brook are both in the top 12 in the State of Connecticut for the diversity of aquatic insects that they host. Aquatic insect diversity is a good indicator of high water quality, and this is further shown by the presence of native brook trout and slimy sculpin – two fish species that are only found in areas with high water quality (source: Rapid Bioassessment in Wadeable Streams and Rivers by Volunteer Monitors – 2004 Summary Report, CT DEP Bureau of Water Management).
Not only do we believe the requisite outstanding cultural, natural, and historic resources exist, but also we know that our communities are ready and eager to participate in the Partnership Wild & Scenic River model because they have witnessed it working for 11 years along a 14-mile stretch of the Upper Farmington that was designated as Wild & Scenic in 1994. Management activities along this 14-mile stretch are overseen by the Farmington River Coordinating Committee -- a combination of representatives from 5 river-adjacent towns, the National Park Service, a large local water utility (the Metropolitan District Commission which provides water from the Farmington Watershed to over 400,000 people in the Greater Hartford area), the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, FRWA, and the Farmington River Anglers Association. The FRCC has demonstrated for 11 years that collaborative river management works.
The management philosophy that underlies the Partnership Wild & Scenic River model (as included in the Upper Farmington River Management Plan) is worth reiterating here:
“1. Resource conservation should be fully integrated with traditional patterns of use, ownership, and jurisdiction;
2. River management should be accomplished through cooperation amongst all public and private organizations with an interest in the river;
3. Long-term resource protection should rely on existing programs and authorities rather than on new layers of bureaucracy; and
4. Future management should be based on a cooperatively developed plan which establishes resource protection standards and identifies key actions.
This management philosophy is built on the assumption that, for the most part, existing river protection mechanisms are adequate to protect river resources. If a resource value has been protected by existing management, and if existing management seems adequate to address issues that can reasonably be expected to appear in the future, then the existing mechanism should be left alone. If the existing mechanisms could be improved or made more efficient by better coordination or enforcement, then they should be pursued. New or stricter regulations, or other actions, should only be undertaken when needed, not used as a primary management tool.
The Study Committee is firm in its resolve that this management plan must not pre-empt
existing rights or management responsibilities. Rather, the plan should create a common
vision for the future and an environment in which those concerned with the river can focus their collective energies on making this vision a reality.”
As if it were not enough to appreciate ones local waterbodies and witness a model of river conservation that works, there is also strong evidence that Wild & Scenic protection provides communities with direct economic benefits. A study on the Upper Farmington River conducted by the Economics Department of North Carolina State University and funded by the National Park Service and American Rivers, documented a total annual economic benefit of $3.63 million to the 5 towns along the River and a $9.5 million benefit to recreational users. Also, land values within the river corridor have increased by an estimated $3.76 per square foot (over $163,785/acre) beyond increases in other town lands due to Wild & Scenic protection and recognition.
At the same time that the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook are both unique, cherished, and valuable resources, we are concerned that we are on the verge of losing the bounties that these waterbodies provide. In 2002 a 19.6 mile section of the Lower Farmington River (stretching from Farmington to Windsor) was included in the state’s 303(d) “impaired waters” list for elevated bacteria levels for the first time ever. The 303(d) listing will not affect the ability of the River to be considered as Wild & Scenic; however, this serves as a reminder that we must take action now to conserve these special resources to stem further declines in their beauty and value to the region. The Feasibility Study process that we are asking the Congress to authorize would enable town representatives, the National Park Service, FRWA, the State of Connecticut (DEP) and
other interested parties to assemble a River Management Plan to address resource management issues impacting the River in the short-and long-term. This management plan process -- even if the River isn’t recommended for Wild and Scenic designation -- can be a powerful way to address this bacteria problem with all of the affected towns working collaboratively to find a mutually beneficial solution.
We already know that the communities of the Farmington Valley in Connecticut are highly interested in finding collaborative ways to protect natural resources. Earlier this year, the book “Nature Friendly Communities: Habitat Protection and Land Use Planning” (C. Duerksen & C. Snyder, Island Press, 2005) tabbed the Farmington Valley as one of the 19 most nature friendly communities in the United States due to its efforts with FRWA and others to protect species diversity at the local level. Towns like Farmington, Granby, and Simsbury have been particularly strong in going above and beyond to foster interest and conservation of local natural resources. The process initiated by S. 435 would complement the local interest and involvement.
Before concluding my testimony, I’d like to take a moment to thank Senators Dodd and Lieberman who not only are proponents of this bill, but were original co-sponsors of the Wild & Scenic designation bill that passed 11 years ago. Also, in the House, Representatives Nancy Johnson and John Larson have been incredibly supportive of this bill moving forward, but the decision now rests with your Committee.
Quite simply, approval of S. 435 will help our region to leverage the knowledge and collaborative will necessary to protect and restore two of its crown jewels -- the Lower Farmington River and Salmon Brook. We thank you for your consideration of this bill.
