To establish the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area in the
State of Texas, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
January 25 (legislative day, January 5), 2011
Mrs. HUTCHISON introduced the following bill; which was read twice
and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To establish the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area in the
State of Texas, 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 `Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area Act'.
SEC. 2. DEFINITIONS.
(1) HERITAGE AREA- The term `Heritage Area' means the Buffalo Bayou
National Heritage Area, established in this Act.
(2) MANAGEMENT ENTITY- The term `management entity' means the management
entity for the Heritage Area designated by this Act.
(3) MANAGEMENT PLAN- The term `management plan' means the management
plan for the Heritage Area required under this Act.
(4) MAP- The term `map' means the map entitled `Buffalo Bayou National
Heritage Area Proposed Boundary', numbered T11/101,592, and dated
(5) SECRETARY- The term `Secretary' means the Secretary of the Interior.
(6) STATE- The term `State' means the State of Texas.
SEC. 3. BUFFALO BAYOU NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA.
(a) Establishment- There is established in the State the Buffalo Bayou
National Heritage Area.
(b) Boundaries- The Heritage Area shall consist of areas included in
the map in Harris County, Texas.
(c) Map- A map of the Heritage Area shall be--
(1) included in the management plan; and
(2) on file and available for public inspection in the appropriate
offices of the National Park Service.
(d) Management Entity- The management entity for the Heritage Area shall
be the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area Corporation.
SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATION.
(a) Authorities- For purposes of carrying out the management plan, the
Secretary, acting through the management entity, may use amounts made
available under this Act to--
(1) make grants to the State or a political subdivision of the State,
nonprofit organizations, and other persons;
(2) enter into cooperative agreements with, or provide technical assistance
to, the State or a political subdivision of the State, nonprofit organizations,
and other interested parties;
(3) hire and compensate staff, which shall include individuals with
expertise in natural, cultural, and historical resources protection,
and heritage programming;
(4) obtain money or services from any source including any that are
provided under any other Federal law or program;
(5) contract for goods or services; and
(6) undertake to be a catalyst for any other activity that furthers
the Heritage Area and is consistent with the approved management plan.
(b) Duties- The management entity shall--
(1) in accordance with section 5, prepare and submit a management
plan for the Heritage Area to the Secretary;
(2) assist units of local government, regional planning organizations,
and nonprofit organizations in carrying out the approved management
(A) carrying out programs and projects that recognize, protect,
and enhance important resource values in the Heritage Area;
(B) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits and programs
in the Heritage Area;
(C) developing recreational and educational opportunities in the
(D) increasing public awareness of, and appreciation for, natural,
historical, scenic, and cultural resources of the Heritage Area;
(E) protecting and restoring historic sites and buildings in the
Heritage Area that are consistent with Heritage Area themes;
(F) ensuring that clear, consistent, and appropriate signs identifying
points of public access, and sites of interest are posted throughout
the Heritage Area; and
(G) promoting a wide range of partnerships among governments, organizations,
and individuals to further the Heritage Area;
(3) consider the interests of diverse units of government, businesses,
organizations, and individuals in the Heritage Area in the preparation
and implementation of the management plan;
(4) conduct meetings open to the public at least semiannually regarding
the development and implementation of the management plan;
(5) for any year that Federal funds have been received under this
(A) submit an annual report to the Secretary that describes the
activities, expenses, and income of the management entity (including
grants to any other entities during the year that the report is
(B) make available to the Secretary for audit all records relating
to the expenditure of the funds and any matching funds; and
(C) require, with respect to all agreements authorizing expenditure
of Federal funds by other organizations, that the organizations
receiving the funds make available to the Secretary for audit all
records concerning the expenditure of the funds; and
(6) encourage by appropriate means economic viability that is consistent
with the Heritage Area.
(c) Prohibition on the Acquisition of Real Property- The management
entity shall not use Federal funds made available under this Act to
acquire real property or any interest in real property.
(d) Cost-Sharing Requirement- The Federal share of the cost of any activity
carried out using any assistance made available under this Act shall
be 50 percent.
SEC. 5. MANAGEMENT PLAN.
(a) In General- Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of
this Act, the management entity shall submit to the Secretary for approval
a proposed management plan for the Heritage Area.
(b) Requirements- The management plan shall--
(1) incorporate an integrated and cooperative approach for the protection,
enhancement, and interpretation of the natural, cultural, historic,
scenic, and recreational resources of the Heritage Area;
(2) take into consideration State and local plans;
(i) the resources located in the core area described in section
(ii) any other property in the core area that--
(I) is related to the themes of the Heritage Area; and
(II) should be preserved, restored, managed, or maintained because
of the significance of the property;
(B) comprehensive policies, strategies, and recommendations for
conservation, funding, management, and development of the Heritage
(C) a description of actions that governments, private organizations,
and individuals have agreed to take to protect the natural, historical,
and cultural resources of the Heritage Area;
(D) a program of implementation for the management plan by the management
entity that includes a description of actions to facilitate ongoing
collaboration among partners to--
(i) promote plans for resource protection, restoration, and construction;
(ii) specific commitments for implementation that have been made
by the management entity or any government, organization, or individual
for the first 5 years of operation;
(E) the identification of sources of funding for carrying out the
(F) analysis and recommendations for means by which local, State,
and Federal programs, including the role of the National Park Service
in the Heritage Area, may best be coordinated to carry out this
(G) an interpretive plan for the Heritage Area; and
(4) recommend policies and strategies for resource management that
consider and detail the application of appropriate land and water
management techniques, including the development of intergovernmental
and interagency cooperative agreements to protect the natural, historical,
cultural, educational, scenic, and recreational resources of the Heritage
(c) Deadline- If a proposed management plan is not submitted to the
Secretary by the date that is 3 years after the date of enactment of
this Act, the management entity shall be ineligible to receive additional
funding under this Act until the date that the Secretary receives and
approves the management plan.
