Casey Calls on Key Committee to Take Up Legislation to Preserve Historic Gettysburg Battlefield, Rail Station

Bipartisan Bill Would Protect the Lincoln Train Station and 45 Acres of Battlefield Land

Washington, DC- As the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg nears, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced, today, that he has written a letter to the U.S. Senate’s Energy & Natural Resources Committee (ENR) urging the committee to take up his bill, the Gettysburg National Military Park Expansion Act, and move it through the committee process quickly. Casey’s bipartisan legislation would protect two historically significant properties, the Gettysburg Railroad Station and a forty-five acre property at the southern end of Gettysburg battlefield. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Station served as transportation hub for thousands of troops and as a hospital for critically-wounded soldiers. The Gettysburg Foundation, a non-profit working in partnership with the park, has secured funds to purchase the Gettysburg Train Station from the Borough of Gettysburg and donate it to the NPS, following the passage of this legislation.

The legislation also expands the boundary of Gettysburg National Military Park to include 45 acres of land at the southern end of the battlefield where cavalry skirmishes occurred during the Battle of Gettysburg in July of 1863. The land has environmental significance as home to wetlands and wildlife habitat related to the Plum Run stream that traverses the park. This 45-acre property is adjacent to current park land and was donated to the Gettysburg Foundation, in April of 2009. The Foundation plans to donate the parcel to the park once it’s added to the park’s boundaries; therefore, no federal land acquisition funding is necessary to obtain this property.

May 20, 2013

The Honorable Ron Wyden

Chairman

Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

304 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Lisa Murkowski

Ranking Member

Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources

304 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Murkowski:

On November 19, 1863, President Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address at the dedication of, as the President so eloquently phrased, “a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.” In six months, our Nation will observe the 150th anniversary of these historic remarks. I ask that the Senate protect two historically important properties in advance of this anniversary.

I urge the Energy & Natural Resources Committee to take up the Gettysburg National Military Park Expansion Act as soon as possible. This bipartisan legislation is aimed at maintaining important aspects of the Gettysburg experience for future generations. Following the passage of this bill, Gettysburg National Military Park would include two historically significant properties, the Gettysburg Railroad Station and a forty-five acre property at the southern end of Gettysburg battlefield. During the Battle of Gettysburg, the Station served as transportation hub for thousands of troops and as a hospital for critically-wounded soldiers. In 1863, President Lincoln arrived to this Station on the day before he delivered the Gettysburg Address. The forty-five acre property hosted cavalry skirmishes during the battle and now features wetlands and wildlife habitat support by Plum Run stream. Both are important to the mission of Gettysburg National Military Park.

The Gettysburg National Military Park Expansion Act is fiscally responsible. Under the bill, the National Park Service (NPS) will be able to acquire both properties through donations. In fact, the forty-five acre property was already donated to the Gettysburg Foundation in April 2009. Regarding the Gettysburg Train Station, the Gettysburg Borough Council voted in 2008 to transfer the station to the NPS and the Gettysburg Foundation has secured funds to purchase the Gettysburg Train Station from the Borough of Gettysburg and donate it to the NPS. The people of Gettysburg have worked very hard to enable the NPS to secure these properties by donation because they appreciate how important their inclusion is to the mission of Gettysburg National Military Park.

Gettysburg National Military Park is an American treasure. The Nation deserves to have these historic properties protected in advance of the 150th anniversary. I ask that the Senate come together and pass this important piece of bipartisan, bicameral, fiscally responsible legislation.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

 

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