Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park Boundary Revision Act
STATEMENT OF HERBERT C. FROST, REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR INTERIOR REGIONS 3, 4 & 5, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS CONCERNING H.R. 6199, A BILL TO REVISE THE BOUNDARY OF THE STE. GENEVIEVE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK IN THE STATE OF MISSOURI, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
February 3, 2022
Chairman Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's views on H.R. 6199, a bill to revise the boundary of the Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in the state of Missouri, and for other purposes.
The Department supports H.R. 6199.
H.R. 6199 would amend the legislation authorizing the establishment of Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park to authorize the acquisition of the property currently owned by the City of Ste. Genevieve and in use as the park’s Visitor Center.
Congress authorized the establishment of Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in March 2018 as a unit of the National Park System to preserve, protect, and interpret the themes of French Settlement, vernacular architecture, and community form and farming on the frontier. The establishment was subject to the Secretary of the Interior's determination that sufficient land had been acquired to constitute a manageable unit and written agreements had been entered into providing that land owned by the State of Missouri, the city of Ste. Genevieve, or another entity within the National Historic District be managed consistent with the purposes of the Act. Those requirements have been met, and the Secretary established Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park in October 2020.
The establishing legislation authorizes the National Park Service to acquire any land or interest in land located within the boundary of the National Historical Park or any property within the Ste. Genevieve National Historic District National Historic Landmark that was identified as nationally significant in the Ste. Genevieve Final Special Resource Study and Environmental Assessment of May 2016. The city of Ste. Genevieve and the National Park Service entered into a General Agreement that allows the National Park Service to use the city-owned Welcome Center as a visitor center for the park. The city wishes to donate that property, approximately 1 acre in size, to the National Park Service. However, the current land acquisition authorities in the statute would not apply as the property was not identified as nationally significant in the Special Resource Study. Rather, it is a more modern property, better suited for the functions of the visitor center and administrative purposes. This legislation would authorize the NPS to add this property to the Historical Park boundary and accept the donation of land and improvements.
The NPS appreciates that H.R. 6199 would provide the authority to acquire the welcome center for its visitor center. The NPS is mindful of future needs for administrative facilities to support the park, and as such, would welcome additional conversations with the Committee about these needs.
Chairman Neguse, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.