In order to preserve for the benefit and inspiration of the people of the United States as a national recreation area certain lands located in Massachusetts Bay, there is established as a unit of the National Park System the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area.
Notwithstanding subsection (h), the Secretary is authorized to acquire, in partnership with other entities, a less than fee interest in lands at Thompson Island within the recreation area. The Secretary may acquire the lands only by donation, purchase with donated or appropriated funds, or by exchange.
The recreation area shall be administered in partnership by the Secretary, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, City of Boston and its applicable subdivisions and others in accordance with the provisions of law generally applicable to units of the National Park System, including the Act entitled “An Act to establish a National Park Service, and for other purposes”, approved August 25, 1916 (39 Stat. 535; 16 U.S.C. 1, 2, 3, and 4),1
Nothing in this section shall be construed to diminish, enlarge, or modify any right of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any political subdivision thereof, to exercise civil and criminal jurisdiction or to carry out State laws, rules, and regulations within the recreation area, including those relating to fish and wildlife, or to tax persons, corporations, franchises, or private property on the lands and waters included in the recreation area.
In order to facilitate the administration of the recreation area, the Secretary is authorized, subject to the appropriation of necessary funds in advance, to construct essential administrative or visitor use facilities on non-Federal public lands within the recreation area. Such facilities and the use thereof shall be in conformance with applicable plans.
The Secretary may accept and use donated funds, property, and services to carry out this section.
With respect to the recreation area, the present and future maintenance, operation, improvement and use of Boston-Logan International Airport and associated flight patterns from time to time in effect shall not be deemed to constitute the use of publicly owned land of a public park, recreation area, or other resource within the meaning of section 303(c) of title 49, and shall not be deemed to have a significant effect on natural, scenic, and recreation assets within the meaning of section 47101(h)(2) of title 49.
The Secretary shall preserve, interpret, manage, and provide educational and recreational uses for the recreation area, in consultation with the owners and managers of lands in the recreation area, in accordance with the integrated management plan.
There is hereby established the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership whose purpose shall be to coordinate the activities of Federal, State, and local authorities and the private sector in the development and implementation of an integrated resource management plan for the recreation area.
Members of the Partnership shall serve without pay, but while away from their homes or regular places of business in the performance of services for the Partnership, members shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, in the same manner as persons employed intermittently in the Government service are allowed expenses under section 5703 of title 5.
The Partnership shall elect one of its members as Chairperson and one as Vice Chairperson. The term of office of the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson shall be one year. The Vice Chairperson shall serve as chairperson in the absence of the Chairperson.
Any vacancy on the Partnership shall be filled in the same manner in which the original appointment was made.
The Partnership shall meet at the call of the Chairperson or a majority of its members.
A majority of the Partnership shall constitute a quorum.
The Secretary shall provide the Partnership with such staff and technical assistance as the Secretary, after consultation with the Partnership, considers appropriate to enable the Partnership to carry out its duties. The Secretary may accept the services of personnel detailed from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any political subdivision of the Commonwealth or any entity represented on the Partnership.
The Partnership may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Partnership may deem appropriate.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Partnership may seek and accept donations of funds, property, or services from individuals, foundations, corporations, and other private and public entities for the purpose of carrying out this section.
The Partnership may use its funds to obtain money from any source under any program or law requiring the recipient of such money to make a contribution in order to receive such money.
The Partnership may use the United States mails in the same manner and upon the same conditions as other departments and agencies of the United States.
The Partnership may obtain by purchase, rental, donation, or otherwise, such property, facilities, and services as may be needed to carry out its duties, except that the Partnership may not acquire any real property or interest in real property.
For purposes of carrying out the plan described in subsection (f), the Partnership may enter into cooperative agreements with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any political subdivision thereof, or with any organization or person.
Within three years after November 12, 1996, the Partnership shall submit to the Secretary a management plan for the recreation area to be developed and implemented by the Partnership.
Prior to adoption of the Partnership’s plan, the Secretary and the Partnership shall assist the owners and managers of lands and waters within the recreation area to ensure that existing programs, services, and activities that promote the purposes of this section are supported.
The Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Park Service, shall establish an advisory committee to be known as the Boston Harbor Islands Advisory Council. The purpose of the Advisory Council shall be to represent various groups with interests in the recreation area and make recommendations to the Boston Harbor Islands Partnership on issues related to the development and implementation of the integrated resource management plan developed under subsection (f). The Advisory Council is encouraged to establish committees relating to specific recreation area management issues, including (but not limited to) education, tourism, transportation, natural resources, cultural and historic resources, and revenue-raising activities. Participation on any such committee shall not be limited to members of the Advisory Council.
The Advisory Council shall consist of not fewer than 18 individuals, to be appointed by the Secretary, acting through the Director of the National Park Service. The Secretary shall appoint no fewer than three individuals to represent each of the following categories of entities: municipalities; educational and cultural institutions; environmental organizations; business and commercial entities, including those related to transportation, tourism and the maritime industry; and Boston Harbor-related advocacy organizations; and organizations representing Native American interests.
Each meeting of the Advisory Council and its committees shall be open to the public.
The provisions of section 14 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App.), are hereby waived with respect to the Advisory Council.
There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary to carry out this section, provided that no funds may be appropriated for land acquisition.
Amounts appropriated in any fiscal year to carry out this section may only be expended on a matching basis in a ratio of at least three non-Federal dollars to every Federal dollar. The non-Federal share of the match may be in the form of cash, services, or in-kind contributions, fairly valued.