Mr. Michael W. RobertsManager, Field ServiceColumbia Gas Transmission
Michael W. Roberts
Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation
Before the National Parks Subcommittee
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
S. 1310, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Natural Gas Pipeline Enlargement Act
September 22, 2005
Michael W. Roberts
Testimony before the National Parks Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
S. 1310, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area
Natural Gas Pipeline Enlargement Act
Good afternoon Chairman Thomas and Members of the Subcommittee. My name is Mike Roberts and I am Operations Manager in the State of Pennsylvania for Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation. I have been with Columbia’s pipeline operations for 24 years, and for 16 of those years I have been located in Pennsylvania.
I am here today to testify on behalf of S. 1310, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to allow Columbia Gas Transmission Corporation to increase the diameter of a natural gas pipeline located in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Columbia Gas Transmission is one of the largest interstate natural gas pipelines operating in the United States today. Combined with the network of a sister pipeline company, our system includes nearly 17,000 miles of underground pipelines, delivering more than one trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually to markets in 10 eastern states. We also operate one of the largest natural gas storage systems in the country.
The company, a subsidiary of NiSource, Inc., and its predecessors have constructed and operated natural gas pipelines for more than 70 years. As part of our operating plan, each year we invest a significant amount of capital in the process of upgrading and replacing portions of pipelines throughout our system to assure ongoing safe and reliable service to our customers. Columbia also incorporates best-practice techniques into our operations and maintenance programs to minimize disruption both to our customers and to property owners along the pipeline.
One of these lines, which we refer to as Line 1278, was installed in 1948 in the then-rural northeast region of Pennsylvania. This line, which runs north-south along the state’s eastern border, became and remains an important part of our energy delivery system to key eastern markets.
Following an internal inspection of this pipeline, the United States Department of Transportation directed Columbia Transmission in 2002 and 2003 to take actions going forward in its operation of Line 1278, including additional testing, corrosion prevention and replacement of portions of the pipeline. To further comply with this directive, Columbia filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in December 2003 to replace about 43 miles of Line 1278, including a three and one-half mile section that now lies within the Delaware Water Gap Natural Recreation Area. This park was created by the National Park Service in 1965 through the acquisition of several parcels of property in the area.
The issue addressed by the legislation before you today relates to the right-of-way agreements now held by the Park Service. Columbia’s existing Line 1278 pipeline affects 14 of these tracts under the terms of the agreements negotiated with private property owners prior to the creation of the park. Of these, 12 agreements include language that allows Columbia to increase the diameter of its pipeline. However, two of the agreements, representing 892 linear feet, do not include such authorization.
Under current law, the Secretary of the Interior lacks authorization to enter into modification agreements for the existing rights-of way to allow an increase in the diameter of Line 1278, as proposed and approved by the FERC, from 14 inches to 20 inches in diameter. To complete our project, we collaborated with National Park Service staff to craft language that was written into S. 1310, introduced jointly by Senators Specter and Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Timely action on this legislation will result in several beneficial outcomes.
First, the replacement will standardize the size of Line 1278 at 20 inches in diameter throughout the area, which will in turn allow more efficient use of advanced internal inspection devices to assure safety and reliability of the pipeline and facilitate compliance with the directives of the DOT Pipeline Integrity Management Rule. Consistency in size is important for these devices, which transverse the inside of the pipe and have the advantage of allowing us to test our pipelines with the least disruption to our customers, to the communities adjacent to the line, and to the surrounding environment, while providing the most detailed information regarding the pipeline’s operations and current condition.
Second, it will allow Columbia to complete the upgrade of a 57-year-old pipeline within the timeframe approved by the DOT. Columbia is currently operating the pipeline at a reduced pressure as part of our agreement with DOT and relying on available capacity in other pipelines to meet market obligations during periods of high demand. With the new, upgraded line in place, Columbia will be less dependent on this practice. The increase in diameter from 14-inches to 20-inches will also increase the overall delivery reliability in the region.
Third, the replacement offers the added benefit of less intrusion in the future for maintenance and repair work in the Delaware Water Gap. Through use of today’s pipeline coatings and other corrosion protection, regular inspections and participation in the Pennsylvania One Call Program, we can anticipate a useful life for the new pipeline that greatly exceeds the nearly 60 years of service provided by the existing pipeline.
A critical point to note is that the replacement with the slightly larger diameter pipe will require no additional construction impacts and will not change the existing permanent right-of-way that currently exists with the Delaware Water Gap. The construction footprint is the same for the proposed 20-inch diameter pipe as it is for the existing 14-inch diameter line.
Columbia has been working closely with the National Park Service during the permitting process, including NEPA review and the issuance of a special use permit from the Park. Columbia has extensive plans in place for mitigating impacts during construction and for restoration following completion of our work. Park Service staff have been very helpful and cooperative in working toward a mutually-agreeable solution in this matter.
In this regard, I want to bring to your attention a typographical error in the bill. On page 2, line 9 the bill refers to right-of-way number 16414. The number should be 16413. The Park Service is aware of this error and supports us in our request to change the right-of-way number during Committee consideration of the legislation.
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I ask that my prepared statement be submitted for the record. Thank you for your time and attention, and I will be happy to address any questions you may have.
