S.1801 -- First State National Historical Park Act (Introduced in Senate - IS)
S 1801 IS
To establish the First State National Historical Park in the State of Delaware, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
October 20, 2009
Mr. CARPER (for himself and Mr. KAUFMAN) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To establish the First State National Historical Park in the State of Delaware, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `First State National Historical Park Act'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS; PURPOSE.
(a) Findings- Congress finds that--
(1) the State of Delaware contains a collection of nationally significant resources relating to--
(A) the early succession of the Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement of the United States; and
(B) the period leading up to the role of Delaware as the first State to ratify the Constitution on December 7, 1787;
(2) among the resources relating to the early settlement of the United States are--
(A) National Historic Landmarks in Wilmington, Delaware, including--
(i) the site of Fort Christina, which was--
(I) constructed in 1638 by colonists led by Peter Minuet to be the focal point of New Sweden; and
(II) the first Swedish settlement in North America; and
(ii) Old Swedes Church, which is the oldest church building still standing as originally built;
(B) historic sites in New Castle, Delaware, including--
(i) Fort Casimir, which was constructed by the Dutch in 1651; and
(ii) the New Castle Historic District, which is the location of an assemblage of resources associated with Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement of the State; and
(C) the Lewes Historic District in Lewes, Delaware, which--
(i) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places;
(ii) was a significant location for early Dutch settlement and early nationhood;
(iii) is the oldest town formed in Delaware; and
(iv) contains Ryves Holt House, which--
(I) was built in 1665; and
(II) is the oldest building still standing in the State;
(3) among the nationally significant resources relating to the period of English settlement and the birth of the United States are a collection of resources in New Castle, Delaware, including--
(A) the Old New Castle Courthouse, which served as the capitol of the colony until 1777; and
(B) other National Historic Landmarks, including--
(i) the home of John Dickinson, who is known as the `Penman of the Revolution';
(ii) the Jacob Broom House, which was the home of Jacob Broom, delegate to the Constitutional Convention;
(iii) Lombardy Hall, which was the home of Gunning Bedford, Jr., delegate to the Constitutional Convention; and
(iv) Stonum, which was the home of George Read, who was--
(I) a delegate to the Constitutional Convention; and
(II) an advocate of the early ratification of the Constitution by the State of Delaware;
(4) Dover Green, laid out in 1717 in accordance with the 1683 orders of William Penn, was the site at which Delaware--
(A) voted to ratify the Constitution;
(B) mustered a Continental Regiment during the Revolution; and
(C) celebrated the reading of the Declaration of Independence in 1776;
(5) the State Archives in Dover, Delaware, contains records and documents of persons and events that contribute to public knowledge and understanding of--
(A) the period of the early settlement of Delaware; and
(B) the role of Delaware as the First State;
(6) the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, Delaware--
(A) commemorates the founding of the first European settlement in the State by the Dutch in 1631; and
(B) provides exhibits and information on the maritime, social, and military history of the Lewes area; and
(7) it is fitting and proper that the resources described in this subsection be recognized through the establishment of the first unit of the National Park System in the State of Delaware so that the public may better understand and appreciate the contributions of those resources to the history of the United States.
(b) Purpose- The purpose of this Act is to establish the First State National Historical Park to preserve, protect, and promote public understanding and appreciation of--
(1) the cultural and historic resources associated with early Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement in Delaware; and
(2) the events, places, and persons associated with the role of Delaware as the `First State'.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) MAP- The term `map' means the map entitled `First State National Historical Park-Proposed Boundary', numbered [Struck out->][ XXXX ][<-Struck out] , and dated [Struck out->][ XXXXX ][<-Struck out] .
(2) PARK- The term `Park' means the First State National Historical Park established by section 4(a).
(3) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(4) STATE- The term `State' means the State of Delaware.
SEC. 4. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FIRST STATE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK.
(a) Establishment- There is established in the State a unit of the National Park System to be known as the `First State National Historical Park'.
(b) Purpose- The purpose of the Park is to preserve, protect, and interpret--
(1) the historic and cultural resources associated with Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement in the State; and
(2) the resources associated with the role of the State as the first State to ratify the Constitution.
