10:03 PM EDT
Justin Amash, R-MI 3rd

Mr. AMASH. Mr. Chair, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Michigan will be postponed.

The Clerk will read.

10:03 PM EDT
Bobby Rush, D-IL 1st

Mr. RUSH. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.

The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Illinois will be postponed.

AMENDMENT NO. 8 OFFERED BY MS.

HANABUSA

The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 8 printed in House Report 112-181.

10:03 PM EDT
Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC

Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, my amendment would designate $300,000 from the National Recreation and Preservation Account for a National Park Service study of whether applying the same rules and regulations to all parks maximizes the highest and best use of individual parks, for the system as a whole, and for Americans who use our parks.

This is but a study, and it would require the National Park Service to look at how NPS, cities, counties and States, as well as other countries, manage their diverse parks and to suggest, from the available best practices, appropriate ways to help NPS meet the needs of individual communities within the basic uniformity necessary to operate a national system of parks. Today, the NPS applies the same rules and regulations to all its parks, regardless [Page: H5565]

of

location, from the almost 1200-square-mile Yosemite National Park to small urban parks on street corners.

I support a unified national park system, but NPS should develop flexible standards that take into account the unique circumstances and population of individual parks and changing conditions throughout the country in keeping with congressional recognition of both conservation and recreation as primary reasons for our parks. The neighborhood parks in the District of Columbia, for example, serve a very different function from Yellowstone. Dupont Circle Park is a central urban community meeting

place in the District, not a place for enjoying the greenery of nature, as much as we love our parks for that purpose. On any given day, you will find people playing chess, sunbathing, playing Frisbee or passing out fliers.

Madam Chair, I have come to the floor because I have tried, unsuccessfully, to get the Park Service to make small adaptations perfectly compatible with their mission to allow for the people in the parks in my own district, and I am certain that other Members have found similar roadblocks. For example, the Park Service won't allow bike share stations on or near Federal parks, and they are not permitting the three golf courses in the District of Columbia to be run as a public-private partnership.

Both of these examples have run into the same one-size-fits-all concession concerns.

Yet the National Park Service could negotiate concession agreements that accommodate bike share in the future; and an inflexibility in Park Service insistence on concession contracts that do not allow capital investment resulting in an astonishing deterioration of invaluable capital-intensive golf courses in the District could give way to other approaches, such as public-private partnerships operating under long-term leases that would allow private funding to assist the Park Service with upgrading

and maintaining these public assets with Congress, which the taxpayers can't possibly by themselves maintain.

Inflexible, one-size-fits-all policies keep Americans from using our parks for compatible purposes, such as bike stations, or, worse, condemn unique iconic resources to inevitable decline.

Madam Chairman, my amendment is of the lowest possible cost. It is for a study to tell us what to do, to tell the Park Service what to do, to allow people throughout this country who live in very different locations and have to use our parks in very different ways just how this must be done compatible with a uniform National Park Service.

I ask that my amendment be approved.

I yield back the balance of my time.

10:08 PM EDT
Jim Moran, D-VA 8th

Mr. MORAN. Madam Chairman, I think we have a problem in the amendment, itself, because it would specifically designate a study that might be interpreted as some type of earmark, which I don't think it really is.

I like what the gentlelady is trying to do. I think it's important. I think we ought to have a consideration by the Park Service of whether they are sufficiently flexible in dealing with local communities.

[Time: 22:10]

There was a recent article written in The Washington Post talking about some of the opportunities that exist to bring the community into local parks, urban parks, where far more people could be involved, people could participate, people could enhance the enjoyment of things that take place. For example, if there is a large soccer event at a park that is controlled by the National Park Service, you could bring the whole community in to watch it on a large screen.

There is no question but that we could find ways to discourage automobiles and encourage bikes--have bike sharing, for example, on The National Mall so that people could rent bikes and bike around The Mall. It wouldn't cause any environmental damage; in fact, it would preserve some of the lawn on our National Mall. Some people would enjoy it more and they would get a little exercise. Just all kinds of ideas that might be proposed by communities.

I remember being out in Washington State, San Juan Island. This was a little place. It's a national park because there was a bizarre military conflict that occurred out there. I won't go into the whole military conflict, but the people there love the bunny rabbits that are there. Well, the Park Service decided that they're really not a native species, there are too many of them, so the Park Service decided they're going to use the method they use at other places. First of all, they thought they

would gas them, which the community was shocked by. Then they decided, well, we'll shoot them and so on, reduce the population. You know, if they had just sat down with members of the community, they could have figured out how to keep these bunnies that the community wanted, avoid a whole lot of negative attitude with regard to the Park Service, and in fact enhance the enjoyment of this little national park at San Juan.