Mr. Timothy SlavinDirectorDivision of Historic and Cultural Affairs for the State of Delaware
Director, Historical and Cultural Affairs
State of Delaware
Testimony Before the U.S. Senate
Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Subcommittee on National Parks
September 22, 2005
Chairman Thomas, Ranking Member Akaka and members of the subcommittee, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the possibility of a study to determine the suitability and feasibility of a national park unit for Delaware.
My name is Tim Slavin and I serve as the director of Historical and Cultural Affairs for the State of Delaware. I oversee the management of more than thirty historic sites and properties in Delaware, including museums, historic homes, lighthouses, and two shipwrecks off Delaware’s ocean and bay coast. I am one of many Delawareans interested in this matter. We greatly appreciate the time and effort of Senator Carper in forwarding this cause and thank you for holding this hearing today.
This past Saturday, I was visiting my 10-year-old daughter in Colorado. (She lives there with her mother and for the past seven years, I've spent one weekend a month with her there.)
Our plans called for an overnight camping trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park. I explained to my daughter that this was a national park, similar to the one at the Grand Canyon which we had camped in during the summer of 2004.
Like a good 10-year-old, she was unfazed.
When we arrived at the gated entrance to the park and she saw the familiar signage and the familiar hats of the National Park Service rangers, she blurted out "oh...yeah."
Her simple recognition was evidence of something far deeper. She was familiar with our national parks, and it brought her an immediate sense of comfort and security.
As our day progressed, I found that the national parks had taught her other things, as well. She became a very conscientious steward of the land she was visiting, mindful of not disturbing anything and making sure that every last bubble gum wrapper was stuffed into her father's jacket pocket. She left only footprints, because the national parks had taught her that.
She was also amazed by how many different kinds of people were using the park, and noted how many different states’ license plates there were.
And she became very proud. She was proud of her beautiful adopted state, she was proud of her country, and she was proud that such a beautiful and important place was cared for by so many people.
I told her that I would be in Washington to testify on behalf of a national park for Delaware and she said something else which was very insightful: "do it."
So here I am today, on behalf of my daughter and many Delawareans recommending that this bill be passed and Delaware be afforded what every other state in our country has, inclusion in the National Park System.
Why should Delaware have a national park? The answers are simple:
• Delaware deserves it. Delaware’s rich history and heritage have a unique place in American history. Likewise, the natural beauty and landscape of Delaware’s coastline is matched only by the important role it has played throughout our history.
• Our national heritage deserves it. The importance of Delaware’s history and heritage can not and should not be left out of any consideration of American history; to think that our national parks system would not address the importance of such places as Fort Christina, the Delaware Bay, and coastal towns along the Delaware River and Bay is to realize that there is a void in the telling of our natural and historical landscapes.
• Our citizens deserve it. Every American citizen deserves the right to access our history and heritage in every state.
A significant amount of thought has been put into what a national park in Delaware should look like, and we look forward to working with the National Park Service on the study. I believe this study will demonstrate that the Senator’s proposal does, in fact, represent a historical and cultural concept that is of national significance, suitable for inclusion in the National Park System and very feasible to implement.
First, Senator Carper’s proposal for a park unit that embodies and highlights the role Delaware’s coastal regions have played in the history of our state and the cultural development of our society is of national significance. In short, Delaware’s history is our history.
It starts with the history of indigenous peoples, such as Leni Lanape and Nanticoke Indians. It includes the colonization and establishment of the frontier with the first European settlers in the Delaware Valley who built Fort Christina in what is now Wilmington in 1638. Along our coastline can be found the home of John Dickinson, the “Penman of the Revolution,” along with examples of America’s earliest exploitation of water power along the Brandywine River, of transportation systems that connected early settlers with other colonies and Europe and with coastal defenses that protected Delaware and America from the earliest days like Fort Christina right through to submarine watchtowers constructed in World War II. It includes the valiant efforts of the Underground Railroad, with points along Delaware’s coastline being the “last stop to freedom” for slaves escaping to the North.
These contributions are undoubtedly significant to the historical, cultural and commercial development of America. Is there a more suitable way for us to highlight these contributions than as a National Park?
Finally, in a time of a serious budget crunch at the National Park Service and elsewhere, it’s important to note that we believe this will be among the least expensive park units to develop and to operate. Unfortunately, over the years, neither the local or state governments in Delaware have been able to muster the resources to adequately preserve, recreate or highlight our wonderful resources. That is why it is so important that you authorize this study. With each passing year, we get further and further away and the task becomes more and more difficult.
In 1903, in the midst of the movement to create a national park system, Theodore Roosevelt stated that “above all, we should recognize that the effort toward this end is essentially a democratic movement.” More than 100 years later, the movement to create a national park in Delaware has respected both Roosevelt’s words and the long and important history of national parks in our country. A national park for Delaware is needed, necessary, and long overdue. Let us create an opportunity in Delaware for all citizens to share in their national heritage, to become stewards of our natural and historical landscape, and to have pride in a country which provides all of these things for its citizens. The American experience exists in the stitching together of all such national treasures in all of our states.
