Chesterton Tribune



Committee OKs Visclosky bill to rebrand Lakeshore a National Park

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The House Committee on Natural Resources has approved legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, which would designate the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as a National Park.

On Wednesday the Committee approved the legislation, H.R. 1488, the Indiana Dunes National Park Act, by unanimous consent. The measure is now referred to the full House and is expected to be considered in the coming months.

Specifically, H.R. 1488 would retitle the “Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore” as the “Indiana Dunes National Park.” That designation would create the first National Park in Indiana and the 60th in the U.S.

The initial effort to name this area a National Park began in 1916 under the first Director of the National Park Service, Stephen Mather. “The National Park designation would provide greater recognition of this august Northwest Indiana attraction with the intent of drawing more visitors to the region and stimulating the local economy,” according to a statement released by Visclosky’s office on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan companion measure has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Indiana. This measure, co-sponsored by Sen. Todd Young, R-Indiana, is currently pending consideration in the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“I thank Chairman Rob Bishop, Ranking Member Raul Grijalva, and all the members of the Natural Resources Committee, for their leadership to bring forward and advance this legislation,” Visclosky said. “I hope that the full House considers this important legislation as soon as possible so that we can quickly begin to harness this national recognition of the Indiana Dunes and attract new visitors and economic activity to our region.”

“The Indiana Dunes is one of the most beautiful natural resources in our state and our region, and I am hopeful the full House of Representatives will quickly pass this legislation now that it has advanced from the Committee,” Donnelly said. “Designating the Dunes as a National Park would give the area the recognition it deserves, attract more visitors, and further stimulate the region’s economy.”

“I appreciate Rep. Visclosky and his House colleagues for acting on this bill,” Young said. “Many Hoosier families have fond memories of times spent together at the Indiana Dunes. Changing its designation to a National Park will give families who live outside our great state the opportunity to know about, and enjoy, one of Indiana’s most beautiful places.”

“The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a treasured source of natural beauty and outdoor recreation for not just Hoosier families but all Americans,” said U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, D-2nd. “Making it the first National Park in Indiana will strengthen our state’s economy by drawing more tourists from around the country and boosting the outdoor recreation industry that is so vital to our region. I look forward to voting for this bipartisan bill on the House floor.”




Posted 10/5/2017




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