Friday, July 22, 2011

DRAFT Revised St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore Legislation Now Includes St. Johns River, Ocala National Forest

St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act of 2011
112th Congress, 1st Session,
H.R. _____
S _____
St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act of 2011.
A BILL to amend Title 16, United States Code, establishing the St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway and associated Advisory Commission, authorizing donations and purchase of land, authorizing appropriations and for other purposes.
Section 1: Short Title. This Act may be cited as the St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Act.
Section 2: Title 16, United States Code Section 410 is amended by adding a new section at the end thereof, as follows:
410______ St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway
(a) Findings and purposes
(1) Findings
The Congress finds that—
(A) the St. Augustine National Historic District and associated historic sites, including those described in subsection (c)(2) of this section, are National Historic Landmarks and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as historic sites associated with the history of our Nation’s Oldest continually-occupied European-founded city;
(B) the City of St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish explorer Pedro Menéndez de Avilés on September 8, 1565 and retains significant archaeological, architectural features, archival materials, and museum collections illustrative of the Spanish, Minorcan, Greek and British colonial periods;
(C) St. Augustine’s historic resources provide unique opportunities for illustrating and interpreting indigenous (Native-American), African-American, Spanish, French, Minorcan, Greek, Cuban, Haitian, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, British, American, Civil War, military, nautical, Flagler-era and Civil Rights history and Northeast Florida’s contribution to the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States and provide opportunities for public use and enjoyment;
(D) the year 2013 marks the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Spanish explorers and colonists on these shores;
(E) the year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
(F) the year 2015 marks the 450th anniversary of the City of St. Augustine;
(G) the National Park System presently contains only two small National Monuments associated with one part of St. Augustine’s 11,000 years of human history;
(H) St. Augustine and St. Johns County are imbued and blessed with great natural beauty and biodiversity, including threatened and endangered species, including turtles, right whales, beach mice, butterflies, bald eagles and manatees;
(I) the St. Augustine area’s precious environmental, historic and cultural heritage is in danger of destruction due to large-scale, rapid development and a lack of planning for parklands, preservation and public transportation;
(J) several significant properties have been lost to development forever and more are imperiled;
(K) roads are clogged and the enjoyment of the area’s beauty is marred by lack of public transportation;
(L) our coasts and our St. Johns River are imperiled by pollution and poor planning;
(M) the first proposal for a St. Augustine National Historical Park and Seashore was introduced in Congress by Florida’s United States Senators Charles O. Andrews and Claude Pepper and U.S. Rep. Joseph Handrcks in June 1939, more than seventy-two (72) years ago;
(N) there is an urgent need for action on the part of the federal government to create an “emerald necklace” of parks in Northeast Florida, to preserve the history and beauty of the area and to provide public transportation to serve the millions of visitors annually, while relieving local residents from traffic congestion, air pollution and energy waste associated with rapid development.

(2) Purposes
The purposes of this section are—
(A) to help preserve, protect, and interpret the splendid environmental and historic resources in St. Augustine and St. Johns County, including architecture, seashores, vistas, settings, and associated archival and museum collections;
(B) to collaborate with the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, State of Florida, the cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, the Town of Hastings and the government of St. Johns County, Florida and with associated historical, cultural, environmental, tourism and preservation organizations to further the purposes of the park established under this section;
(C) to provide opportunities for the inspirational benefit and education of the American people;
(D) to protect us from hurricanes by protecting wetlands;
(E) to respond to coastal erosion with a coherent management plan;
(F) to protect endangered species and scenery forever;
(G) to grow our economy and encourage historic and environmental tourism;
(H) to preserve and protect the St. Johns River and Ocala National Forest and existing state parks and forests and water management district lands from further depredations;
(I) to preserve St. Augustine's history and natural beauty for future generations.
(J) to create an “emerald necklace of parks” and a green corridor in Northeast Florida.