Ms. Beth Styler BarryExecutive DirectorMusconetcong Watershed Association
The Musconetcong Watershed Association wishes to express their support for this bipartisan legislation that will designate segments of the Musconetcong River as a federal Wild and Scenic River. Passage of the Musconetcong Wild and Scenic Rivers Act by this committee is critical to the future protection of one of New Jersey’s great rivers.
Specifically, this distinguished recognition of the river will:
• Help maintain existing water quality in the Musconetcong River and its tributaries, as well as improve water quality.
• Protect the recharge area and aquifers that supply drinking water to residents of Hunterdon, Warren, Sussex and Morris counties and beyond.
• Help to promote preservation of farmland and open space within the river corridor and the watershed.
• Encourage recreational use that is compatible with the preservation of natural and cultural qualities of the river corridor while respecting private property.
• Promote eco-tourism in the form of fishing, boating, hiking and bird watching etc. that will translate directly into an economic benefit for the region.
• Preserve, restore and enhance the outstanding natural resources in the river corridor and the watershed, including rare and endangered species, forests, floodplains, headwaters and wetlands.
• Support uses that are compatible with the River Management Plan and that preserve the existing character of the Musconetcong River Valley.
The Musconetcong River drains a 157.6 square mile watershed area in northern New Jersey, and as a major tributary to the Delaware River, is part of the 12,755 square mile Delaware River watershed. For its entire length the Musconetcong River is a boundary water, first dividing Morris and Sussex counties, then Hunterdon and Warren counties. All or portions of 26 municipalities lie within the natural boundaries of the Musconetcong watershed. Fourteen municipalities fall within the river segments eligible for National Wild and Scenic Rivers designation.
Citizens Unite in River Protection Effort
The impetus for the Musconetcong National Wild and Scenic Rivers study can be traced back to 1991 when petitions were circulated calling for the protection of the Musconetcong River under both the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and New Jersey Wild and Scenic Rivers program. In 1992 Congress passed legislation authorizing the National Park Service to study the eligibility and potential suitability of the Lower Delaware River for addition to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The Musconetcong Watershed Association (MWA) was formed in 1992, and in 1993 the MWA and the National Park Service (NPS) organized two Roundtable Meetings to discuss the problems, amenities and opportunities associated with the Musconetcong River. In 1995, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Office of Natural Lands Management recommended to the NPS that the Musconetcong River be included in the Nationwide Rivers Inventory of “candidate” rivers that are considered to have the appropriate characteristics for wild and scenic designation. Two years later, 18 of the 19 municipalities along the river voted to request the NPS to study the Musconetcong River to determine its eligibility and suitability for inclusion in the National System. An initial meeting was held in July 1997 and included representatives from eighteen river corridor municipal governments, National Park Service, Musconetcong Watershed Association, county and state officials, major industries, Heritage Conservancy, Highlands Coalition, and Trout Unlimited, as well as interested citizens and river front property owners.
A Musconetcong Advisory Committee, consisting of municipal representatives was formed to work with the NPS and the Musconetcong Watershed Association in completing the National Wild and Scenic study. It was agreed by all parties that the Musconetcong Advisory Committee and local municipalities would have the final say as to whether the Musconetcong River is recommended for designation. Subcommittees were formed to address public involvement needs and to conduct the resource assessment for the Resource Assessment, Eligibility & Classification Report. The study area included the main stem of the river and the river corridor from the outlet at Lake Musconetcong to the Delaware River, a distance of approximately 42 miles.
Eligibility and Classification Report
The Eligibility & Classification Report, completed in August 1999, recommended that three segments of the river, representing 28.5 miles of river, were eligible for inclusion in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System based on flow characteristics and natural and cultural resources. The committee then conducted an analysis of existing resource protection in the river corridor and developed draft management goals, objectives and key actions. The advisory committee served as the coordinating body for the study, guiding all major study activities. In order to facilitate the compilation of information about the river’s resources and suitability, the NPS established cooperative agreements with the Musconetcong Watershed.
Segment A: Saxton Falls to the Rt. 46 Bridge (3.5 miles)
Segment B: Kings Highway Bridge to the Railroad tunnels at Musconetcong Gorge (20.7 miles)
Outstandingly Remarkable Values
The study documented an outstanding diversity of farms, historic villages and outstanding natural areas. The Musconetcong River Valley is a primary source of drinking water, clean air critical wildlife habitat and abundant recreational activities. Its protection is vital to the environmental social and economic health of the country’s most densely populated region.
The Musconetcong River Valley features a diversity of recreational opportunities that are popular enough to attract visitors from throughout the region. The river corridor provides a high-quality environment for a wide variety of recreational activities which are important to the local economy. State, county and local parklands within the river corridor provide significant opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing, camping, nature study and other outdoor activities. The Musconetcong River and its tributaries are regionally important trout fishing streams. Approximately 20 of the tributary streams support naturally reproducing trout populations. The river is also eligible for designation to the State Trails System as a Waterways Trail. The river-related recreational resources are considered to be regionally exemplary.
