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Wednesday, 17 December 2014 16:14

Congressional act could expand National Parks

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The National Parks System could see its largest expansion in decades after bipartisan legislation in Washington, D.C. was introduced proposing a significant national parks package.

If passed by Congress and signed into law, it would establish six new national parks, expand nine and extend 14 National Heritage Areas. The move would shake loose a five-year stalemate on public lands measures in Congress. 

“If passed, this legislation will protect places taken right out of the pages of our history and science books,” said Clark Bunting, President of the National Parks Conservation Association. “From the sites associated with the Manhattan Project to the legacy of Harriet Tubman in New York and Maryland to the North Fork Watershed in Montana and Ice Age fossils in Nevada, these are stories that deserve to be told in the name of strengthening our country’s best idea.”

Many of the proposed new and expanded national park sites would further diversify the National Park System, including the fossil-rich Tule Springs site, outside Las Vegas. Many will permanently protect places that played key roles in our nation’s history, including the historic Gettysburg train station where President Abraham Lincoln arrived to deliver his seminal Gettysburg Address.  And many of these sites would provide visitors with a richer adventure, including the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve where the watershed and marble caves will be protected.

A full list of proposed areas is online at www.npca.org/assets/pdf/national-parks-package-of-the-national-defense-authorization-act-for-fiscal-year-2015.pdf.

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