To authorize, direct, facilitate, and expedite the transfer of administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal land
STATEMENT OF P. DANIEL SMITH, DEPUTY DIRECTOR, EXERCISING THE AUTHORITY OF THE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, CONCERNING H.R. 1397, A BILL TO AUTHORIZE, DIRECT, FACILITATE, AND EXPEDITE THE TRANSFER OF ADMINISTRATIVE JURISDICTION OF CERTAIN FEDERAL LANDS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
February 14, 2018
Chairman Daines, Ranking Member King, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 1397, to authorize, direct, facilitate, and expedite the transfer of administrative jurisdiction of certain Federal land, and for other purposes.
The Department supports H.R. 1397 as this bill would resolve a long-standing access issue on the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The Claude Moore Colonial Farm (Farm) is a 68.5-acre working colonial farm in Virginia, part of the 235-acre Langley Tract property that was transferred to the George Washington Memorial Parkway in 1971 to provide public recreation and open space. The greenhouses, administrative offices, staff parking, a storage area for farm equipment, and animal pens, are located in the administration and maintenance area of the Farm.
Colonial Farm Road forms the eastern boundary between the Langley Tract and the Farm and provides the main public access to the Farm from Georgetown Pike. In addition to providing Farm access, Colonial Farm Road serves as an entrance road to the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (Research Center) and the George Bush Center for Intelligence (CIA).
The three Federal agencies involved--the National Park Service, the CIA and the FHWA-- entered into an agreement on September 11, 2002, to have uninterrupted access to their properties in a manner that does not involve crossing property boundaries, and that addresses the need to improve security through better visibility near perimeter fencing of the Research Center. Through this agreement, the agencies identified properties suitable for exchange that would provide access to the Farm’s administrative and maintenance area and would also improve security outside the fencing of the Research Center and CIA. The agreement has since expired but the agencies continue to abide by the terms of the agreement.
H.R. 1397 would effect the transfers of administrative jurisdiction called for in the September 11, 2002, agreement and require the agencies to implement other terms of the agreement. The administrative jurisdiction transfers between the NPS and the FHWA, which involve less than one acre of land in total, will provide the NPS with a separate access road in the administration and maintenance area for the Farm that will not go through the Research Center. The NPS would also place use restrictions on 0.139 acres of park land adjacent to part of the perimeter fence of the Research Center to improve security of the Research Center. These parcels are delineated on the map referenced in H.R. 1397.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.