1-23-12, House Passed Bill 278-100
H. R. 1141
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 24, 2012
Received; read twice and referred
to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to study the suitability
and feasibility of designating prehistoric, historic, and limestone forest
sites on Rota, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a unit of
the National Park System.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; FINDINGS.
(a) Short Title- This Act may be cited as the `Rota Cultural and Natural Resources
(b) Findings- Congress finds as follows:
(1) The island of Rota was the only major island in the Mariana Islands
to be spared the destruction and large scale land use changes brought about
by World War II.
(2) The island of Rota has been described by professional archeologists
as having the most numerous, most intact, and generally the most unique
prehistoric sites of any of the islands of the Mariana Archipelago.
(3) The island of Rota contains remaining examples of what is known as the
Latte Phase of the cultural tradition of the indigenous Chamorro people
of the Mariana Islands. Latte stone houses are remnants of the ancient Chamorro
(4) Four prehistoric sites are listed on the National Register of Historic
Places: Monchon Archeological District (also known locally as Monchon Latte
Stone Village), Taga Latte Stone Quarry, the Dugi Archeological Site that
contains, latte stone structures, and the Chugai Pictograph Cave that contains
examples of ancient Chamorro rock art. Alaguan Bay Ancient Village is another
latte stone prehistoric site that is surrounded by tall-canopy limestone
(5) In addition to prehistoric sites, the island of Rota boasts historic
sites remaining from the Japanese period (1914-1945). Several of these sites
are on the National Register of Historic Places: Nanyo Kohatsu Kabushiki
Kaisha Sugar Mill, Japanese Coastal Defense Gun, and the Japanese Hospital.
(6) The island of Rota's natural resources are significant because of the
extent and intact condition of its native limestone forest that provides
habitat for several federally endangered listed species, the Mariana crow,
and the Rota bridled white-eye birds, that are also native to the island
of Rota. Three endangered plant species are also found on Rota and two are
endemic to the island.
(7) Because of the significant cultural and natural resources listed above,
on September 2005, the National Park Service, Pacific West Region, completed
a preliminary resource assessment on the island of Rota, Commonwealth of
the Northern Mariana Islands, which determined that the `establishment of
a unit of the national park system appear[ed] to be the best way to ensure
the long term protection of Rota's most important cultural resources and
its best examples of its native limestone forest.'.
SEC. 2. NPS STUDY OF SITES ON THE ISLAND OF ROTA, COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN
(a) Study- The Secretary of the Interior shall--
(1) carry out a study regarding the suitability and feasibility of designating
prehistoric, historic, and limestone forest sites on the island of Rota,
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a unit of the National
Park System; and
(2) consider management alternatives for the island of Rota, Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(b) Study Process and Completion- Except as provided by subsection (c) of
this section, section 8(c) of Public Law 91-383 (16 U.S.C. 1a-5(c)) shall
apply to the conduct and completion of the study required by this section.
(c) Submission of Study Results- Not later than 3 years after the date that
funds are made available for this section, the Secretary shall submit to the
Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives and the Committee
on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate a report describing the results
of the study.
Passed the House of Representatives January 23, 2012.
KAREN L. HAAS,