(b) Definitions
For the purposes of this section—
(1) the term "park" means the St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway established by subsection (c) of this section; and
(2) the term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Interior.

(c) St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway
(1) Establishment
In order to preserve "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people" of the United States as a national historical park certain districts, structures, lands, waters and relics located in and near St. Augustine, Florida, and associated with the history of indigenous (Native-American), African-American, Spanish, Minorcan, Greek, British and colonial peoples and related social and economic themes in America, there is established the St. Augustine National Historical Park, Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway.
(2) Boundaries
(A) The boundaries of the park shall be those generally depicted on the map numbered _____and dated _____. Such map shall be on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service. In case of any conflict between the descriptions set forth in clauses (i) through (xx) and such map, such map shall govern. The park shall include the following:
(i) The area included within the City of St. Augustine Historic Preservation Districts;
(ii) Anastasia State Park;
(iii) Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the associated Cubo Line and St. Augustine City Gates sites;
(iv) Fort Matanzas National Monument;
(v) Plaza de la Constitución (Slave Market Square);
(vi) Deep Creek State Forest;
(vii) Faver-Dykes State Park;
(viii) Fort Mosé State Park;
(ix) Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve (GTM NERR);
(x) Watson Island State Forest;
(xi) St. Johns River Water Management District’s Twelve Mile Swamp, Deep Creek, Matanzas Marsh, Moses Creek and Stokes Landing reservations located in St. Johns County, Florida and Pellicer Creek, Graham Swamp Conservation Areas in Flagler County and the Crescent Lake Conservation Area in Flagler and Volusia Counties;
(xii) Designated portions of the seashore owned by St. Johns County, Florida between the Duval and Flagler County lines;
(xiii) Designated portions of U.S. Route A1A between the Duval County and Volusia County lines;
(xiv) Designated portions of U.S. Route 1 between the Duval County and Volusia County lines;
(xv) The former Ponce de León Golf Course, Red House Bluff, Magnolia Avenue and other indigenous (Native-American) sites set forth in the map labeled as ______ and dated _________;
(xvi) Matanzas River between the Matanzas Inlet and its headwaters, including submerged lands and underwater artifacts
(xvii) St. Augustine Seawall;
(xviii) State-owned historic buildings deeded to the University of Florida;
(xix) beaches, submerged lands, marshes and other areas that are owned by the cities of St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach and by the State of Florida in trust for the people of Florida, including marshes, reefs, shorelines and underwater archaeological artifacts;
(xx) Portions of Marineland and the Whitney Laboratory owned or operated by the University of Florida;
(xxi) Washington Oaks Gardens State Park;
(xxii) Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreation Area at Flagler Beach;
(xxiii) Bulow Plantation Ruins Historic State Park;
(xxiv) Tomoka State Park;
(xxv) North Peninsula State Park:
(xxvi) the scenic St. Johns River, from its headwaters and tributaries to its mouth, including the riverbed;
(xxvii) Ocala National Forest;
(xxviii) Such other areas and sites as Congress may in the future designate by legislation.
(B) In addition to the sites, areas, and relics referred to in subparagraph (A), the Secretary may assist in the interpretation and preservation of each of the following:
(i) Government House;
(ii) Spanish Quarter Village Living History Museum;
(iii) Lincolnville Historic District;
(iv) Designated Civil Rights sites;
(v) Lightner Museum and City Hall (former Alcazar Hotel);
(vi) Old St. Johns County Jail;
(vii) Alligator Farm Zoological Park;
(viii) Old St. Augustine Village;
(ix) St. Augustine Historical Society and Research Library;
(x) St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP);
(xi) Ximinez-Fatio House;
(xii) St. Photios National Shrine;
(xiii) Mission de Nombre de Dios;
(xiv) Fountain of Youth Historical Park;
(xv) Gonzalez-Alvarez House (Oldest House);
(xvi) Oldest School House;
(xvii) Ponce de León Hotel (now part of Flagler College);
(xviii) Excelsior School Historical Museum;
(xix) Bridge of Lions;
(xx) St. Augustine Cathedral-Basilica;
(xxi) Grace United Methodist Church;
(xxii) Trinity Episcopal Church;
(xxiii) Ancient City Baptist Church;
(xxiv) First Sons of Israel Congregation;
(xxv) Florida School for the Deaf and Blind;
(xxvi) National Guard Headquarters (former Franciscan Monastery or Priory);
(xxvii) St. Augustine National Cemetery and other historic cemeteries, including but not limited to the Huguenot, Tolomato, Evergreen, San Sebastian, Pinehurst, Woodlawn and other historic cemeteries;
(xxviii) Zorayda Castle;
(xxix) Casa Monica Hotel and other Henry Flagler era sites; and
(xxx) Flagler Model Land Community.