(d) Approval or Disapproval of Management Plan-
(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than 180 days after the date of receipt
of the management plan under subsection (a), the Secretary, in consultation
with the State, shall approve or disapprove the management plan.
(2) CRITERIA FOR APPROVAL- In determining whether to approve the management
plan, the Secretary shall consider whether--
(A) the management entity is representative of the diverse interests
of the Heritage Area, including governments, natural and historic
resource protection organizations, educational institutions, businesses,
and recreational organizations;
(B) the management entity has afforded adequate opportunity, including
public hearings, for public and governmental involvement in the
preparation of the management plan; and
(C) the resource protection and interpretation strategies contained
in the management plan, if implemented, would adequately protect
the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the Heritage
(3) ACTION FOLLOWING DISAPPROVAL- If the Secretary disapproves the
management plan under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall--
(A) advise the management entity in writing of the reasons for the
(B) make recommendations for revisions to the management plan; and
(C) not later than 180 days after the receipt of any proposed revision
of the management plan from the management entity, approve or disapprove
the proposed revision.
(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall approve or disapprove each amendment
to the management plan that the Secretary determines makes a substantial
change to the management plan.
(B) USE OF FUNDS- The management entity shall not use Federal funds
authorized by this Act to carry out any amendments to the management
plan until the Secretary has approved the amendments.
SEC. 6. RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER FEDERAL AGENCIES.
(a) In General- Nothing in this Act affects the authority of a Federal
agency to provide technical or financial assistance under any other
(b) Consultation and Coordination- The head of any Federal agency planning
to conduct activities that may have an impact on the Heritage Area is
encouraged to consult and coordinate the activities with the Secretary
and the management entity to the maximum extent practicable.
(c) Other Federal Agencies- Nothing in this Act--
(1) modifies, alters, or amends any law or regulation authorizing
a Federal agency to manage Federal land under the jurisdiction of
the Federal agency;
(2) limits the discretion of a Federal land manager to implement an
approved land use plan within the boundaries of the Heritage Area;
(3) modifies, alters, or amends any authorized use of Federal land
under the jurisdiction of a Federal agency.
SEC. 7. PRIVATE PROPERTY PROTECTION.
(1) abridges the rights of any property owner (whether public or private),
including the right to refrain from participating in any plan, project,
program, or activity conducted within the Heritage Area;
(2) requires any property owner to permit public access (including
access by Federal, State, or local agencies) to the property of the
property owner, or to modify public access or use of property of the
property owner under any other Federal, State, or local law;
(3) alters any duly adopted land use regulation, approved land use
plan, or other regulatory authority of any Federal, State or local
agency, or conveys any land use or other regulatory authority to the
(4) authorizes or implies the reservation or appropriation of water
or water rights;
(5) diminishes the authority of the State to manage fish and wildlife,
including the regulation of fishing and hunting within the Heritage
(6) creates any liability, or affects any liability under any other
law, of any private property owner with respect to any person injured
on the private property.
SEC. 8. WATER RIGHTS.
(a) Statement of Policy- Nothing in this Act is meant to modify the
Rio Grande Natural Area Act.
(b) Applicability- Nothing in this Act--
(1) amends, modifies, or is in conflict with the Act of May 31, 1939
(53 Stat. 785, chapter 155);
(2) authorizes the regulation of private land in the Heritage Area;
(3) authorizes the imposition of any mandatory streamflow requirements;
(4) creates an express or implied Federal reserved water right;
(5) imposes any Federal water quality standard within or upstream
of the Heritage Area that is more restrictive than would be applicable
had the Heritage Area not been established; or
(6) prevents the State of Texas from acquiring an instream flow through
the Heritage Area under the terms, conditions, and limitations of
State law to assist in protecting the natural environment to the extent
and for the purposes authorized by State law.
SEC. 9. EVALUATION REPORT.
(a) In General- Not later than 3 years before the date on which authority
for Federal funding terminates for the Heritage Area, the Secretary
(1) conduct an evaluation of the accomplishments of the Heritage Area;
(2) prepare a report in accordance with subsection (c).
(b) Evaluation- An evaluation conducted under subsection (a)(1) shall--
(1) assess the progress of the management entity with respect to--
(A) accomplishing the purposes of this Act for the Heritage Area;
(B) achieving the goals and objectives of the approved management
plan for the Heritage Area;
(2) analyze the Federal, State, local, and private investments in
the Heritage Area to determine the leverage and impact of the investments;
(3) review the management structure, partnership relationships, and
funding of the Heritage Area for purposes of identifying the critical
components for sustainability of the Heritage Area.
(1) IN GENERAL- Based on the evaluation conducted under subsection
(a)(1), the Secretary shall prepare a report that includes recommendations
for the future role of the National Park Service, if any, with respect
to the Heritage Area.
(2) REQUIRED ANALYSIS- If the report prepared under paragraph (1)
recommends that Federal funding for the Heritage Area be reauthorized,
the report shall include an analysis of--
(A) ways in which Federal funding for the Heritage Area may be reduced
or eliminated; and
(B) the appropriate time period necessary to achieve the recommended
reduction or elimination.
(3) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS- On completion of the report, the Secretary
shall submit the report to--
(A) the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate;
(B) the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of Representatives.
SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this Act $10,000,000,
of which not more than $1,000,000 may be made available for any fiscal
SEC. 11. TERMINATION OF AUTHORITY.
The authority of the Secretary to provide assistance under this Act
terminates on the date that is 15 years after the date that funds are
first made available to carry out this Act.