Parks Bills: HR 2802



STATEMENT OF KATHERINE H. STEVENSON,

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, BUSINESS SERVICES,

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE,

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR,

BEFORE THE

 SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE SENATE ENERGY

AND NATURAL RESOURCES COMMITTEE ON H.R. 2802,

A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR AN EXTENSION OF THE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY

OF THE ADAMS MEMORIAL FOUNDATION TO ESTABLISH A COMMEMORATIVE WORK

IN HONOR OF FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN ADAMS AND HIS LEGACY.

November 4, 2009

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 H.R. 2802, a bill to provide for an extension of the legislative authority of the Adams Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work in honor of former President John Adams and his legacy.

Department supports H.R. 2802 as passed by the House.

H.R. 2802 would amend Public Law 107-62 to extend to December 2, 2013 the authorization for establishing a memorial in the

District of Columbia or its environs to honor President John Adams and his legacy.In addition to providing an extension of authority, H.R. 2802 also contains technical amendments to the original authorizing legislation, Public Law 107-62, enacted in 2001, which contains outdated references to the Commemorative Works Act (CWA).The references currently cited in Public Law 107-315 refer to the CWA as codified under 40 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.The CWA, however, was recodified under 40 U.S.C. 8901 et seq. on August 21, 2002 (Public Law 107-217).The proposed amendments in H.R. 2802 would update and correct the references to the CWA.

The authority to establish the John Adams memorial was originally approved by Congress on November 5, 2001.The Adams Memorial Foundation (Foundation) requested that the subject of the commemoration be determined to be of preeminent and lasting significance to the Nation so that the proposed memorial might be placed in Area I, a request that was considered favorably by the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission in 2002 and recommended to Congress.P.L. 107-315, enacted on December 2, 2002, granted the Foundation that additional authority to seek a site for their memorial within Area I.Authorizations under the CWA have a seven-year sunset period which extends from the date on which the Area I authority was granted to allow for time to obtain a building permit and begin construction of a memorial.As the Foundation has not yet been able to select a site, design the memorial, receive the requisite approvals, or raise sufficient funds for the construction of the memorial, a permit could not be granted.Therefore, the authority to establish the memorial would expire on December 2, 2009.However, Section 130 of the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 2996 - the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, extends the authority until September 30, 2010. H.R. 2802 would extend to December 2, 2013, the authority to establish a commemorative work to honor former President John Adams, his wife Abigail Adams, and former President John Quincy Adams and their legacy of public service.

With an additional four years of legislative authority, the Foundation should be in a viable position to achieve site and design approvals as well as to raise the minimum 75 percent of the funds sufficient to build the memorial.Should they meet these thresholds, the Secretary of the Interior may exercise his authority under the CWA to grant an additional three-year administrative extension to allow the Foundation to finalize construction documents and raise the balance of necessary funding.

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 may have.