S. 459: Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act

S. 459

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act

Sponsor
Sen. Tim Johnson

Date
September 10, 2013 (113th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the House will consider S. 459, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Boundary Modification Act, under a suspension of the rules.  The bill was introduced in the Senate on March 5, 2013 by Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD).  The bill was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent.   S. 459 was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, which ordered the bill reported by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

S. 459 amends the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Establishment Act of 1999 to modify the boundary of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota.  This land will include 25 acres which are currently part of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland, and 3.65 acres of land at the Delta 1 Launch Control Facility for the purpose of constructing a visitor center, parking lot and for other administrative purposes.  In turn, the boundary of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland will be modified to exclude the 25 acres of land that would be transferred to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.  In addition, this legislation transfers the administrative jurisdiction from the USDA to the Secretary of the Interior.  

Background

The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site was established in 1999 and is intended to display the historical significance of the Cold War, and specifically the importance of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).  The site sits on 15 acres and is located in Jackson and Pennington Counties, South Dakota, and is operated by the National Park Service.  The site contains the last remaining Minuteman II ICBM system in the U.S., which consists of a launch control center and a launch facility.   The facility once housed 150 missiles, 15 launch control centers, and covered 13,500 square miles.[1]  The Buffalo Gap National Grassland is a nearly 600,000 acre site operated by the U.S. Forest Service in southwest South Dakota.

The U.S. administered over 1,000 missiles throughout the Midwest during the Cold War.  As a result of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), the Minuteman missiles were eliminated from the U.S. arsenal.  In 1993, the National Park Service and the U.S. Air Force entered an agreement to preserve two Minuteman sites in South Dakota.

Cost

The CBO estimates that this legislation would have no significant impact on the federal budget.[1]

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.