Historic and Prehistoric
The Musconetcong River Valley contains many river-related historic bridges, mills and historic districts that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One river-related resource, the Morris Canal Historic District, is a National Historic Landmark and was judged to be nationally exemplary. The Plenge Paleo-Indian Archaeological site within the river corridor is eligible for National Landmark designation study. River-related historic resources were judged overall to be regionally exemplary.
Several locations in the river corridor offer outstanding views of the agricultural river valley, Highland Ridges, Kittatinny Mountain and Delaware Water Gap. These views of landforms and vegetation throughout the seasons are only minimally interrupted by cultural intrusions. River-related scenery was judged to be regionally exemplary.
Wildlife and Critical Habitat
Regionally important populations of wildlife and critical habitat for state listed threatened, endangered or rare species are present within the river corridor. The Musconetcong River watershed lies entirely within the New Jersey Highlands Region, a landscape of national importance as determined by the U.S. Forest Service and within the Atlantic Flyway, one of four major migratory bird routes in North America.
The following is a categorical description of outstanding resources found within each study segment.
Segment A: Saxton Falls to Rt. 46 Bridge
Recreational: Allamuchy/Stephens State Park
Eligible State Waterway Trail
Historic: Morris Canal National Historic Landmark
Scenic: Largely primitive, undeveloped river corridor through state and municipal parklands
Wildlife: Barred Owl: State threatened
Brook Floater: Critically imperiled in NJ
Segment B: Kings Highway Bridge to the railroad tunnels at Musconetcong Gorge
Recreational: Musconetcong River Reservation
Eligible State Waterway Trail
Numerous state-owned access points for fishing, boating and hiking
Historic: Beattystown Historic District: National Register
Miller Farmstead and stone bridge: National Register
New Hampton Pony Pratt Truss Bridge: National Register
New Hampton Historic District: National Register
Imlaydale Historic District: National Register
Asbury Village Historic District: National Register
North Bloomsbury Historic District: National Register
Scenic: Outstanding views of agricultural river valley, Highland Ridges, Kittatinny Mountain and Delaware Water Gap
Outstanding views of agricultural river valley from Highway 639, Franklin Township
Wildlife: Wood Turtle: State threatened
Fleshy Hawthorn: State endangered
Historic and Archeological Resources
Human habitation in the Musconetcong valley has been traced back to as early as 12,000 years ago when Paleo-Indians occupied the region during the final retreat of the Wisconsin glacier. Evidence of their presence in the valley was documented at the Plenge Site, which is located along the lower Musconetcong River in Warren County. The Plenge Site was the first of only two major Paleo-Indian archaeological site excavations in New Jersey, and it is considered to be one of the most important in the northeastern United States.
Outstanding river-related historic features – many of which are listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places – can be found in Stanhope, Waterloo Village, Asbury, Finesville and several other Musconetcong River communities. These features contribute greatly to the scenic character and overall quality of life in the Musconetcong valley, and are important to the local economy as key components of regional tourism.
By the time European settlement came to the Musconetcong valley during the early 18th century, the Lenape Indians were already in a state of decline, and the several thousand-year-old aboriginal occupation was coming to an end. While the Lenape Indians burned off significant areas of forest to plant crops and attract game, their only lasting imprint on the landscape were the major trails that European colonists eventually adapted to roads. One of these was the Malayelick Path which ran from the head of the tidal Delaware River to the Musconetcong River “gap” between Musconetcong and Schooleys Mountains. The path was the forerunner of State Highway 31, which begins in Trenton and crosses the Musconetcong River at Hampton Borough. Portions of State Highway 206 are part of the Minisink Trail, which linked the New Jersey coast with Minisink Island in the Upper Delaware River.
Subsistence agriculture took root in the lower Musconetcong valley at the beginning of the 18th century. The fertile limestone valley was rapidly cleared for croplands, and subsistence agriculture gradually evolved into commercial grain and dairy farming. Villages sprang up around the many gristmills and iron forges built along the Musconetcong River from Finesville to Hackettstown. The charcoal iron industry was also established during the early 18th century on the lower Musconetcong River, and was supported by abundant supplies of ore from the surrounding ridges. The iron industry faced a precipitous decline when wood supplies were depleted by the early 19th century. However, the industry was rescued when one of early America’s truly amazing engineering feats – the Morris Canal – was built to carry coal from the Pennsylvania coalfields to fuel the iron furnaces. The Morris Canal was a world-famous engineering marvel that required abundant supplies of water. Lake Hopatcong, which was originally a small natural glacial lake, was dammed to supply water to the entire canal system,
but it was found to be an inadequate source. To augment the flow of water to the canal, several other dams were built on the Musconetcong River and Lubbers Run, its largest tributary.
River Management Plan
Next, an analysis of land ownership, land use regulation and physical barriers to development in the river corridor was completed to determine the effectiveness of existing mechanisms in management of the river and its outstandingly remarkable values, and to identify gaps which could be addressed by the implementation of a comprehensive management plan. Development of a river management plan is a requirement of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers study and becomes the basis for protection of the river now and into the future.
