CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Tuesday, September 6, 2016, the House will consider H.R. 3480, the Fort Frederica National Monument Boundary Expansion Act, under suspension of the rules. H.R. 3480 was introduced on September 10, 2015, by Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported, as amended, by unanimous consent on June 15, 2016.
H.R. 3480 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to obtain, for inclusion in the Fort Frederica National Monument boundary, approximately 21 acres by donation, or purchase with donated or appropriated funds. The parcel authorized to be acquired is owned by the St. Simons Land Trust.
Fort Frederica National Monument is located on St. Simons Island, Georgia, and it commemorates the archeological remnants of a fort established in 1736 by James Oglethorpe, the founder of the state of Georgia. Titled after Frederick Louis, the Prince of Wales (1702-1754), Oglethorpe constructed the fort to protect the southern boundary of his new Georgia colony from the Spanish forces in Florida. Fort Frederica consisted of a fort and town protected by both a palisade wall and earth-based barricade. Because it was strategically located on the Frederica River, the fort was able to oversee nearby ship travel.
Oglethorpe’s fort successfully defended against its first attack when Spanish and British troops collided on St. Simons Island at the Battle of Bloody Marsh in 1742. This British victory solidified the fact that Georgia was official British territory but also marked the end of Fort Frederica’s use. By 1749, the fort’s regiment had disbanded from St. Simon’s Island and the town fell into eventual decline as a result.
Later, on May 26, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt officially recognized Fort Frederica as a National Monument. The National Park Service (NPS) currently owns and maintains the archeological remains of the fort on St. Simons Island.
Specifically, the purpose of this legislation is to expand the boundary of Fort Frederica National Monument. The existing park boundary exceeds the current acreage cap, established by Congress in 1958, so the legislation would also expand the cap to accommodate the current size of the monument and permit the NPS to acquire about 20 additional acres. According to the bill’s sponsor, “Fort Frederica National Monument is a popular destination for constituents in Glynn County…and H.R. 3480 would authorize the National Park Service to obtain adjacent land that likely contains artifacts from prehistoric human settlements.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementing the legislation, thus acquiring certain properties that are adjacent to the monument, would cost about $1 million. Enacting H.R. 3480 would not affect direct spending or revenues and therefore, pay-as-you-go procedures do not apply. H.R. 3480 would not increase net direct spending or on-budget deficits in any of the four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027.
For questions or further information please contact John Wilson with the House Republican Policy Committee by email or at 6-1811.