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where he earned his A.B. and M.A. degrees, and then got his Ph.D from Harvard University.
During much of Dr. Woodson's life, there was widespread ignorance and very little information concerning African-American life and history. With his extensive studies, Woodson almost single-handedly established African-American historiography. Dr. Woodson's research literally uncovered black history and helped to educate the American public about the contributions of African-Americans to the nation's history and culture. Through painstaking scholarship and historical research, his work helped reduce the stereotypes captured in pervasively negative portrayals of black people that have marred our history as a nation. To remedy these stereotypes, Dr. Woodson in 1915, founded ASNLH. Through ASNLH, Dr. Woodson dedicated his life to educating the American public about the contributions of black Americans to the nation's history and culture. His work in bringing history to bear where prejudice and racism had held sway played an important role in reducing prejudice and making the need for civil rights remedies clear.
To assure publication, under Dr. Woodson's leadership, ASNLH in 1920 also founded the Associated Publishers, Inc. for the publication of research on AfricanAmerican history. Dr. Woodson published his seminal work, The Negro in Our History (1922), and many others under Associated Publishers, and the publishing company provided an outlet for scholarly works by numerous other black scholars. ASÑLH also circulated two periodicals: the Negro History Bulletin, designed for mass consumption, and the Journal of Negro History, which was primarily directed to the academic community.
Out of his Ninth Street home, Dr. Woodson trained researchers and staff and managed the organization's budget and fundraising efforts while at the same time pursuing his own extraordinary discoveries in African-American history. The threestory Victorian style house, built in 1890, served as the headquarters of ASNLH into the early 70's, well after Dr. Woodson's death in 1950. However, it has been unoccupied since the early 80's, and today, it stands boarded up and badly in need of renovation. The walls inside the house are crumbling, there is termite infestation, water seeps through the roof during heavy rainstorms, and the house also constitutes a fire hazard jeopardizing adjacent buildings. This house is a priceless American treasure that must not be lost.
Passage of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site Establishment Act of 2003 would not only honor a great American scholar. It would continue Dr. Woodson's seminal work of helping Americans to discover and appreciate their own history. Again, I appreciate your work, Mr. Chairman, in moving the bill toward that destination.
Senator THOMAS. Thank you very much. We appreciate your being here. Would you like an opening statement, Senator? If we have no questions, either of you, thank you very much, then, Representative Norton. We appreciate you coming.
Ms. NORTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL K. AKAKA, U.S. SENATOR
Senator AKAKA. Mr. Chairman, thank you for scheduling this hearing. This afternoon's agenda includes several bills affecting specific areas throughout the Nation. Some of these bills are from the last Congress, and for the most part, I feel they are noncontroversial. I hope we will be able to move them quickly through the committee and the Senate.
I would like to take a moment to address one of the bills, and that was a bill left over from last year. It is S. 546, the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act. I introduced this bill earlier this year along with my colleagues, Senators Wyden, Campbell, and Feinstein on the committee. There currently are eight cosponsors. This bill is identical to legislation the committee considered last Congress. That bill was reported unanimously out of committee and passed the Senate by unanimous consent as part of a larger package of public land bills.
Mr. Chairman, I introduced this bill to establish a national policy for managing and protecting fossil resources on Federal lands. The bill will help ensure a more consistent Federal policy instead of the patchwork of statutes and regulations that currently apply. S. 546 incorporates the recommendations of the Department of the Interior, the Forest Service, and the Smithsonian Institution in a report they issued 3 years ago assessing fossil management on Federal lands.
While the intent of this bill is to provide a standardized Federal policy, it does not impose new restrictions on casual collecting on fossil resources. In fact, the bill specifically authorizes the land management agencies to allow casual collecting of common invertebrate and plant fossils without the need for a permit if it is consistent with applicable land management laws.
During the committee mark-up process last Congress, we made several changes in response to concerns and suggestions made by the affected agencies and the public. While I believe we have addressed the primary issues, I would be pleased to work with members of the committee to clarify any other issues that may arise. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to include several statements supporting the bill in the hearing record, including letters from the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the American Association of Museums, the Western Interior Paleontological Society, and Dry Dredgers, Incorporated, a group of amateur fossil collectors. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Senator THOMAS. Thank you very much.
