STATEMENT OF JOHN PARSONS, ASSOCIATE REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR LANDS, RESOURCES AND PLANNING, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, SENATE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 1870, TO CLARIFY AUTHORITIES FOR THE USE OF CERTAIN NATIONAL PARK SERVICE PROPERTIES WITHIN GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA AND SAN FRANCISCO MARITIME NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK FEBRUARY 16, 2006 Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before your committee to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 1870, a bill to clarify the authorities for the use of certain National Park Service properties within Golden Gate National Recreation Area and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Department supports enactment of S. 1870, which is based on an Administration proposal that was submitted to Congress last year. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) and San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (NHP) both have had longstanding authority to spend revenue generated from certain properties for the maintenance of park property. S. 1870 would enable the National Park Service to more effectively manage these properties by ensuring that the revenue from those properties could be used for multi-year rehabilitation and maintenance projects. This legislation also would separate intermingled authorities of the two parks and, therefore, ensure that each park has its own property-use and admission-fee authorities. In addition, S. 1870 would provide for a modest boundary adjustment between them. Since 1978, Golden Gate NRA has had authority to retain the revenue from the use of the Haslett Warehouse, the Cliff House properties and Louis’ Restaurant, which the National Park Service owns. Under this authority, the park may use the revenues for certain infrastructure expenses, “provided that surplus funds, if any, will be deposited into the Treasury of the United States.” This provision has been interpreted to mean that funds that are not spent within the fiscal year in which they are collected cannot be spent by the park. Without the ability to retain revenues over a longer period of time, the park cannot use the funds for projects that cost more than the park receives in one year. This legislative proposal would allow revenue to remain available until expended, giving the park the authority to enter into longer-term rehabilitation and maintenance contracts. The property-use authority granted to Golden Gate NRA was extended to San Francisco Maritime NHP when that park was established in 1988 as a separate unit from property within Golden Gate NRA. However, the authority for revenue use was provided by a reference to the Golden Gate NRA law. Instead of relying on this reference, S. 1870 would explicitly include in the law that established the maritime park, the authority for administering contracts for, and revenues received from, the use of the Haslett Warehouse and other San Francisco Maritime NHP properties. San Francisco Maritime NHP, like Golden Gate NRA, would have the ability to retain the revenue beyond the current fiscal year, allowing the park to enter into multi-year contracts for the rehabilitation and maintenance of its historic ships and other assets. Revenue generated from the use of properties at both parks would be available for use as in current law—for administration, maintenance, repair, and related expenses of the properties under a management contract or lease. Thus, the revenues generated by these properties would be used to reduce the deferred maintenance backlog at the parks, rather than for broader park purposes. In addition, S. 1870 would transfer the authority for retaining revenue from admission fees to the ships owned by San Francisco Maritime NHP from the law governing Golden Gate NRA to the law governing San Francisco Maritime NHP. And, it would adjust the boundary between the two parks by moving San Francisco’s Municipal Pier from Golden Gate NRA to San Francisco Maritime NHP. The maritime park already administers Municipal Pier by direction of the Regional Director of the Pacific West Region; this provision would simply conform the two parks’ boundaries to the existing administrative arrangement. This boundary adjustment, along with the division of legislative authority for administering leased properties and admission fees, would complete the separation of the two park units that began with the formal establishment of San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in 1988. There are no additional costs to the National Park Service associated with S. 1870. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be happy to answer any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have.