September 16, 2004

Senate Passes Smith-Wyden Ft. Clatsop Bill

Legislation Designates the Lewis and Clark NationalHistorical Park as Part of the National Park System

Washington, DC Last night, the Senate passed the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park Designation Act, co-sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden. The bill would create a Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, encompassing Fort Clatsop National Memorial, other state parks, and sites proposed for protection.This legislation will give Oregonians a fitting tribute to the journey of Lewis and Clark, said Smith. The new National Park will make the rich history and life lessons learned from Lewis and Clark more accessible and meaningful to both residents and visitors."Preserving these pieces of history is an important priority, and a timely one as we celebrate the Lewis and Clark bicentennial," said Wyden. "I'm pleased that the Senate recognized the historical significance of these great Pacific Northwest places, and voted to protect them for future generations."The Act comes as Oregon prepares for next years bicentennial celebration of Lewis and Clarks historic expedition. The legislation would protect three sites on the lower Columbia River that played crucial roles during the Corps of Discovery expedition's dramatic arrival at the Pacific Ocean including Clark's Dismal Nitch, where the expedition first viewed the ocean and weathered a six-day storm; Station Camp, where the group held a historic vote among all group members on where the expedition should stay for the winter; and Cape Disappointment, the furthest point westward reached by Lewis and Clark.