Cantwell, Hastings Reintroduce Legislation to Create Ice Age Floods Trail

Bipartisan legislation would designate new National Park Service trail across four states

WASHINGTON, DC – Friday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) announced their introduction of bipartisan legislation in the House and Senate to create an Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail through portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Cantwell and Hastings reintroduced the measure this week during the new 110th Congress and are hopeful it will be enacted into law this year. The House and Senate approved slightly differing versions of the Cantwell-Hastings legislation last Congress, but differences between the two versions were not reconciled before Congress adjourned.

“Celebrating our region’s distinctive geological history by creating this new trail will boost tourism in rural Central and Eastern Washington and help local residents learn more about our state’s history,” said Cantwell. “This is an opportunity to leverage ongoing local and regional investments.”

Hastings said, “This trail will serve as an educational tool and help create new economic opportunities throughout our region.”

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.