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  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      House Committee on Natural Resources
      Federal Lands
    IntroducedSeptember 25th, 2018

Bill Details

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Title

Midway Atoll Trust Act

Official Title

To provide for the administration and operation of the infrastructure and the public visitation program of Midway Atoll by the private sector at minimal cost to the Federal Government by terminating the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service over the Midway Atoll and vesting such jurisdiction in a Board of Governors of the Midway Atoll, and for other purposes.

    My father was stationed on Midway during the cold war and was a pilot on the Pacific Barrier, our family lived on Midway Island for two years. It was, without a doubt, our favorite duty station during my dad's long career in the Navy. When I enlisted in the Navy, I tried hard to get stationed there...but it didn't work out. I feel slighted that I cannot take my wife and children to see where we lived so many years ago. So much history has wasted away there under the misguided direction of the Fish & Wildlife Service...it is so very sad. I pray that someone will rise to the occasion to capture what remains of this historic and hightly strategic island.
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    The FWS is the best agency to be overseeing both the historic and natural resources that are protected there in trust for the Nation's public. This bill is a misinformed measure to restore tourism to Midway. Previous efforts in 1997-2002 to work with the private sector to provide a visitor services program - cost the Federal government millions of dollars and put protected wildlife species in jeopardy. Veterans and interested public should have the opportunity to visit Midway, however, the path this bill is suggesting to get there has already been proven not to work.
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    Please consider supporting House Bill HR 6879, regarding jurisdiction of Midway Island. Midway is a National Memorial, yet closed to the public, with no plan to ever reopen. The USWS currently have jurisdiction of Midway. While they are very knowledgeable with wildlife issues, the agency has little to no experience in running a small city, an airport, operating a hotel or running an air transport service. The USFWS has been neglecting the historic significance of Midway – demolishing historic structures, every year. The private sector could offer a win-win solution for everyone - with the USFWS still managing wildlife issues and allowing the private sector to manage limited visitation to the island. The Battle of Midway National Memorial could be reopened – while off-loading the huge expensive burden of running the island, from the USFWS budget.
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    sad this is coming up now, after FWS has let all the buildings fall apart and demolished most of the infrastructure. I would love to see this National Historic site & war memorial be open to the public and ran by an independent company with the island's interest at heart.
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    As a Veteran of the US Armed Forces and former employee who worked on Midway for 9 years, I know first hand that FWS was told to establish a viable visitor program and they have refused to do it. Instead, they have let the infrastructure on the island deteriorate to the point of non-repair. They do not have the means themselves to perform any type of preventative maintenance on buildings or equipment. This Bill needs to be approved!
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    It is a national monument and should be available to the public. Many veterans long to go back and many people who were born on the island also want to go back. Open it up for those who fought for this country at least.
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    The legacy of Midway belongs to all Americans -- both those who were stationed there and future generations. That legacy includes both the WWII monuments and the unique wildlife and habitat. To safeguard both, as a National Wildlife Refuge, FWS has the experience. Ecotourism should be part of the future of these islands but not without the direct oversight of FWS.
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    The FWS only has knowledge of taking care of animals but beyond that their knowledge has ended. We need to get a group in there like the one before that has the islands heart at interest they were self-sufficient did not use the governments money and also took care of the birds and all the animals visitors were allowed FWS has caused so much distraction on this island please hear our plea and let us come back
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    This area, a part of a larger National Marine Monument, is a living treasure for our country. Buildings come and go, but memories of Midway are inescapably linked to the wildlife there. USFWS is doing a fine job with insufficient funds, and
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    I spent 1972-74 on Midway Island as one of my tours of duty while in the U.S. Navy. Please consider supporting House Bill HR 6879, regarding jurisdiction of Midway Island. Midway is a National Memorial, yet closed to the public, with no plan to ever reopen. The USWS currently have jurisdiction of Midway. While they are very knowledgeable with wildlife issues, the agency has little to no experience in running a small city, an airport, operating a hotel or running an air transport service. The USFWS has been neglecting the historic significance of Midway – demolishing historic structures, every year. The private sector could offer a win-win solution for everyone - with the USFWS still managing wildlife issues and allowing the private sector to manage limited visitation to the island. The Battle of Midway National Memorial could be reopened – while off-loading the huge expensive burden of running the island, from the USFWS budget.
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    Midway atoll is an incredible place, and I'm grateful for the time I have spent there. In working there, I have seen the incredible costs and logistics required to run an outpost in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The balance between wildlife habitat, historical buildings, and day to day functionality (of a refuge, a FAA emergency airport, and infrastructure required to run the resultant small town) is never an easy one. It is easy to blame USFWS for the state of the buildings. It is easy to say, yes let’s send tourists out. It is easy to say people should get to go to this place. Yet which of those buildings was really built for long term use? Ultimately in order for the island to be able to hold more people, it needs some massive infrastructure updates. Upkeep is expensive, new construction even more so, and both require manpower which is an expensive commodity. And the part that is really ignored in this bill, this is an important wildlife refuge, and every last surface would be covered with breeding birds if people were not constantly working to keep them from nesting on and burrowing under infrastructure. More funding to Midway, yes. Ultimately a goal of tourism, yes (with the proper funding). But in order to protect this vastly important wildlife habitat, to combat the effects of sea level rise and increased storm activity, and protect the buildings that can be saved, tourism is not the first priority and don't take oversight from USFWS!
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    Please support HR6879 and reestablish public visitation.
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    Midway Island was the turning point of the War in the Pacific. Now, the Fish and Wildlife 'Service' is destroying all traces of the brave men who flew off the island, many to never return, in order to stop the Japanese invasion of America. For several years, Midway Phoenix Corp. worked as co-operator with FWS, running visitation and keeping buildings repaired, bringing many up to modern day standards. The built a restaurant and beach bar for the visitors and workers on the island. The grass was kept mowed, the weeds were under control, the termites were kept at bay by regular treatments. Visitors were given a history lesson of the islands, and given a tour of Eastern Island, from which the pilots took off. I know. I was on one of those tours, and enjoyed being on Easters and I was stationed there in 1957-58. It brought back many memories. I found the site of my old Sand Is. barracks, also the brig, and chapel, now all gone. The chow hall had been repaired, cleaned, and put back into use. Due to FWS not lviing u to the agreements, Midway Phoenix left the island. We were PROMISED over and over there would be visitation'soon' but it never happened, andnow it has been 16 yars! MPC was at a break even point when they left. And that was aftger spending millions to get it ready for visitors! Please support Rep. Duncan's bill to replace FWS on Midway with a responsible party, and bring visitation back to the island. Yes, it is a bird sanctuary, but it is also a WWII Memorial Site, but is open only to fish and Wildlife, which is ridiculous! I wold love to go back to my former duty station one more time before I die. I will be 82 nest month and time is running short! I'd even be willing to go back and help restore some of the FWS fiasco destuction through neglect. Many of us would, just give us the chance! Please! Please?
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    Midway is a national historic site that deserves to be both protected and honored. I have long desired to take my three teenage sons to help them understand the great victory in June of 1942, but the current closer of the atoll prevents this. Taking a public/private sector approach to the Midway topic could be a valuable step towards the respect and honor Midway deserves.
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