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Panel Reviews Bipartisan National Park Service Bills

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 15, 2017 -

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on a series of bills that benefits local communities, spurs economic growth and preserves American history.

Introduced by Subcommittee on Federal Lands Vice Chairman Darin LaHood (R-IL), H.R. 801, the bipartisan “Route 66 National Historic Trail Designation Act,” designates the 2,400-mile length of Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois to Santa Monica, California as the Route 66 National Historic Trail. Route 66 was commissioned in 1926 as part of the first federal highway system and holds significant historical value to the eight states and communities through which it passes.

“The Federal Government already recognizes the importance of Route 66,” Rep. LaHood stated. “My legislation, HR 801, is simple and straightforward, and improves upon current efforts. If signed into law, it will designate Route 66 as a National Historic Trail ensuring that the National Park Service will have the authority to assist and support states and local communities in preserving, promoting, and economically developing Route 66 for generations to come.”

William M. Thomas, Chairman of the Route 66 Road Ahead, sited the significant economic and conservation benefits of designating Route 66 as a National Historical Trail characterizing it as a “domestic and international tourist destination, breathing new economic lift into many of the Mother Road communities.”

“Route 66 holds national historic significance, and the economic impact and potential of Route 66 are great,” Thomas added.

Acting Deputy Director of the U.S. National Park Service Sue Masica touted the legislation noting that Route 66 “has become a powerful symbol of America’s social, political and economic mobility and freedom.”

H.R. 4266 (Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-ME), the “Acadia National Park Boundary Clarification Act,” addresses a wide range of long-standing issues related to the boundaries of Acadia National Park. The bipartisan bill provides clarity and repeals past land acquisition authorities that had created conflict between the park and surrounding communities.

“Maine loves and America loves Acadia National Park,” Rep. Poliquin stated. “It is one of our crown jewels… It is part of our economy in the Bar Harbor area, it supports thousands of jobs. We do not want to change that. However, my bill closes loopholes so that Acadia cannot expand without a proper act of Congress while at the same time it allows for minor boundary adjustments to the area.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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