(d) Related facilities
To ensure that the contribution of all people in St. Augustine’s history, including indigenous (Native-American) and African-American people, are fully recognized, the Secretary shall provide—
(1) financial and other assistance to establish links between the St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Parkway and local organizations.
(2) appropriate assistance and funding to establish a St. Augustine National Civil Rights Museum and a St. Augustine Indigenous Tribal Cultural Center.
(3) suitable off-site locations for park vehicles, trolley cars, maintenance facilities, warehouses and offices.
(4) suitable locations for archives, to make them available to scholars, researchers, genealogists and the general public at a suitable hurricane-resistant location in St. Augustine or St. Johns County, Florida.
(5) a reliable source of coquina for repairs to the Castillo de San Marcos, Fort Matanzas and other historic properties, trolley car routes, right-of-way features, roadbuilding, sidewalks and landscaping consistent with historic preservation principles.
(6) educational programs in conjunction with the University of Florida to provide cooperative educational arrangements for graduate students to work and live in the St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and provide archaeological and interpretation services on a continuing basis.
(7) funding toward an I-95 interchange serving West Augustine and King Street.

(e) Administration of park
(1) In general
The park shall be administered by the Secretary in accordance with this section and the provisions of law generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including sections 1, 2, 3, 4, and 461 to 467 of this title.
(2) Cooperative agreements
(A) The Secretary may consult and enter into cooperative agreements with interested entities and individuals to provide for the preservation, development, interpretation, and use of the park.
(B) Any payment made by the Secretary pursuant to a cooperative agreement under this paragraph shall be subject to an agreement that conversion, use, or disposal of the project so assisted for purposes contrary to the purposes of this section, as determined by the Secretary, shall result in a right of the United States to reimbursement of all funds made available to such project or the proportion of the increased value of the project attributable to such funds as determined at the time of such conversion, use, or disposal, whichever is greater.
(3) Non-Federal matching requirements
(A) Funds authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary for the purposes of—
(i) cooperative agreements under paragraph (2) shall be expended in the ratio of one dollar of Federal funds for each four dollars of funds contributed by non-Federal sources; and
(ii) sustainable, carbon-neutral, environmentally-friendly construction, restoration, and rehabilitation of visitors and interpretive facilities (other than annual operation and maintenance costs) shall be expended in the ratio of one dollar of Federal funds for each one dollar of funds contributed by non-Federal sources.
(B) For the purposes of this paragraph, the Secretary is authorized to accept from non-Federal sources, and to utilize for purposes of this section, any money so contributed. With the approval of the Secretary, any donation of property, services, or goods from a non-Federal source may be considered as a contribution of funds from a non-Federal source for the purposes of this paragraph.
(4) Acquisition of real property
For the purposes of the park, the Secretary may acquire by donation or purchase from a willing seller such lands, interests in lands, and improvements thereon within the park boundaries as are needed for historical and environmental preservation and essential visitor contact and interpretive facilities. The Secretary may acquire land or structures through condemnation if necessary to preserve them from destruction.

