Eastern Legacy Extension Act STATEMENT OF JOY BEASLEY, ACTING ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, CULTURAL RESOURCES, PARTNERSHIPS AND SCIENCE, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTE ON FEDERAL LANDS, CONCERNING H.R. 3045, A BILL TO AMEND THE NATIONAL TRAILS SYSTEM ACT TO EXTEND THE LEWIS AND CLARK NATIONAL HISTORIC TRAIL, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. April 11, 2018_____________________________________________________________________________ Chairman McClintock, Ranking Member Hanabusa, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 3045, to amend the National Trails System Act to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and for other purposes. The Department recognizes that the extension of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail proposed by H.R. 3045 meets the criteria for inclusion in the National Trails System. However, due to the National Park Service’s $11.6 billion deferred maintenance backlog other critical national park needs, the Department does not support enacting an extension of the trail at this time. The current Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 3,700 miles long, extending from Wood River, Illinois, at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, to the mouth of the Columbia River near present day Astoria, Oregon, following the historic routes of the expedition and passing through eleven states. The trail was established by Congress in 1978 as part of the National Trails System and is managed by the National Park Service. H.R. 3045 would further extend the trail by 1,200 miles, from the Ohio River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to join the currently established Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail in Illinois. Public Law 110-229 directed the Secretary of the Interior to evaluate sites and segments in the eastern United States associated with the preparation and return phases of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition to determine whether those sites and segments should be added to the existing Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The study was transmitted to Congress on February 27, 2018. The study area included portions of the Mississippi River and the Ohio River, as well as multiple sites and overland routes passing through fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Twenty-five individual trail segments were evaluated, and of these, three were deemed nationally significant with respect to the Lewis and Clark expedition. Together, these three segments follow the routes of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Wood River, Illinois and were critical precursors to the main expedition. The study also found that these three trail segments would meet the criteria for suitability and feasibility if their partnership potential is realized. The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Extension Study estimated that the annual cost of operation for the extension would be $300,000 to $500,000 per year. This estimate included funding for additional NPS staffing of two FTE to administer the trail and create and monitor partnerships, expanded responsibilities for tribal and state consultation, environmental compliance, and interpretation and education opportunities. Any additional facilities and properties would increase park operational and maintenance costs. Additional funds for maintenance, repairs and capital improvements would be awarded through the National Park Service’s competitive process, subject to servicewide priorities and the availability of appropriations. The bill sponsor requested that the National Park Service prepare a legislative map to be referenced in the bill. We recently prepared the map and submitted it to the sponsor and this Committee. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.