I'm sure there are examples all over the country, in fact, all over the world, because the National Park Service has any number of parks outside the physical boundaries of our North American continent. We've got the Virgin Islands and so on.

I don't know what the local neighborhoods might suggest, but I do know that they have a lot of good ideas, ideas that the National Park Service ought to consider thoughtfully. And some will be rejected, but some might well be accepted. But the process of that kind of community input, it seems to me, would generate even more support for the National Park Service.

It's a great institution. Our parks are iconic assets to our Nation. But I do think that the local community could enjoy them more and appreciate the National Park Service's role more if we had the kind of dialogue with the Park Service that Ms. Norton is suggesting.

I don't see any harm in having that kind of study. I think we ought to be able to work with the gentlelady, maybe put together some report language, at least a letter to the head of the National Park Service suggesting that this is an area that the Congress itself, in a bipartisan way, thinks ought to be explored.

10:08 PM EDT
Jim Moran, D-VA 8th

Mr. MORAN. Madam Chairman, I think we have a problem in the amendment, itself, because it would specifically designate a study that might be interpreted as some type of earmark, which I don't think it really is.

I like what the gentlelady is trying to do. I think it's important. I think we ought to have a consideration by the Park Service of whether they are sufficiently flexible in dealing with local communities.

[Time: 22:10]

There was a recent article written in The Washington Post talking about some of the opportunities that exist to bring the community into local parks, urban parks, where far more people could be involved, people could participate, people could enhance the enjoyment of things that take place. For example, if there is a large soccer event at a park that is controlled by the National Park Service, you could bring the whole community in to watch it on a large screen.

There is no question but that we could find ways to discourage automobiles and encourage bikes--have bike sharing, for example, on The National Mall so that people could rent bikes and bike around The Mall. It wouldn't cause any environmental damage; in fact, it would preserve some of the lawn on our National Mall. Some people would enjoy it more and they would get a little exercise. Just all kinds of ideas that might be proposed by communities.

I remember being out in Washington State, San Juan Island. This was a little place. It's a national park because there was a bizarre military conflict that occurred out there. I won't go into the whole military conflict, but the people there love the bunny rabbits that are there. Well, the Park Service decided that they're really not a native species, there are too many of them, so the Park Service decided they're going to use the method they use at other places. First of all, they thought they

would gas them, which the community was shocked by. Then they decided, well, we'll shoot them and so on, reduce the population. You know, if they had just sat down with members of the community, they could have figured out how to keep these bunnies that the community wanted, avoid a whole lot of negative attitude with regard to the Park Service, and in fact enhance the enjoyment of this little national park at San Juan.

I'm sure there are examples all over the country, in fact, all over the world, because the National Park Service has any number of parks outside the physical boundaries of our North American continent. We've got the Virgin Islands and so on.

I don't know what the local neighborhoods might suggest, but I do know that they have a lot of good ideas, ideas that the National Park Service ought to consider thoughtfully. And some will be rejected, but some might well be accepted. But the process of that kind of community input, it seems to me, would generate even more support for the National Park Service.

It's a great institution. Our parks are iconic assets to our Nation. But I do think that the local community could enjoy them more and appreciate the National Park Service's role more if we had the kind of dialogue with the Park Service that Ms. Norton is suggesting.

I don't see any harm in having that kind of study. I think we ought to be able to work with the gentlelady, maybe put together some report language, at least a letter to the head of the National Park Service suggesting that this is an area that the Congress itself, in a bipartisan way, thinks ought to be explored.

10:13 PM EDT
Mike Simpson, R-ID 2nd

Mr. SIMPSON. I would say that I think the gentleman has stated the case as it is. It is an earmark, and that's a whole other story we can talk about.

But I agree with what the gentlelady is trying to do here. And I will tell you that both the ranking member and I will work with the gentlelady from the District of Columbia to try to resolve this in conference so that we can do what you're trying to accomplish here because I think it is important.

10:14 PM EDT
Jim Moran, D-VA 8th

Mr. MORAN. The gentlelady is smiling, so I will accept her concurrence. We will move forward in that fashion if the gentlelady wouldn't mind withdrawing her amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

10:14 PM EDT
Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-DC

Ms. NORTON. I appreciate the remarks of the chairman and the ranking member. In light of those remarks and their generosity, I do withdraw my amendment and will work with them to try to implement it in other ways.

The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is withdrawn.

There was no objection.

The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will read.