[House Report 117-104]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]


117th Congress    }                                    {      Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session      }                                    {      117-104

======================================================================



 
             GREAT DISMAL SWAMP NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA ACT

                                _______
                                

 July 26, 2021.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Grijalva, from the Committee on Natural Resources, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1154]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1154) to authorize the Secretary of the Interior 
to conduct a study to assess the suitability and feasibility of 
designating certain land as the Great Dismal Swamp National 
Heritage Area, and for other purposes, having considered the 
same, reports favorably thereon without amendment and 
recommends that the bill do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1154 is to authorize the Secretary of 
the Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and 
feasibility of designating certain land as the Great Dismal 
Swamp National Heritage Area.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    H.R. 1154 directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct 
a study assessing the suitability and feasibility of 
designating the Great Dismal Swamp and its associated sites in 
the states of Virginia and North Carolina as a National 
Heritage Area. The study area includes the cities of 
Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, and the Isle of 
Wight County in the State of Virginia; and Camden, Currituck, 
Gates, and Pasquotank counties in the State of North Carolina.
    The Great Dismal Swamp, a National Wildlife Refuge, spans 
across Virginia and North Carolina and contains the largest 
intact remnant of a vast forest that once covered more than one 
million acres. This cultural and ecological landscape is also 
home to the ancestral lands of the Nansemond Indian Nation and 
the historic lands of the Haliwa-Saponi and Meherrin Tribes; 
the largest known collection of archaeological artifacts from 
maroon colonies; one of the only known water-based stops on the 
Underground Railroad to freedom; and a thriving community 
descending from early colonial Free People of Color whose 
families resisted American slavery, finding refuge within the 
Swamp.
    Designating the Great Dismal Swamp as a National Heritage 
Area will ensure that the often untold stories of some of our 
nation's underrepresented communities--from the Indigenous 
communities who first called the Swamp home to the enslaved 
African Americans who endured the Swamp's hardships in their 
fight for freedom--are preserved and shared for current and 
future generations.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1154 was introduced on February 18, 2021, by 
Representative A. Donald McEachin (D-VA). The bill was referred 
solely to the Committee on Natural Resources, and within the 
Committee to the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and 
Public Lands. On June 15, 2021, the Subcommittee held a hearing 
on the bill. On July 14, 2021, the Natural Resources Committee 
met to consider the bill. The Subcommittee was discharged by 
unanimous consent. No amendments were offered. The bill was 
adopted and ordered favorably reported to the House of 
Representatives by unanimous consent.
    On February 26, 2021, the House passed H.R. 803, the 
Protecting America's Wilderness and Public Lands Act, which 
included the text of H.R. 1154.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\H.R. 803, 117th Cong., tit. XVI (2021) (engrossed in House), 
https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr803/BILLS-117hr803eh.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                                HEARINGS

    For the purposes of clause 3(c)(6) of House rule XIII, the 
following hearing was used to develop or consider this measure: 
hearing by the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and 
Public Lands held on June 15, 2021.

            COMMITTEE OVERSIGHT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

    Regarding clause 2(b)(1) of rule X and clause 3(c)(1) of 
rule XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
Committee on Natural Resources' oversight findings and 
recommendations are reflected in the body of this report.

                  COMPLIANCE WITH HOUSE RULE XIII AND 
                        CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET ACT

    1. Cost of Legislation and the Congressional Budget Act. 
With respect to the requirements of clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII 
of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 308(a) 
of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 and with respect to 
requirements of clause (3)(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives and section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has requested 
but not received a cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of Congressional Budget Office. The Committee adopts 
as its own cost estimate the forthcoming cost estimate of the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office, should such cost 
estimate be made available before House passage of the bill.
    The Committee has requested but not received from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office a statement as to 
whether this bill contains any new budget authority, spending 
authority, credit authority, or an increase or decrease in 
revenues or tax expenditures.
    Congressional Budget Office staff have informed the 
Committee on a preliminary, informal, nonbinding basis that the 
bill likely would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    2. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goals and 
objectives of this bill are to authorize the Secretary of the 
Interior to conduct a study to assess the suitability and 
feasibility of designating certain land as the Great Dismal 
Swamp National Heritage Area.

                           EARMARK STATEMENT

    This bill does not contain any Congressional earmarks, 
limited tax benefits, or limited tariff benefits as defined 
under clause 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule XXI of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives.

                 UNFUNDED MANDATES REFORM ACT STATEMENT

    An estimate of Federal mandates prepared by the Director of 
the Congressional Budget Office pursuant to section 423 of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act was not made available to the 
Committee in time for the filing of this report. The Chair of 
the Committee shall cause such estimate to be printed in the 
Congressional Record upon its receipt by the Committee.

                           EXISTING PROGRAMS

    This bill does not establish or reauthorize a program of 
the federal government known to be duplicative of another 
program.

                  APPLICABILITY TO LEGISLATIVE BRANCH

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act.

               PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL, OR TRIBAL LAW

    Any preemptive effect of this bill over state, local, or 
tribal law is intended to be consistent with the bill's 
purposes and text and the Supremacy Clause of Article VI of the 
U.S. Constitution.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

    If enacted, this bill would make no changes to existing 
law.

        SUPPLEMENTAL, MINORITY, ADDITIONAL, OR DISSENTING VIEWS

    None.

                                  [all]