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Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
February 11, 1988 FILENAME KRIZ. SRY
Mr. Willis P. Kriz
I am replying to your letter of February 9, 1988, in
On the proposed purchase by NPS of the Nolind tract in
The NPS appraisal for the 10 acre Nolind unimproved
I expressed the concern that acceptance of the Nolind
Mr. Willis P. Kriz
You told me that because of the potential cost the NPS director proposed to limit SM acquisitions to what seems to be a skeletal backbone trail, picnic areas and other day-use sites. I don't know of his proposal and I look forward to receiving it. It seems to me, however, that if there is to be a major shrinkage in the boundaries of the park it will require new congressional legislation and public hearings.
With kindest regards,
SIDNEY R. YATES
Mr. HODEL. And I have not proposed that, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Yates. No, but Mr. Kriz told me that the Director was preparing this in the Western Region. That's why I asked the question.
Mr. HODEL. But what is really important for all of us who are listening to and reading this record to recognize is that he has not proposed that either. What he has said is we may have to come to that. But what we should be doing is focusing the purchase on those areas that make the most sense; the priority areas.
Mr. YATES. Well, the reason all this came up is I wanted to know how much it would cost the United States Government to acquire the land in Santa Monica Park. That's when I was given the estimate given to Congressman Goldwater in 1980 of $660 million. And
suggested at the time that today, because of increased costs, that figure is probably close to $2 billion or more. That's when he told me you recognized that's a major figure and you were thinking in terms of your skeletal trail and the important areas that connect to that trail. And that would require an estimate of something like $70 million. You said $77 million this morning.
That's the background for this, Mr. Secretary. From what you told the Committee this morning, it has never been proposed to you, this is the first you've heard about it, and if Mr. Mott wants to go forward with this plan, it will be ordered through appropriate channels.
Mr. HODEL. I should say it's not the first I've heard about it. But I've not received a formal proposal.
Mr. YATES. All right. So I think we've straightened it out.
Mr. HODEL. You read earlier into the record from someone's report that there were 2 million acres costing perhaps $2 billion to acquire. They aren't even in the ballpark on the cost of acquisition. There are 2 to 3 million acres of inholdings. Santa Monica Mountain alone-as we've already talked about-would conceivably cost $2 billion to $3 billion if we proceeded immediately to try and do it. And who knows what the costs are elsewhere.
Mr. YATES. The costs are going to go up? This has been the history of this?
Mr. HODEL. Some of them have come down, as you know.
Mr. HODEL. No, land acquisition costs. As our Director indicated, the Tall Grass Prairie price has dropped significantly. When I was first told about that project a year or two ago, they were talking $60 million to $80 million. We're now talking of possibly $10 to $15 million.
Mr. Yates. I don't think that would happen in California.
CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK
Mr. AuCoin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I understand Mr. Mott is not going to be back this afternoon. So I have one question, one minor question, if I may. It has to do with the Crater Lake National Park. I understand there's been some discussion of the jewels of the National Park system earlier in the hearing this morning. I guess I would ask you, Mr. Mott, if you would put the Crater Lake National Park in Oregon in that category? As one of the jewels of the system?
Mr. Mott. We consider the 341 units of the National Park system to be the jewels in the crown. We don't make a distinction between Crater Lake and Independence Hall or any other. They are each one special and a jewel in the crown. When I came to the directorship, I told all of our people that we were no longer going to talk about the 12 crown jewels. We were talking about the 341 jewels in the crown.
Mr. YATES. Why don't you call them jewels of the republic instead of jewel of the crown? (Laughter.]
Mr. Mott. That's a good idea.
Mr. Mort. They're all significant units of the National Park Service. Their values are there and of national significance.
Mr. AuCoin. We've talked before. You would agree with me that it's a special asset?
Mr. MOTT. Absolutely.
Mr. AUCOIN. It's Oregon's only national park, and there's been an ongoing debate for years within the Park Service, and with the public as well, as to what the future will be for the current lodge at Crater Lake National Park. The question is, should it be restored or should it be replaced? It has some historical significance.
Mr. Mott. Number one, it cannot be replaced. There would be too much controversy. We are going to have a meeting at 2:15 today to finalize the recommendations after the public hearings. My personal feeling in the matter is that the lodge should be rehabilitated for public use.
Mr. AuCoin. Would that be the lodge and the addition, or the lodge and part of the addition?
Mr. Mott. At least the lodge, and probably the addition as well. Mr. AuCoin. And that's your considered judgment on that?
Mr. Mott. We will be discussing that at 2:15 this afternoon. If you want to call me at 4:00, I'll tell
you what I can do. Mr. AuCoin. Do you want to leave the record open for a response?
I agree with you. I think it should be restored myself, but I'm delighted to hear your own professional judgment today.
Is there a reason for there being zero funding for the lodge project in the 1989 request?
Mr. Mott. Simply that we don't have the decisions as to what we were going to do, and therefore we weren't able to provide the estimated cost. Once the decision is made we'd have enough technical information and data that we can make an estimate of what the cost would be.
Mr. AuCoin. But it's only because the process has not reached decision making that there is a zero-
Mr. MOTT. That's correct.
Would you agree that in order to provide adequate and safe lodging at the current lodge some extent of revision are going to have to be made?
Mr. Motr. Oh, absolutely. The lodge structurally needs to be reinforced; the wiring is old, the plumbing is the same. The rooms