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Mount Rainier National Park

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Senate approves Mount Rainier National Park expansion bill


02:18 PM PDT on Wednesday, September 15, 2004



Mount Rainier

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved a bill that will expand the boundaries of Mount Rainier National Park by roughly 800 acres - the largest expansion in over 70 years.


U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Jennifer Dunn both had bills that would improve access for visitors to the park, allow for a new campsite to be built, and save taxpayers money that will no longer be needed to repair damages to a road that frequently gets washed out.


According to a recent study conducted by Michigan State University, visitors to Mount Rainier spent over $24 million in 2001, supporting nearly 800 jobs and $13 million in personal incomes in communities surrounding the Park. In addition, it is estimated that Mount Rainier visitors spent $6.75 million at local restaurants and bars, and $5.5 million at regional lodging facilities.


Specifically, the bill will authorize the purchase of a three-mile strip of land along the Carbon River, extending Mount Rainier National Park's northwest boundary and adding approximately 800 acres to the park.


The area that would be set aside for park protection contains one of the last inland old-growth rainforests in the country. It will also link Mount Rainier National Park to Pierce County's Fairfax Forest, creating a corridor that can be used by migrating elk and other animals.


The Mount Rainier National Park Boundary Adjustment Act of 2003 has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives and now awaits the President's signature.

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