Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
CONTACT: Joan Moody
|For Immediate Release: Feb. 23, 2004||
Washington and Oregon:
Secretary Norton Calls for Legislation to Create Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
"With the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition underway, it is important to create legislation to protect the sites in Washington where the explorers first camped when they reached the Pacific Ocean," said Secretary Norton, who chairs the federal Bicentennial commemoration. "Bicentennial visitors and future generations of Americans can then visit the place at the mouth of the Columbia River where Captain William Clark was inspired to exclaim, 'Ocian in view! O the joy!' in his November 7, 1805 journal. They can imagine his elation at finally seeing the Pacific at the end of an arduous journey that had started almost three years earlier at President Jefferson's Virginia home."
The Department of the Interior
released the results of a National Park Service study of the proposed
sites and draft legislation to create the expanded park.
The Oregon and Washington congressional delegations worked with the Department of Interior to pass Public Law 107-221, the Fort Clatsop Expansion Act, signed by President Bush in August 2002. The law authorized expansion of Fort Clatsop and called for the NPS study of the three sites.
The National Park Service study released today recommends addition of the three sites in Washington to the Fort Clatsop unit. The proposed legislation would authorize incorporation of the sites with Fort Clatsop into the new Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. The sites are: Station Camp off U.S. 101, Megler's Safety Rest Area, a few yards down 101--Clark's Dismal Nitch that was the site of an historic Corps of Discovery vote--and federal land within Fort Canby State Park, where a memorial to Thomas Jefferson would be developed. The sites will be protected through a partnership of federal and state governments and willing private sellers. Under the study's recommended alternative, the partnership would also link state parks associated with the Lewis and Clark story with the federal park to foster cooperation and collaboration.
"Just as the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition depended on cooperation and collaboration to plan and implement their adventure, we need those same qualities today to preserve our nation's history," Norton said.
More information on the Lewis
and Clark Bicentennial is available at www.lewisandclark200.gov,
a website prepared by a partnership of many federal agencies. Information
on the existing Fort Clatsop can be found at http://www.lewisandclark200.gov/people_land_water/oregon.html
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