March 7, 2013


House subcommittee sets hearing on
Jones bill to overturn ORV plan


By IRENE NOLAN

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulative has scheduled a legislative hearing on Thursday, March 14, at 10 a.m. in the Longworth House Office Building, 1334 Hearing Room.

Three bills will be considered, including House Bill 819, which was reintroduced by U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., on Feb. 26.

The legislation seeks to overturn both the National Park Service’s final rule for off-road vehicles on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and a court-approved consent decree that settled a lawsuit filed against the Park Service by environmental groups.

The Preserving Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act would return management of seashore resources to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy and Environmental Assessment, issued by the Park Service on June 13, 2007.

The two other two bills are:

  • H.R. 588 (Young), To provide for donor contribution acknowledgements to be displayed at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Visitor Center, and for other purposes. “Vietnam Veterans Donor Acknowledgment Act of 2013.”
  • H.R. 716 (Herrera Beutler), To direct the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal land to the city of Vancouver, Washington, and for other purposes.

This is the fourth time Jones has introduced the legislation.  Last year, the House passed it, largely along party lines, with Republicans favoring passage and Democrats opposing.  However, 19 Republicans voted against the bill, while 16 Democrats voted for it.

The subcommittee calendar announcing the hearing does not yet list witnesses who will testify.  However, Joshua Bowlen, Jones’ legislative director, said Dare County Commissioner Warren Judge will be the only witness speaking in favor of the bill. Because three bills are being heard, he said, the committee declined to allow another witness in favor.

Visit the Committee Calendar for testimony and additional information, once it is made available.  The hearing is open to the public and a live video stream will be broadcast at http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.


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