Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That it is hereby declared that it is a national policy to preserve for public use historic sites, buildings and objects of national significance for the inspiration and benefit of the people of the United States.
Sec. 2. The Secretary of the Interior (hereinafter referred to as the Secretary), through the National Park Service, for the purpose of effectuating the policy expressed in section 1 hereof, shall have the following powers and perform the following duties and functions:
(a) Secure, collate, and preserve drawings, plans, photographs, and other data of historic and archaeologic sites, buildings, and objects.
(b) Make a survey of historic and archaeologic sites, buildings, and objects for the purpose of determining which possess exceptional value as commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.
(c) Make necessary investigations and researches in the United States relating to particular sites, buildings, or objects to obtain true and accurate historical and archaeological facts and information concerning the same.
(d) For the purpose of this Act, acquire in the name of the United States by gift, purchase, or otherwise any property, personal or real, or any interest or estate therein, title to any real property to be satisfactory to the Secretary: Provided, That no such property which is owned by any religious or educational institution, or which is owned or administered for the benefit of the public shall be so acquired without the consent of the owner: Provided further, That no such property shall be acquired or contract or agreement for the acquisition thereof made which will obligate the general fund of the Treasury for the payment of such property, unless or until Congress has appropriated money which is available for that purpose.
(e) Contract and make cooperative agreements with States, municipal subdivisions, corporations, associations, or individuals, with proper bond where deemed advisable, to protect, preserve, maintain, or operate any historic or archaeologic building, site, object, or property used in connection therewith for public use, regardless as to whether the title thereto is in the United States: Provided, That no contract or cooperative agreement shall be made or entered into which will obligate the general fund of the Treasury unless or until Congress has appropriated money for such purpose.
(f) Restore, reconstruct, rehabilitate, preserve, and maintain historic or prehistoric sites, buildings, objects, and properties of national historical or archaeological significance and where deemed desirable establish and maintain museums in connection therewith.
(g) Erect and maintain tablets to mark or commemorate historic or prehistoric places and events of national historical or archaeological significance.
(h) Operate and manage historic and archaeologic sites, buildings, and properties acquired under the provisions of this Act together with lands and subordinate buildings for the benefit of the public, such authority to include the power to charge reasonable visitation fees and grant concessions, leases, or permits for the use of land, building space, roads, or trails when necessary or desirable either to accommodate the public or to facilitate administration: Provided, That such concessions, leases, or permits, shall be let at competitive bidding, to the person making the highest and best bid.
(i) When the Secretary determines that it would be administratively burdensome to restore, reconstruct, operate, or maintain any particular historic or archaeologic site, building, or property donated to the United States through the National Park Service, he may cause the same to be done by organizing a corporation for that purpose under the laws of the District of Columbia or any State.
(j) Develop an educational program and service for the purpose of making available to the public facts and information pertaining to American historic and archaeologic sites, buildings, and properties of national significance. Reasonable charges may be made for the dissemination of any such facts or information.
(k) Perform any and all acts, and make such rules and regulations not inconsistent with this Act as may be necessary and proper to carry out the provisions thereof. Any person violating any of the rules and regulations authorized by this Act shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500 and be adjudged to pay all cost of the proceedings.
Sec. 3. A general advisory board to be known as the "Advisory Board on National Parks, Historic Sites, Buildings, and Monuments" is hereby established, to be composed of not to exceed eleven persons, citizens of the United States, to include representatives competent in the fields of history, archaeology, architecture, and human geography, who shall be appointed by the Secretary and serve at his pleasure. The members of such board shall receive no salary but may be paid expenses incidental to travel when engaged in discharging their duties as such members.
It shall be the duty of such board to advise on any matters relating to national parks and to the administration of this Act submitted to it for consideration by the Secretary. It may also recommend policies to the Secretary from time to time pertaining to national parks and to the restoration, reconstruction, conservation, and general administration of historic and archaeologic sites, buildings, and properties.
Sec. 4. The Secretary, in administering this Act, is authorized to cooperate with and may seek and accept the assistance of any Federal, State, or municipal department or agency, or any educational or scientific institution, or any patriotic association, or any individual.
(b) When deemed necessary, technical advisory committees may be established to act in an advisory capacity in connection with the restoration or reconstruction of any historic or prehistoric building or structure.
(c) Such professional and technical assistance may be employed without regard to the civil-service laws, and such service may be established as may be required to accomplish the purposes of this Act and for which money may be appropriated by Congress or made available by gifts for such purpose.
Sec. 5. Nothing in this Act shall be held to deprive any State, or political subdivision thereof, of its civil and criminal jurisdiction in and over lands acquired by the United States under this Act.
Sec. 6. There is authorized to be appropriated for carrying out the purposes of this Act such sums as the Congress may from time to time determine.
Sec. 7. The provisions of this Act shall control if any of them are in conflict with any other Act or Acts relating to the same subject matter.
Approved, August 21, 1955.