Lapas attēli

there is a crisis there. The employees of the Department are taking to sneaking around the halls telling us about it because they cannot come out publicly.

We know that they had an approved position even within Interior to get substantial monies to take care of that. It was killed by OMB, and now they have effectively got a gag order from even talking about it.

In the meantime, the housing is falling apart. It's going to cost us a fortune to deal with it in the future, and we are going to be asking why didn't you tell us about this earlier when we could have started to address it.

Mr. VENTO. I don't object to somebody having a different view on housing or on land exchange versus outright purchase, but I find it just objectionable that someone tries to paint this by professionalism by taking the employees of the service and suggesting that they ought to sign documents, that they just “ought to go along to get along” sort of attitude. It is absolutely wrong. It does not foster basically the objective type of professional judgments which are at the core of service in the National Park Service.

Where are you going to go? What is the signal that goes back down too the field, Mr. Hartzog, when you have this sort of activity? What signal do I get to the rank-and-file professionals working at Yosemite or Grand Canyon when you have that type of phenomenon going on?

Mr. HARTZOG. Hunker down.
Mr. VENTO. "Go along to get along"?

Mr. HARTZOG. Which is what they have done. It has demoralized the service in every aspect of its operation. The employees are dispirited. It was summarized very succinctly in the newspaper in which an anonymous Superintendent is quoted as saying, "We will outlast them." You know, that is a fortress mentality that has brought things to a sad state of affairs.

Mr. VENTO. I think it is regrettable because I think it implies that you are not going to follow policy directives in the law that are there to be followed. We tried to set up an objective criteria for all of the different park units for classifications. There is an effort to steer those scarce dollars around to other areas on a special-interest or, I would say, a political basis, on who can be rewarded?

I tell you, this whole attitude, what it invites in Congress is it that it invites just the same sort of thing taken back. It's a question of trying to uphold objectivity here, but, if you want to talk about what the problems are going to be in the future, we are going to have "park pork barrel” in terms of who gets what in terms of these things.

The only reason that many of these proper policy decisions stay in place in terms of money is because there is a core of people in Congress that recognize the objectivity and the professionalism that underlies it. But keep this attitude going for about another 10 or 15 years, and it will be who you are rather than what the needs of the resource are with regard to parks.

It is a very important change we are talking about here, structurally, to give that kind of autonomy and independence. If not we are going to lose some of the professionalism that we have in the National Park Service. I can see it when I go out and I am flying around or looking at different sites and I get National Park Service and BLM people together, I can see who is in the catbird's seat. It is not the National Park Service.

Mr. HARTZOG. That's right.

Mr. Chairman, I get calls almost every day from people out in the field, so I know what I am talking about when I say they are dispirited. I have had two calls in the last 3 days from the field on the same message. Many of the fine young people in the National Park Service in grades 9 to 12 are leaving the National Park Service, an atrocity that has not happened since the National Park Service came into being as an organization in 1916.

I wish you would ask Howard Chapman about that because he has been there more recently.

Mr. VENTO. Howard, if you would like to comment on that, you certainly are welcome to do so.

Mr. CHAPMAN. Well, from my experience, not only when I was within the service but within just the short year in retirement and going back to areas, you are finding a situation that they are leaving the service. There is a stagnation within the service as far as movement, and it gets even to the point that there is still a feeling that a lot of movement when it does occur is occurring because of other consequences rather than the professionalism and the kind of objective evaluation of people that should occur for them to advance in the system.

Mr. VENTO. Is that especially prevalent with some of the regional directors? Do you think some of the regional directors have not come fairly through the ranks in a broad spectrum of representatives of professionals in the ranks?

Mr. CHAPMAN. I think there are some in that category, yes.

I think the most damaging part of all of this, I guess I still come back to this issue that what you need to have in order to—it is not the micromanagement of the National Park System. That is, after all the basic authorities and the basic moneys for that bureau to operate come from the Congress. For the Congress to make decisions, it has to have before it the full range of information.

You cannot make judgments on what the National Park Service needs when an administration withholds from you, when they give you only the information that they want to give you and the other information is left wanting. That is precisely what happens when we are told that we can only speak to what is in the budget and we cannot tell you what the long-range needs are, what the long-range difficulties are that the service has.

Mr. VENTO. One of the fundamental questions this morning was the demonstration of not sharing fully the information. In my judgment, that is what that reflects.

Mr. CHAPMAN. In that sense, the person that is out in the field, who is actually trying to carry on the job, sees that you are not able to get that information; therefore, you cannot make those judgments. And these are the things that are dispiriting to those people that are in the field.

Mr. VENTO. I cannot disagree with you. I think that is part of the phenomenon. That is one of the reasons that the board we are talking about is so important: to provide different sources. Every time we need information, I cannot ask the GAO to go through a study every time. It simply is not feasible.

Mr. CHAPMAN. You recall Mr. Mott in the hearing with regard to the aircraft over the national parks.

His statement to you was that he did not support that legislation. That was forced upon him. His statements had been replete leading up to that date of that hearing that something had to be done about aircraft flights over the Grand Canyon. But yet he was forced to make the statement to you that he did not support the legislation.

Mr. VENTO. It is very frustrating. I did not use that as an example. I used two obvious examples this morning because I thought Tuskegee and Seneca Falls were both issues that were very minor but very necessary types of changes. And of course, we got into some specific technical points. Of course, then you get the bigger issues in terms of park designations and the aircraft overflights and some of the other problems that we have to deal with.

But clearly, it is necessary that the Director has to be free to advocate. You have to have different sources of information. An advisory board that doesn't work is not going to do it. We have to provide some autonomy and staff. You have to provide a Director finally and some counterbalance to that Director because he knows that if he doesn't support it, there is this board over here that is going to bring in information.