This management plan was the result of cooperative efforts of the Musconetcong Advisory Committee, Musconetcong Watershed Association, Heritage Conservancy, the National Park Service, and a variety of local, county and state representatives. The management plan sets forth five major goals and recommends actions to maintain and improve the Musconetcong River corridor, its tributaries and watershed, and surrounding natural, cultural and recreational resources.
Goal 1. Encourage recreational use that is compatible with the preservation of natural and cultural qualities of the river corridor while respecting private property.
Goal 2. Preserve and protect the character of archaeological sites and historic structures, districts, sites, and landscapes in the river corridor.
Goal 3. Preserve farmland and open space within the river corridor and the watershed.
Goal 4. Preserve, protect, restore and enhance the outstanding natural resources in the river corridor and the watershed, including rare and endangered species, forests, steep slopes, floodplains, headwaters and wetlands.
Goal 5. Maintain existing water quality in the Musconetcong River and its tributaries and improve where possible.
Successful implementation of the management plan will require cooperation between all levels of government, individual landowners and non-govern-mental organizations. The plan recognizes that local municipalities play a key role in implementing the recommended management actions.
The Musconetcong is one of New Jersey’s great rivers. The Musconetcong River Valley is a primary source of drinking water, critical wildlife habitat and abundant recreational activities. Passage of this bill will protect an outstanding diversity of farms, historic villages and outstanding natural areas. S.1096 recognizes the exceptional value of the Musconetcong River and the importance of its protection under the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. I urge your favorable consideration of this bill.
Mr. John FowlerExecutive DirectorAdvisory Council on Historic Preservation
’s Heritage America
TESTIMONY FOR THE RECORD
SUBMITTED BY JOHN L. NAU, III
CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION
TO THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS,
THE HONORABLE CRAIG THOMAS, CHAIRMAN
OVERSIGHT HEARING ON REAUTHORIZATION OF THE
ADVISORY COUNCIL ON HISTORIC PRESERVATION
THE NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT
SEPTEMBER 22, 2005
An independent Federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) promotes historic preservation nationally by providing a forum for influencing Federal activities, programs, and policies that impact historic properties. In furtherance of this objective, S. 1378 provides reauthorization of its appropriations in accordance with the provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) (NHPA). The bill also offers amendments to the ACHP’s authorities that we believe will strengthen our ability to meet our responsibilities under NHPA, and to provide leadership and coordination in the Federal historic preservation program.
Title II of the NHPA established the ACHP. NHPA charges the ACHP with advising the President and the Congress on historic preservation matters and entrusts the ACHP with the unique mission of advancing historic preservation within the Federal Government and the national historic preservation program. In FY 2002, the ACHP adopted the following mission statement:
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of our Nation’s historic resources, and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy.
The ACHP’s authority and responsibilities are principally derived from NHPA. General duties of the ACHP are detailed in Section 202 (16 U.S.C. 470j) and include:
• Advising the President and Congress on matters relating to historic preservation;
• Encouraging public interest and participation in historic preservation;
• Recommending policy and tax studies as they affect historic preservation;
• Advising State and local governments on historic preservation legislation;
• Encouraging training and education in historic preservation;
• Reviewing Federal policies and programs and recommending improvements; and
• Informing and educating others about the ACHP’s activities.
Under Section 106 of NHPA (16 U.S.C. 470f), the ACHP reviews Federal actions affecting historic properties to ensure that historic preservation needs are considered and balanced with Federal project requirements. It achieves this balance through the “Section 106 review process,” which applies whenever a Federal action has the potential to impact historic properties. As administered by the ACHP, the process guarantees that State and local governments, Indian tribes, businesses and organizations, and private citizens will have an effective opportunity to participate in Federal project planning affecting important historic properties.
Under Section 211 of NHPA (16 U.S.C. 470s) the ACHP is granted rulemaking authority for Section 106. The ACHP also has consultative and other responsibilities under Sections 101, 110, 111, 203, and 214 of NHPA, and in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) is considered an agency with “special expertise” to comment on environmental impacts involving historic properties and other cultural resources.
The ACHP plays a pivotal role in the national historic preservation program. Founded as a unique partnership among Federal, State, and local governments, Indian tribes, and the public to advance the preservation of
’s heritage while recognizing contemporary needs, the partnership has matured and expanded over time. The Secretary of the Interior and the ACHP have distinct but complementary responsibilities for managing the national historic preservation program. The Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Park Service, maintains the national inventory of historic properties, sets standards for historic preservation, administers financial assistance and programs for tribal, State, and local participation, and provides technical preservation assistance. America
The ACHP also plays a key role in shaping historic preservation policy and programs at the highest levels of the Administration. It promotes consistency in Federal preservation efforts and assists Federal agencies in meeting their preservation responsibilities. Through its administration of Section 106, the ACHP works with Federal agencies, States, tribes, local governments, applicants for Federal assistance, and other affected parties to ensure that their interests are considered in the process. It helps parties reach agreement on measures to avoid or resolve conflicts that may arise between development needs and preservation objectives, including mitigation of harmful impacts.
