US Senate passes Champlain Valley bill

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US Senate passes Champlain Valley bill

Thu, 12/16/2004 - 8:00pm -- tim

SENATE PASSES JEFFORDS'CHAMPLAIN VALLEY HERITAGE BILL
WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. Senate has given its final approval to a
bill introduced by U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., to establish a
National Heritage Partnership within the Champlain Valley. The bill, which
authorizes as much as $10 million for the effort, will now go to the
President for his signature.
The program would be funded by the National Park Service and
administered through the Lake Champlain Basin Program for
projects to explore, protect and promote the area. The
Partnership will bring together more than 100 local groups to
work towards that goal.
Military history and maritime commerce have been identified as themes for
the region. Visitors would explore sites such as Fort Henry, Fort
Ticonderoga, Crown Point, the Ethan Allen Homestead, and the St. Albans
Historical Museum as they make their way along a designated route.
In 1997, the National Park Service undertook a study at Jeffords' request
to explore the possibility of establishing the Champlain Valley as a
Heritage region. The study examined the cultural and historic resources of
the area, both on land and submerged. According to that report, more than
$50 million a year of additional tourism revenue could be generated with
the establishment of the Heritage designation. Jeffords first introduced
legislation to create the designation in 1992.
"We are so fortunate to have such a rich history in the Champlain Valley,
and I look forward to sharing that history as we promote this great
region," said Jeffords, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and
Public Works Committee. "This will be a huge boost for our tourism
industry."
The bill was co-sponsored by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Charles
Schumer, D-NY and Hillary Clinton, D-NY.