I think it is the important to ask, "Why do we need to go through this administrative structure? Why is it so important here? We do not have it in other agencies. We do not have it in other parts of Government.

If you look at the nature of the resource and what is happening and what the value is of it and, therefore, you do it. It is at least as important as water projects that may get funded or not funded. We're not asking for licensing designation. We are trying to do something in a way that there will be accountability.

Gentlemen, your participation and service to our Nation's National Park System is really legend. Anything that I can add would be redundant. I hope that your book does well. I hope it gets the type of attention it deserves, and I know it will be helpful.

Thank you very much for your testimony and participation.
Mr. HARTZOG. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. CHAPMAN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Vento. Finally, we have the third panel. They have been waiting patiently. We look forward eagerly to hearing their comments.


Mr. VENTO. Loretta will probably be submitting her testimony in writing.

We have gone well beyond what I thought would be the schedule, but I found it necessary to raise the questions and get them answered.

But, without objection, all four of your statements will be made part of the record if they are here.

You may proceed to summarize, Mr. Oaks.

Mr. OAKS. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Loretta did ask me to express her regrets for having to leave. She left her testimony with us, and she wanted to have that associated with the National Conference's testimony, since it in many ways corresponds.

Mr. VENTO. It will be entered in the record, and we note her wish.

Without objection, so ordered.

Mr. Oaks. It is my pleasure to be here to offer suggestions for enhancement of H.R. 3964. We think it is not only a dramatic step for improving the situation that exists in the National Park Service, but it is certainly an appropriate one. Most of the testimony that you have heard this morning centers around internal operations of the National Park Service. I will be addressing particularly those in the external side of the program, and certainly we have experienced maybe to a greater degree the incursion of micromanagement-political incursions-into the exterior of the program.

Whereas the internal program, I think, has been visited occasionally, we find in the external program that we are revisited on issues over and over and over again in the form of Jaws II and Jaws III.

This is a highly appropriate time for us to be discussing this initiative. A number of your colleagues have asked whether it would be more appropriate to do this under a new administration. But this is the perfect time because it reflects the activities that have been going on in a number of groups for the last three or four years.

Paul Pritchard already mentioned the activities of the National Parks and Conservation Association. They have spent 4 years making an exhaustive study on the needs of the National Park System particularly relevant to the micromanagement issue.

In addition to NPCA's work, the National Conference started as a part of the reassessment in looking at the 20- year history of the national preservation movement, and an assessment of our organization and where we are going in the next decade. We concentrated on trying to develop a mechanism for addressing the needs of the movement as we move into the 1990's.

As a result of that, in the last year a new group, the National Historic Preservation Forum, has been meeting on a rather frequent basis to bring together all national organizations involved in preservation efforts to try to develop a consensus in which directions we need to move.

Of course, I think you are fully aware of the several dozen ad hoc agencies and organizations dealing with the concept of the Preservation Trust Fund. They too have talked about management of the National Park Service's internal and external programs.

I will try to summarize, but there are five areas I would like to just briefly address.

One is that the chairman is very familiar with the role of the State historic preservation offices. There is no need to go in to that in detail, but there is a special relationship in that this program is not one that is just administered by regional offices of a Federal agency. Long ago the Secretary of the Interior decided to administer the program through the States. So, in fact, these political incursions are not only into Federal agencies but dip into the 50 States and the seven territories. So, that is why we are particularly concerned about supporting the bill that would help to decrease the instances of this happening.

In addition to that role, I would like to give you a few examples. You have mentioned a couple of them earlier that are good illustrations of why we need H.R. 3964. I would like to concentrate on the major areas of support from the National Conference for the bill, to talk very briefly about the form outlined for a possible administrative and organization setup, and then finally to offer a couple of suggestions on enhancing the bill.

The partnership of NCSHPO offices basically operating in the States, the National Park Service cultural resources is well known to the committee, and I will move on to some of the examples that we have experienced as States which point out the need to really get a handle on keeping the professional in charge of decisionmaking within the National Park Service.

The most obvious area is that of funding. We have experienced since 1981 zero recommendation in the Department of the Interior's budget for historic preservation and preservation activities. Not only have we experienced zero budgeting.

But in addition to that, when we mounted a campaign here in Congress and got your unqualified support for continuing the national preservation efforts for three of those years, there was an attempt to rescind that money, which meant that while yes, there was not a zeroing-out of the funds, at least the 50 States had to wait 8 to 9 to 10 months into the fiscal year to actually be reimbursed the 50 percent of their operation that is a Federal activity.

In addition to the funding problems, we experience each year the problem of getting allocation of those funds out. A good example is what is happening right now with the lighthouse fund. You set up $1 million fund to honor the bicentennial of the Lighthouse Seryice. The 24-month clock began to tick on using that money back in October. A great deal of time was spent developing the apportionment formula. It sits now, and has over 1 month, on the Secretary's desk, and we are hearing even rumors of rescission of those moneys.

So, again, we are experiencing these incursions into what should be simply a professional process of moving forward. Mr. Chairman, you mentioned yourself

the problem that we have had with the resource protection. I found it somewhat amazing that the National Park Service would offer the cultural resources program as an example where the Secretary had worked to really strengthen the program. This is where the incursions have been greatest, and it took a 5-year fight to simply maintain those protective measures that we have in force to keep them effective to protect cultural resources in this Nation.

Most recently, you have been aware of the effort to get the historic shipwrecks, abandoned shipwrecks bill passed. Another example of the need for this bill would be I sit on the President's Advisory Council for Historic Preservation-at that meeting where the council was trying to decide its position on the bill, the representa

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »