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Senate Passes Cantwell Bill for Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

Trail Will Educate Visitors on Region's Geologic History and Boost Local Tourism

Thursday, January 15,2009


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Senate passed U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) bipartisan legislation, included in S. 22,Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, to create an Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail through portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Cantwell has been working with communities in Central and Eastern Washington, the National Park Service, and other community stakeholders to see the Trail created since 2001. The package is headed to the House of Representatives for its approval and then to the desk of President-elect Obama for signature as the final step before becoming law.
 
“Our region’s ice age flood legacy is etched all over the Pacific Northwest, and this trail will serve as a valuable learning tool to educate Americans on our unique geological history as well as boost local tourism,” said Cantwell. “Visitors to the trail will not only provide an important economic boost to Central and Eastern Washington communities, but they will learn about a really amazing, and often overlooked, part of our region’s history that is such a large part of our community.”
 
“The passage of S.22 by the Senate is an exciting development and opens the way to create a first of its kind Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail,said Gary Kleinknecht, President of the Ice Age Floods Institute. “The Ice Age Floods Institute envisions an Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail as an economic stimulus to Northwest ecotourism, while increasing the public’s awareness of how the forces of nature shape our planet and affect our lives. This legislation will enable the National Park Service to coordinate new and existing floods interpretive facilities and sites into a cohesive story for the public.”
 
The proposed trail—which will tell the story of how a series of monumental floods created the unique geology of Central and Eastern Washington—would be managed by the National Park Service in partnership with the Ice Age Floods Institute, participating states, tribes, and other local entities.  Interpretive centers, signs and markers, exhibits, waysides, and roadside pullouts would be used to tell the story of the floods, provide educational opportunities, and help enhance regional tourism.
 
Cantwell’s bipartisan bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Larry Craig (R-ID), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Max Baucus (D-MT).
 
 
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