Department Of Interior

DOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
Contact: Joan Moody
For Immediate Release:,July 19, 2004
House Passes Legislation to Create Lewis & Clark National Historical Park in Washington and Oregon

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton applauded today's passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of H.R. 3819, legislation to expand Fort Clatsop National Memorial in Oregon to include three sites along the lower Columbia River in Washington state. The legislation, which was proposed by the Administration in February, would rename the park as the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park. Introduced by Rep. Brian Baird of Washington with 17 cosponsors, the bill passed by voice vote.

"This timely legislation will help ensure that Washington and Oregon will meet the needs of the influx of visitors for the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. By protecting the sites in Washington where the explorers first camped when they reached the Pacific Ocean, it will save these areas for future generations as well," said Norton.

The Secretary, who chairs the federal Bicentennial commemoration, opened the national observance in January 2003 at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello home in Virginia. She predicts that visitation will increase in Washington and Oregon in 2005. "By protecting this park, we can ensure that Bicentennial visitors and future generations of Americans will be able to visit the place at the mouth of the Columbia River where Captain William Clark first glimpsed the ocean in November 1805."

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 an NPS study of the three sites.

Released in February 2004, the study recommended addition of the three sites in Washington to the Fort Clatsop unit. The 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.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted on July 14 to approve similar legislation to expand and rename the Fort Clatsop National Memorial. S. 2167 has not yet been considered by the full Senate.

More information on the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial is available at


Selected News Releases