The ACHP is uniquely suited to its task. As an independent agency, it brings together through its membership Federal agency heads, representatives of State and local governments, historic preservation leaders and experts, Native American representatives, and private citizens to shape national policies and programs dealing with historic preservation. The ACHP’s diverse membership is reflected in its efforts to seek sensible, cost-effective ways to mesh preservation goals with other public needs. Unlike other Federal agencies or private preservation organizations, the ACHP incorporates a variety of interests and viewpoints in fulfilling its statutory duties, broadly reflecting the public interest. Recommended solutions are reached that reflect both the impacts on irreplaceable historic properties and the needs of today’s society.
New Directions. Since assuming the chairmanship in November 2001, I have taken steps to ensure that the ACHP fulfills the leadership role envisioned for it in NHPA. In doing so, we have focused the ACHP on pursuing the broader policy goals of the national historic preservation program.
In creating the ACHP, Congress recognized the value of having an independent entity to provide advice, coordination, and oversight of NHPA’s implementation by Federal agencies. The ACHP remains the only Federal entity created solely to address historic preservation issues, and helps to bridge differences in this area among Federal agencies, and between the Federal Government and States, Indian tribes, local governments, and citizens. While the administration of the historic preservation review process established by Section 106 of NHPA is very important and a significant ACHP responsibility, we believe that the ACHP’s mission is broader than simply managing that process.
NHPA established a national policy to “foster conditions under which our modern society and our prehistoric and historic resources can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.” Among other things, the statute directed Federal agencies to foster conditions that help attain the national goal of historic preservation; to act as faithful stewards of federally owned, administered, or controlled historic resources for present and future generations; and to offer maximum encouragement and assistance to other public and private preservation efforts through a variety of means.
To promote this policy and to exercise its intended leadership, the ACHP has taken the following steps, working through its membership and with its partner Federal agencies:
• Developed an Executive order to promote the benefits of preservation, to improve Federal stewardship of historic properties, and to foster recognition of such properties as national assets to be used for economic, educational, and other purposes. President Bush issued this as Executive Order 13287, “Preserve America,” on
March 3, 2003.
• Created an initiative for the White House to stimulate creative partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector to preserve and actively use historic resources for a better appreciation of
’s history and diversity. The initiative is known as Preserve America and was announced by First Lady Laura Bush on America March 3, 2003.
• Undertook a major new initiative to improve the participation of Native Americans in the national historic preservation program by establishing a Native American Advisory Group.
The ACHP’s 20 statutorily designated members address policy issues, direct program initiatives, and make recommendations regarding historic preservation to the President, Congress, and heads of other Federal agencies. The Council members meet four times per year to conduct business, holding two meetings in
, and two in other communities where relevant preservation issues can be explored. However, myself and other Council members are actively involved in Council business on a continual basis, particularly since January 2004 when the Administration’s Preserve America initiative began to rapidly gain momentum. Washington, D.C.
The ACHP has a leading role in both the Preserve America Steering Committee and the staff efforts to carry out specific Preserve America activities. In coordination with the White House, the Preserve America Steering Committee sets policy and oversees the initiative. At the operational level, ACHP staff works with partner Federal agencies to implement the Preserve America Communities and Preserve America Presidential Awards programs. For FY 2006, we will work closely with the National Park Service to operate the new Preserve America grants program.
The ACHP also works with Federal agencies, including their senior policy level officials designated in response to the Preserve America Executive order. In February 2006, we will submit a report to the President assessing the efforts of Federal agencies to manage their historic properties in a manner that promotes historic preservation.
Our Native American Advisory Group works with the membership and our staff-level Native American Program to improve relations and coordination of efforts with the tribes and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers in regard to issues of historic preservation. These issues are of particular and unique importance to tribes from both economic and cultural perspectives.
The staff carries out the day-to-day work of the ACHP and provides all support services for Council members programs. To reflect and support the work of the committees, the Executive Director reorganized the ACHP staff into three program offices to mirror the committee structure. Staff components are under the supervision of the Executive Director and are located at the ACHP’s headquarters in
PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE
NATIONAL HISTORIC PRESERVATION ACT
Background to Reauthorization. The ACHP traditionally has had its appropriations authorized on a multi-year cycle in Title II of NHPA (Section 212, 16 U.S.C. 470t). The current cycle expires at the end of FY 2005 and authorizes $4 million annually. These funds are provided to support the programs and operations of the ACHP. Title II of NHPA also sets forth the general authorities and structure of the ACHP.
The ACHP seeks to amend its appropriation authorization for two reasons. First, the authorization extends only through FY 2005 and must be renewed for FY 2006 and beyond. Second, the ACHP is seeking certain changes in its membership and operational authorities to better equip it to meet its current mission. At its February and May 2003 meetings, the ACHP endorsed an approach to the reauthorization issue that addresses the immediate appropriations authority issue and also contains the desired amendments to the ACHP’s composition and authorities. S.2469, “A bill to amend the National Historic Preservation Act to provide appropriation authorization and improve the operations of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation,” was introduced by the Honorable James M. Talent
May 20, 2004. A hearing was held before this subcommittee June 8, 2004. A companion bill, H.R. 3223, was introduced and referred to the House Resources Committee.
