(Washington, D.C) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) applauded the announcement that $2.5 million dollars has been included for a Station Camp State Park conservation easement in the National Park Service's final Fiscal Year 2007 allocation list. Senator Murray has been an advocate of fully funding the easement and has worked to secure funding in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Senator Murray has also sent letters of support for the funding to Administration officials at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Interior.
The Station Camp site is historically significant as the place Lewis and Clark considered to be the end of their westward journey, the place where the had their first "full view" of the Pacific Ocean, and the site of a historically meaningful vote in which each member of the expedition team was given a full vote on the location of winter camp, regardless of race or gender. The land in and around the state park is also important to the Chinook Indians whose history is deeply rooted in the area.
"By preserving this land we are preserving the record of several monumental occasions that tell the story of Lewis and Clark's time in our state," said Senator Murray. "I am pleased that I was able to work with the National Park Service to safeguard this site that will be appreciated for its historical value and natural beauty for generations to come. I am also proud to help preserve land that is part of the fabric of the Native American traditions of our state."
Last year, Senator Murray, along with her delegation colleagues, wrote to Interior Secretary Gale Norton and OMB Director Rob Portman to express support for funding for the Station Camp conservation easement.
Letter to Secretary Norton
Letter to Director Portman
Murray also sponsored bipartisan legislation which was signed into law by President Bush in 2004 that conserves three Lewis and Clark sites in Washington state, including Station Camp.
The State of Washington has committed $4.1 million to acquire the lands at Station Camp, realign the highway around the site and construct visitor facilities to interpret Lewis and Clark's time at Station Camp and the Chinook Indians history in the area. The federal funds will be used in conjunction with the state funds to complete the project.