Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 1287) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a partnership with the Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission regarding the use of the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center as a visitor center for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and for other purposes.
The Clerk read the title of the bill.
The text of the bill is as follows:
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. DOROTHY BUELL MEMORIAL VISITOR CENTER.
(a) Short Title.--This section may be cited as the ``Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center Partnership Act''.
(b) Memorandum of Understanding.--The Secretary of the Interior may enter into a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint partnership with the Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission. The memorandum of understanding shall--
(1) identify the overall goals and purpose of the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center;
(2) establish how management and operational duties will be shared;
(3) determine how exhibits, signs, and other information are developed;
(4) indicate how various activities will be funded;
(5) identify who is responsible for providing site amenities;
(6) establish procedures for changing or dissolving the joint partnership; and
(7) address any other issues deemed necessary by the Secretary or the Porter County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission.
(c) Development of Exhibits.--The Secretary may plan, design, construct, and install exhibits in the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center related to the use and management of the resources at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, at a cost not to exceed $1,500,000.
(d) National Lakeshore Presence.--The Secretary may use park staff from Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center to provide visitor information and education.
SEC. 2. INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE.
Section 19 of the Act entitled ``An Act to provide for the establishment of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and for other purposes'' (16 U.S.C. 460u-19) is amended--
(1) by striking ``After notifying'' and inserting ``(a) After notifying''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following:
``(b) Contiguous Clarified.--For purposes of subsection (a), lands may be considered contiguous to other lands if the lands touch the other lands, or are separated from the other lands by only a public or private right-of-way, such as a road, railroad, or utility corridor.''.
Mr. GRIJALVA. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous materials on the bill under consideration.
Mr. GRIJALVA. I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1287 will allow the National Park Service to share visitor center facilities for the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore with the local county's Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission. The bill also allows the National Park Service to construct exhibits at the visitor center, and authorizes NPS employees to work there since the visitor center lies outside the established boundaries of the park.
Finally, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1287 would clarify the definition of ``contiguous lands'' in the park's original legislation so that NPS could accept donations of contiguous land even if that land is separated by a right-of-way, such as a road, a railway line or a utility corridor.
Mr. Speaker, Congressman Visclosky has been working hard on this bill for a long time and is to be commended for his diligence and persistence. The legislation passed the House last Congress by an overwhelming vote. I ask my colleagues, once again, to support this measure.
I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. VISCLOSKY. I appreciate the gentleman's yielding.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1287, the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center Lease Act. I am the proud sponsor of this legislation, and as I have in the previous Congress, I thank Mr. Donnelly for joining me as a cosponsor.
I also do want to thank Chairman Rahall, Ranking Member Hastings, Subcommittee Ranking Member Bishop, and especially Subcommittee Chairman Grijalva for all of their hard work in ensuring that this legislation is brought to the floor.
It has been explained and I will simply say that it is my sincere hope that this legislation will enable the continuance of our efforts to protect and to enhance the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and to ensure that all Americans can benefit from the park. The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which was established in 1966, is relatively new, but as it continues to mature, the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center will be vital in helping to provide each lakeshore visitor a complete and rewarding
Mr. Speaker, we should not delay the lakeshore's ability to mature, thus allowing more people to appreciate the natural beauty of northwest Indiana.
Again, I urge my colleagues, as they did in the last Congress, to support this measure.