STATEMENT OF HON. BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL,
U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO
Senator CAMPBELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you for holding this hearing and letting me speak to my bill, S. 677, that has somewhat of a long name, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area Boundary Revision Act of 2003.
Senator THOMAS. Ooh.
Senator CAMPBELL. This bill continues on a bill that I started years ago, about 16 or 17 years ago, in fact, more than that, 18 years ago on the House side, and I worked 15 years to have it passed, which basically upgraded the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument to national park status, and I appreciate your help in those years we worked on it together, and I am pleased that this bill that we are discussing here today expands the park and national conservation area, but I am particularly happy about the methods which are being proposed to allow the expansion to be done in a manner that certainly benefits the local land
This bill seeks to protect the critical view sheds and resources by working cooperatively with three local ranch families who have been good stewards of their land for years. Unfortunately, they have recently hit hard financial times, like many ranchers have Nationwide, Mr. Chairman, and have been considering selling off their parcels. However, to their credit and thinking forward, they
put preserving the integrity of the park over subdividing the land and building condominiums. They have agreed not to sell outright, but instead to look forward to some rather innovative alternatives, thus requiring today's bill.
In short, the three landowners in question entered into either equal-value land swaps or they agreed to conservation easements across their land. Their livelihoods are preserved within this legislation as well, since the legislation requires the grazing rights be retained throughout their lifetimes. As many of my colleagues know, nothing gets a Westerner's back up more than the question of water rights, so if they suspect water rights could be in jeopardy, it starts an immediate fight out West, as you know in your State, Mr. Chairman. That is why the language has been written into the bill to ensure the Bureau of Reclamation retains jurisdiction and access to water delivery facilities.
My previous legislation did not intend to affect the Bureau of Reclamation jurisdiction in any way, and neither does this boundary modification today. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison Gorge is a national treasure. The park's combination of geological wonders and diverse wildlife make it one of the most unique natural areas in North America, so I certainly appreciate your doing the hearing and I look forward to the passage of this bill.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator THOMAS. Okay. Thank you, Senator.
All right, we are ready now for panel 1, please. We have Thomas Ross, Assistant Director, Recreation and Conservation, National Park Service; Christopher Kearney, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy, Management and Budget, Department of the Interior; and Elizabeth Estill, Deputy Chief, Programs, Legislation and Communication, U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Okay, Mr. Ross, would you like to begin, sir?
STATEMENT OF D. THOMAS ROSS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, RECREATION AND CONSERVATION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; ACCOMPANIED BY JESSE JUEN
Mr. Ross. Yes, sir. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's views on a number of bills, starting with S. 499. The Department supports efforts to honor the Buffalo Soldiers. However, in order to meet the President's initiative to eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog, we must continue to focus our resources on caring for existing areas in the National Park System. As such, we cannot support the provision in S. 499 that could transfer the memorial to the National Park Service one year after the establishment. The Department believes it would be more appropriate for a memorial or monument commemorating the Buffalo Soldiers to be operated and maintained by the State of Louisiana, the city of New Orleans, or a suitable nonprofit corporation.
Because of these concerns and others raised by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the administration recommends that Senate 499 not be enacted. We have no objection to the building of a memorial to the Buffalo Soldiers in New Orleans provided that an appropriate method of non-Federal financing and construct
ing of such a memorial is identified, and that it would be financed, operated and maintained by the State of Louisiana, the city of New Orleans, or a suitable nonprofit corporation.
My next testimony, Mr. Chairman, is on S. 643, a bill to authorize the Secretary of the Interior, in cooperation with the University of New Mexico, to construct and occupy a portion of the Hibben Center for Archaeological Research at the University of New Mexico. The Department of the Interior supports S. 643 as the completion of the Hibben Center would be the final step in carrying out the Federal Government's responsibility for the protection of the archaeological resources that were collected during the Chaco Project in the 1970's. Although there are significant costs associated with this legislation, the bill directly supports a key park mission by authorizing a better curatorial facility for park resources. This is consistent with protecting natural and cultural resources within the National Park System. This project will also involve partnership between two national parks, Chaco Culture National Historic Park, and Aztec Ruins National Monument.