(5) Other property, funds, and services
The Secretary may accept donated funds, property, and services to carry out this section.

(f) General management plan
Not later than October 1, 2011, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a general management plan for the park, in consultation with the St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Advisory Commission created in subsection (g), and shall implement such plan as soon as practically possible. The plan shall include a cost-effective, sustainable, carbon-neutral, environmentally-friendly means of transporting visitors and residents to and through the park’s locations, using trolley cars resembling those in use in St. Augustine, Florida in 1928, with the goal of reducing hydrocarbon consumption, traffic congestion, air pollution and damage to historic structures. The plan shall be prepared in accordance with section 1a–7 (b) of this title and other applicable laws and may include suitable recommendations to Congress for modifications of the approved park boundaries and this Act.

(g) St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Advisory Commission
(1) Establishment; termination
There is established a St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Advisory Commission (hereinafter referred to as the "Commission"), to be governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C. Appendix 2, with a fairly balanced membership and open meetings and financial disclosures as required by FACA. The Commission shall terminate October 1, 2019.
(2) Membership; term
The Commission shall have a fairly balanced membership, embracing diverse persons knowledgeable of history, ecology, anthropology, archaeology, mass transit and trolley car systems and tourism and shall include a balanced group of residents, scholars, environmental, civil rights and civic activists and businesspeople, and will be composed of twelve diverse members, each of whom shall be appointed without regard to political affiliations or beliefs for a term of two years by the Secretary as follows:
(A) Two members to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of St. Augustine, Florida, City Commission;
(B) Two members to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of St. Augustine Beach, Florida, City Commission;
(C) One member to be appointed from recommendations made by the City of Palatka, Florida and the Town of Hastings, Florida, City Commissions;
(D) Two members to be appointed from recommendations of the Board of County Commissioners of St. Johns County, State of Florida;
(E) Two members to be appointed from recommendations of the Governor of the State of Florida;
(F) Two members to be appointed from recommendations by the President of the University of Florida; and
(G) Two members to be designated by the Secretary.
(3) Chair; vacancies
The Secretary shall designate one member to be Chair. Any vacancy in the Commission shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
(4) Compensation and expenses
A member of the Commission shall serve without compensation as such. The Secretary is authorized to pay the expenses reasonably incurred by the Commission in carrying out its responsibilities upon vouchers signed by the Chair.
(5) Majority vote
The Commission established by this section shall act and advise by affirmative vote of a majority of the members thereof.
(6) Consultation of Secretary with Commission
The Secretary or his designee shall, from time to time, consult with the members of the Commission with respect to the plan required in subsection (f) and all matters relating to the creation and preservation of St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway and shall consult with the members with respect to carrying out the provisions of sections ____ of this title.
(7) Advice of Commission for commercial or industrial use permits and establishment of public use areas for recreational activities
No permit for the commercial or industrial use of property located within the seashore area of the park shall be issued by the Secretary, nor shall any public use area for recreational activity be established by the Secretary within the seashore area of the park, without the advice of the Commission.
(h) Authorization of appropriations
(1) In general
Except as provided in paragraph (2), there are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out annual operations and maintenance with respect to the park and to carry out the activities under subsection (d) of this section.
(2) Exceptions
In carrying out this section—
(A) not more than $35,000,000 may be appropriated for construction, restoration, and rehabilitation of visitor and interpretive facilities, and directional and visitor orientation signage;
(B) A central St. Augustine National Historical Park, National Seashore and Scenic Coastal Parkway Visitor Center shall be built in one or more historic or restored buildings along or adjacent to St. George Street; and
(C) not more than $2,000,000 annually of Federal funds may be used for interpretive and education programs pursuant to cooperative agreements under subsection (e)(2) of this section.
Section 3: Effective Date. This Act shall take effect within 30 days of the date of enactment.
Section 4: Severability Clause: In the event that any portion of this Act is held unenforceable, it shall be severed from the rest of this Act.

No comments: