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 S 2478 ES

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2478


AN ACT

To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a theme study on the peopling of America, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the `Peopling of America Theme Study Act'.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

(a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--

(1) an important facet of the history of the United States is the story of how the United States was populated;

(2) the migration, immigration, and settlement of the population of the United States--

(A) is broadly termed the `peopling of America'; and

(B) is characterized by--

(i) the movement of groups of people across external and internal boundaries of the United States and territories of the United States; and

(ii) the interactions of those groups with each other and with other populations;

(3) each of those groups has made unique, important contributions to American history, culture, art, and life;

(4) the spiritual, intellectual, cultural, political, and economic vitality of the United States is a result of the pluralism and diversity of the American population;

(5) the success of the United States in embracing and accommodating diversity has strengthened the national fabric and unified the United States in its values, institutions, experiences, goals, and accomplishments;

(6)(A) the National Park Service's official thematic framework, revised in 1996, responds to the requirement of section 1209 of the Civil War Sites Study Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5 note; Public Law 101-628), that `the Secretary shall ensure that the full diversity of American history and prehistory are represented' in the identification and interpretation of historic properties by the National Park Service; and

(B) the thematic framework recognizes that `people are the primary agents of change' and establishes the theme of human population movement and change--or `peopling places'--as a primary thematic category for interpretation and preservation; and

(7) although there are approximately 70,000 listings on the National Register of Historic Places, sites associated with the exploration and settlement of the United States by a broad range of cultures are not well represented.

(b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--

(1) to foster a much-needed understanding of the diversity and contribution of the breadth of groups who have peopled the United States; and

(2) to strengthen the ability of the National Park Service to include groups and events otherwise not recognized in the peopling of the United States.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

In this Act:

(1) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.

(2) THEME STUDY- The term `theme study' means the national historic landmark theme study required under section 4.

(3) PEOPLING OF AMERICA- The term `peopling of America' means the migration to and within, and the settlement of, the United States.

SEC. 4. THEME STUDY.

(a) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall prepare and submit to Congress a national historic landmark theme study on the peopling of America.

(b) PURPOSE- The purpose of the theme study shall be to identify regions, areas, trails, districts, communities, sites, buildings, structures, objects, organizations, societies, and cultures that--

(1) best illustrate and commemorate key events or decisions affecting the peopling of America; and

(2) can provide a basis for the preservation and interpretation of the peopling of America that has shaped the culture and society of the United States.

(c) IDENTIFICATION AND DESIGNATION OF POTENTIAL NEW NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARKS-

(1) IN GENERAL- The theme study shall identify and recommend for designation new national historic landmarks.

(2) LIST OF APPROPRIATE SITES- The theme study shall--

(A) include a list in order of importance or merit of the most appropriate sites for national historic landmark designation; and

(B) encourage the nomination of other properties to the National Register of Historic Places.

(3) DESIGNATION- On the basis of the theme study, the Secretary shall designate new national historic landmarks.

(d) NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM-

(1) IDENTIFICATION OF SITES WITHIN CURRENT UNITS- The theme study shall identify appropriate sites within units of the National Park System at which the peopling of America may be interpreted.

(2) IDENTIFICATION OF NEW SITES- On the basis of the theme study, the Secretary shall recommend to Congress sites for which studies for potential inclusion in the National Park System should be authorized.

(e) CONTINUING AUTHORITY- After the date of submission to Congress of the theme study, the Secretary shall, on a continuing basis, as appropriate to interpret the peopling of America--

(1) evaluate, identify, and designate new national historic landmarks; and

(2) evaluate, identify, and recommend to Congress sites for which studies for potential inclusion in the National Park System should be authorized.

(f) PUBLIC EDUCATION AND RESEARCH-

(1) LINKAGES-

(A) ESTABLISHMENT- On the basis of the theme study, the Secretary may identify appropriate means for establishing linkages--

(i) between--

(I) regions, areas, trails, districts, communities, sites, buildings, structures, objects, organizations, societies, and cultures identified under subsections (b) and (d); and

(II) groups of people; and

(ii) between--

(I) regions, areas, districts, communities, sites, buildings, structures, objects, organizations, societies, and cultures identified under subsection (b); and

(II) units of the National Park System identified under subsection (d).

(B) PURPOSE- The purpose of the linkages shall be to maximize opportunities for public education and scholarly research on the peopling of America.

(2) COOPERATIVE ARRANGEMENTS- On the basis of the theme study, the Secretary shall, subject to the availability of funds, enter into cooperative arrangements with State and local governments, educational institutions, local historical organizations, communities, and other appropriate entities to preserve and interpret key sites in the peopling of America.

(3) EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES-

(A) IN GENERAL- The documentation in the theme study shall be used for broad educational initiatives such as--

(i) popular publications;

(ii) curriculum material such as the Teaching with Historic Places program;

(iii) heritage tourism products such as the National Register of Historic Places Travel Itineraries program; and

(iv) oral history and ethnographic programs.

(B) COOPERATIVE PROGRAMS- On the basis of the theme study, the Secretary shall implement cooperative programs to encourage the preservation and interpretation of the peopling of America.

SEC. 5. COOPERATIVE AGREEMENTS.

The Secretary may enter into cooperative agreements with educational institutions, professional associations, or other entities knowledgeable about the peopling of America--

(1) to prepare the theme study;

(2) to ensure that the theme study is prepared in accordance with generally accepted scholarly standards; and

(3) to promote cooperative arrangements and programs relating to the peopling of America.

SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this Act.

Passed the Senate October 5 (legislative day, September 22), 2000.

Attest:

Secretary.

106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 2478

AN ACT

To require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a theme study on the peopling of America, and for other purposes.

END

 


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