The legislation was not enacted in the 108th Congress and, on
July 11, 2005, Senator Talent and Senator Wyden introduced S. 1378. This bill is virtually identical to S. 2469, with the inclusion of a provision to extend the authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund. A companion bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives as H.R. 3446.
The changes sought by the ACHP and contained in S. 1378 are explained in this overview.
Appropriations Authorization. This provision (Section 1(g)) would amend the current time-limited authorization and replace it with a permanent appropriations authorization. When the ACHP was created in 1966, its functions were exclusively advisory and limited, and the agency was lodged administratively in the Department of the Interior. Since then, the Congress has amended the NHPA to establish the ACHP as an independent Federal agency and provide it with a range of program authorities crucial to the success of the national historic preservation program.
Not unlike the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) and the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the ACHP now functions as a small but important Federal agency, carrying out both advisory and substantive program duties. Specific language creating a permanent appropriations authorization would draw upon the similar statutory authorities of the CFA and NCPC. No ceiling to the annual appropriations authorization would be included in the authorizing legislation, but rather the appropriate funding limits would be established through the annual appropriations process.
Expansion of Membership. This provision (Section 1(d)) would expand the membership of the ACHP by directing the President to designate the heads of three additional Federal agencies as members of the ACHP. The ACHP has been aggressively pursuing partnerships with Federal agencies in recent years and has found the results to be greatly beneficial to meeting both Federal agency historic preservation responsibilities and the ACHP’s own mission goals. Experience has shown that these partnerships are fostered and enhanced by having the agency participate as a full-fledged member of the ACHP, giving it both a voice and a stake in the ACHP’s actions. The amendment would bring the total number of Federal ACHP members to nine and expand the ACHP membership to 23, an administratively manageable number that preserves the current majority of non-Federal members. A technical amendment to adjust quorum requirements would also be included.
Authority and Direction to Improve Coordination with Federal Funding Agencies. This provision (Section 1(h)) would give the ACHP the authority and direction to work with Federal funding agencies to assist them in determining appropriate uses of their existing grants programs for advancing the purposes of NHPA.
The ACHP would work with agencies and grant recipients to examine the effectiveness of existing grant programs, evaluate the adequacy of funding levels, and help the agencies determine whether changes in the programs would better meet preservation and other needs. Any recommendations would be developed in close cooperation with the Federal funding agencies themselves, many of whom sit as ACHP members, and with the States. The proposed amendment also would allow the ACHP to work cooperatively with Federal funding agencies in the administration of their grant programs.
Technical Amendments. These provisions would provide four technical changes that would improve ACHP operations:
1. Authorize the Governor, who is a presidentially appointed member of the ACHP, to designate a voting representative to participate in the ACHP activities in the Governor’s absence. Currently this authority is extended to Federal agencies and other organizational members. The amendment would recognize that the personal participation of a Governor cannot always be assumed, much like that of a Cabinet secretary (Section 1(d)(2)).
2. Authorize the ACHP to engage administrative support services from sources other than the Department of the Interior. The current law requires the ACHP’s administrative services to be provided by the Department of the Interior on a reimbursable basis. The amendment would authorize the ACHP to obtain any or all of those services from other Federal agencies or the private sector. The amendment would further the goals of the FAIR Act and improve ACHP efficiency by allowing the ACHP to obtain necessary services on the most beneficial terms (Section 1(e)).
3. Clarify that the ACHP’s donation authority (16 U.S.C. 470m(g)) includes the ability of the ACHP to actively solicit such donations (Section 1(f)).
4. Adjust the quorum requirements to accommodate expanded ACHP membership (Section 1(d)(3)).
Extension of Authorization for the Historic Preservation Fund. This provision (Section 1(c)) would extend the existing authorization for $150 million annually from the proceeds of oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to be made available for the Historic Preservation Fund. We believe this concept of using part of the proceeds from the depletion of the Nation’s non-renewable resources to preserve and enhance another non-renewable resource, our cultural heritage, is sound and merits continuation. The fund supports the valuable activities of the various State Historic Preservation Officers and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, our principal partners in carrying out the NHPA’s authorities. In addition, the fund makes possible the President’s Preserve America grants program, which has been funded by the Congress for FY 2006. Extending this authority through FY 2011 is essential and is welcomed by the ACHP.
The ACHP has reached a level of maturity as an independent Federal agency and as a key partner in the national historic preservation program to warrant continued support from the Congress. As demonstrated by its recent program accomplishments including the President’s Executive Order 13287, the Preserve America initiative, and the Native American Program, the ACHP is a vital component of the Federal historic preservation program. We believe that the legislation we seek, coupled with periodic oversight by this Subcommittee and the annual review provided by the Appropriations Committees, is fully justified by our record of accomplishment. We hope that the Subcommittee will favorably consider this request, including our recommended technical amendments and the important extension of the Historic Preservation Fund authorization.
We appreciate the Subcommittee’s interest in these issues, and thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to present our views.