(1) IN GENERAL- The Park shall be comprised of the following, as generally depicted on the map:
(A) The New Castle Historic District.
(B) Fort Christina.
(C) The Old Swedes Church.
(D) The John Dickinson Plantation.
(E) Lombardy Hall.
(G) The Lewes Historic District.
(H) The Dover Green.
(2) AVAILABILITY OF MAP- The map shall be available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service.
(3) HEADQUARTERS- The headquarters for the Park shall be in the City of New Castle, Delaware.
(d) Acquisition of Land- The Secretary may acquire land or interests in land within the boundaries of the Park by--
(2) purchase from willing sellers with donated or appropriated funds; or
(e) Administration- The Secretary shall administer the Park in accordance with--
(1) this Act; and
(2) the laws generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including--
(A) the National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. 1 et seq.); and
(B) the Act of August 21, 1935 (16 U.S.C. 461 et seq.).
(f) Grants and Cooperative Agreements- Subject to the availability of funds under section 6(a), the Secretary may provide grants and technical assistance to, and to enter into cooperative agreements with--
(1) the State, political subdivisions of the State (including the cities of Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, and Lewes, Delaware), nonprofit organizations, and private property owners for--
(A) the development, management, and operation of visitor service facilities, subject to the non-Federal entity agreeing to provide the National Park Service, at no extra cost, with sufficient office space and exhibition areas to carry out the purposes of the Park within the facilities;
(B) historic preservation of, research on, and interpretation of properties within the boundary of the Park, including research on the archaeology of the Park;
(C) public access;
(D) educational programs; and
(E) signage and interpretive devices on properties and sites within the Park for interpretive purposes; and
(2) the State Archives located in Dover, Delaware, and the Zwaanandael Museum located in Lewes, Delaware, for research and exhibits relating to the purposes of the Park.
(g) Interpretation- The Secretary may provide interpretive tours to historic sites within the State located outside the boundaries of the Park that include resources relating to--
(1) early Dutch, Swedish, and English settlement; and
(2) the period leading up to the role of the State as the first State to ratify the Constitution.
(h) General Management Plan- Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary, in coordination with the State and in consultation with owners of properties within the boundaries of the Park, shall prepare a general management plan for the Park in accordance with section 12(b) of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-7(b)).
SEC. 5. STUDY OF ADDITIONAL PROPERTIES.
(a) In General- Not later than 3 years after the date on which funds are made available under section 6(a), the Secretary shall complete a study regarding the preservation and interpretation of additional properties in the State that relate to the purposes described in section 4(b).
(b) Inclusions- The study shall include an assessment of--
(1) the potential for designating the properties as National Historic Landmarks; and
(2) options for maintaining the historic integrity of the properties.
SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
(a) In General- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act, including--
(1) $3,000,000 for grants to the State, political subdivisions of the State, and nonprofit organizations for the rehabilitation of existing structures to serve as administrative and visitor services facilities for the Park; and
(2) $2,500,000 for grants to the State, political subdivisions of the State, private property owners, and nonprofit organizations for--
(A) the historic preservation and restoration of resources within the boundary of the Park; and
(B) the costs of design, construction, installation, and maintenance of any exhibits relating to the Park.
(b) Non-Federal Share-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Federal share of the cost of activities under paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (a) shall be not more than 50 percent.
(2) FORM- The non-Federal share required under paragraph (1) may be in the form of in-kind contributions of goods or services fairly valued.
The premise of this bill to make these landmarks part of Delaware's first national park may be sincere. But these landmarks are already registered nationally. By creating the national park, local control over these landmarks would be lost, and that would be tragic.
Would you like historic New Castle to be a controlled by the federal government?
By making these a national park, Senators Carper and Kaufmann have failed to understand the impact to these areas. Many of these areas are not conducive to massive tourist travel.
As the U.S. government barrels along with $14 Trillion in debt, and over $1.5T in deficit spending annually, how can we as a nation afford this? Nice idea, but the credit cards have been maxed out.