[House Report 113-99]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


113th Congress                                                   Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 1st Session                                                     113-99

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                 RATTLESNAKE MOUNTAIN PUBLIC ACCESS ACT

                                _______
                                

  June 6, 2013.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

 Mr. Hastings of Washington, from the Committee on Natural Resources, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                        [To accompany H.R. 1157]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Natural Resources, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 1157) to ensure public access to the summit of 
Rattlesnake Mountain in the Hanford Reach National Monument for 
educational, recreational, historical, scientific, cultural, 
and other purposes, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon without amendment and recommend that the bill 
do pass.

                          PURPOSE OF THE BILL

    The purpose of H.R. 1157 is to ensure public access to the 
summit of Rattlesnake Mountain in the Hanford Reach National 
Monument for educational, recreational, historical, scientific, 
cultural, and other purposes.

                  BACKGROUND AND NEED FOR LEGISLATION

    Rattlesnake Mountain is a 3,527-foot, windswept, treeless, 
sub-alpine ridge overlooking the Hanford nuclear site in Benton 
County, Washington. The highest winds recorded on Rattlesnake 
were around 150 mph. While parts of the western slope of the 
mountain are privately-owned ranch land, the eastern slope has 
been under federal ownership for the past several decades. In 
1943, Rattlesnake Mountain was seized by the United States 
government using its condemnation authority and it became a 
buffer zone for the Manhattan nuclear project at the Hanford 
site. In 1956, the Army installed a Nike Ajax missile base on 
the southeastern end of the ridge and maintained the site until 
1960, when it was closed.
    On June 9, 2000, President Bill Clinton issued Presidential 
Proclamation 7319 to establish the 195,000-acre Hanford Reach 
National Monument, managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service 
(FWS) and the Department of Energy (DOE). The monument became 
the first to be administered by FWS in the United States. Eight 
years after the designation of the monument, in 2008, FWS 
published its Hanford Reach National Monument Final 
Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact 
Statement.
    Public comments submitted to FWS in the development of the 
15-year management plan were in favor of increasing public 
access to specific areas of the Monument, and specifically, to 
Rattlesnake Mountain and its summit. A paved road leading to 
the summit already exists and is maintained by DOE due to the 
presence of communication towers located on the mountain. The 
summit of Rattlesnake Mountain provides some of the most 
panoramic views of the region, the Monument and the entire 
Hanford site. Other areas of Rattlesnake Mountain are also of 
historic, ecological and scenic interest that should be 
accessible to the public.
    FWS, however, made a determination in the management plan 
that the entire Rattlesnake Mountain Unit should be kept closed 
to the public ``due to resource concerns.'' The only exceptions 
to the ban were individuals who obtain a Special Use Permit, 
limited to approved ecological research and ``environmental 
education activities.'' Such permits have been extremely 
limited and do not afford proper public access.
    H.R. 1157 would ensure reasonable access to lands owned by 
the American people, access that has been essentially non-
existent in the over one dozen years since the Monument was 
designated, despite recent indications that FWS supports such 
access.
    H. R. 1157 instructs the Secretary of the Interior to 
provide public access to Rattlesnake Mountain in the Hanford 
Reach National Monument for educational, recreational, 
historical, scientific, cultural and other purposes. It allows 
the Secretary to enter into cooperative agreements with the 
Secretary of Energy, the State of Washington, any local 
governmental agency or interested parties to maintain the 
access road and facilitate guided tours to the summit of 
Rattlesnake Mountain. The legislation does not dictate how and 
when public access occurs, but does mandate that some access 
will be permitted, including motorized access.

                            COMMITTEE ACTION

    H.R. 1157 was introduced on March 14, 2013, by Congressman 
Doc Hastings (R-WA). The bill was referred to the Committee on 
Natural Resources, and within the Committee to the Subcommittee 
on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs. On April 
24, 2013, the Full Natural Resources Committee met to consider 
the bill. The Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and 
Insular Affairs was discharged by unanimous consent. No 
amendments were offered, and the bill was then adopted and 
ordered favorably reported to the House of Representatives by 
unanimous consent.

            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

    1. Cost of Legislation. Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives requires an estimate and 
a comparison by the Committee of the costs which would be 
incurred in carrying out this bill. However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) 
of that rule provides that this requirement does not apply when 
the Committee has included in its report a timely submitted 
cost estimate of the bill prepared by the Director of the 
Congressional Budget Office under section 402 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974. Under clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for this bill from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

H.R. 1157--Rattlesnake Mountain Public Access Act

    H.R. 1157 would require the Secretary of the Interior to 
provide access to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain in the 
Hanford Reach National Monument in the state of Washington. The 
legislation would authorize the Secretary of the Interior to 
enter into cooperative agreements with the Secretary of Energy, 
the state of Washington, and other entities to maintain an 
access road and to provide guided tours to the summit.
    H.R. 1157 does not specifically authorize appropriations, 
but it may affect when a public access road to the summit 
opens. Rattlesnake Mountain is eligible for inclusion in the 
National Register of Historic Places. Therefore, public access 
to the site is currently being evaluated by the Fish and 
Wildlife Service (FWS) in compliance with section 106 of the 
National Historic Preservation Act.
    The cost to provide public access to the mountain summit 
under current law will depend on the outcome of that evaluation 
and other ongoing FWS studies. There is an existing road to the 
summit; however, providing public access to it may require road 
improvements that would cost a few million dollars according to 
the agency. The legislation could influence the magnitude and 
timing of such expenditures; however, CBO expects that any 
change in costs relative to those expected under current law 
would be minimal. Furthermore, any such costs would be subject 
to the availability of appropriated funds. H.R. 1157 would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1157 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Martin von 
Gnechten. The estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Assistant 
Deputy Director for Budget Analysis.
    2. Section 308(a) of Congressional Budget Act. As required 
by 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, this bill does not contain any new budget 
authority, spending authority, credit authority, or an increase 
or decrease in revenues or tax expenditures. The cost to 
provide public access to the Rattlesnake Mountain summit under 
current law will depend on the outcome of a Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS) evaluation and other ongoing FWS studies. There 
is an existing road to the summit; however, providing public 
access to it may require road improvements that would cost a 
few million dollars according to the agency. The legislation 
could influence the magnitude and timing of such expenditures; 
however, CBO expects that any change in costs relative to those 
expected under current law would be minimal.
    3. General Performance Goals and Objectives. As required by 
clause 3(c)(4) of rule XIII, the general performance goal or 
objective of this bill is to ensure public access to the summit 
of Rattlesnake Mountain in the Hanford Reach National Monument 
for educational, recreational, historical, scientific, 
cultural, and other purposes.

                           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.

                    COMPLIANCE WITH PUBLIC LAW 104-4

    This bill contains no unfunded mandates.

                       COMPLIANCE WITH H. RES. 5

    Directed Rule Making. The Chairman does not believe that 
this bill directs any executive branch official to conduct any 
specific rule-making proceedings.
    Duplication of Existing Programs. This bill does not 
establish or reauthorize a program of the federal government 
known to be duplicative of another program. Such program was 
not included in any report from the Government Accountability 
Office to Congress pursuant to section 21 of Public Law 111-139 
or identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance published pursuant to the Federal Program 
Information Act (Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 
98-169) as relating to other programs.

                PREEMPTION OF STATE, LOCAL OR TRIBAL LAW

    This bill is not intended to preempt any State, local or 
tribal law.

                        CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW

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