March 04, 2004

Wyden, Smith Introduce Bill to Create Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

Park Will Welcome Bicentennial Visitors, Increase Tourism

Washington, D.C. Today, Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced legislation to create the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, which would expand the Fort Clatsop Memorial area near Astoria and incorporate three historic sites in adjacent southwest Washington.Fort Clatsop is one of Oregons important tourism treasures, said Smith. Further commemorating one of Oregons great contributions to American history is a special invitation to travelers far and wide.Renaming and expanding Fort Clatsop will commemorate Lewis and Clarks great journey and allow tourists a historical adventure of their own into the rich history of the Northwest, said Wyden. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with members of both the Oregon and Washington congressional delegations in an effort to make this a bipartisan, regional success.Smith and Wyden previously introduced legislation authorizing the National Park Service (NPS) to expand Fort Clatsop, where explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent the winter of 1805, and to study the inclusion of the three historic Washington sites. After the bill passed Congress, the NPS conducted its study and outlined the feasibility of the expansion in a report to the Department of the Interior in July 2003. Last week, Interior Secretary Gale Norton publicly supported the incorporation of the Washington sites and called for legislation to authorize the expansion and establishment of a National Historical Park. Historic Fort Clatsop marked the conclusion of Lewis and Clarks journey across the continent and was their home for the winter of 1805.