The next testimony, Mr. Chairman, is on S. 677, a bill to revise the boundary of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area in the State of Colorado and for other purposes. The Department of the Interior supports S. 677 with minor amendments to the legislation. The bill authorizes additions to both Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park through three separate easement or exchange transactions in Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area, NCA. We believe that the bill as introduced has a couple of confusing and unneeded sections, and we have identified that language in our testimony.
The next testimony, Mr. Chairman, is on S. 1060 and H.R. 1577 to designate the visitors' center at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona as the Kris Eggle Visitor Center. The Department supports the legislation and appreciates the recognition by members of Congress for the work of all National Park Service employees, especially those involved in law enforcement.
Both bills call for the visitors' center at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument to be named for Kris Eggle. Kris was an outstanding young man, a dedicated NPS law enforcement officer who died in the line of duty nearly a year ago while assisting in the arrest and capture of drug smugglers crossing into the United States from Mexico.
My next testimony, Mr. Chairman, is on H.R. 255 to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to grant an easement to facilitate access to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. The Department supports H.R. 255 as passed by the House. This bill would grant an easement by the National Park Service to Otoe County, Nebraska, for the construction and maintenance of an access road from State and county roads to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Trails and Visitors' Center in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The design, construction, and maintenance of this access road is to be done at no expense to the Federal Government.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, my testimony will conclude with H.R. 1012, a bill to establish the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site in the District of Columbia. The Department recognizes
the appropriateness of establishing the Carter G. Woodson Home as a unit of the National Park System. The site was found to be nationally significant, as well as suitable and feasible for addition to the system, in a study conducted by the National Park Service and sent to Congress earlier this year. However, we recommend that the committee defer action on H.R. 1012 during the 108th Congress.
The administration is continuing to place a priority on reducing the National Park System's deferred maintenance backlog, and wants to ensure that funding is not diverted to pay for the cost of a new unit of the National Park System, which would include acquiring and rehabilitating property along with operating and maintaining the site.
Mr. Chairman, that completes my testimony. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or the members of the committee may have.
[The prepared statements of Mr. Ross follow:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF D. THOMAS ROSS, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, RECREATION AND CONSERVATION, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to present the Department of the Interior's views on S. 499. This bill would authorize the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a memorial in the State of Louisiana to honor the Buffalo Soldiers.
The Department supports efforts to honor the Buffalo Soldiers. However, in order to meet the President's Initiative to eliminate the deferred maintenance backlog, we must continue to focus our resources on caring for existing areas in the National Park System. As such, we cannot support the provision in S. 499 that could transfer the memorial to the National Park Service one year after establishment. The Department believes that it would be more appropriate for a memorial or monument commemorating the Buffalo Soldiers to be operated and maintained by the State of Louisiana, the City of New Orleans, or a suitable nonprofit corporation. Because of these concerns, and others raised by the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Administration recommends that S. 499 not be enacted.
S. 499 authorizes the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a memorial to honor the Buffalo Soldiers on federal land in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana or its environs, or on land donated by the city or the State. The bill would require the Commission to solicit and accept contributions sufficient for the construction and maintenance of the memorial and would establish a fund in the U.S. Treasury for depositing and disbursing these contributions. One year after the establishment of the memorial, the Commission is authorized to transfer any remaining amounts in the fund and title to and responsibility for future operation_and maintenance of the memorial to, at the option of the Commission, the National Park Service or another appropriate governmental agency or other entity.
Following the Civil War, Congress passed legislation to increase the size of the Regular Army. On July 28, 1866, Congress raised the number of cavalry regiments from six to ten and the number of infantry regiments from nineteen to forty-five. The legislation stipulated that two of the new cavalry regiments and four of the new infantry regiments were to be composed of black men.
In compliance with the new law, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry Regiments and the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forty-first U. S. Infantry Regiments were organized. Three years later, when the army reduced the number of infantry_regiments, these four new regiments were combined into the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry.
These regiments were composed of white officers with black enlisted men and were reportedly nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers by the American Indians. Soldiers comprising the black regiments came from the former United States Colored Troops that served in the Civil War, the New Orleans area, the fringes of the southern states, or large northern cities. They were former slaves as well as freedmen.
Almost immediately after their establishment, units from these regiments were stationed throughout the West. In the countless battles and skirmishes that marked